Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

April 10, 2021, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie was the 1951 MGM movie “Grounds for Marriage” with Van Johnson, Kathryn Grayson, Paula Raymond, Barry Sullivan, Lewis Stone, Reginald Owen, Richard Hageman and the Firehouse Five Plus Two.

Screenplay by Allen Rivkin and Laura Kerr. Story by Samuel Marx.

Musical direction by Johnny Green, background musical score by Bronislau Kaper.

Photography by John Alton, art direction by Cedric Gibbons and Paul Groesse. Edited by Fredrick Y. Smith. Excerpts from “La Boheme” and “Carmen” staged by Vladimir Rosing. Recording by Douglas Shearer.

Set decoration by Edwin B. Willis, associate Arthur Krams. Montage sequences by Peter Ballbusch. Women’s costumes by Helen Rose. Hairstyles by Sydney Guilaroff. Makeup by William J. Tuttle. Technical advisor, Harold O. Cooperman, M.D.

Produced by Samuel Marx. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard.

“Grounds for Marriage” was apparently never commercially released, but can be found on DVD on the gray market. It has aired 29 times on TCM in the last 20 years, most recently in 2019.

Yes, it’s another 1950s Van Johnson romantic comedy, this time with Kathryn Grayson. And it involves a doctor who’s a musician rather than an inspiring English professor who doesn’t want to be a cowboy (“Confidentially Connie.”) Did every 1950s comedy have a fantasy sequence? We’ve had a string of them now.

Anyway. “Grounds for Marriage” is notable mainly for Kathryn Grayson, a singer who loses her voice for a good portion of the picture. And there is a none too subtle message about how women’s personalities improve when they can’t talk. The setup is that she and Van Johnson are divorced but she wants to rekindle the flame while Van has moved on to the not terribly appealing Paula Raymond. There is a send-up of opera, which will work well on trivia night when you’re trying to think of another movie besides “Night at the Opera.”

And let’s see which New York Times critic hated it. My money is on Bosley Crowther.


Jan. 12, 1951:

A disturbance called “functional aphonia or temporary loss of voice, is allowed to afflict Kathryn Grayson through the better part of her time in MGM’s “Grounds for Marriage,” which came to the Capitol yesterday. And this means, of course that Miss Grayson is rendered unable to sing for a lengthy stretch in this picture, when her talent might be most well employed. In view of the fact that the writers have provided little else to fill the void, we can only assume that they, too, were suffering — from, perhaps, a temporary loss of mind.

He calls the Firehouse Five Plus Two “a poor man’s Spike Jones ensemble.”


April 5, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mystery woman. She is puzzled by such goings-on. Also Back of the Head Woman, who will appear later in the week.

Update: This is Theresa Harris with Kathryn Grayson as Back of the Head Woman.

April 6, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have a mysterious gent.

Update: This is Richard Atckison.

Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Monday’s mystery guest), David Inman (Monday’s mystery guest), Suzanne A. Stone (Monday’s mystery guest), Skretvedt (Monday’s mystery guest), Mary Mallory (Monday’s mystery guest), Anne Papineau (Monday’s mystery guest), Bob Hansen (Monday’s mystery guest), Benito (Monday’s mystery guest), Jenny M. (Monday’s mystery guest), Sylvia E. (Monday’s mystery guest), Robert Morrissey (Monday’s mystery guest), Blackwing Jenny (Monday’s mystery guest), Harried Costumer (Monday’s mystery guest), Mike Hawks (Monday’s mystery guest), Megan and Thom (Monday’s mystery guest) and Sheila (Monday’s mystery guest).

April 7, 2021, Mystery Photo

For “Hm Wednesday,” we have some mysterious musicians.

Update: This is the Firehouse Five Plus Two (poor man’s Spike Jones, indeed), with Danny Alguire on trumpet, Ward Kimball on trombone and Harper Goff on Banjo.

Brain Trust roll call: Blackwing Jenny (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery tenor), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mysterious tenor), Sylvia E. (mystery movie and both mystery guests).

Note to Blackwing Jenny: Here you go!

April 8, 2021, Mystery Photo

For “Aha Thursday,” we have this mysterious chap in a bowtie.

