Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)



This week’s mystery movie was the 1943 MGM short “Inflation,” with Edward Arnold, Horace (Stephen) McNally, Esther Williams and Vicky Lane.

Original story by E. Maurice Adler and Julian Harmon. Screenplay by Gene Piller and Michael Simmons.

Photography by Henry Sharp, musical score by Max Terr and David Raksin.

Art direction by Richard Duce, edited by Adrienne Fazan.

Directed by Cyril Endfield.

“Inflation” is not commercially available. It airs on TCM every so often.

I thought it was time to run a short subject and I ended up with an interesting one: “Inflation,” which was widely praised here and here but was withdrawn almost immediately.


As Howard Mandelbaum points out, the short is dark….


… very dark indeed, and this may be why MGM withdrew the film, rather than the official claim that its message against the black market, panic buying and hoarding wasn’t strong enough.

July 7, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mystery woman.

Update: This mystery woman, alas, remains unidentified.

July 6, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have a mystery gent. He does not approve of such goings-on.

Update: This is Milton Kibbee

July 7, 2021, Mystery Photo

For “Hm Wednesday,” we have these mystery fellows.

Update: This is Robert Emmett O’Connor (“Henderson: Plainclothes man” from “A Night at the Opera”) and Stephen McNally.

July 7, 2021, Mystery Photo
We also have this mysterious pipe-smoking gent.

Update: This is Howard Freeman.

July 8, 2021, Mystery Photo

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

Update: This is Vicky Lane.

July 8, 2021, Mystery Photo

We also have this dapper gent and a mystery companion. Our leading lady has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear Friday.

Update: Revealing our leading lady in the fur coat.

Update: This is Esther Williams, Donald Curtis and Stephen McNally.

Brain Trust roll call: David Inman (Wednesday’s mystery gent No. 2), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery gents), Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery gents), B.J. Merholz (Wednesday’s mystery gent No. 3), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery gents), Gary (Wednesday’s mystery gent No. 2), Sheila (Wednesday’s mystery gents) and Sylvia E. (Wednesday’s mystery gents Nos. 2 and 3).

July 9, 2021, Mystery Photo

For Friday, we have our mystery gent one more time, though not in a top hat, and our mysterious leading lady.

Update: This is Stephen McNally and Esther Williams.

July 9, 2021, Mystery Photo

And finally for Friday, we have this mysterious fellow who approves of such goings-on.

And Edward Arnold as the Devil. Not bad, but he can’t match Laird Cregar.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests), Gary (mystery movie) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery guests and Thursday’s mystery guests, including mystery guest cropped out for insufficient mysteriousness).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1943, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo, World War II and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Elizabeth Russell in YOUTH RUNS WILD (1944).


  2. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Constance Worth.


  3. Sylvia E. says:

    Stockings being examined by a very glamorous young lady in what seems to be a theatre dressing room; on top of the dresser in that dressing room,a kinda creepy looking doll-type thing wearing sunglasses (?) and what looks like hoserie draped over its head; and now guy with an ironing board behind him. Is this a tale with a show biz setting, maybe the wardrobe department?? I have no guess at all, though.



    Monday is Virginia Mayo


  5. Megan says:

    Our last guest occupies the same synapses in my brain as John “I am going down to dig a canal” Alexander, but I can never remember this gentleman’s name.


  6. Mary Mallory says:

    AIR RAID WARDENS. Betty Jaynes Monday, and Robert Emmett O’Connor, Stephen McNally, and Howard Freeman today.


  7. Mary Mallory says:

    Jacqueline White on Monday.


  8. David Inman says:

    Is one of our Wednesday fellows Stephen McNally?


  9. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    INFLATION (1943 MGM short subject, withdrawn from theatrical exhibition)
    Hooper Atchley; Robert Emmett O’Connor, Stephen McNally; Howard Freeman.


  10. Mary Mallory says:

    Wrong title, it’s INFLATION. Is that Esther Williams Monday? Milton Kibbee Tuesday. Everyone else the same.


  11. B.J. Merholz says:

    Howard Freeman is a freebie for me.


  12. mike hawks says:

    For Wednesday we have Robert Emmett O’Connor, Stephen McNally and Howard Freeman in AIR RAID WARDENS.


  13. Gary says:

    This is Stephen McNally and Jacqueline White n Air Raid Warnings…she by the way is still alive at 98.


  14. Sheila says:

    Robert Emmett O’Connor, Stephen McNally, Howard Freeman in ‘Air Raid Wardens’?


  15. Barry O’Brien says:

    Is Wednesday’s person Robert Benchley?


  16. Sylvia E. says:

    Just a guess based on Weds. photos. image 1 the guy looking down looks like Stephen McNalley to me and image 2 looks like Howard Freeman. So my guess is “An American Romance” 1944, since those two appeared in that movie.


  17. mike hawks says:

    You are very tricky. This is a short called INFLATION. Milt Kibbee was the man from Tuesday.


  18. Mary Mallory says:

    Vicky Lane as the Devil’s Assistant and Donald Curtis with Stephen McNally today.


  19. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Tuesday: William Newell
    Today: Vicky Lane; Donald Curtis, Stephen McNally.


  20. mike hawks says:

    Vicky Lane, Donald Curtis and Stephen McNally.


  21. Gary says:

    Is this a WWII short called…Inflation?


  22. Sylvia E. says:

    The fact that it’s a short fooled me.

    “Inflation” 1943
    I now think that Stephen McNally’s friend in Weds’ image #1 is Robert Emmett O’Connor
    Thurs- image 1 is ‘devil’s assistant’ Vicky Lane; image 2 has salesman Donald Curtis waiting on Mr. McNally and ‘cropped for insufficient mysteriousness’ Esther Williams (in her new fur coat)


  23. Sylvia E. says:

    Okay. One more time on the guy walking with McNally on Wednesday: Is it Milton Kibbee?

    Friday: Ms Esther Williams revealed with Mr McNally, spending away. And last but not least, our devil, Edward Arnold.

    Looking forward to Saturday’s breakdown.


  24. Mary Mallory says:

    I think you left out my name in getting Thursday’s mystery guests. Esther Williams added for the Thursday spot, and then with Stephen McNally today, and Edward Arnold as the devil.


  25. Alexa says:



  26. mike hawks says:

    Once again Stephen McNally with Esther Williams and Edward Arnold.


  27. LC says:

    Inflation (1943) Looks interesting, I have never seen this movie short. Edward Arnold, Esther Williams, Stephen McNally, Vicky Lane, Milton Kibbee, Howard Freeman…


  28. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Esther Williams; Edward Arnold.


  29. Anne Papineau says:

    Wish I’d spoken up earlier as I thought I recognized Robert Emmett (Paddy Ryan’s gang) O’Connor on Wednesday. So this is “Inflation” starring no less than Edward Arnold and Esther Williams.


  30. Tired Allie says:

    John Alexander for Wednesday actor? Finally got a chance to look today


  31. Wayne Selover says:

    Doesn’t Edward Arnold look a lot like Count Floyd (Joe Flaherty) from SCTV? Perhaps this was Flaherty’s inspiration.


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