Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sept. 12, 2020, Vicki

This week’s mystery movie was the 1953 Twentieth Century-Fox film “Vicki,” with Jeanne Crain, Jean Peters, Elliot Reid, Richard Boone, Casey Adams, Alex D’Arcy, Carl Betz and Aaron Spelling.

Screenplay by Dwight Taylor from a novel by Steve Fisher. Music by Leigh Harline, photography by Milton Krasner.

Art direction by Lyle Wheeler and Richard Irvine, set decorations by Claude Carpenter, photographic effects by Ray Kellogg, edited by Dorothy Spencer, wardrobe direction by Charles Le Maire, costumes by Renie, musical direction by Lionel Newman, “Vicki” by Ken Darby and Max Showalter (who also appeared in the film!), orchestration by Edward B. Powell, makeup by Ben Nye, sound by E. Clayton Ward and Roger Heman, assistant director William Eckhardt.

Produced by Leonard Goldstein. Directed by Harry Horner.

“Vicki” is available on DVD from Amazon.

I picked “Vicki” as the lesser-known 1953 remake of “I Wake Up Screaming” (1941) with Betty Grable, Carole Landis, Victor Mature and Laird Cregar. It would be a forgettable film if it weren’t for Richard Boone’s over-the-top performance as a homicide detective obsessed with a woman who has been murdered. And for the film debut of Aaron Spelling.

Film Bulletin (Oct. 19, 1953) said:

$$$ rating for action market. Fair-plus grosses in prospect for general runs with proper selling. Realstic hard-hitting “whodunit” tailored for sex-violence campaign.

Slick and fast-moving murder yarn similar in style and theme to the 1944 film “Laura.” Gripping interest built on smart acting and authentic story treatment. Numerous exploitation angles. Suspense and violence generated by neurotic detective’s efforts to “railroad” murder suspect. Sex provided by overly ambitious model who used what she had to get what she wanted…. Boone’s cruel-cop performance is impressive.

Screenland Plus TV-Land (December 1953) said:

A slick whodunnit, that bypasses the current private eye trend for the good old-fashioned methods of police grilling and third degree has been turned out by producer Leonard Goldstein. The film deals with the almost maniacal investigation by Richard Boone into the death of top model Jean Peters.

Movie, which is the last of the “flat” films to be released by the CinemaScope-minded 20th Century-Fox, careens along at a fast, absorbing pace.

Writing in the New York Times (Sept. 8, 1953), Bosley Crowther did not approve of such goings-on:

To hold the Roxy Theatre franchise while the place is being prepared to receive “The Robe,” which will open on the night of Sept. 16, the management pulled an odd switch yesterday. it continued to show “Mister Scoutmaster,” carried over from its last week’s program; dropped its usual stage presentation and brought in a second film, an item called “Vicki,” produced by Twentieth Century-Fox. It is a remake of “I Wake Up Screaming,” which played the Roxy in 1942.

In view of the fact that “I Wake Up Screaming” was not much of a picture to start with, it is no wonder that this slight remodeling of it is an unimpressive dish of drama, too.

Richard Boone, who plays the detective, as the late Laird Cregar did, leaves little doubt in his performance that the gumshoe is criminally nuts.

Note: There are aspects of Crowther’s review that make me wonder if he stuck around to the end of the film. Anyone else ever run into that?

Sept. 12, 2020, Circus Gardens

In an early sequence, Ocean Park (notice Circus Gardens, which opened in 1953) stands in for Elizabeth, N.J.

2020_0907_mystery_photo

For Monday, we have an elegant mystery woman. I had to crop out her elegant companions, alas, because they lack sufficient mysteriousness. They will appear Friday.

Update: This is Jean Peters, Elliot Reid and Izetta Jewel.

Sept. 7, 2020, Mystery Photo

Here’s another look at our friendly mystery woman. Again, her companions have been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear later.

Update: This is Elliot Reid, Casey Adams/Max Showalter, Jean Peters and Izetta Jewel.

Sept. 8, 2020, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have three mystery officers and a mystery woman engaged in photo-bombing.

Update: This is Nora Hayden, possibly Ron Hargrave, unknown, and Fred Dale.

Sept. 8, 2020, Mystery Photo

We also have this mysterious gent and Back of the Head Guy. A mystery woman was cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear Friday.

Update: This is Russ Conway, Frank Gerstle and Jeanne Crain.

Sept. 9, 2020, Mystery Photo

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

Update: This is Alex D’Arcy.

Sept. 9, 2020, Mystery Photo

Also this somewhat but not very mysterious gent …

Update: This is Burt Mustin.

Sept. 9, 2020, Mystery Photo

And a somewhat mysterious gent smoking a cigarette. His companion has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear Friday.

Update: It’s a 1950s TV star fest with Richard Boone (“Have Gun — Will Travel”) and Carl Betz (“The Donna Reed Show”).

Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery woman, Tuesday’s mystery photobomber, Airman No. 3, mystery detective and Back of the Head Guy), Sarah (Tuesday’s mystery detective), Earl Boebert (Tuesday’s mystery detective), L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast), Sylvia E. (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery woman and Tuesday’s Back of the Head Guy) and Thom and Megan (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery woman and Tuesday’s mystery detective).

Sept. 10, 2020, Mystery Photo

For “Aha Thursday,” we have this mystery gent.

Update: This is Aaron Spelling

Sept. 10, 2020, Mystery Photo

And we have this mysterious gentleman with the dashing pajamas. Also Back of the Head Guy.

Update: This is Casey Adams / Max Showalter.

2020_0910_mystery_photo_02

And finally, a mystery gent with only minor mysteriousness.

Update: One of the busiest TV actors of his day: John Dehner.

Brain Trust roll call: Tucson Barbara (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery woman, Tuesday’s Back of the Head Guy, Wednesday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s guests, plus mystery lead cropped out for lack of mysteriousness), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests), B.J. Merholz (Wednesday’s mystery guest No. 1), Benito (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery detective and Wednesday’s mystery gent No. 1), Sheila (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery detective, Wednesday’s mystery guests Nos. 1 and 2), Chrisbo (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest No. 2), Rick (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest No. 3), Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery woman, Tuesday’s mystery detective and Wednesday’s mystery guests plus mystery lead cropped out for lack of mysteriousness), Patrick (mystery movie, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests), Sylvia E. (Tuesday’s mystery detective and Wednesday’s mystery guests) and Blackwing Jenny (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery guests Nos. 1 and 2).

Sept. 11, 2020, Mystery Photo
For Friday, we have this not terribly mysterious leading man. Also Back of the Head Guy.

Update: Elliot Reid with Richard Boone as Back of the Head Guy.

Sept. 11, 2020, Mystery Photo

And mystery woman No. 1.

Update: This is Jean Peters.

Sept. 11, 2020, Mystery Photo

Mystery woman No. 2.

Update: This is Jeanne Crain.

Sept. 11, 2020, Mystery Photo

And our unmysterious detective. Who has issues.

Update: This is Richard Boone.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests), Tucson Barbara (Thursday’s mystery guests), Floyd Thursby (mystery movie, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Beach Gal (mystery movie, all mystery guests), David Inman (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery bellboy and Thursday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests), Gary (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests), Chrisbo (Wednesday’s mystery man No. 1, Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests), Sylvia E. (Thursday’s mystery guests), Roget-L.A. (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests), Mark G. (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery bellboy and Thursday’s mystery pajama man) and Charles Kjelland (Thursday’s mystery pajama man).

Note to B.J.: At least you got it right. 🙂

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1953, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. B.J. Merholz says:

    Maybe Ann Shoemaker

    Like

  2. David Inman says:

    Just for the hey of it — “The Razor’s Edge.”

    Like

  3. Mary Mallory says:

    Shepherd Strudwick as BOTH guy and BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

    Like

  4. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Monday: Izetta Jewel in VICKI (1953)
    Tuesday: Nora Hayden, Fred Dale (third serviceman)
    Detectives Russ Conway, Frank Gerstle

    Like

  5. Sarah says:

    Tuesday it’s Frank Gerstle.

    Like

  6. B.J. Merholz says:

    Kenneth Tobey is in charge.

    Like

  7. Earl Boebert says:

    Frank Gerstle for Tuesday ?????

    Like

  8. David Inman says:

    George Sanders as back-of-the-head guy today?

    Like

  9. Mary Mallory says:

    DEADLINE USA. Howard Negley and Clancy Cooper today.

    Like

  10. LC says:

    Vicki (1953) w/Jeanne Crain, Jean Peters, Elliott Reid, Max Schowalter, Richard Boone, Frank Gerstle…

    Like

  11. Sylvia E. says:

    It reminds me of Vicki 1953, but I’m not sure.

    Like

  12. Thom and Megan says:

    Our movie is Vicki, and today’s guest is Frank Gerstle. Monday’s guest is Izetta Jewel.

    Like

  13. Sylvia E. says:

    If the movie is Vicki 1953, my guess for Monday’s elegant woman is Izetta Jewel.
    And Tuesday’s guy in profile may be Russ Conway.

    Like

  14. tucsonbarbara says:

    “Vicki”

    Izetta Jewell, Alexander D’Arcy, Russ Conway, Burt Mustin, Carl Betz

    Like

  15. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Alexander D’Arcy; Burt Mustin; Richard Boone, Carl Betz.

    Like

  16. mike hawks says:

    Starting w/tuesdays men we have Russ Conway, Frank Gerstle, Alex D’Arcy, Burt Mustin and Carl Betz in VICKI.

    Like

  17. B.J. Merholz says:

    Then this must not be Alex D’Arcy, since I’ve been wrong every day so far.

    Like

  18. Benito says:

    Alex D’Arcy aujourd’hui

    Like

  19. Benito says:

    Jack Gerstle on Tuesday. Guess it’s VICKY 1953, a remake of I WAKE UP SCREAMING.

    Like

  20. Sheila says:

    Frank Gerstle, Alex D’Arcy, Burt Mustin in ‘Vicki’.

    Like

  21. Chrisbo says:

    Is that Bert Mustin in Vicki?

    Like

  22. Rick says:

    Carl Betz Vicki

    Like

  23. Mary Mallory says:

    VICKI. Izetta Jewel Monday, Frank Gerstle and BOTH guy Norman Stevans Tuesday, and Alex D’Arcy, Burt Mustin, and Carl Betz today, with Richard Boone cut out of frame.

    Like

  24. Patrick says:

    From Tuesday: Russ Conway, Frank Gerstle, Alexander D’Arcy, Burt Mustin and Carl Betz in Vicki from 1953.

    Like

  25. Sylvia E. says:

    Tuesday’s very serious looking and seated officer is Frank Gerstle and cut-for-lack-of-mystery is a distressed Jeanne Crain

    Weds – Alexander D’Arcy, Burt Mustin and Carl Betz

    Thursday – can’t wait to see who you choose for “NOT Friday”

    This is a fun one.

    Like

  26. Alex D’Arcy from How to Marry a Millionaire”(which is not this film)! And Burt Mustin, he of 1000 ’70s sitcom appearances! The film is “Vicki”.

    Like

  27. Mary Mallory says:

    Aaron Spelling, Max Showalter (always a little creepy), and John Dehner.

    Like

  28. tucsonbarbara says:

    Aaron Spelling, Max Showalter, John Dehner

    Like

  29. Floyd Thursby says:

    This week we have Alexander D’Arcy, Burt Mustin, Carl Betz, Max Showalter, and John Dehner. The movie is “Vicki.”

    Like

  30. Patricia Van Hartesveldt says:

    Tuesday: Ed Kemmer?

    Like

  31. beachgal says:

    Wed photo #1 is Alexander Darcy. #2 is Burt Justin. #3 is Carl Betz

    Like

  32. beachgal says:

    Thurs #1 is Aaron Selling. The movie is Vicki. #2 is Max Slow alter. #3 is John Dehner.

    Like

  33. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Aaron Spelling; Casey Adams; John Dehner.

    Like

  34. beachgal says:

    Monday mystery woman is Izetta Jewel.

    Like

  35. beachgal says:

    Tues #2 is Frank Gerstle

    Like

  36. David Inman says:

    Burt Mustin on Wednesday, Max Showalter and John Dehner today, making this “Vicki.”

    Like

  37. Gary says:

    Okay. It´s Thursday. I got it. Casey Adams aka Max Showalter and Aaron Spelling in Vicki.

    Like

  38. B.J. Merholz says:

    Now this is sick. Movieland Mystery Photo haunting my dreams. I dreamed I woke saying Burt Mustin, then I woke up and went back to sleep. This has not been a good week for me.

    Like

  39. Chrisbo says:

    I believe those eyes belong to Aaron Spelling, pajama guy is Max Showalter, and then perhaps Alexander D’Arcy

    Like

  40. mike hawks says:

    Aaron Spelling, Max Showalter a.k.a. Casey Adams and John Dehner.

    Like

  41. beachgal says:

    Thurs #1 airman on the left is Ron Hargrove. Photo bombing lady next to him is Nora Hayden.

    Like

  42. Sylvia Edwards says:

    Thurs – Image #1 – hotel clerk and future TV producer, Aaron Spelling, Image #2 – Max Showalter (using Casey Adams in this film) and Image #3 – John Dehner

    Like

  43. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Aaron Spelling, Max Showalter and John Dehner in Vicki (1953)

    Like

  44. Mark G. says:

    Wednesday’s not so mysterious gent is Burt Mustin.

    Like

  45. Charles Kjelland says:

    Is the pajama man Max Showalter?

    Like

  46. Mark G. says:

    Pajama guy is Max Showalter and our movie is “Vicki”.

    Like

  47. Mary Mallory says:

    Elliott Reed, Jeanne Crain, and Max Showalter on Monday, Elliott Reed, Jean Peters, Jeanne, Crain, and Richard Boone today.

    Like

  48. beachgal says:

    Fri #1 is Elliot Reid. Waitress is Jean Peters. Jeanne Crane and Richard Boone.

    Like

  49. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Elliott Reid; Jean Peters; Jeanne Crain; Richard Boone.

    Like

  50. mike hawks says:

    Everyone is here today. Jean Peters, Elliott Reid, Casey Adams, Jeanne Crain and Richard Boone.

    Like

  51. Sylvia E. says:

    Elliot Reid, Jean Peters, Jeanne Crain, Richard Boone

    Like

  52. tucsonbarbara says:

    Elliot Reid, Jean Peters, Jeanne Crain, Richard Boone

    Like

  53. B.J. Merholz says:

    Is that a record number of responses?

    Like

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