This week’s mystery movie was the 1944 Twentieth Century-Fox film Home in Indiana, with Walter Brennan, Charlotte Greenwood, Ward Bond, Charles Dingle.
Screenplay by Winston Miller. Based on the Saturday Evening Post story The Phantom Filly, by George Agnew Chamberlain.
Photographed in Technicolor. Photographed by Edward Cronjager. Technicolor director Natalie Kalmus. Associate Richard Mueller.
Art direction by James Basevi and Chester Gore. Set decorations by Thomas Little and Frank E. Hughes. Edited by Harmon Jones. Costumes by Bonnie Cashin.
Makeup by Guy Pearce. Photographic effects by Fred Sersen. Sound by W.D. Flick and Roger Heman. Music by Hugo W. Friedhofer. Musical direction by Emil Newman.
Produced by Andre Daven.
Directed by Henry Hathaway.
Home in Indiana is available on DVD from TCM.
More on the film’s history is available from the AFI catalog.
I closed out the year with Home in Indiana based on the positive reviews in the trades as it was released about the same time as last week’s Christmas Holiday. Home in Indiana is the average horse-racing yarn, presumably wholesome, morale-boosting fare for consumption during World War II. Walter Brennan gets a chance to show his full range from mean Walter Brennan, to drunk Walter Brennan to kindly/folksy Walter Brennan, all in one picture. Is there a worse name for a character than “Cri-Cri?” I cannot imagine why Winston Miller didn’t change it in adapting the screenplay.
I’m guessing the New York Times applauded such an uplifting story when the nation’s spirits needed to be bolstered.
I’m going to say Bosley Crowther, who fusses about the plot being “old hat,” but nevertheless endorses it.
And the answer is….
And he liked it (June 22, 1944):
The deep and abiding affection of Twentieth Century-Fox for horses, which has found inspired expression in such previous films as Kentucky and Maryland is again bursting out in Technicolor — and in another Federal locality — in Home in Indiana, which came to the Roxy yesterday. And having covered with ample enthusiasm such horses as run and jump in the above-named films, the studio is now giving its attention to trotters and harness-racing. Considering the color in the subject, not to mention the experience of the studio, it is not surprising that this picture would be a genial and exciting display….
….To be sure, the writer and director have not been wildly original in conceiving and shaping the story. And if it seems to follow an old a familiar line (with old familiar Walter Brennan it it), lay it down to their old horse-lover’s zeal. The fact is that this is another tale of faith moving horses and men, the faith being that of a young fellow who moves a horse to win races and Mr. Brennan to hope. Needless to say, a thread of romance is generously drawn through it, and the corn is sprinkled rather liberally. Bur horses — and horse-films — thrive on corn.
For Monday, we have a mystery gent. Also Back of the Head Guy, who will appear later in the week.
Update: This is George Reed and Lon McCallister as Back of the Head Guy.
For Tuesday, we have a mysterious gentleman. His companion has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear later in the week.
For Friday, adding this mystery woman.
Update: This is Robert Condon and June Haver.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Monday’s mysterious gentleman).
Note to Sylvia: It is indeed a horsey movie. No mules were involved in the making of this mystery film.
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have this mystery gent. Nose Guy (barely visible) will appear later in the week.
Update: This is Willie Best.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guest).
For “Aha Thursday,” we have this mystery woman. And, yet again, Back of the Head Guy.
Update: This is Charlotte Greenwood and Lon McCallister as Back of the Head Guy.
We also have these mystery gents, with their companions cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness.
For Friday, adding these mystery women.
Update: This is, from left, Jeanne Crain, June Haver, Ward Bond and Charles Dingle.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery gent and Back of the Head Guy, and Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery gents and Mystery Nose Guy), Jenny M. (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery gent and Mystery Nose Guy), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guest and Mystery Nose Guy), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and all mystery guests) and Beach Gal (mystery movie, all mystery guests, and Back of the Head Guy/Mystery Nose Guy).
For Friday, we have this mystery woman and Back of the Head Woman.
Update: This is June Haver and Jeanne Crain as Back of the Head Woman.
Update: This is Jeanne Crain and Walter Brennan
Finally, this mystery gent.
Update: This is Lon McCallister.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery woman, mystery gents and Back of the Head Guy, plus cropped out woman), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests, Back of the Head Guy, plus cropped out woman), Beach Gal (Thursday’s mystery guests, Back of the Head Guy, cropped out mystery women and peering into the future to see Friday’s mystery guests), Funky PhD (mystery movie, Wednesday’s gent, and Thursday’s mystery woman and mystery man No. 1), B.J. Merholz (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery gents), Anne Papineau (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery gent and Thursday’s mystery woman), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Guy) and L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast).