Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

June 15, 2019, Mystery Movie
This week’s particularly fun (for me, anyway) mystery movie was the 1950 United Artists release “The Underworld Story,” with Dan Duryea, Herbert Marshall, Gale Storm, Howard Da Silva, Michael O’Shea, Mary Anderson, Gar Moore, Melville Cooper, Frieda Inescort, Art Baker, Harry Shannon, Alan Hale Jr., Stephen Dunne, Roland Winters, Sue England, Lewis L. Russell and Frances Chaney.

Screenplay by Henry Blankfort, adaptation by Cyril Endfield from a story by Craig Rice. Associate producer Bernard W. Burton, photography by Stanley Cortez, production manager Allen K. Wood, assistant director William Calihan, art director Gordon Wiles, film editor Richard Heermance, set decorations by Ray Boltz, dialogue director G. Joseph Dell, technical advisor Ben F. Melzer, sound by Tom Lambert, set continuity by Bobbie Sierks, hairstylist Stephanie Garland, makeup by Tom Tuttle, wardrobe by Esther Krebs and Leonard Harris, set supervisor Dave Milton, musical director Irving Friedman, music by David Rose. Produced by Hal E. Chester. Directed by Cyril Endfield. Presented by Jack Dietz.

“The Underworld Story” is available on DVD from Warner Archive.

“The Underworld Story” proved to be a superlative mystery movie because the Brain Trust was able to identify one of the main characters, who wasn’t listed in the credits, on imdb or the AFI catalog. A challenge!

There are also many shots of downtown Los Angeles as it was in 1950. I’ll try to post a few of these next week.

Writing in the New York Times (July 27, 1950), Bosley Crowther was unstinting in his disapproval of such goings-on.

An alarmingly low opinion of newspaper publishers and newspapermen is apparently held by the people who got together to make Hal E. Chester’s “The Underworld Story,” which came to the Rivoli yesterday. For the villain in this fable is a newspaper publisher who viciously employs the public prints to heap suspicion upon an innocent party for a murder committed by his son, and the protagonist is a brazen and mercenary reporter who comes around to the point of serving justice only when he fails at a couple of dirty deals.

In short, journalism is presented as a wicked, corrupt and shameless trade in this crime-conscious film, which was written by Henry Blankfort from a story by Craig Rice.

…. One need not trouble too much about the damage which this firm (film?) is likely to do in disturbing the public’s confidence. It is so poorly made, so haphazard and so full of detectable holes that it carries no impact or conviction, regardless of credibility.

June 10, 2019, mystery photo

For Monday, we have a mystery gent.

Update: This is Douglas Evans.

June 11, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, our mystery gent is on the phone. As incredible as it may seem, he does not approve of such goings-on.

Update: This fellow was the subject of much curiosity and superb delving into the most distant corners of film research. The uncredited role of Ed Gordon is played by Mervin (or Mervyn) Williams, who seems to have disappeared from acting in the 1950s. The Los Angeles Times has stories under both names, generally affiliated with the Pasadena Playhouse. Both names are also listed in IBDB, IMDB and the New York Times. Congrats to Sue Slutzky and Sylvia E. for tracking down our elusive newspaper editor.

Brain Trust roll call: Suzanne Stone (Monday’s mystery newscaster) and Don Danard (Monday’s mystery newscaster).

June 12, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Wednesday, we have an especially fun mystery. What’s missing from this picture?

Globe Lobby Panorama

The Times Eagle is missing from the little alcove just off the Globe Lobby. At this time, the Eagle was most likely on the roof of The Times Building. The Times took the Eagle off the roof in the early 1950s because of smog damage and it was stored in a building manager’s office, where it was “decorated” with a cigar, a hat and  its claws were painted red (according to Times lore) until it was rediscovered and put in the lobby during the remodeling in which Hugo Ballin’s murals were covered up because someone decided they were “dated.” Incredible. Also, the bust of Norman Chandler was moved near the doors to 1st Street to make way for Paul Conrad’s bust of Otis Chandler.

And for the record, I do not approve of such goings-on.

June 12, 2019, Mystery Photo
Also for Wednesday, we have this mystery gent.

Update: This is Harry Shannon.

June 13, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Thursday, we have two somewhat mysterious gents. They are discussing goings-on that are not approved of.

Update: This is Gar Moore and Herbert Marshall.