Update: This is Barry Sullivan.

April 8, 2021, Mystery Photo

We also have this mysterious chap.

Update: This is Lewis Stone.

April 8, 2021, Mystery Photo

We also have a mystery woman in a fox fur.

Update: This is Paula Drew and, of course, Elizabeth Flournoy.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mysterious tenor, Wednesday’s mysterious Dixieland band and mysterious players), Skretvedt (Wednesday’s mysterious Dixieland band and nice information on the players), Floyd Thursby (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery woman and Wednesday’s mysterious Dixieland band), Blackwing Jenny (members of the mysterious Dixieland band), Ed Casey (Wednesday’s mysterious Dixieland band), Gary (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery woman and Wednesday’s mysterious Dixieland band), Earl Boebert (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mysterious Dixieland band and mysterious trombonist), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mysterious Dixieland band), Sylvia E. (members of Wednesday’s mysterious Dixieland band), B.J. Merholz (Wednesday’s mysterious Dixieland band), Chrisbo (Wednesday’s mysterious Dixieland band and mystery trombonist) and Suzanne A. Stone (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mysterious Dixieland band, mystery studio and mystery leads coming Friday.

April 9, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Friday, we have this mystery woman.

Update: This is Paula Raymond.

April 9, 2021, Mystery Photo

We also have this mystery temptress (who was Back of the Head Woman on Monday).

Update: This is Kathryn Grayson as Carmen during the movie’s fantasy sequence.

April 9, 2021, Mystery Photo

And finally, our mysterious leading man (well, I couldn’t make it *too* easy). Was there some sort of law that every 1950s romantic comedy had to have a fantasy sequence? Because we have had a string of them lately.

Update: This is Van Johnson as Don Jose in the “Carmen” fantasy sequence.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery gents), Megan and Thom (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery gents), Anne Papineau (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mysterious tenor, Wednesday’s mystery Dixieland band and Thursday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery tenor and Thursday’s mystery guests), David Inman (Thursday’s mystery gents), Sheila (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery gents), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery gents), Noir Allie (Thursday’s mystery doctor), Roget-L.A. (Thursday’s mysterious toymaker with the bowtie), Patrick (mystery movie, Monday’s, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests and Thursday’s mystery gents), Sylvia E. (Thursday’s mystery guests and looking ahead to our mystery leads) and Benito (Thursday’s mystery gents).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1951, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. FunkyPhD says:

    Juanita Moore?


  2. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Theresa Harris in THE VELVET TOUCH (1948).


  3. David Inman says:

    Theresa Harris today.


  4. suzanne a. stone says:

    The great Theresa Harris, as somebody’s maid–The Big Clock?


  5. I think it’s Theresa Harris, who often played maids, but as far as I know never did the usual stereotype that seemed to be expected of Black performers in the ’30s. (Clarence Muse likewise played characters with dignity that is surprising for mainstream Hollywood films of the era.)


  6. Mary Mallory says:

    teresa Harris.


  7. Mary Mallory says:



  8. Anne Papineau says:

    Theresa Harris


  9. Bob Hansen says:

    The great Theresa Harris is Monday’s mystery woman. I don’t know the movie though.


  10. B.J. Merholz says:

    I’m thinking Maidie Norman, but not on Monday, so I’ll keep thinking.


  11. Benito says:

    Theresa Harris?


  12. Jenny M says:

    Teresa Harris


  13. Sylvia E. says:

    I think that’s Theresa Harris. No guess on BOTHW.


  14. Robert Morrissey says:

    That’s the very well known Theresa Harris. Looks like a later movie – sometime in the forties or early fifties?


  15. aryedirect says:

    Maidie Norman is being driven mad by the strange goings on in the house where Baby Jane and her sister Blanche are going bat guano.


  16. aryedirect says:

    (Don’t know if my prior answer got through. Asskismet has done something really odd. if it did make it through, please disregard this.)
    Poor Elvira, as played with intelligence and compassion by Maidie Norman, is attempting to understand the madness of fading Hollywood in ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane’.


  17. Meredith Ponedel says:

    Could it possibly be Jeni LeGon?


