This week’s mystery movie was the 1935 film Becky Sharp, with Miriam Hopkins, Frances Dee, Cedric Hardwicke, Billie Burke, Alison Skipworth, Nigel Bruce, Alan Mowbray, G.P. Huntley Jr., William Stack, George Hassell, William Haversham, Charles Richman, Doris Lloyd and Colin Tapley.
Designed in color by Robert Edmond Jones.
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures Inc.
Screenplay by Francis Edwards Faragoh. From the play Becky Sharp by Langdon Mitchell.
Photographed by Ray Rennahan. Technicolor director Natalie Kalmus.
Associate art director W.B. Ihnen. Assistant director Argyle Nelson.
Musical director Roy Webb. Dance director Russell Lewis.
Chief electrician Bert Wayne.
Properties by George Hazenbush.
Recorded by Earl A. Wolcott. Edited by Archie F. Marshek.
Produced by Kenneth MacGowan.
Directed by Rouben Mamoulian.
Becky Sharp is available on Blu-ray from Critics’ Choice Videos.
More on the history of the film is available from the AFI catalog.
Becky Sharp was a random choice. I had never seen the film and it hasn’t aired on TCM since 2005; I’m trying to get away from films that are in the TCM rotation, which seems to me to be increasingly repetitive. The color is indeed spectacular. The plot is weak and the direction is very stagey. What appears to be the last reel or so is somewhat unfocused, though the rest of the film is tack-sharp.
The film opened in 1935, a bit early for Bosley to go to town on it. Possibly Andre Sennwald favored readers with his views.
Indeed, it is Sennwald (The New York Times, June 14, 1935):
Science and art, the handmaidens of the cinema, have joined hands to endow the screen with a miraculous new element in Becky Sharp, the first full-length photoplay produced in the three-component color process of Technicolor. Presented at the Radio City Music Hall yesterday for its first public showing, it was both incredibly disappointing and incredibly thrilling. Although its faults are too numerous to earn it distinction as a screen drama, it produces in the spectator all the excitement of standing upon a peak in Darien and glimpsing a strange, beautiful and unexpected new world. As an experiment, it is a momentous event, and it may be that in a few years it will be regarded as the equal in historical importance of the first crude and wretched talking pictures. Although it is dramatically tedious, it is a gallant and distinguished outpost in an almost uncharted domain, and it probably is the most significant event of the 1935 cinema.
For Monday, we have a mystery lad. His mystery companions have been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear later.
For “Hm Wednesday, we add this mystery chap.
For “Aha Thursday,” Here’s the rest of the mystery crew in a different frame so the mystery woman on the left doesn’t have her eyes closed.
Update: This is, from left, Billie Burke, Finis Barton, Nigel Bruce and Jimmy Robinson.
For “Tricky Tuesday,” we two mystery guests and Back of the Head Guy. Well, it IS tricky, after all.
Brain Trust roll call: Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery lad and companion cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness) and Blackwing Jenny (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery lad).
Update: This is Francis Dee, left, and Miriam Hopkins in silhouette, with G.P. Huntley Jr. as Back of the Head guy.
Note to Robert: A different film, but you’re absolutely right — the color in this film is gorgeous.
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have this mystery fellow.
Update: This is G.P. Huntley Jr.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery lad, Tuesday’s mysterious silhouettes and Back of the Head Guy) and Mike Hawks (Tuesday’s mysterious silhouettes and Back of the Head Guy).
For “Aha Thursday,” we also have these mystery individuals.
Update: This is May Beatty, Alan Mowbray and Alison Skipworth.
And this mystery fellow. His mystery companion has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear Friday.
Update: For Friday, we add the leading lady.
Update: This is Cedrick Hardwicke and Miriam Hopkins.
Brain Trust roll call: Robert Morrissey (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery fellow No. 1), Mary Mallory (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guests), Jenny M. (mystery movie, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mystery fellow No. 2), and Megan and Thom (mystery movie and all mystery guests).
For Friday, our leading ladies.
