This week’s mystery movie was the 1927 silent picture Rubber Tires, with Bessie Love, Harrison Ford, Erwin Connelly, May Robson, Frank Coghlan Jr., John Patrick and Clarence Burton.It was directed by Alan Hale — yes, that Alan Hale — and released by DeMille Pictures. I’m fairly certain this is not the original main title but slapped on when the film lapsed into public domain.
|At left, the review in Exhibitors Daily Review, March 12, 1927. Above, several theater owners report lukewarm business in Exhibitors Herald, Oct. 22, 1927.
More on the history of the film is available from the AFI catalog.
Rubber Tires, sadly, has lapsed into public domain and exists in numerous lousy dupes that can be found all over the Internet.
I always try to include a couple of silents as mystery movies, and I decided it was time for Bessie Love. Rubber Tires is a light comedy with a simple plot in which Mary Ellen Stack (Bessie Love) decides the family should drive to California; the reason really doesn’t matter. She gets hold of an old car that the manufacturer wants to use in an ad campaign. Hijinks and frivolity ensue, culminating in true love and a happy ending. Fade out.
Mordaunt Hall, writing in the New York Times (March 9, 1927) did not approve of such goings-on — after all, they are abandoning New York, the cultural pinnacle of the nation, for (horrors!!!) California:
Alan Hale, the villain of The Covered Wagon, who has turned his attention to directing pictures, is responsible for Rubber Tires, a somewhat diverting affair that is at the Hippodrome. Mr. Hale cannot be accused of any sparkling originality in this production, for he has clung to movie conventionalities. His types are only too familiar. There is the freckled-faced boy who is averse to washing his physiognomy; the father who delights in lolling in a chair, wearing thick woolen socks; the busy, immaculate mother and the energetic, pretty, silk-stockinged daughter.
For Monday, we have a mysterious gentleman in a newsboy cap. Because I can’t resist a mystery guest in a newsboy cap.
Update: Unfortunately, the cast list for Rubber Tires is sketchy, so we don’t know the name of this actor, who receives a fair amount of screen time as a junk dealer, which is one reason I posted so many pictures of him.
For Tuesday, Monday’s mystery gent has a mysterious companion.
Update: These gentlemen are as yet unknown. Hope someone can identify them.
We also have a mystery lad in a newsboy cap. LOTS of newsboy caps in our mystery film.
Update: This is Frank Coghlan Jr.
To compensate for the murky print, here’s yet another photo of Monday’s mystery gent.
Update: An even sharper image (hard to find in this second-rate dupe) of our mystery junk dealer.
Update: This is Erwin Connelly.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Tuesday’s mystery lad), Anne Papineau (Tuesday’s mystery lad), Mike Hawks (Tuesday’s mystery lad) and Allie (mystery movie).
For “Aha Thursday,” Tuesday’s mystery lad and Wednesday’s mystery fellow have a mysterious companion. And here’s a Daily Mirror first: A mystery woman wearing a newsboy hat!
Update: This is Frank Coghlan Jr., May Robson and Erwin Connelly.
Here’s a somewhat better look at our mystery woman, with our mysterious lad. Unfortunately, the print of our mystery film is sub-optimal.
Update: This is May Robson and Frank Coghlan Jr.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery fellow), Anne Papineau (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery gent), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery fellow) and Sheila (Tuesday’s mystery lad).
For Friday, we have this mystery gent. He is the leading man’s rival for the leading lady’s attention and, of course, hasn’t a chance.
Update: This is Dudley Blake.
This week’s mystery movie involves cars. LOTS of cars. Here’s our leading man at the wheel of his machine.
Update: This is Harrison Ford. According to the AFI catalog he was also in Star Wars. Apparently being frozen in carbonite kept him young.
Finally, our leading lady. She is looking askance at such goings-on.
Update: This is Bessie Love.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests), Anne Papineau (Thursday’s mystery woman), Sheila (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery fellow and mystery woman), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery woman) and Megan and Thom (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests).