Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + + +)


Last week’s mystery movie was the 1946 MGM picture “Holiday in Mexico,” with Walter Pidgeon, Jose Iturbi, Roddy McDowall, Ilona Massey, Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra, and your young singing star Jane Powell, Hugo Haas, Mikhail Rasumny, Helene Stanley, Wm. “Bill” Phillips, Amparo Iturbi, and the grandchildren of Jose Iturbi, Tonia and Teresa Hero.

And no, I don’t think for a moment that Fidel Castro was an extra in this film, despite what IMDB says.

Screenplay by Isobel Lennart. Original story by William Kozlenko.

Musical direction by Georgie Stoll.

Photographed in Technicolor. Photography by Harry Stradling, Technicolor color director Natalie Kalmus. Associate, Henry Jaffa.

Edited by Adrienne Fazan, recorded by Douglas Shearer. Art direction by Cedric Gibbons and Jack Martin Smith. Set decorations by Edwin B. Willis and Arthur A. Krams. Special effects by Warren Newcombe. Costumes by Irene. Men’s costumes by Valles. Makeup by Jack Dawn.

Produced by Joe Pasternak.

Directed by George Sidney.

“Holiday in Mexico” is available on DVD from TCM. It was once available from Warner Archive, but not any more and good grief the redesigned Warner Archive website is horrible.

Seriously, Warner Bros., you have to work at being this unhelpful and useless.

I was on vacation last week – except there’s no rest for the mystery movies. So I picked “Holiday in Mexico,” which helped Roddy McDowall bridge the gap between child and adult roles (he’s about 18 in the film).

Correction: A previous version of this post said “Holiday in Mexico” was Jane Powell’s film debut. Powell debuted in “Song of the Open Road.”

Let’s see which New York Times critic hated it….

Oh my! T.M.P. (Aug. 16, 1946) liked it! Well, sort of.

To paraphrase a popular tune of a couple of years ago, the new musical which arrived yesterday at the Capitol is lovely to look at and delightful to hear. For Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and more particularly the producer-director team of Joe Pasternak and George Sidney, have built a lavish and entertaining show around a serviceable romantic comedy plot in “Holiday in Mexico.” In fact, it might be said that the studio has been generous to a fault in turning out this two-hour Technicolor display. With about thirty minutes less running time, the first part of the picture could be tightened to advantage, thus doing away with the edge of slowness it now has.

April 12, 2021, Mystery Photo

I hardly ever get to do mystery guests from animation. But for Monday, we have a treat: a mysterious animated bird, also an incredibly human utility pole.

You say you would like another hint? OK.

April 12, 2021, Mystery Photo
Our mysterious animated bird has a mysterious animated bird buddy. With, incredibly enough, another lifelike utility pole.

Update: The animation sequence at the beginning of the film was directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

April 13, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have a mystery guest in a helmet and goggles.

Update: This is Roddy McDowall.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (you’re warm on the animators), and Sylvia E. (right era for animation).

April 14, 2021, Mystery Photo

For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mystery woman. Her companion has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear Friday.

Update: This is Helene Stanley and Walter Pidgeon as Side of the Head Guy.

Update: For Friday, our mystery woman has a mystery companion.

April 14, 2021, Mystery Photo

We also have this mystery woman.

Update: This is Linda Christian.

Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mysterious gent), Anne Papineau (Tuesday’s mystery gent) and Mary Mallory (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery gent). Half-credit to Dan Nather: Right mystery studio, a different decade.

April 15, 2021, Mystery Photo

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

Update: This is Mikhail Rasumny.

April 15, 2021, Mystery Photo

We also have this perplexed mystery gent.

Update: Yes, this is Grady Sutton – with a mustache.

April 15, 2021, Mystery Photo

Here’s an arty shot of a mystery gent, also a mystery Chihuahua.

Update: This is Xavier Cugat with Tico-Tico. It was hard to pick just one of these photos as there are a bunch of him peering through the strings of various instruments.

April 15, 2021, Mystery Photo

And yet another arty shot of a mystery gent.

Update: Jose Iturbi in yet another peering through the strings shot.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s mystery women), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery women) and Anne Papineau (mystery movie and Wednesday’s Mystery Woman No. 1).

April 16, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Friday, we have a mystery woman.

Update: This is Ilona Massey.

