Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Credits over a shot of a full moon over the ocean
This week’s mystery movie was the 1942 Twentieth Century-Fox picture Moontide, with Jean Gabin, Ida Lupino, Thomas Mitchell, Claude Rains, Jerome Cowan, Helene Reynolds, Ralph Byrd, William Halligan, Sen Yung, Chester Gan, Robin Raymond, Arthur Aylesworth, Arthur Hohl, John Kelly, Ralph Dunn, Tully Marshall and Tom Dugan.

Moontide, Harrison's ReportsScreenplay by John O’Hara from the novel by Willard Robertson.

Photography by Charles Clarke.

Art direction by Richard Day and James Basevi. Set decoration by Thomas Little.

Edited by William Reynolds. Costumes by Gwen Wakeling.

Makeup by Guy Pearce. Sound by Eugene Grossman and Roger Heman.

Music by Cyril J. Mockridge and David Buttolph.

Produced by Mark Hellinger.

Directed by Archie Mayo.

Moontide is available on DVD from Critics’ Choice Videos.

More on the complicated history of Moontide is available from the AFI catalog.


I picked Moontide at random, partly because of Jean Gabin (his Hollywood debut), because Claude Rains is a bit hard to recognize (always good for a mystery movie), because of Ida Lupino, who is always wonderful. And because of the wild plot. The photography is excellent and the “drinking” montage is quite remarkable as is the sequence where Robin Raymond vanishes so only her dress remains. As Howard pointed out in an email, there’s a pronounced gay subtext. It’s a wild movie.

I would expect Bosley Crowther to hate Moontide, so let’s see….

He doesn’t exactly hate it (April 30, 1942), but he quibbles. A lot:

The strapping masculine charm of tough Jean Gabin, oft-time called “the Spencer Tracy of French pictures,” which heretofore has been limited to his native Gallic films, is now being wholesaled to American audiences by Twentieth Century-Fox in the actor’s first Hollywood venture, Moontide, which came last night to the Rivoli. And “wholesaled” is just the participle, for seldom has an actor’s frank allure been quite as deliberately and as obviously dished up in amplitude as is Mr. Gabin’s strange enchantment in this ponderously moody film.

You might almost think the lights and camera were working on a glamorous female star from the way they are concentrated on Mr. Gabin’s roughly handsome phiz. You might suspect his drowsy eyes, his tight lips and his thatch of grizzled hair were more important to the picture than the usual conventions of a plot. Indeed, you might even get the impression that the film was made mainly to show him off. And, at that you might not be so far wrong. Mr. Gabin supersedes all else in it.

Man in cap with bottle
For Monday, we have a mystery guest.

Update: This is Chester Gan.

May 31, 2022, Mystery Photo
For Tuesday, we have a mystery woman. Her companion has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear later.

Update: For Friday, adding mysterious Back of the Head Guy.

Update: This is Jean Gabin as Back of the Head Guy and Robin Raymond. Also the dress.

Brain Trust roll call: The Starlight Studio (Monday’s mystery guest) and Jenny M. (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery guest).

A bar with three mystery gents
For Wednesday, we have three mysterious gents.

Update: This is Claude Rains, left, Tommy Mack, center, and William Halligan.

Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (Tuesday’s mystery woman), Beach Gal (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Pat in Michigan (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman) and L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast).

A jaunty mystery man at the helm of his pleasure craft. His mysterious companion does not approve of such goings-on
For “Aha Thursday,” we have this mysterious boater and his mysterious companion.

Update: This is Helene Reynolds and Jerome Cowan.

A stylish mystery fellow in a splendid newsboy cap. And a checked coat. Also Back of the Head Guy.
And we have a mystery fellow in a splendid newsboy cap with Back of the Head Guy.

Update: This is Jean Gabin as Back of the Head Guy and Thomas Mitchell in a fine newsboy cap. Mitchell is cast quite against his type here.

Brain Trust roll call: Beach Gal (Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests Nos. 1 and 3), Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery guest, Back of the Head Guy and Wednesday’s mystery guests Nos. 1 and 3), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery guest and Wednesday’s mystery guest No. 1), Blackwing Jenny (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest No. 1), Sheila (mystery movie, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests), Sylvia E. (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Roget-L.A. (mystery movie, Monday’s and Tuesday’s mystery guests, Back of the Head Guy and Wednesday’s mystery guests Nos. 1 and 3) and Benito (Wednesday’s mystery guest No. 1. Yee-haaaa!)

Woman in a mock turtleneck casts a sidelong glance
For Friday, we have a mystery woman.

Update: This is Ida Lupino.

Man with curly hair, sailor's cap pushed back on head, weathered face
And this mysterious fellow.

Update: This is Jean Gabin.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Guy), Beach Gal (Wednesday’s mystery waiter, Thursday’s mystery guests, Back of the Head Guy), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Guy), Anne Papineau (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests), Gary (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery man in newsboy cap and Back of the Head Guy), Benito (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery gents), Sylvia E. (Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Guy), Suzanne Stone (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery fellow No. 1, Thursday’s mystery gents and Back of the Head Guy), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Guy) and Megan and Thom (mystery movie, all mystery guests and Back of the Head Guy).

About lmharnisch

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

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

  1. says:

    Chester Gan


  2. Willie Fung today?


  3. Sylvia E. says:

    Looks like a flashback scene w/a Korean soldier. I’m going to guess “The Rack” 1956.


