Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title over nighttime streetscape of New York
This week’s mystery movie was the 1942 RKO film The Big Street, with Henry Fonda, Lucille Ball, Barton MacLane, Eugene Pallette, Agnes Moorehead, Sam Levene, Ray Collins, Marion Martin, William Orr, George Cleveland, Vera Gordon and Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra.

big_reviewPlay by Leonard Spigelgass. From the Collier’s Magazine Story Little Pinks.

Music by Roy Webb. Musical director C. Bakaleinikoff. Who Knows? Lyrics by Mort Greene, music by Harry Revel.

Photography by Russell Metty. Special effects by Vernon L. Walker.

Art direction by Albert S. D’Agostino and Al Herman. Set decoration by Darrell Silvera and Claude Carpenter.

Makeup by Mel Berns. Miss Ball’s makeup by Westmore. Dance director Chester Hale. Gowns by Renie. Special dance costume for Miss Ball by Freddy Wittop.

Recorded by Richard Van Hessen. Edited by William Hamilton. Assistant director Clem Beauchamp.

Produced by Damon Runyon.

Directed by Irving Reis.


I saw a reference online to The Big Street and figured it would be an interesting Damon Runyon story. Well, no. It’s an oddball movie with very strange casting of Lucille Ball. Agnes Moorehead and Eugene Pallette make one of the odder couples in memory. Interesting to see Ray Collins play broad comedy since he’s usually so stern. A nice change of pace for Lt. Tragg. 

Let’s have Bosley Crowther hate on it….

No, it was an “alphabet soup” critic: A.W. (possibly Abe Weiler) Aug. 14, 1942:

Out of his galaxy of guys and dolls, Damon Runyon, making his bow as a film producer with The Big Street, has provided the Palace with a smartly paced and colorful comedy drama. Stemming from the Runyon magazine yarn, Little Pinks, the picture is basically a love story of no great weight, but the author, as Broadway’s accredited bard, is a man who can “make with the dialogue” as his heroine pithily puts it. That is the tale’s chief attribute. As in previous Runyon narratives, the weirdly named touts, gamblers, racketeers and hoodlums continue to distill an inordinate amount of homely humor from a too meticulous use of the English language. However, in deviating occasionally from the plot’s general comedy lines, the film over-dramatizes some none too plausible situations with an effect which is sometimes maudlin.

Man in a coat and bow tie speaking into a microphone.
For Monday, we have a mysterious gent.

Update: This is Don Barclay.

Man in hat with handkerchief over face.
For “Tricky Tuesday,” we have mysterious masked gent. And yes, that is a heck of a doorjamb!

Update: This is Henry Fonda.

A police officer with two Back of the Head Guys
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mysterious police officer and TWO Back of the Head Guys!

Update: This is, from left, Ray Collins, Eddie Dunn and Sam Levene.

Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guest), Benito (Tuesday’s mystery guest), Roget-L.A. (Tuesday’s mystery guest) and Megan and Thom (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guest).

A mystery photo and that's all I'm sayin'

And for “Aha Thursday,” we have two mystery guests. Bet you never thought they were in a movie together.

Update: This is Louise Beavers and Hans Conreid.

Yeah, how did these two ever get together?
We also have these mystery guests. Bet you never thought they were in a movie together, either.

Update: This is Agnes Moorehead and Eugene Pallette.

A mystery photo and that's all I'm sayin'
And finally….

Update: This is Ray Collins and Barton MacLane with Henry Fonda as Back of the Head Guy.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and all mystery guests and Back of the Head Persons), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests and Back of the Head Persons), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery guest, Wednesday’s mystery guest and Back of the Head Persons), Roget-L.A. (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery cop), Sheila (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mysterious masked intruder and Wednesday’s mystery cop) and Blackwing Jenny (Tuesday’s mysterious masked intruder).

Mystery bandleader in tuxedo
Rounding out the week, we have this mystery gentleman…

Update: This is Ozzie Nelson.

July 29, 2022, Mystery Photo
And this mystery fellow.

Update: This is William T. Orr.

Mystery showgirl arranges her hair as mysterious admirer watches
Finally, our mysterious leads.

Update: This is Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda.

Brain Trust roll call: Anne Papineau (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mysterious masked person and Thursday’s mystery guests), Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Person), Blackwing Jenny (Thursday’s mystery guests), Incredibleinman (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Person), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Person), Gary (mystery movie, mystery leads and yes it is bizarre!)  Earl Boebert (Thursday’s mystery TV police lieutenant), Benito (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery guests and Friday’s mystery leads), Sylvia E. (mystery movie, all mystery guests, Back of the Head Persons and Friday’s mystery leads) and Suzanne Stone (mystery movie and Friday’s mystery leads).

About lmharnisch

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

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

  1. Sylvia E. says:

    No guess, but “Tricky Tuesday”s” masked person in the rakish chapeau looks like she holding the dress she was wearing before she put on her disguise. Of course I could be waaaayyy off.