April 16, 2021, Mystery Photo

We also have these formally dressed mystery gents.

Update: This is Roddy McDowall and Walter Pidgeon.

April 16, 2021, Mystery Photo

And finally, we have a mystery woman serenading a mystery bird.

Update: This is Jane Powell .

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests and mystery Chihuahua), Sylvia E. (mystery movie, mystery guests and interesting information on our mysterious animators), Tucson Barbara (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery goggled youth, Wednesday’s mystery women and Thursday’s mysterious musicians), Beach Gal (mystery movie and all mystery guests, peering into the future to see Friday’s guests), Suzanne Stone (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery woman No. 2, and Thursday’s mystery musicians and mystery mustachioed gent, peering into the future to see Friday’s guests), David Inman (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery musicians and mysterious mustachioed gent), Funky PhD (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery musicians), B.J. Merholz (mystery movie), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery musicians and mysterious mustachioed gent), Blackwing Jenny (mystery movie and mysterious musician No. 1), Gary (mystery movie and interesting background on films set in Latin America), L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast), Anne Papineau (Thursday’s mystery guests), Megan and Thom (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Sue Slutzky (mystery movie and all mystery guests) and Benito (Thursday’s mystery gents, but alas, it’s a different mystery movie).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1946, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. David Inman says:

    “The Three Caballeros”?


  2. Charles Kjelland says:

    Mel Blanc must be involved!


  3. Gary says:

    Based solely on the sombrero I would say Los Three Caballeros.


  4. Mary Mallory says:

    Hanna Barbera cartoon?


  5. Sylvia E. says:

    Cute animated birds at the US/ Mexico border is my only guess so far. Looks like the animation is post WWII.

    I’ll keep plugging away.


  6. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Roddy McDowall in HOLIDAY IN MEXICO (1945).


  7. Anne Papineau says:

    Roddy McDowell?


  8. Dan Nather says:

    I’m really going out on a limb here . . . and guessing this is an MGM cartoon animated by Hugh Harmon and/or Rudy Ising in the late 30s or early 40s (pre-Tex Avery).


  9. bartscrivner says:

    Dick Van Dyke in helmet from Chitty Chitty?


  10. Mary Mallory says:



  11. Mary Mallory says:

    Roddy McDowell today.


  12. Sylvia E. says:

    I’m going to guess though it’s very early in the week for me.

    The animation looks ‘Disney-esque’ to me. Tuesday’s guy in goggles looks like Dick Van Dyke. Is the movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”?


  13. Sylvia E. says:

    Oh well. Now I think my guess is wrong. Have no other guess though.


  14. Mary Mallory says:

    Helene Stanley and Linda Christian. On a little vacation ha ha?


  15. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Helene Stanley; Linda Christian.


  16. Anne Papineau says:

    Helene Stanley in “Holiday in Mexico”


  17. Mary Mallory says:

    Mikhail Rasumny, Grady Sutton (with a mustache!), Xavier Cugat, and Jose Iturbi.


  18. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Mikhail Rasumny; Grady Sutton; Xavier Cugat; Jose Iturbi


  19. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Tico-Tico: Xavier Cugat’s Chihuahua


  20. Sylvia E. says:

    “Holiday in Mexico” 1946
    Tuesday’s be-goggled guy is Roddy McDowell!

    Thursday, still working on guy number 1, number 2 is Grady Sutton, number 3 is Xavier Cugat and piano guy is Jose Iturbi. Maybe guy 1 is Hugo Haas, but I’m not sure. I read that the dog has a female name but, like Lassie, is a male. Working on all. Fun picture.


  21. tucsonbarbara says:

    Holiday in Mexico

    Roddy McDowall, Helene Stanley, Linda Christian, Xavier Cugat, Jose Iturbi


  22. beachgal says:

    Holiday in Mexico
    Tues helmet/goggles guy is Roddy McDowell. Wed girl in green cap is Helene Stanley. Wed mysterious beauty is the future Mrs. Tyrone Power, Linda Christian. Thurs gent #1 is Mikhail Rasumny. Gent #2 is Xavier Cugat with his dog Tico Tico. Gent #3 is Jose Iturbi. We should see Jane Powell and Walter Pigeon tomorrow.


  23. suzanne stone says:

    “Holiday In Mexico” from 1846 with Jose Iturbi, Xavier Cugat, Tiko Tiko the little dog, Linda Christian, Grady Sutton and soon Jane Powell and Roddy McDowell?