June 13, 2019, Mystery Photo
Also a mystery woman.

Update: This is Mary Anderson.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests, and mystery newspaper lobby), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mystery gent), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests, and mystery newspaper lobby), Don Danard (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Anne Papineau (mystery newspaper lobby), Floyd Thursby (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Gary (mystery newspaper lobby), Mark G. (mystery newspaper lobby), Sarah (mystery newspaper lobby), L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast, plus mystery newspaper lobby).

Mark G. made an interesting point about the mystery newspaper lobby. But there’s something else — much bigger — missing.

June 14, 2019, Mystery Photo
For Friday, we have our non-mysterious villain….

Update: This is Howard Da Silva, who was blacklisted the next year.

June 14, 2019, Mystery Photo
And we have the non-mysterious leading lady….

Update: Gale Storm does not approve of such goings-on.

June 14, 2019, Mystery Phto
Also, our mysterious leading man reads a mystery newspaper’s inscription about (gasp) INDUSTRIAL FREEDOM – otherwise known as the “open shop.”

Update: Dan Duryea admires the motto carved into The Times Building about no unions.

Brain Trust roll call: Tucson Barbara (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests), Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests), Sue Slutzky (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery newscaster, Wednesday’s mystery printer, Thursday’s mystery guests and the mystery newspaper lobby with a large globe in the middle), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests), B.J. Merholz (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery printer), Benito (Thursday’s mystery guest No. 2), and Sylvia E. (mystery movie, Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests).

June 14, 2019, Mystery Photo

L.C. and Sylvia E. for identifying the large object missing from the mystery newspaper lobby.

Update: I’m really curious about what’s back there. A stock ticker? A time capsule? And some sort of plaque, perhaps. I’ll have to ask Darrell Kunitomi!

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1950, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. Dan Nather says:

    Hm . . . looks like a British film to these tired eyes. THINGS TO COME, maybe?


  2. suzanne stone says:

    Douglas Evans.


  3. Don Danard says:

    “And, now the news. Here’s Douglas Evans”.


  4. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Ben Wright.


  5. Mary Mallory says:



  6. Mary Mallory says:

    UNDERWORLD STORY. I should have gotten this earlier, as I saw it a couple of years ago at the Noir Festival. Douglas Evans Monday and Harry Shannon today. Good old LA Times lobby, our playing against type hero for Friday goes from the small New England town to the LA Times as unidentified paper. Was that St. Vibiana’s steeple in the background yesterday?


  7. Mary Mallory says:

    Roland Winters for Tuesday.


  8. Mary Mallory says:

    There was a Cannon’s Restaurant at 121 S. Main in 1936, perhaps that sign yesterday is promoting it.


  9. Mary Mallory says:

    There’s also a bust missing in the lobby.


  10. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Harry Shannon.


  11. B.J. Merholz says:

    Charles D. Brown


  12. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Monday: Douglas Evans
    Tuesday: Lewis L. Russell
    Wednesday: LA TIMES, Harry Shannon


  13. Don Danard says:

    I think Wednesday’s Mystery Man is Harry Shannon.


  14. Anne Papineau says:

    And starring in Wednesday’s Movieland Mystery Photo: The Los Angeles Times lobby!


  15. Floyd Thursby says:

    The letter “E” is missing and Mr. Wednesday sure looks like Harry Shannon.


  16. Gary says:

    Wed. In the realm of Cecil Kellaway. Plus the Los Angeles Times Lobby.


  17. Mark G says:

    Is the missing item the bust of Otis Chandler?


  18. Sarah says:

    I know it’s the lobby of your previous employer (the Los Angeles Times) and I know the faces (but, alas, not the names) of the actors pictures.


  19. LC says:

    The Underworld Story (1950) w/Dan Duryea, Gail Storm, Herbert Marshall, Douglas Evans, Harry Shannon,…not sure what’s missing from The LA Times lobby (or Times-Gazette in the movie).


  20. tucsonbarbara says:

    “The Underworld Story”

    Thursday – Gar Moore, Herbert Marshall, Mary Anderson


  21. LC says:

    The eagle is missing from the lobby.


  22. Mary Mallory says:

    Gar Moore and Herbert Marshall and Mary Anderson. The printing press is missing from the lobby, an ironic touch, since it’s about newspapers.