  18. Theresa Harris? From “The Velvet Touch”?


  19. Is it Theresa Harris?


  20. mike hawks says:

    Theresa Harris.


  21. Megan and Thom says:

    Our mystery guest is Theresa Harris. Not sure which movie yet.


  22. Sheila says:

    Theresa Harris?


  23. Sylvia E. says:

    I’m going to be ‘wild and crazy’ and guess ” The Velvet Touch” 1948, because of Theresa Harris and the background resembling a dressing room.

    It’s probably wrong but why not. It’s Monday.


  24. tucsonbarbara says:

    Just a guess here. How about “Good Sport” with Evelyn Preer and Kenneth MacKenna on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.


  25. Jenny says:

    Richard Atckison-in “Grounds For Marriage”. I can’t wait for the Firehouse 5 to show up!


  26. Mary Mallory says:

    Miss Susie Slagle’s.


  27. Mary Mallory says:

    Kent Taylor today and SMOOTH AS SILK?


  28. mike hawks says:

    Richard Atkinson in GROUNDS FOR MARRIAGE.


  29. Mary Mallory says:

    Herman Hack and MERTON OF THE MOVIES.


  30. Sylvia E. says:

    I’m guessing “Grounds for Marriage” 1951

    Theresa Harris with BOTHW Kathryn Grayson on Monday
    Not sure who the Tuesday ‘operatic’ guy is, but I’m workin’ on it.


  31. Sylvia E. says:

    I think Tuesday’s opera guy is Richard Atckison (still checking on that spelling) playing Rodalfo in La Boheme. There’s another opera guy in the cast, but I think he’s a conductor and he’d be a little older than this guy.


  32. Benito says:

    Looks like Walter Abel


  33. Mary Mallory says:

    SANTA FE TRAIL, and the unseen woman on Monday is Olivia DeHavilland.


  34. Mary Mallory says:

    i don’t know what movie it could be, since nothing shows up with Teresa Harris and the Firehouse Five together, with three members today, Danny Alguire, Harper Goff, and Ward Kimball. They are in THE HIT PARADE OF 1951 but she isn’t listed. And imdb doesn’t put her with any of them in anything else.


  35. Mary Mallory says:

    She’s in the Hit Parade of 1947, so I’m assuming the singer on Tuesday is in one of the Hit parade movies too.


  36. Mary Mallory says:

    Michael St. Angel on Tuesday, who’s in the 1951 film.


  37. skretvedt1958 says:

    I think the Wednesday photo shows three members of the Firehouse Five Plus Two, a traditional jazz band drawn from the ranks of Disney animators and artists. Ward Kimball was the trombonist, Harper Goff the banjo player, and there were two or three clarinet players, among them Clark Mallery and Tom Sharpsteen.


  38. skretvedt1958 says:

    Adding to my earlier comment, Danny Alguire was a longtime cornetist with the Firehouse Five Plus Two and may well be the gentlemen at the left of the photo. So my guess is Danny Alguire, cornet; Ward Kimball, trombone; Harper Goff, banjo. This may be from “Hit Parade of 1951,” which seems to be the group’s only theatrical movie.


  39. Mary Mallory says:

    Is that supposed to be John Carroll on Tuesday? And by the way, the link to the city directories in LAPL isn’t working any more. I can look at them on the LAPL site, but not through this site.


  40. Floyd Thursby says:

    The Monday lady is Theresa Harris and the Wednesday gentlemen belong to “The Firehouse Five.” The movie is “Grounds for Marriage.”


  41. Jenny says:

    Wednesday’s firemen are Danny Alguire, Ward Kimball and Harper Goff, three of the Firehouse Five plus Two.


  42. Ed Casey says:

    Wednesday is the fire house 5


  43. Gary says:

    How about Theresa Harris and The Firehouse Five plus Two in Grounds for Marriage?


  44. Earl Boebert says:

    Well, that’s the Firehouse Five Plus Two for Wednesday (or somebody stole Ward Kimball’s trombone). So my guess on the movie is “Grounds for Marriage.”


  45. B.J. Merholz says:

    Hit Parade of 1951.


  46. mike hawks says:

    The Firehouse Five plus Two.


