Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

May 30, 2020, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie was the 1930 First National Pictures film “Road to Paradise,” with Loretta Young, Jack Mulhall, Raymond Hatton, George Barraud, Kathlyn Williams, Fred Kelsey, Purnell Pratt, Ben Hendricks Jr., Dot Farley, Winter Hall and Georgette Rhodes.

Adaptation and additional dialogue by F. Hugh Herbert. Photographed by John Seitz. Edited by Edward Schroeder. Art direction by John J. Hughes. Vitaphone Orchestra conducted by Leo F. Forbstein.

Directed by William Beaudine.

“Road to Paradise” is available on DVD from Warner Archive, paired with “Week-End Marriage.”

I chose “Road to Paradise based on a review in Film Daily (Sept. 28, 1930) and because it stars Jack Mulhall in his last film under contract to Warner Bros.

Film Daily said:

Suspensful drama with a mystery angle and underworld background. Loretta Young good in dual role of rich girl and crooks’ accomplice.

Based on the stage play “Cornered.” Story chiefly concerns a feminine raffles who invades the home of a rich girl, for whom she is a dead ringer in looks, and poses as the latter in order to lift a flock of jewelry under orders from her male accomplices. Loretta Young doubles as the two girls and makes a good job of it….

The incredible aspects of the story are nicely submerged, while the stupidity of the detectives makes for occasional comedy. Satisfactory entertainment.

Today, “Road to Paradise” is mostly a curio – an oddball remake of a mediocre film based on a mediocre play.


“Road to Paradise” was a remake of the 1924 silent “Cornered,” also directed by William Beaudine, with Marie Prevost as the two sisters and Raymond Hatton again the two-bit crook Nick. “Cornered” received only a few reviews in the trades, and was generally considered a mediocre film, so it’s a question why the studio remade it as a talkie. I was able to find exactly one still from “Cornered” and that was without Marie Prevost.

“Cornered,” by Dodson L. Mitchell, ran on Broadway for 143 performances from December 1920 to April 1921 with Madge Kennedy in the dual roles.

Writing in the New York Times (Dec. 9, 1920), Alexander Woollcott said of “Cornered”:

Madge Kennedy, the beguiling young farceuse, who vanished into the movies some three years ago, leaving behind her nothing but deep regrets and a scattering of unsatisfactory imitations, reappeared on Broadway last evening in the leading role or roles of an intricate and implausible melodrama called “Cornered.” For many months there had been a persistent but delusive rumor that for her return to the stage she was only waiting for a good play.

The piece she has chosen, or perhaps merely fallen back upon, is one of those trick plays like “One” and “Smilin’ Through,” where in the actress is required to embody two roles, differing chiefly in raiment, and must needs spend a large part of the performance sprinting to and fro behind the backdrop and breathlessly shifting her costumes. Aside from the genuine and hearty welcome which greeted Miss Kennedy’s first appearance last evening, there was quite a lot of applause seemingly intended as an appreciation of the speed with which she could change her clothes.

May 25, 2020, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mysterious maid. And as incredible as it may seem, she does not approve of such goings-on.

Update: This is Georgette Rhodes.

May 25, 2020, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have two mystery gents. Such goings-on are not approved by them.

Update: This is Winter Hall and perpetual celluloid policeman Fred Kelsey.

May 27, 2020, Mystery Photo

For “Hm Wednesday,” we have this nattily attired mystery gent.

Update: This is Raymond Hatton, who starred in the original “Cornered” and the remake.

May 27, 2020, Mystery Photo

And we also have this mystery woman. She is perplexed by the leading lady’s goings-on.

Update: This is Dot Farley, whom you may remember as one of the disapproving ladies in “Fighting Father Dunne.”

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests) and the returning Mike Hawks (Tuesday’s mystery policeman).

May 28, 2020, Mystery Photo

For “Aha Thursday,” we have this mystery couple. Our mystery woman appears to disapprove of such goings-on.

Update: This is Ben Hendricks Jr. and Kathlyn Williams.

May 28, 2020, Mystery Photo

We also have this caddish mystery gent.