  23. Sue Slutzky says:

    Wednesday’s mystery interior is the L.A. Times building downtown. I can’t figure out the movie. Everyone looks familiar, but my mind is blank!


  24. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Gar Moore, Herbert Marshall; Mary Anderson.


  25. Sue Slutzky says:

    Today: Is that Herbert Marshall on the right?


  26. B.J. Merholz says:

    Wednesday was Harry Shannon in Underworld Story. My brain-eye coordination leaves something to be desired.


  27. Benito says:

    Herbert Marshall today. If the girl is Susan Strasberg, then I guess the movie is STAGESTRUCK.


  28. Sue Slutzky says:

    The movie is “The Underworld Story.”
    Monday: Douglas Evans
    Tuesday: I’m not completely sure. I’ve looked at the whole cast and watched part of the movie but the character’s name isn’t listed correctly if the actor is Roland Winters. That’s my best guess.
    Wednesday: Harry Shannon
    Thursday: Gar Moore with Herbert Marshall, then Mary Anderson

    I can’t figure out what’s missing from the building’s lobby.


  29. Sue Slutzky says:

    The only thing missing from the lobby is Dan Duryea.


  30. Sylvia E. says:

    You’ve given very interesting clues this week.

    The movie is The Underworld Story 1950
    Mon. – Douglas Evans (I think)
    Tues – Harry Harvey (I think) and os to the left is the totally non-mysterious Dan Duryea
    Weds. – Mystery gent is Harry Shannon. The ‘art deco look’ of the lobby image (and knowing your past love of ‘settings Los Angeles’ and this being a newspaper story) makes me guess that this is the lobby of the L.A. Times. I found an article from 2017 about a screening of the movie saying there should be a globe in the lobby, so maybe that’s what is missing? Not sure.
    Thur. – Gar Moore and Herbert Marshall (my first clue into the movie) Mary Anderson is the lady in distress.
    Friday should bring Mr. Duryea into view, along with Gale Storm and Howard da Silva

    Looking forward to the breakdown on Saturday.


  31. Sylvia E. says:

    Just realized that’s the back of the globe in the lobby.

    I found an image with a large statue of an eagle (had been on the roof top until 1910.) That’s going to be my guess for the missing mysterious item.


  32. Mary Mallory says:

    Howard Da Silva, Gale Storm, and Dan Duryea. I also mentioned last night about the printing press being missing, ironic since it’s a newspaper picture.


  33. Mary Mallory says:

    The eagle is also missing as well.


  34. tucsonbarbara says:

    Howard DaSilva, Gale Storm, and Dan Duryea.


  35. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Howard Da Silva, Gale Storm, Dan Duryea.


  36. Gary says:

    Herbert Marshall, Dan Duryea, and Gale Storm in Underworld Story.Interesting that I don’t recognize any of the supporting players…It was an independent production released by United Artists and so there were no contract players.It is like seeing a parallel universe go by.


  37. Don Danard says:

    Looks like Howard da Silva hiding behind those sun glasses!


  38. Benito says:

    The Underworld Story 1950 starring Dan Duryea, the man we love to hate. Calling Eddie Muller…this looks good.


  39. steve hines says:

    for Friday ,could it be gale storm.?


  40. Sue Slutzky says:

    Friday: Howard Da Silva, Gale Storm and Dan Duryea.


  41. Sue Slutzky says:

    I found one photo that identifies Tuesday’s newspaper editor as Melvyn Williams. I can’t find any other images of him online, so I don’t know if that’s correct. Signing off. Have a good weekend.


  42. Sue Slutzky says:

    Correction to my last post. Not Melvyn, Mervin.


  43. Sylvia E. says:

    Friday’s crew: Howard da Silva, Gale Storm and of course Dan Duryea with (I think) an exterior L.A. Times ‘credo’ shot.

    Tuesday’s mystery guy (with the o.s. Mr. Duryea) plays editor ‘Ed Gordon’, a role that is not listed in the credits of the movie. I found one image of the two actors in the sequence, that labels this actor as Mervin (or Mervyn) Williams, but the mystery movie is not listed within Mervin’s list-o-credits on IMdB. Just for grins (and because it’s all I’ve got really) I’ll go for Mervin Williams as my final guess for the Tuesday guy. Will wait for Saturday to learn more.


  44. Mary Mallory says:

    I’ve mentioned the eagle too.


  45. Pingback: Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Noir City Packs a Modern Punch |

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