  2. Jenny M says:

    Henry Fonda in The Big Street.


  3. Gary says:

    Speaking as a retired set designer\set decorator, if I had seen this film I would have remembered that door jamb/frame for the rest of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Earl Boebert says:

    Cy Kendall on Monday, Rod La Roque (who?) on Tuesday, “The Shadow Strikes” ???


  5. Benito says:

    Guessing Henry Fonda? THE WRONG MAN?


  6. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Tricky Tuesday’s mysterious masked gent looks like he could be Henry Fonda.


  7. Megan and Thom says:

    My guess is that our mystery guest is Henry Fonda in The Big Street.


  8. Mary Mallory says:

    THE BIG STREET. Don Barclay Monday, Henry Fonda Tuesday, Ray Collins, Eddie Dunn, and Sam Levene today.


  9. THE BIG STREET (1942)
    Monday: Don Barclay
    Tuesday: Henry Fonda
    Wednesday: Ray Collins, Eddie Dunn, Sam Levine


  10. Gary says:

    Chill Wills on the right?


  11. Gary says:

    On the left.( I’m dyslexic.)


  12. mike hawks says:

    Tuesday Henry Fonda, Today Ray Collins, Eddie Dunn and Sam Levene in THE BIG STREET.


  13. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Eddie Dunn et al in The Big Street (1942)


  14. Sheila says:

    Henry Fonda and Eddie Dunn, ‘The Big Street’?


  15. Tuesday-Henry Fonda?


  16. Anne Papineau says:

    What a fabulous line-up! Barton MacLane, Ray Collins, Eugene Pallette, Agnes Moorehead, Louise Beavers, Hans Conried: The Big Street. I wish I’d spoken up sooner because I thought that looked like Henry Fonda on Tuesday … and so perhaps it is.


  17. Mary Mallory says:

    Louise Beavers and Hans Conried, Agnes Moorehead and Eugene Pallette, BOTH Henry Fonda, Ray Collins, Barton McLane.


  18. Pk so we’ve got Louise Beavers and Hans Conried, Agnes Moorehead and Eugene Pallette and Ray Collins and Barton MacLane. A real slate of winners!


  19. You don’t have to hit ME over the head with a sledge hammer! (OK, maybe you do.) Hans Conried, Agnes Moorehead, Louise Beavers, Eugene Pallette, Ray Collins and Barton MacLane, all in “The Big Street.”


  20. Louise Beavers, Hans Conried; Agnes Moorehead, Eugene Pallette; Henry Fonda, Ray Collins, Barton MacLane.


  21. mike hawks says:

    Agnes Moorhead, Eugene Pallette, Hans Conreid, Ray Collins, Henry Fonda, Barton MacLane and Louise Beavers.


  22. Gary says:

    The Big Street. Of all the mystery filjs of this ilk this is one of the few that I have seen. Lucy is cruel and so out of character. But the stunner is that Henry pushes her in a wheelchair from NYC to Florida. Shades of Midnight Cowby, Truely a bzzare film.


  23. Earl Boebert says:

    Ray Collins on Thursday, “The Senator Was Indiscreet?


  24. Benito says:

    Louise Beavers, Hans Conried, Eugene Pallette, Agnes Moorehead & co. in THE BIG STREET 1942. Lucy up next


  25. Sylvia E. says:

    The Big Street 1942
    Mon – ???

    Tues – Ha! Oh well. Now I’ll guess that it’s Henry Fonda in the rakish chapeau and he’s holding Lucy’s sparkly dress (or part of it) and (maybe) a gun. OS, Marion Martin and “one of the mugs” are holding their hands up.
    Weds – BOTHG’s are Ray Collins and Sam Levene. I think the officer is Dewey Robinson.

    Thurs – 1) Louise Beavers and Hans Conried (will search for an image of them together on the “Make Room for Daddy” TV show) 2) Agnes Moorehead and Eugene Pallette 3) BOTHG is Henry Fonda with Ray Collins and Barton MacLane.

    So Friday will bring Lucille Ball and a full shot of Henry Fonda


  26. Sylvia E. says:

    Officer from Weds is NOT Dewey Robinson. I’ll try again.


  27. Sylvia E. says:

    I’ll guess that the officer on Weds is Eddie Dunn – but I’m not sure.


  28. Suzanne A. Stone says:

    The Big Street, based on the Damon Runyon stories. Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda should arrive soon.


  29. Mary Mallory says:

    Ozzie Nelson, William T. Orr, Lucille Ball, and Henry Fonda.


  30. Sylvia E. says:

    Friday – Ozzie Nelson, William T. Orr and at last, Lucille Ball and “little pinks” Henry Fonda.

    Looking forward to the Saturday breakdown.


  31. Ozzie Nelson; William T. Orr; Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda.


  32. mike hawks says:

    Ozzie Nelson, William T. Orr, Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda.


  33. Heaven says:

    Is that Agnes Moorehead? Ohh Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda in “The Big Street”?!


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