Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

May 4, 2019, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie was the 1933 Fox film “State Fair,” with Janet Gaynor, Will Rogers, Lew Ayres, Sally Eilers, Norman Foster, Louise Dresser, Frank Craven and Victor Jory. Screenplay by Sonya Levien and Paul Green, from the novel by Philip Stong, photography by Hal Mohr, sound recorder A.l. Kirbach, settings by Duncan Cramer, wardrobe by Rita Kaufman, musical direction by Louis De Francesco. Directed by Henry King.

“State Fair” is not commercially available on DVD. Amazon Prime seems to offer a streaming version of a lousy print and the accompanying reviews are of the later musicals. TCM occasionally airs a fairly good print of this version and that’s where I got it.

Writing in the New York Times (Jan. 27, 1933), Mordaunt Hall said:

Watching this film is almost as interesting as going to a state fair, for nothing seems to be neglected during the week in which it is supposed to take place. It is a homey tale, with many an intriguing bit. The outcome of some of the incidents may be anticipated, but that does not mitigate against them. In fact, when Melissa Frake, Abel Frake’s sensible wife, wins first prizes with her pickles, jams and mincemeat there was probably not a soul among those who crowded into the big theater yesterday who did not feel highly pleased, even though they well knew that Abel had poured brandy into the mincemeat and Mrs. Frake had flavored it still further with the same stimulant.

…. Mr. Rogers is excellent in his role. Frank Craven supplies some well-spoken lines. Mr. Foster is a bit too intelligent to be convincing as the rustic Wayne. Louise Dresser is highly satisfactory as Mrs. Frake and Victor Jory is good as a barker. Lew Ayres is sympathetic as Gilbert.

“State Fair” is also worth noting if you remember the controversy a while back about how movie titles were just boring lists of names. “State Fair” uses a billboard for the credits:

May 4, 2019, Mystery Photo

State Fair Title

State Fair Title

And another billboard appears at the end. No fade out on the final embrace of Lew Ayres and Janet Gaynor.

State Fair Title
Instead, the “State Fair” billboard slowly peels away to reveal…

State Fair
State Fair Title
… “The End.”

April 29, 2019. Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mystery gent. He most heartily approves of such goings-on.

Update: This is Harry Holman as one of the hog judges. One of the other judges (Hobart Cavanaugh) lacked sufficient mysteriousness.

April 30, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have a mystery guest from the animal kingdom.

Update: This is Dike of Rosedale as Blue Boy.

April 30, 2019, Mystery Photo

We also have a mystery gent. Our leading lady has been cropped out due to her insufficient mysteriousness. She will appear Friday.

Update: This is “nice guy but not her type” Frank Melton.

Brain Trust roll call: Mike Hawks (Monday’s mystery gent), Patrick (Monday’s mystery gent) and Mark Alan Vieira (Monday’s mystery gent). I don’t always say this, but I appreciate the level of research that goes into the Brain Trust’s detective work in identifying the mystery movies. Your film knowledge is most impressive!

May 1, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Wednesday, we have a mystery woman.

Update: This is Louise Dresser.

May 1, 2019, Mystery Photo
And also a natty mystery gent.

Update: This is Norman Foster.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, and Monday’s and Tuesday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, and Tuesday’s mystery gent), Dan Nather (mystery movie, and Monday’s and Tuesday’s mystery guests), Sheila (mystery movie, and Monday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, and Monday’s and Tuesday’s mystery guests), Gary (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery gent and our unseen mystery leading lady, and mystery pig), Sylvia E. (mystery movie, Monday’s and Tuesday’s mystery gents and our mystery pig) and L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast).

Note: There are several mystery pigs in our mystery movie. Tuesday’s mystery pig is the leading pig.

May 2, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Thursday, Wednesday’s mystery chap seems to have made a friend.

Update: This is Norman Foster and Sally Eilers in a Pre-Code segment.

May 2, 2019, Mystery Photo
Also this not terribly mysterious gent.

Update: This is young Victor Jory.

