Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)


This week’s mystery movie was the 1962 Warner Bros. picture A Majority of One, with Rosalind Russell, Alec Guinness, Ray Danton, Madlyn Rhue, Mae Questal, Marc Marno, Gary Vinson, Sharon Hugueny, Frank Wilcox, Francis De Sales, Harriet MacGibbon, Yuki Shimoda and Alan Mowbray.


A Mervyn LeRoy Production.

Based on the play by Leonard Spigelgass, as produced on the stage by The Theatre Guild and Dore Schary.

Photographed by Harry Stradling.

Art direction by John Beckman. Edited by Philip W. Anderson. Sound by Stanley Jones.

Set decoration by Ralph S. Hurst. Technical advisor Takemo K. Shinohara.

Costumes by Orry-Kelly. Makeup by Gordon Bau. Miss Russell’s hairstyles by Jane Shugrue. Supervising hairstylist Jean Burt Reilly.

Orchestrations by Murray Cutter.

Assistant director Gil Kissel.

Music by Max Steiner.

Screenplay by Leonard Spigelgass.

Directed by Mervyn LeRoy.

A Majority of One is available on DVD from Amazon.

More on the film is available from the AFI catalog.


I chose A Majority of One by going through the trades and seeing that the cinematographer, Harry Stradling, was nominated for an Academy Award in the color film category. In those quaint days, there were separate awards for color, won by West Side Story, and black and white, won by The Hustler. The cinematography isn’t all that much. The plot? Terribly dated that delivers what must have been a daring message for the 1960s but seems quaint and heavy-handed today. The casting? The only one more miscast than Rosalind Russell as the goodhearted and somewhat frumpy Jewish widow from Brooklyn is Alec Guinness as a suave Japanese businessman. The film is also long — 156 minutes, according to the AFI catalog, though the version that airs on TCM is shorter, though still more than two hours.

A Majority of One was a popular Broadway play, with 556 performances in a cast headed by Gertrude Berg and Cedric Hardwicke, both replaced for the film, with Mae Questal and Marc Marno reprising their roles.

Brooks Atkinson, writing in The New York Times (Feb. 22, 1959), said:

Leonard Spigelgass’ fairy story about a Brooklyn housewife turned loose in Japan is commonplace theatre, stuffed with considerable old hat. But that is the only critical remark that will creep into this column, For Mr. Spigelgass’ characterizations of the young people as well as their elders are attractive. And his sentiments about native wisdom and general goodwill are not only irreproachable but also charming.

Given its origins on Broadway, I’m going to guess that The New York Times may not have loved it, but at least liked it. We’re in 1962, which is late Bosley Crowther territory. So let’s see if he weighed in.

Nope. Farmed out to Abe Weiler (Jan. 12, 1962):

On the surface, A Majority of One, which arrived at the Music Hall yesterday, is blatant fiction. But Leonard Spigelgass’ adaptation of his hit play is the beneficiary of a small miracle in the casting of Rosalind Russell in the central role of the Jewish widow from Brooklyn whose homely wisdom proves to be as effective in Tokyo as it is on Nostrand Avenue. As a result, this comedy blend of specialized, local middle-class mores and humor and Nipponese formality becomes a wholly acceptable, truly heartwarming and entertaining affair despite its exotic ingredients.


For Monday, we have a mystery gent in a mask. His companions have been blacked out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear later in the week.

Update: For Friday, adding mystery guests, previously of insufficient mysteriousness.

Update: This is Rosalind Russell, Madlyn Rhue and Ray Danton. I gave credit for those identifying the cabdriver as Dale Ishimoto, but he plays another taxi driver later in the film.

Dec. 7, 2021, Mystery Photo
For Tuesday, we have a mystery gent.

Update: This is Marc Marno.

For Wednesday, we have a mystery woman.

Update: This is Mae Questal, the voice of Betty Boop!

Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery gent) and L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast).

Dec. 9, 2021, Mystery Photo

For “Aha Thursday,” we have this mystery gent. His companion has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness.

Update: For Friday, adding a mystery guest previously of insufficient mysteriousness.

Update: This is Rosalind Russell and George Takei.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Beach Gal (mystery movie and Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests), David Inman (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery woman), Gary (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery woman), Tucson Barbara (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Benito (mystery movie) and Roget-L.A. (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery woman).

Dec. 10, 2021, Mystery Photo
For Friday, we have this mystery couple.

Update: This is Madelyn Rhue and Ray Danton.