  47. Ed Casey says:

    Wednesday is the fire house 5 plus 2


  48. Mary Mallory says:

    GROUNDS FOR MARRIAGE, Richard Atckison Tuesday.


  49. Sylvia E. says:

    Wednesday – three members of the Firehouse Five Plus Two. Ward Kimball (trombone) is the most familiar to me. I think the others are Harper Goff (banjo) and Danny Arguire (cornet) but Jennie will know for sure.


  50. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Tuesday: Frank Fenton in HIT PARADE OF 1947
    Wednesday: Sons of the Pioneers


  51. B.J. Merholz says:

    These boys got me thinking again. My first thought was The Firehouse Five Minus Two.. But that was mingled up with The Firehouse Five Plus Two Minus four. But then I.. Oh heck. I’m just whistling Dixie.


  52. Chrisbo says:

    That sure looks like Ward Kimball fronting The Firehouse Five Plus 2


  53. suzanne a. stone says:

    The man is Richard Anderson and the musicians are from the “Firehouse Five Plus two” Band and the movie is “Grounds for Marriage” a propaganda piece from MGM in 1951, encouraging everyone to get married, staring Van Johnson and Katherine Grayson.


  54. Mary Mallory says:

    Barry Sullivan, Lewis Stone, and Paula Raymond


  55. Megan and Thom says:

    Our movie is Grounds for Marriage with Barry Sullivan and Lewis Stone as a couple of today’s guests.


  56. Anne Papineau says:

    On Tuesday, Richard Atckison, then Firehouse Five Plus Two, Barry Sullivan, Lewis Stone, and, I think, Elizabeth Fluornoy, in “Grounds for Marriage”


  57. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Tuesday: Richard Atchison
    Wednesday: Tom Ferrandini (center); Barry Sullivan; Lewis Stone: Paula Drew, Elizabeth Flournoy


  58. David Inman says:

    Barry Sullivan and Lewis Stone today, making this … um … let me get back to you.


  59. Sheila says:

    Barry Sullivan and Lewis Stone for Thursday, ‘Grounds for Marriage’.


  60. mike hawks says:

    Barry Sullivan and Lewis Stone.


  61. Allie Francis says:

    Lewis Stone


  62. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Is Thursday’s mysterious chap in a bowtie a young Barry Sullivan?


  63. Patrick says:

    Theresa Harris, Richard Atckison, Firehouse 5 + 2, Barry Sullivan, Lewis Stone in Grounds for Marriage from 1951.


  64. Sylvia E. says:

    Thursday – image 1 Barry Sullivan / image 2 Lewis Stone.
    The last photo brings us on screen right, the ‘always misidentified’ Elizabeth Flournoy (my gosh…how can we help this woman!) and I think the actress on screen left is Barbara Darrow (that’s only a guess – right age, looks like her.)

    That leaves Van Johnson, Kathryn Grayson and Paula Raymond (who was constantly falling and hurting herself, or running into things with her car – according to what I’ve read about her.)


  65. Benito says:

    A young Barry Sullivan and Lewis Stone


  66. Mary Mallory says:

    Thursday must be Paula Drew and Elizabeth Flournoy, and Friday is Paula Raymond, Kathryn Grayson, and Van Johnson.


  67. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Paula Raymond; Kathryn Grayson; Van Johnson.


  68. Ed Casey says:

    Friday are Kathrin Grayson and Van Johnson


  69. mike hawks says:

    Paula Raymond, Kathryn Grayson and Van Johnson.


  70. Mark G says:

    I believe the diary gives away our movie as 1951’s “Grounds for Marriage”.


  71. Allieoop says:

    Kathryn Grayson, Grounds for Marriage?


  72. Benito says:

    Van Johnson and a dolled up Kathryn Grayson in GROUNDS FOR MARRIAGE 1951.


  73. Sue Slutzky says:

    “Grounds for Marriage”
    Monday: Theresa Harris
    Tuesday: Richard Atckison?
    Wednesday: Firehouse Five Plus Two
    Thursday: Barry Sullivan, Lewis Stone, Paula Drew?, and ?
    Friday: Paula Raymond, Kathryn Grayson, Van Johnson


Leave a Reply. Note: Your IP is logged with your comment so a fake name and email address are useless.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s