Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

April 27, 2019, Two Arabian Knights

This week’s mystery movie was the 1927 United Artists picture “Two Arabian Knights,” with William Boyd, Mary Astor, Louis Wolheim, Ian Keith, Michael Vavitch, M. Visaroff, Boris Karloff, De Witt Jennings, Nicholas Dunaev, Jean Vachon and Denis D’Auburn.  Screenplay by Wallace Smith and Cyril Gardner, from the story by Donald McGibeny, continuity by James O’Donohue, titles by George Marion Jr., art direction by William Cameron Menzies, photography by Antonio Gaudio, technical direction by Ned Herbert Mann, interior decorations by Casey Roberts, assistant director Nate Watt, editing by Douglas Biggs, production managers Walter Mayo and Leeds Baxter. Produced by Howard Hughes and John W. Considine Jr. Directed by Lewis Milestone.

Turner Classic Movies in association with the University of Nevada  Las Vegas, digitally restored by Flicker Alley, music by Robert Israel, dedicated to Irvin Kershner.

“Two Arabian Knights” was digitally restored by Flicker Alley but has not been commercially released. It airs occasionally on TCM, which is where I got it in 2016, during the William Cameron Menzies retrospective hosted by Robert Osborne and James Curtis. The restoration is quite good, but the nitrate damage is still apparent in some segments.

Writing in the New York Times (Oct. 24, 1927), Mordaunt Hall said:

“Two Arabian Knights,” the current picture at the Paramount Theatre, is a genuinely clever comedy in which the principals scorn the usual fractious tactics and rely on intelligent acting. The two actors who supply the fun in this bright piece of work are William Boyd, the hero of DeMille’s “Volga Boatman,” and Louis Wolheim, a stage and screen portrayer of choice villainy who figured as Captain Flagg in the play “What Price Glory.”

This production has been expertly handled by Lewis Milestone, who has performed his task with a degree of sanity that is most welcome. Who knows but what this photoplay may serve to discourage silly and boisterous efforts and encourage this same restrained type of comedy? This film is filled with splendid photographic effects that have evidently been made at no small cost. Where a number of men are needed to add to the impression of a sequence, Mr. Milestone has not stinted himself, for he shows an imposing array of “extras,” all suitably costumed.

Note: If I had to pick a phrase to describe “Two Arabian Knights,” it would not be a “restrained type of comedy,” but that’s how it was viewed at the time.

I would love to get into the backstory on “Two Arabian Knights,” but it’s a long saga and ongoing.

Here are some links:

AFI catalog entry

Nitrateville thread

Silent Era: Howard Hughes Films Donated to UNLV to Air on TCM

TCM Diary: The Strange Case of “Two Arabian Knights”

Lantern search results for “Two Arabian Knights”


April 27, 2019, Mystery Photo
William Boyd (sans gas mask) and Mary Astor (sans veil).

April 22, 2019, Mystery Photo

Monday’s mystery gent approves of such goings-on. Whether the rest of the mystery cast approves of his goings-on is quite another question.

Update: This is Michael Visaroff.

April 23, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have a mystery woman. Very mysterious.

Update: This is Mary Astor. And yes, those eyes are a giveaway.

April 24, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Wednesday, we have a mystery gent.

Update: This is Boris Karloff.

Brain Trust roll call: Beachgal (mystery movie and both mystery guests), David Inman (Tuesday’s mystery woman), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman), Dan Nather (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman; your mystery gent is in the movie but has another role), Mary Mallory (mystery movie and both mystery guests), Tucson Barbara (mystery movie and both mystery guests) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie and both mystery guests).

April 25, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Thursday, we have a mystery gent. And would you believe it? He does not approve of such goings-on.

Update: This is Ian Keith.

Brain Trust roll call: Tucson Barbara (Wednesday’s mystery gent), Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s mystery gent), Beachgal (Wednesday’s mystery gent), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mystery gent), Dan Nather (Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery gents), Sue Slutzky (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Don Danard (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Sylvia E. (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Benito (Wednesday’s mystery guest) and Thom and Megan (mystery movie and all mystery guests).

April 26, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Friday, we have an outtake of Alan Ladd in “This Gun for Hire.” Actually, this is one of our famous leading men.

Update: This is William Boyd.

April 26, 2019, Mystery Photo

Also this non-mysterious chap is our other leading man.

Update: And finally, the unmistakable face of Louis Wolheim.

Brain Trust roll call: Tucson Barbara (Thursday’s mystery gent), Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery gent), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery gent), Sue Slutzky (Thursday’s mystery gent), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery gent), Don Danard (Thursday’s mystery gent), Sylvia E. (Thursday’s mystery gent), Beachgal (Thursday’s mystery gent) and Dan Nather (Thursday’s mystery gent).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1927, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

  1. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Richard Alexander in SCARLET DAWN.