Brain Trust roll call: Bob Hansen (mystery movie and mystery cast), Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s mystery guests and peering into the future to see Friday’s mystery guests), Beachgal (mystery movie, mystery guests, mystery pig and seeing into the future for Friday’s mystery leading lady), David Inman (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery gent), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mystery guests), Anne Papineau (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery woman), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guests), Floyd Thursby (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery guest) and Sylvia E. (Wednesday’s mystery guests, peering into the future for Friday’s mystery guests).

May 3, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Friday, we have an entirely unmysterious guest.

Update: Will Rogers.

May 3, 2019, Mystery Photo
And also two non-mystery guests.

Update: This is Lew Ayres and Janet Gaynor.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests), Dan Nather (Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Patrick (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery guests and Thursday’s carnival barker), Sylvia E. (Thursday’s mystery guests and peering into the future to see Friday’s mystery guests), Anne Papineau (Thursday’s mystery carnival barker),  Beachgal (Thursday’s mystery guests and peering into the future for today’s mystery guests).

About lmharnisch

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

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

  1. Gary says:

    Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Berton Churchill.

    Like

  2. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Ferdinand Munier.

    Like

  3. B.J. Merholz says:

    Could it be George Barbier?

    Like

  4. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Harry Holman.

    Like

  5. Anne Papineau says:

    Charles Coleman?

    Like

  6. Patrick says:

    Harry Holman on Monday?

    Like

  7. Mark Alan Vieira says:

    Months ago I looked him up on IMDb after seeing him in Turn Back the Clock. And promptly forgot his name. Today I saw your post. For an hour I went through pre-Code films, title by title, looking for a credit. I gave up. Then, hours later, when I woke up from a nap, I heard a voice. “Harry. My name is Harry. Harry Holman.”

    Like

  8. Mary Mallory says:

    STATE FAIR. Harry Holman Monday and Frank Melton today along with Bell Boy.

    Like

  9. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Bell Boy and Frank Melton in STATE FAIR 1933.

    Like

  10. Dan Nather says:

    Well, if you have a mystery animal, would the movie be the 1933 version of STATE FAIR?

    Like

  11. Chrisbo says:

    Is Monday’s gent Lionel Belmore?

    Like

  12. Sheila says:

    Harry Holman for Monday, ‘State Fair’.

    Like

  13. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    STATE FAIR (1933)
    Monday: Harry Holman.
    Tuesday: Bell Boy; Frank Melton.

    Like

  14. Gary says:

    The pig gives it away: Monday: Harry Holman in 1933;s State Fair with Janet Gaynor.

    Like

  15. Sylvia E. says:

    Another (I think) ‘lucky Tuesday’ for me. We’ll see

    The film is State Fair 1933
    Mon. – Harry Holman
    Tues. – Dike of Rosedale (an actual State Fair winning hog) as Blue Boy
    and I found a shot from a different angle on the guy, who I think must be Fran Melton.

    This should be another fun one.

    Like

  16. Dan Nather says:

    Plus Harry Holman on Monday, and (I think) Frank Melton today.

    Like

  17. Gary says:

    Doing some research I discovered that the hog, here named Blue Bell is none other than The Dike of Rosedale.

    Like

  18. LC says:

    State Farm (1933) w/Janet Gaynor, Will Rogers, Lew Ayres, Sally Eilers, …

    Like

  19. LC says:

    Oops that should be State Fair

    Like

  20. Bob Hansen says:

    I believe the movie is State Fair from 1933. The stars are Janet Gaynor and Will Rogers, but I can’t name these actors.

    Like

  21. Mary Mallory says:

    Louise Dresser who’s so great in THE GOOSE WOMAN and Norman Foster. Janet Gaynor would be our unseen mystery woman yesterday. I’m going to the SFSFF so hope to answer the next few days. Of course I know that Will Rogers, Janet Gaynor, and Lew Ayres will come into play, if not others.

    Like

  22. beachgal says:

    I think our film this week is the 1933 Will Rogers version of State Fair.
    Monday might be Harry Holman
    Tues we might have Dike of Rosedale as our mystery hog, Blue Boy.
    Wed our in the window lady is Louise Dresser
    Wed our naty gent is Norman Foster

    Like

    • beachgal says:

      Opps; I missed our Tues gent after our pig. He’s the ‘feller’ who plays Harry, Frank Melton. He’s sitting next to our star (who’s cropped out and will appear on Friday), Janet Gaynor. .