Update: This is Miriam Hopkins and Francis Dee.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (uncropped mystery guests and Thursday’s mystery guests), Sarah (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery officer), Howard Mandelbaum (uncropped mystery guests and Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (uncropped mystery guests and Thursday’s mystery guests), B.J. Merholz (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery officer), Sylvia E. (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Greg (Thursday’s mystery officer), L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast), Benito (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery fellows) and Anne Papineau (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery woman No. 1, Thursday’s mystery dowager and mysterious soldier).
Nigel Bruce and Jimmy Robinson in BECKY SHARP.
It has that British technicolor look about it. Perhaps The Thief of Bagdad? I LOVE getting these, even if my schedule doesn’t allow me to do much researching. Keep up the great work!
Jimmy Robinson in “Becky Sharp”.
Monday: Jimmy Robinson, Miriam Hopkins, and Nigel Bruce in BECKY SHARP (1935)
Today: G.P. Huntley, Jr. Frances Dee, Miriam Hopkins.
G.P. Huntley, Jr., Frances Dee and Miriam Hopkins.
I have two guesses. I’ll do them one at a time. Farley Granger in Hans Christian Andersen.
A young-ish Nigel Bruce – is it Becky Sharp from 1935?
Do’h. BECKY SHARP. Nigel Bruce and Jimmy Robinson, G. P. Huntley with shadows of Miriam Hopkins and Frances Dee with Alan Mowbray, Offcamera, and Huntley.
Monday: Nigel Bruce
Wednesday: G.P. Huntley
Movie – Becky Sharp
Nigel Bruce and Shelby Bacon
Frances Dee and Miriam Hopkins
G. P. Huntley
G. P. Huntley, Jr. returns.
Our mystery movie is Becky Sharp, with Nigel Bruce and Jimmy Robinson. I believe yesterday’s ladies are Frances Dee and Miriam Hopkins. Today’s guest is G.P. Huntley.
Billie Burke and Bunny Beatty Monday, Colin Tapley Tuesday, Doris Lloyd, Alan Mowbray, Allison Skipworth, and oily Cedric Hardwicke today. Director Rouben Mamoulian did early films in new technology: APPLAUSE with sound, and this with color.
Actually May Beatty and Miriam Hopkins offcamera with Hardwicke.
It’s Alan Mowbray in Becky Sharp (1935).
Monday: Finis Barton, Billie Burke…
Thursday: May Beatty, Alison Skipworth, Alan Mowbray
Friday: Sir Cedric Hardwicke
Billie Burke, Alan Mowbray, Alison Skipworth and Cedric Hardwicke.
That can’t be Alan Mowbray looking looking so dashing and a sharp while wooing Becky in his military uniform.
Becky Sharp (1935)
Directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Mon – Nigel Bruce (totally didn’t recognize him) Jimmy Robinson, Billie Burke. Not sure on the other woman.
Tues – I think the BOTHG is G.P. Huntley (but he and Colin Tapley look sooo similar. I’m trying to find an image that super clarifies it.). I think the silos are Miriam Hopkins and Frances Dee.
Wed – I think it’s G.P. Tapley
Thur – May Beatty, Alan Mowbray and Alison Skipworth. Image 2 has Cedric Hardwick behind the hanky and cropped for lack of mysteriousness Miriam Hopkins.
Supposedly somewhere among the dancers is Pat Nixon. Were you able to find her?
The spiffy dude in Aha Thursday is Allan Mowbray.
Becky Sharp (1935) w/Miriam Hopkins, Cedric Hardwicke, Alan Mowbray, Frances Dee, Billie Burke, Nigel Bruce, Alison Skipworth, William Faversham…
Alan Mowbray (I WAKE UP SCREAMING) and Cedric Hardwicke (perpetual curmudgeon/bad guy) in BECKY SHARP 1935
I spy Billie Burke, Alan Mowbray and Allison Skipworth in the glorious Technicolor that illuminates “Becky Sharp”
Miriam Hopkins and Frances Dee.
Friday’s leading ladies are Miriam Hopkins and Frances Dee in “Becky Sharp”.
Miriam Hopkins, Francis Dee.
My friend Miriam Hopkins as Becky Sharp.
Miriam Hopkins and Frances Dee.