  4. Jenny M says:

    Chester Gan in Moontide.


  5. Jenny M says:

    Robin Raymond


  6. beachgal says:

    Is Monday Philip Ahn? … With Tues possibly being Betty Bryant possibly?
    If so, then my guess is Saigon 1947/48.


  7. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Chester Gan in MOON TIDE.
    Today: Robin Raymond with Jean Gabin.


  8. Earl Boebert says:

    A sliver of William Hopper on Tuesday?


  9. Pat in Michigan says:

    I just happened to watch a bad copy of this weird little movie last week on YouTube. “Moontide”. Tuesday’s guest is Robin Raymond.


  10. LC says:

    Moontide (1942) w/Ida Lupino, Jean Gabin, Claude Raines, Thomas Mitchell, Victor Sen Yung, Robin Raymond…


  11. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Danny Kaye as the cropped out mystery companion and one of many Goldwyn Girls and/or dancers in “Up in Arms” (1944)?


  12. beachgal says:

    New guess. I think our film is the ’42 noir Moontide.
    Monday – Victor Sen Yung
    Tues – Robin Raymond in “that” dress!


  13. Mary Mallory says:

    MOONTIDE. Chester Gan on Monday, Poppy Wilde on Tuesday with BOTH Jean Gabin, Claude Rains, and William Harrigan.


  14. beachgal says:

    Wed – barkeep is William Halligan. In hat on left is Claude Rains. In striped shirt, Tom Dugan.
    Monday must be Chester Gan


  15. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Claude Rains, Tommy Mack, William Halligan.


  16. mike hawks says:

    Chester Gan and Claude Rains in MOONTIDE.


  17. My man Claude Rains in “Moontide”. I’m buying!


  18. Sheila says:

    Robin Raymond, Claude Rains, Tommy Mack, William Halligan in ‘Moontide’?


  19. Sylvia E. says:

    Moontide 1942
    Mon – Chester Gan
    Tues – Robin Raymond and BOTHG Jean Gabin
    Wed – Claude Rains. William Halligan is the bartender and I think the guy with the “glare” is Arthur Hohl (still checking on that one.)


  20. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Monday: Chester Gan
    Tuesday: Jean Gabin with Robin Raymond
    Wednesday: Claude Rains, Ralph Dunn, and William Halligan in Moontide (1942)


  21. Sylvia E. says:

    Hmmm??? I now DO NOT think that the guy next to Mr. Rains is Arthur Hohl (nose seems different to me) but looked up a couple of ‘maybes’. Constantine Romanoff comes close in looks, but still feel “hmmmm…” more than positive that it’s him. Found a different view of the scene that is a more ‘looking from the behind the bar’ peek. I’m hoping that he’s not one of the “not yet identified” folks that surface sometimes.


  22. Sylvia E. says:

    You’re very kind. One last guess on the striped shirt guy. I think he’s Tommy Mack.


  23. Benito says:

    Claude Rains today, looking cowboy-ish


  24. Mary Mallory says:

    How is that not Chester Gan Monday? It’s not Victor Sen Yeng, Helene Reynolds and Jerome Cowan, Jean Gabin BOTH and Thomas Mitchell.


  25. beachgal says:

    Thurs #1 photo – Jerome Cowan and Helene Reynolds
    Thurs #2 is Thomas Mitchell with bothg Jean Gabin
    Wed middle guy at bar is Tommy Mack


  26. mike hawks says:

    Helene Reynolds, Jerome Cowan, Jean Gabin and Thomas Mitchell.


  27. Anne Papineau says:

    Jerome Cowan, Thomas Mitchell and Jean Gabin in “Moontide”


  28. Gary says:

    This would be Moontide with Thomas Michell and Jean Gabin as BOHG


  29. Benito says:

    Miles Archer, er Jerome Cowan and Thomas Mitchell in MOONTIDE 1942


  30. Sylvia E. says:

    Helene Reynolds (I think) and Jerome Cowan. Thomas Mitchell looking at BOTHG Jean Gabin.

    I’m hoping that your Saturday breakdown has info on how the director adjustment occurred on this film.


  31. Suzanne A. Stone says:

    Moontide with Claude Rains, Thomas Mitchell, Jerome Cowan, Jean Gabin.


  32. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Helene Reynolds, Jerome Cowan; Jean Gabin, Thomas Mitchell.


  33. Megan and Thom says:

    Our movie is Moontide, with Thomas Mitchell, Jean Gabin (as Back of the Head Guy), Helene Reynolds, and Jerome Cowan today. Yesterday’s guests were Claude Rains, William Halligan, and Arthur Aylesworth. Tuesday’s guest was Robin Raymond, and Monday’s was Chester Gan.


  34. Mary Mallory says:

    Ida Lupino and Jean Gabin.


  35. Sylvia E. says:

    Friday – Ida Lupino and Jean Gabin

    Another hope for Saturday is that you have info on Salvador Dali’s involvement. It seems that only some of his input survived. That weird image where Ms Raymond’s head is missing must be one of his ideas.


  36. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Ida Lupino, Jean Gabin.


  37. beachgal says:

    Fri – Ida Lupino and in Fri #2 – Jean Gabin


  38. mike hawks says:

    Ida Lupino and Jean Gabin.


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