      Like

  23. David Inman says:

    Norman Foster today. And I think that’s Frank Albertson on Tuesday. “State Fair,” mayhaps?

    Like

  24. Gary says:

    Further research tells me that this was a pre-code film: here the wholesome brother was shown to have bedded the girl he met at the fair …no Dick Haymes/Pat Boone in this version.Tra la la!

    Like

  25. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Louise Dresser and Norman Foster.

    Like

  26. Anne Papineau says:

    On Wednesday, Louise Dresser in “State Fair”

    Like

  27. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Louise Dresser; Norman Foster.

    Like

  28. Floyd Thursby says:

    Mr. Monday is Harry Holman and the movie is “State Fair.” I don’t know who Mr. Wednesday is, but it is a struggle to not accuse him of being Zeppo Marx.

    Like

  29. Sylvia E. says:

    Wednesday – Louise Dresser (Will Rogers favorite movie wife – I’m assuming he’ll arrive on Friday)
    and the guy in the straw hat is Norman Foster (I think)

    Just realized that on Tuesday you indicated a mystery woman (who will also arrive Friday) so that must be Janet Gaynor.

    By the way, the Dike of Rosedale was my big clue to the movie, because I recalled seeing Ozzie Nelson sing “More Than Just a Friend” on some variety show years ago. Mr. Nelson explained that this ‘love song to a pig’ was from the musical State Fair. That memory set me on the trail of movie versions of State Fair. Ahh…the things that come back to you.

    Like

  30. Sylvia E. says:

    One correction for Tuesday – Frank (not Fran) Melton – but thanks for giving me credit anyway.

    Like

  31. Don Danard says:

    A comment from the pig. “What do yah mean do I wanna come over for dinner”

    Like

  32. Mary mallory says:

    Sally eilers and norman foster and harry green.

    Like

  33. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Sally Eilers and Norman Foster; Victor Jory.

    Like

  34. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Sally Eilers seems to like Norman Foster while Victor Jory leers on.

    Like

  35. Mary mallory says:

    Actually victor jory in last photo for today.

    Like

  36. Dan Nather says:

    Omigosh, I missed Wednesday’s stars! That’s Louise Dresser and future director Norman Foster.

    Like

  37. Dan Nather says:

    And for today, Norman’s friend is Sally Eilers, and the barker in the boater is Victor Jory.

    Like

  38. Patrick says:

    Louise Dresser, Norman Foster, Janet Gaynor and Victor Jory in State Fair from 1933.

    Like

  39. Sylvia E. says:

    Thurs. – Sally Eilers with Norman Foster and photo #2 is a very young Victor Jory.
    Friday should bring Janet Gaynor (but no longer mysterious), Lew Ayres and Will Rogers.

    I’m looking forward to the Saturday rundown.

    Like

  40. Anne Papineau says:

    Victor Jory!

    Like

  41. beachgal says:

    Thurs in photo 1 we have Sally Eilers along with Norman Foster. In photo 2 we have Victor Jory

    Like

  42. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Will Rogers, Lew Ayres and Janet Gaynor.

    Like

  43. Don Danard says:

    Is the movie “Steamboat ‘Round the Bend”? It’s been years since I last saw it.

    Like

  44. beachgal says:

    For Friday we have Will Rogers in #1 slot and in #2 slot we have Janet Gaynor and Lew Ayers

    Like

  45. McDee says:

    Will Rogers,Janet Gaynor, Norman Foster, Lew Ayres in State Fair from 1933.

    Like

  46. tucsonbarbara says:

    I recognize Janet Gaynor and Will Rogers, so this must be “State Fair,” also starring Norman Foster, Sally Eilers and Louise Dresser

    Like

  47. Sylvia E. says:

    Friday – There they are at last! Will Rogers, Lew Ayres and Janet Gaynor.

    This was fun to look up. Thanks

    Like

  48. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Will Rogers; Lew Ayres. Janet Gaynor.

    Like

  49. Dan Nather says:

    And the stars of the film — Will Rogers, Janet Gaynor, and Lew Ayres. We need more Will Rogers on DVD!

    Like

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