Update: This is George Barraud.

May 28, 2020, Mystery Photo

And finally, a disapproving mystery gent in a Homburg. Also Back of the Head Woman, who will appear Friday.

Update: This is Purnell Pratt and Loretta Young as Back of the Head Woman.

Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guests), Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks, (mystery movie and all mystery guests) and Sheila (mystery movie and all mystery guests). Half-credit to David Inman: He’s in the movie, but this isn’t him.

May 29, 2020, Mystery Photo

For Friday, we have our mysterious leading lady and mystery leading man, who does not approve of such goings-on.

Update: This is Loretta Young and Jack Mulhall.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests), David Inman (mystery movie and mystery police inspector),  Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests and peering into the future to see Friday’s mystery leading man), Black Wing Jenny (mystery movie and Back of the Head Woman — and half-credit for identifying Thursday’s mystery rogue as our mystery leading man) and Lorenzo (Thursday’s Back of the Head Woman)

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1930, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. suzanne a. stone says:

    Fifi D’Orsay


  2. Mary Mallory says:

    ROAD TO PARADISE. Georgette Rhodes Monday, and Winter Hall and Fred Kelsey today.


  3. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Monday: Georgette Rhodes
    Tuesday: Winter Hall, Fred Kelsey


  4. mike hawks says:

    Fred Kelsey as yet another cop. Hello, I am back.


  5. Benito says:

    Alistaire Sim today?


  6. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Raymond Hatton; Dot Farley.


  7. David Inman says:

    Jack Mulhall today?


  8. Mary Mallory says:

    Raymond Hatton and Dot Farley.


  9. mike hawks says:

    Larry, amazing! Just when I come back to the mystery movies you have a Mulhall film for this week. What a nice welcoming back to the fold.
    Georgette Rhodes, Winter Hall, Raymond Hatton and Dot Farley from THE ROAD TO PARADISE. A truly awful early talkie.


  10. Sheila says:

    Road to Paradise: Georgette Rhodes, Winter Hall, Fred Kelsey, Raymond Hatton, Dot Farley?


  11. Mary Mallory says:

    Ben Hendricks Jr. and Kathlyn Williams, George Berraud, BOTH woman Loretta Young and Purnell Pratt.


  12. Jack Mulhall is all I got at 12:36 a.m. on a Thursday. I mean, I think it’s he. I hope it’s he!


  13. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Thursday: Tom Wilson, Kathlyn Williams; George Barraud; Purnell Pratt, Loretta Young.


  14. Looks like Myrna Loy’s lovely profile to me.


  15. David Inman says:

    Purnell Pratt today, making this “The Road to Paradise.” I recall now that Jack Mulhall is a good guy, not a gangster-looking dude.


  16. Lorenzo says:

    I am going to take a wild stab at Thursday’s mystery guests are Fredrick March and everybody’s favorite back of the head girl Loretta Young playing in Bedtime Story.


  17. mike hawks says:

    Kathlyn Williams, George Barraud, Purnell Pratt and Loretta Young. We will see Jack tomorrow.


  18. Benito says:

    Wrong era, but the cad is a dead ringer for John Astin!


  19. Gary says:

    Looks to me to be a Myrna Loy flick.


  20. It must be Road to Paradise-and the gal with the lovely long nape that I thought looks like Myrna Loy is—Loretta Young!


  21. Mary Mallory says:

    Loretta Young and the ever cheerful Jack Mulhall.


  22. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Loretta Young, Jack Mulhall.


  23. mike hawks says:

    Jack Mulhall and the young Loretta.


  24. Sylvia E. says:

    Road to Paradise 1930 (a tough one for me)
    M – I think is Georgette Rhodes
    T – Winter Hall and Fred Kelsey – I think
    W – Raymond Hatton and Dot Farley
    Th – Ben Hendricks Jr. and Kathlyn Williams – I think. George Barraud
    Purnell Pratt and BOTHW, Loretta Young
    F – Loretta Young and Jack Mulhall

    Looking forward to Saturday’s breakdown.


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