Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

This week’s mystery movie was the 1929 First National picture Weary River, with Richard Barthelmess, Betty Compson, William Holden, Louis Natheaux, George Stone, Raymond Turner and Gladden James.

Story by Courtney Riley Cooper. Screen version by Bradley King.


harrisonsreports00harr_5_0023Photographed by Ernie Haller. Art direction by John J. Hughes. Costumes by Max Ree. Edited by Edward Schroeder and James Gibbon.

Titles by Paul Perez. Special photography by Alvin Knechtel.

Directed by Frank Lloyd.

Musical score and Vitaphone Symphony Orchestra conducted by Louis Silvers.

Restored by the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, UCLA Film and Television Archive and Warner Bros. / Turner Entertainment Co.

Weary River is available on DVD in a Warner Archive (RIP) edition from TCM. It aired early this year on TCM.

More on the history of the film is available from the AFI catalog.


I picked “Weary River” by going through the trades for 1931, looking for a movie that had gotten favorable reviews. Weary River is an odd transitional movie, partly silent and partly talkie, with a musical score throughout. The silent portions of the film seem oddly as though they were shot with dialogue, which was stripped out and replaced with just a few titles.

This is a proto-Warner Bros. prison movie with lots of implausibilities: A dapper racketeer with a gift for music goes to prison and reforms, becoming a popular bandleader. With, of course, setbacks along the way.

This is 1929, too early for Bosley Crowther to hate. So I’m guessing we’ll have something from Mordaunt Hall. Or possibly Andre Sennwald.

Yes it’s Mordaunt Hall!

And he hated it!!! Jan. 25, 1929:

Richard Barthlemess was heard as well as seen last night from the screen of the Central Theatre in a First National Vitaphone picture called Weary River. The chief attribute of this banal jailbird tale is that it has some interesting prison sequences, and perhaps there are those who may enthuse over Mr. Barthelmess’s rendition of a song, also known as Weary River. He does sing it quite well, but it would take a far better singer and a much better song to atone for the lack of imagination and suspense in this photoplay, which is one of those that slip from silence to sound every now and again.


For Monday, we have a mystery gent.

Update: This is Ray Turner.

For Tuesday, we have a mystery gent.

Update: This is William Holden. (No, not that William Holden).

Brain Trust roll call: Mike Hawks (Monday’s mystery gent).
Dan Nather: You’re half-right.


For “Hm Wednesday,” we have two mystery gents.

Update: This is
Robert Emmett O’Connor (Henderson – plain clothes man in A Night at the Opera) and Jim Farley.

Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (Monday’s mystery guest), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mysterious prison warden) and Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and both mystery guests).


For “Aha Thursday,” we have a mystery gent. His companion has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear Friday.

Update: For Friday, adding our mysterious leading lady.

Update: This is Betty Compson and George E. Stone (Toothpick Charlie in Some Like It Hot).

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and all mystery guests), David Inman (Wednesday’s mysterious detective No. 1, who looks like an old clothes man), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mysterious detective No. 1), Sheila (mystery movie and Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests), Anne Papineau (Wednesday’s mysterious detective No. 1) and Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mysterious detectives).


For Friday, we have our mysterious leading lady….

Update: This is Betty Compson.

And mysterious leading man.

Update: This is Richard Barthlemess.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery gent, without his trademark toothpick), Floyd Thursby (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery guest, Wednesday’s mysterious detective No. 1 and Thursday’s mysterious gent without his trademark toothpick), David Inman (Thursday’s mysterious gent), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guest), B.J. Merholz (Thursday’s mystery gent, sans toothpick), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery gent), Anne Papineau (Thursday’s mystery gent) and Dan Nather (mystery movie and all mystery guests).

About lmharnisch

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

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

  1. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Willie Best.


  2. Robert Morrissey says:

    Following, but I haven’t a clue!


  3. skretvedt1958 says:

    Looks like Willie Best to me.


  4. mike hawks says:

    Ray Turner.


  5. Gary says:

    Just a wild guess…Dinner at Eight.


  6. Sarah says:

    I think this may be Willie Best, who portrayed many elevator operators.


  7. Dan Nather says:

    Whoever this is, I think he’s in a silent movie . . .


  8. Allie says:

    Stepin Fetchit


  9. Mary Mallory says:

    Nick Stewart.


  10. Mary Mallory says:

    Charles R. Moore and Emile Chautard in BLONDE VENUS.


  11. Jenny M says:

    Monday’s guest is Ray Turner.


  12. mike hawks says:

    William Holden in WEARY RIVER 1929.


  13. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Ray Turner on Monday.


  14. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    William Holden in WEARY RIVER (1929).


  15. Earl Boebert says:

    I’m guessing a young Eddie Anderson on Monday.


  16. Mary Mallory says:

    Blue Washington Monday.


  17. Mary Mallory says:

    WEARY RIVER. Ray Turner Monday, William Holden Tuesday, Robert Emmett O’Connor and Jim Farley today.


  18. David Inman says:

    Wednesday’s gent without the hat is Robert Emmett O’Connor, probably playing a cop. That’s all I got.


  19. mike hawks says:

    At right Robert Emmett O’Connor.


  20. mike hawks says:

    I meant man on left side. PARDON ME.


  21. Sheila says:

    Ray Turner for Monday, Robert Emmett O’Connor and Jim Farley for Wednesday, ‘Weary River’?


  22. Anne Papineau says:

    On Wednesday, might that be Jones, I mean, Robert Emmett O’Connor


  23. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Robert Emmett O’Connor, Jim Farley.


  24. Mary Mallory says:

    Yay! George E. Stone.


  25. tucsonbarbara says:

    Mischa Auer


  26. Floyd Thirsby says:

    For Monday we have Ray Turner; for Wednesday we have Robert Emmett O’Connor; for Thursday we have George E. Stone. The movie is “Weary River.”


  27. David Inman says:

    George E. Stone today.


  28. mike hawks says:

    George E. Stone.


  29. B.J. Merholz says:

    George E. Stone


  30. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Richard Barthelmass, George E, Stone.


  31. Benito says:

    Osgood Perkins, aka Anthony’s daddy?


  32. Anne Papineau says:

    George E. Stone?


  33. Dan Nather says:

    Ah! That’s why I’m half-right — it’s only half-silent!

    WEARY RIVER (1929)
    Monday: Raymond Turner
    Tuesday: William Holden (the elder)
    Wednesday: Robert Emmett O’Connor, Jim Farley
    Thursday: George E. Stone

    Waiting for Richard Barthelmess and Betty Compson tomorrow . . .


  34. Gary says:

    Thursay…Mischa Auer?


  35. Mary Mallory says:

    Betty Compson and Richard Barthelmess, two wonderful silent performers,


  36. David Inman says:

    Richard Barthelmess at the keyboard — “Weary River”?


  37. mike hawks says:

    Betty Compson and Richard Barthelmess.


  38. Benito says:

    Richard Barthelmess today


  39. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Betty Compson; Richard Barthelmass.


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