Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title. Letters over a snow scene of an apartment building
This week’s mystery movie was the 1933 RKO picture Topaze, with John Barrymore, Myrna Loy, Reginald Mason, Jobyna Howland, Jackie Searl, Albert Conti, Frank Reicher and Luis Alberni.

Harrisons_ReportsScreenplay by Ben Hecht. From the adaptation by Benn W. Levy of the play by Marcel Pagnol.

Associate producer Kenneth MacGowan.

Photographed by Lucien Andriot.

Continuity by Charles Lederer.

Art direction by Van Nest Polglase.

Interiors by Hobe Erwin.

Music director Max Steiner.

Recorded by D.A. Cutler.

Edited by William Hamilton.

Directed by D’Abbadie D’Arrast.

Produced by David O. Selznick.

More on the history of the film is available from the AFI catalog.

Topaze is available on Blu-ray from Critics’ Choice Videos.


Topaze was a pleasant surprise. I chose it on the basis of trade reviews and was pleased to discover that John Barrymore wasn’t his usual mannered, leering, over-the-top self.

Husband, wife, son and dog share a bed. Definitely a Pre-Code!
And, yes, it is a Pre-Code. And how!

Topaze was adapted from a Broadway play (with Frank Morgan in the title role), so I’m guessing the New York Times (Mordaunt Hall?) liked it.

Yes, it’s Mordaunt Hall! (Feb. 10, 1933):

John Barrymore is the leading figure in the pictorial translation of Marcel Pagnol’s play Topaze, which is now at the Radio City Music Hall. Notwithstanding differences in mood and action from the original work as it was offered on Broadway, it is an agreeable and effective film, and Mr. Barrymore lends no little artistry to the role of the benign Professor Auguste Topaze, a part played with rare skill on the stage by Frank Morgan.

A boy in pajamas is in bed, reading.
For Monday, we have a mystery lad.

Update: This is Jackie Searl.

Mystery fellow in a double-breasted suit and wing collar
For Tuesday, we have a mysterious gentleman and Back of the Head Guy, who will appear later in the week.

Update: This is Luis Alberni with Reginald Mason as Back of the Head guy.

Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery lad), Tim Doherty (Monday’s mystery lad), Mary Mallory (Monday’s mystery lad), Sheila (Monday’s mystery lad) and Mike Hawks (Monday’s mystery lad).

A teacher in pince-nez glasses, coat and tie sits at his desk in front of a blackboard.

For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mysterious fellow.

This is John Barrymore in a false beard and glasses.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery fellow and Back of the Head Guy), Howard Mandelbaum (Tuesday’s mystery guest and Back of the Head Guy, Incredibleinman (Tuesday’s mystery guest), Mike Hawks (Tuesday’s mystery guest), Megan and Thom (Tuesday’s mystery guest), Blackwing Jenny (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery lad and Tuesday’s mystery fellow) and Sheila (Tuesday’s mystery fellow).

Man in double-breasted suit, wearing bow tie. Holding a cigar
For “Aha Thursday,” we have this mystery fellow.

Update: This is Reginald Mason.

Elegantly dressed woman. She's wearing a hat and a dress with a large collar and a long necklace. She holds a tiny dog.
And also this mystery woman. And mysterious dog. She does not approve of such goings-on.

Update: This is Jobyna Howland.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s mystery fellow), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery fellow), Floyd Thursby (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery fellow), Roget-L.A. (mystery movie with all mystery guests), Megan and Thom (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest) and Benito (mystery movie and all mystery guests).

The mysterious profile, shorn of fake beard and pince-nez glasses.
For Friday, we have our mysterious leading man without his false beard and pince-nez.

Update: This is John Barrymore, sans fake beard and glasses. Photobombed by Myrna Loy.

Mystery woman wears hat with filmy veil, a dress pulled close at the neck.
Also our leading lady.

Update: This is Myrna Loy looking especially lovely.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests), Dan Nather (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie and all mystery guests).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1933, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. Jackie Searl in TOPAZE (1933).


  2. Tim Doherty says:

    Jackie Searl


  3. Mary Mallory says:

    Jackie Searl.


  4. Sheila says:

    Jackie Searle?


  5. mike hawks says:

    Jackie Searl.


  6. Mary Mallory says:



  7. Mary Mallory says:

    TOPAZE. Luis Alberni and REginald Mason.


  8. mike hawks says:

    Luis Alberni in STRICTLY DYNAMITE.


  9. Megan and Thom says:

    Today’s guest is Luis Alberni in, I think, Hats Off.


  10. Jackie Searl, Luis Alberni…in Topaze.


  11. Sheila says:

    Luis Alberni for Tuesday.


  12. Mary Mallory says:

    John Barrymore.


  13. Floyd Thursby says:

    For Monday we have Jackie Searl; for Tuesday, Luis Alberni, for Wednesday, John Barrymore. The movie is “Topaze.”


  14. mike hawks says:

    John Barrymore in TOPAZE.


  15. Rogét-L.A. says:

    John Barrymore in Topaze (1933), with Jackie Searl on Monday, and Luis Alberni (and Reginald Mason, perhaps, as BOTH guy) on Tuesday


  16. Megan and Thom says:

    Our movie is Topaze, with John Barrymore for today.


  17. Benito says:

    The ubiquitous Luis Alberni (173 actor credits on imdb). PS I know that little squirt from somewhere…


  18. McDee says:

    I know it’s not but Tuesday’s mystery man looks like William Jennings Bryan.


  19. Benito says:

    Jackie Searl and John Barrymore in TOPAZE 1933


  20. tucsonbarbara5 says:

    Maybe “Once Upon a Time”

    Ted Donaldson, John Abbott


  21. Mary Mallory says:

    Reginald Mason and Jobyna Howland.


  22. Dan Nather says:

    Ah, TOPAZE! John Barrymore’s favorite among his own films.

    Monday — Jackie Searl
    Tuesday — Luis Alberni
    Wednesday — Barrymore himself!
    Thursday — Albert Conti, Jobyna Howland

    And Myrna Loy not far behind . . .


  23. Reginald Mason; Jobyna Howland.


  24. mike hawks says:

    Reginald Mason and Jobyna Howland.


  25. Sylvia E. says:

    Topaze 1933
    Didn’t have much time this week, but even if I had, I had no clue. Didn’t recognize “the Great Profile” at all until Howard’s comment today. Didn’t recognize anyone else either. Ms Loy has not yet arrived, so no go there. Watched some clips on the TCM site. Cute little story. There is a mention in some notes I read, that the trades of the time indicated that Robert Benchley was being brought in to punch up the dialogue – but he’s not in the credits. Wonder if Jenny will know more about that. She’s a Benchley fan, too.

    Anyway, thanks to you and Howard for the hints. Looking forward to the Saturday breakdown.


  26. Mary Mallory says:

    Myrna Loy in photo with John Barrymore and by herself.


  27. Myrna Loy and a cleaned up John Barrymore.


  28. mike hawks says:

    John B. and Myrna Loy.


  29. Greg says:

    Topaze, 1933 with Myrna Loy and John Barrymore.


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