  2. Lawrence Ross says:

    Eli Wallach?


  3. Arye Michael Bender says:

    Rex Harrison trying to scare Mrs. Muir?


  4. Anne Papineau says:

    I agree with Norman. This guy is definitely channeling John Hodiak.


  5. Don Danard says:

    Is it Felix Knight?


  6. beachgal says:

    Monday is M. (Michael) Visaroff I think. Our film this week is Two Arabian Knights.
    Tues we have Mary Astor


  7. I didn’t know our PM used to be in the movies but here goes. Tuesday – Theresa May.


  8. Sheila says:

    Julia Faye for Tuesday?


  9. David Inman says:

    Those eyes — Mary Astor?


  10. Gary says:

    Greta Nissen in Lady of the Harem.


  11. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Mary Astor in TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS.


  12. Dan Nather says:

    For Tuesday’s gal, I’m thinking Mary Astor in TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS . . .


  13. David Inman says:

    Mary Astor today?


  14. Anne Papineau says:

    On Tuesday, Julia Faye?


  15. Mary Mallory says:

    TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS. Michael Visaroff MOnday and Mary Astor today.


  16. tucsonbarbara says:

    “Two Arabian Knights”

    Monday – Michael Visaroff
    Tuesday – Mary Astor


  17. Sylvia E. says:

    Every once in a while, I’ll be incredibly lucky and get to the movie and maybe one of the actors on Tuesday. Hit the jackpot this time.

    I am so looking forward to Saturday and your breakdown on this movie: the wonderful cast combinations story (who would think: the future Hopalong Cassidy and the future Frankenstein monster together!,) the Oscar category story, the Howard Hughes story and the ‘music on a silent film’ story. Will you have enough room to comment on it all?

    Also, did you know that the film is airing on TCM next Friday, May 3? Anyhooooo…

    Movie – Two Arabian Knights 1927
    Monday – Michael Visaroff (I think)
    Tuesday – a “keeping herself mysterious for awhile” Mary Astor

    This was a great choice.


  18. tucsonbarbara says:

    Boris Karloff


  19. Mary Mallory says:

    Boris Karloff.


  20. beachgal says:

    Wed we have Boris Karloff


  21. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Boris “THE MAN” Karloff.


  22. Dan Nather says:

    Ah yes, there he is — Boris Karloff today. And I’m going to guess Michael Visaroff for Monday.


  23. Sue Slutzky says:

    The movie is Two Arabian Knights. Monday – Michael Visaroff, Tuesday – Mary Astor, Wednesday – Boris Karloff.


  24. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Monday: Michael Visaroff
    Tuesday: Mary Astor
    Wednesday: Boris Karloff


  25. Don Danard says:

    Is the man on board a young Boris Karloff? Sure looks like him.


  26. Sylvia E. says:

    Wednesday is a very young Boris Karloff.


  27. Benito says:

    Boris Karloff?


  28. Thom and Megan says:

    Our movie is Two Arabian Knights with Michael Visaroff for Monday, Mary Astor for Tuesday, and Boris Karloff for today,


  29. tucsonbarbara says:

    Ian Keith


  30. Mary Mallory says:

    Ian Hunter.


  31. Mary Mallory says:

    Oops, meant Ian Keith. Do you know why the blog isn’t showing how many times posts have been shared? I don’t see shares on either mac or pc, even after reloading.


  32. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Ian Keith.


  33. Sue Slutzky says:

    Ian Keith?


  34. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Ian Keith.


  35. Don Danard says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo of this chap so young, but it sure looks like Ian Keith on Thursday.


  36. Sylvia E. says:

    Thursday – Ian Keith (gotta love the hat)


  37. beachgal says:

    Thurs is Ian Keith.


  38. Don Danard says:

    Is Thursday’s Mystery Man a young Ian Keith? Kinda looks like him.


  39. Dan Nather says:

    Ian Keith on Thursday. I think I have it right today!


  40. Mary Mallory says:

    William Boyd and Louis Wolheim.


  41. MIKE HAWKS says:

    William Boyd and Louis Wolheim.


  42. tucsonbarbara says:

    William Boyd and Louis Wolheim


  43. Sue Slutzky says:

    William Boyd and Louis Wolheim.


  44. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    William Boyd, Louis Wolheim.


  45. beachgal says:

    For Friday – our stars are William Boyd and Louis Wolheim


  46. Anne Papineau says:

    Two Arabian Knights. Finally recognize a familiar face: Louis Wolheim.


  47. Sylvia E. says:

    Friday’s #1 mystery guy must be William Boyd and our #2 (mug shot) guy is Louis Wolheim.
    Looking forward to Saturday’s breakdown and Mary Astor sans veil.

    This was a lot of fun.


  48. Benito says:

    Wolheim was memorable in ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. Sad that he died relatively young.


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