Dec. 10, 2021, Mystery Photo
And this mystery woman.

Update: This is Rosalind Russell.

Dec. 10, 2021, Mystery Photo

Finally, this mysterious gent.

Update: This is Alec Guinness.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guest), Beach Gal (Tuesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Tucson Barbara (Thursday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guest), Funky PhD (Thursday’s mystery guest), Anne Papineau (mystery movie and  Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Sylvia E. (mystery movie and mystery cast) and Sarah (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery gent).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1962, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. Howard Mandelbaum says:



  2. Mary Mallory says:

    STOPOVER TOKYO. Robert Wagner and Edmund O’Brien in the back seat.


  3. Benito says:

    HOUSE OF BAMBOO 1955…?


  4. aryedirect says:

    Is Luke the Keye?


  5. Megan says:

    Is Raymond Burr one of our guests?


  6. Mary Mallory says:

    CRY FOR HAPPY. Hideo Inamura as the taxi driver Monday with Glenn Ford and Donald O’Connor in the back seat, Tuesday is Fuji.


  7. Jenny M says:

    Marc Marno in A Majotity of One.


  8. LC says:

    A Majority of One (1961) w/Rosalind Russell, Alec Guiness, Ray Danton, Madlyn Rhue, Marc Marno, Mae Questel…


  9. Mary Mallory says:

    A MAJORITY OF ONE. Dale Ishimoto Monday, Yuki Shimoda Tuesday, and Mae Questel today.


  10. Mary Mallory says:

    Actually Marc Marno yesterday, and Rosalind Russell and Alec Guinness hidden on Monday.


  11. beachgal says:

    Movie is A Majority of One
    Monday driver in mask is Dale Ishimoto
    Tue I think is Yuki Shimoda
    Wed is Mae Questel


  12. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    A MAJORITY OF ONE (1961)
    Monday: Dale Ishimoto
    Tuesday: Marc Marno
    Wednesday: May Questel


  13. David Inman says:

    I’m guessing the movie is “A Majority of One” and today’s mystery woman is Mae Questel.


  14. Gary says:

    Mae Questel in A Majority of One…a film I hope never to see with Roz playing Jewish and Alec with slitty eye make up.


  15. tucsonbarbara says:

    “A Majority of One”

    Mon – Dale Ishimoto, and probably Madlyn Rhue, Ray Danton
    Tues – Marc Marno
    Wed – May Questel


  16. Benito says:

    A MAJORITY OF ONE 1961…?


  17. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Wednesday’s mystery woman is Mae Questel in A Majority of One (1961)


  18. Sylvia E. says:

    No guesses from me.


  19. Mary Mallory says:

    George Takei.


  20. beachgal says:

    Tues Marc Marno
    Thurs George Takei


  21. tucsonbarbara says:

    A very young George Takei


  22. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    James Takei


  23. FunkyPhD says:

    Thursday’s gent is George Takei in Walk Don’t Run


  24. Anne Papineau says:

    Mae Questel and George Takei in “A Majority of One”


  25. mike hawks says:

    Dale Ishimoto, Mae Questel and George Takei in A MAJORITY OF ONE.


  26. Sylvia E. says:

    You were right! Love ‘Aha Thursday’

    “A Majority of One” 1962
    Alec Guinness, Rosalind Russell, Madlyn Rhue, Ray Danton, George Takei, Mae Questel, Dale Ishimoto.


  27. Mary Mallory says:

    Alec Guinness hidden today.


  28. Sarah says:

    It’s George Takei in “A Majority of One.”


  29. Suzanne A. Stone says:

    “A Majority of One” with Roz Russell, Alec Guiness in yellowface, Mae Questel (Olive Oyl’s voice)


  30. Mary Mallory says:

    Ray Danton and Madlyn Rhue with Rosalind Russell on Monday, Roz with George yesterday, then Datton and Rhue again, Roz, and Alec Guinness today.


  31. tucsonbarbara says:

    Madlyn Rhue, Ray Danton, Rosalind Russell, and Alec Guinness


  32. beachgal says:

    Fri Madlyn Rhue with Ray Danton
    Fri Rosalind Russell
    Fri Alec Guinness


  33. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Madlyn Rhue, Ray Danton; Rosalind Russell; Alec Guinness.


  34. mike hawks says:

    Madlyn Rhue, Ray Danton, Rosalind Russell and Alec Guiness.


  35. Mary Mallory says:

    So Hardwicke played a Japanese character too in the play?


  36. Mary Mallory says:



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