  24. David Inman says:

    Grady Sutton, Xavier Cugat and Jose Iturbi today, making this “Holiday in Mexico.”


  25. FunkyPhD says:

    The gent with the chihuahua is Xavier Cugat, and the mystery gent at the piano is Jose Iturbi. That would make this Holiday in Mexico.


  26. B.J. Merholz says:

    I am late getting on board for this Holiday in Mexico.


  27. mike hawks says:

    Grady Sutton, Xavier Cugat and Jose Iturbi in HOLIDAY IN MEXICO.


  28. Holiday In Mexico-and that’s Xavier Cugat!


  29. Gary says:

    I was thinking Nancy Goes to Rio but this predates that so it must be Nancy having a Holiday in Mexico. From his biography I have read that Nelson Rockefeller, aware of the number of German Nazi party members infiltrating Latin America, convinced FDR to establish a Good Neighbor policy.One of the components of tha policy was a saturation of Hollywood films with Latin American settings. Now you know. Gracias Nelson.


  30. Gary says:

    That was in the late 30’s.


  31. LC says:

    Holiday in Mexico (1946) w/Jane Powell, Walter Pidgeon, Roddy McDowell, Jose Iturbi, Helene Stanley, Xavier Cugat, Ilona Massey, Grady Sutton…


  32. Anne Papineau says:

    Mikhail Rasumny, Grady Sutton, Xavier Cugat and Jose Iturbi


  33. Megan and Thom says:

    Our movie is Holiday in Mexico with animation by Hanna-Barbera. Our first Wednesday guest is Helene Stanley. For Thursday, we have Mikhail Rasumny, Grady Sutton, and Xavier Cugat with Tico-Tico.


  34. Sylvia E. says:

    Helene Stanley, Linda Christian. I think Thurs’ guy is Mikhail Rasumny (maybe).
    We’ll have Ilona Massey, Jane Powell and Walter Pidgeon on Friday.

    The animation of the birds on the telephone wires from D.C to Mexico, must be the MGM crew. I believe Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera were still at MGM during the post WWII years, so will try to find out more about that.


  35. Sue Slutzky says:

    Holiday in Mexico
    I don’t know who voiced the birds.
    Tuesday: Roddy Mcdowell
    Wednesday: Helene Stanley, Linda Christian
    Thursday: Mikhail Rasumny, Grady Sutton, Xavier Cugat, José Iturbi


  36. Sylvia E. says:

    Going through IMDb, Bill Hanna got co-producer credit. Hanna and Joe Barbera are listed as uncredited in the ‘animation’ category. I checked with Larry Huber (my animation guru,) he mentioned animators Ray Patterson and Ken Muse (‘anchor’s aweigh’ animation) were also at MGM at that time. They were indeed listed in the credits. Fred Quimby, production manager (animation.)


  37. Benito says:

    Grady Sutton, Xavier Cugat and Jose Iturbi today. Guessing its ANCHORS AWEIGH 1945. Just waiting for Kathryn!


  38. Mary Mallory says:

    Walter Pidgeon appears for Wednesday, and then Ilona Massey, Rodney McDowell and Walter Pidgeon, and Jane Powell today.


  39. beachgal says:

    Fri. Ilona Massey, Roddy McDowell with Walter Pigeon, Jane Powell.


  40. Sylvia E. says:

    Ilona Massey, Roddy McDowell, Walter Pidgeon, Jane Powell.


  41. tucsonbarbara says:

    Ilona Massey, Roddy McDowall, Walter Pidgeon, and Jane Powell


  42. Anne Papineau says:

    Ilona Massey, Roddy, Walter Pidgeon and Jane Powell. No idea on the ID of the mystery parrot.


  43. mike hawks says:

    Walter Pigeon, Ilona Massey, Roddy McDowell and Jane Powell.


  44. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Illona Massey; Roddy McDowall, Walter Pidgeon; Songbird Jane Powell


  45. Allie Francis says:

    Roddy McDowall and Jane Powell


  46. Benito says:

    HOLIDAY IN MEXICO 1946. PS Jose Iturbi sure got around


  47. Sue Slutzky says:

    Friday: Ilona Massey, Roddy Mcdowall, Walter Pidgeon, Jane Powell


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