Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title: Electric lights over silhouettes of couples dancing.
This week’s mystery movie was the 1931 Columbia picture Ten Cents a Dance, with Barbara Stanwyck, Ricardo Cortez, Monroe Owsley, Sally Blane, Blanche Friderici, Martha Sleeper, David Newell, Victor Potel and Sidney Bracey.

harrisonsreports00harr_6_0050Based on the popular song by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers.

Music by Abe Lyman and His Band.

Story and continuity by Jo Swerling.

Continuity by Dorothy Howell.

Photographed by Ernie Hallor and Gil Warrenton.

Edited by Arthur Huffsmith.

Musical direction by Bakaleinikoff.

Produced by Harry Cohn.

A Lionel Barrymore production.

More information on Ten Cents a Dance is available in the AFI catalog.

Ten Cents a Dance is available from Critics’ Choice Videos.



Last week’s movie was one of more than a thousand to feature Bess Flowers, so I decided to go through her credits to see if I had anything where I could make her a mystery star. Unfortunately, she’s in a group scene and the print isn’t sharp enough for a screen capture. But that’s how I picked Ten Cents a Dance.

I’m going to guess that Mordaunt Hall did not approve of this movie – allowing some positive points because it’s based on a Rodgers and Hart Song.

Nope. He does not approve of such goings-on (March 7, 1931):

Ten Cents a Dance goes no more deeply into the story of the girls who dance for a living than does the popular song from which the new film at the Strand derives its name. It toys insincerely with the surface of the problem. Barbara Stanwyck, who has revealed an aptitude for intelligent adult roles, is as out of place in the Palais de Dance as all the other lovely women of Hollywood who line the rail of this dance hall waiting for customers. And surely it would be a distinct shock to find a millionaire or a college graduate of the types played here by Ricardo Cortez and Monroe Owsley among the clerks and sophomore to be found nightly in the various ten-cents-a-dance emporiums about town.

Sounds like Mordaunt Hall was very familiar with dime-a-dance places. Hmmmm.

Dressy man in tuxedo. Black hair with a bit of gray and a slim mustache.
For Monday, we have a dressy mystery fellow.

Update: This is Jack Byron.

Woman with a short, severe hairstyle and a disapproving expression. She is finely dressed.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery woman. And incredibly enough, she does not approve of such goings-on!

Update: This is Blanche Friderici.

Man with neatly combed hair, coat and vest, tie with collar pin. Is dancing with a woman (face unseen). He looks concerned.
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mysterious fellow. He, too, does not approve of such goings-on!

Update: This is Monroe Owsley with Phyllis Crane as Back of the Head Woman.

Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman), Anne Papineau (Tuesday’s mystery woman), Sheila (Tuesday’s mystery woman), Bob Hansen (Tuesday’s mystery woman) and Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman).

Two mysterious women

For “Aha Thursday,” we have two mystery women.

Update: This is Peggy Doner, left, and Sally Blane.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, all mystery guests and Wednesday’s Back of the Head Woman), Incredible Inman (Wednesday’s mystery fellow), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery chap), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mysterious fellow), Anne Papineau (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery man) and Sheila (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery chap).

Man in tuxedo, slim mustache, slick hair, looks incredulous.
For Friday, we have this mysterious fellow.

Update: This is Ricardo Cortez.

Woman in sparkly dress, lost in thought.
And our mysterious leading lady.

Update: This is Barbara Stanwyck.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery woman No. 2), Incredible Inman (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery woman No. 2), Anne Papineau (Thursday’s mystery women), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery women) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests, peering into the future to see Friday’s mystery guests).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1931, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. Gary says:

    Julius Tannen?


  2. Benito says:

    Warner Baxter?


  3. Tuesday: Blanche Friderici in TEN CENTS A DANCE (1931)


  4. Anne Papineau says:

    Blanche Friderici


  5. Sheila says:

    Blanche Friderici for Tuesday?


  6. B.J. Merholz says:

    I guess I’ll start with Almira Sessions.


  7. Bob Hansen says:

    Is that Blanche Frederici (sp?) on Tuesday? Can’t tell you what movie though.


  8. mike hawks says:

    Blanche Friderici in TEN CENTS A DANCE.


  9. Mary Mallory says:

    It took me forever to come up with yesterday’s woman’s name. TEN CENTS A DANCE. Jack Byron Monday, Blanche Friderici yesterday, Monroe Owsley and Phyllis Crane today.


  10. Monroe Owsley today, with a necktie that isn’t going ANYWHERE — it’s buttoned down and collar pinned in place.


  11. mike hawks says:

    The always despicable Monroe Owsley.


  12. Anne Papineau says:

    Monroe Owsley in “Ten Cents a Dance”


  13. Sheila says:

    Monroe Owsley, ‘Ten Cents a Dance’?


  14. Mary Mallory says:

    Peggy Doner and Sally Blane.


  15. It comes to me slowly, as most things do — Monday’s mystery woman is Blanche Frederici and the movie is “Ten Cents a Dance.”


  16. Anne Papineau says:

    Phyllis Crane and Sally Blane


  17. mike hawks says:

    Phyllis Crane and Sally Blane.


  18. Sylvia E. says:

    Not much time this week.
    I still don’t recognize anyone, but I’m gonna have a go based on my guess about the subject matter.
    It seems to be about taxi dancers and I’ve found two ‘maybe’ titles with folks whose names I know, but who have not appeared in the images so far
    Taxi Dancer 1927
    Ten Cents a Dance 1931

    Leaning towards the latter, because 1927 seems to be too early for this film.

    Will look up both.


  19. Sylvia E. says:

    Ten Cents a Dance 1931
    “She was a dancehall hostess – but the band never played ‘Home Sweet Home’ for her!

    Barbara Stanwyck and Ricardo Cortez!
    Directed by Lionel Barrymore and Edward Buzzell

    My stabs at who’s who:
    Monday – not sure, maybe Pat Harmon
    Tuesday – Blanche Friderici (found another photo of her wearing this dress, and she’s named)
    Wednesday – Monroe Owsley? If yes, BOTHW is Stanwyck I guess
    Thursday – not sure, but maybe Sally Blane is the woman who is facing forward. The woman screen left, maybe Phyllis Crane
    Friday will bring full shots of Ms Stanwyck and Mr Cortez


  20. Ricardo Cortez; Barbara Stanwyck. Was that a well-groomed Inez Palange on Thursday?


  21. Mary Mallory says:

    And finally Ricardo Cortez and Barbara Stanwyck.


  22. Mary Mallory says:

    So it must be Martha Sleeper Thursday.


  23. mike hawks says:

    Ricardo Cortez and Barbara Stanwyck.


  24. Greg says:

    Ten Cents a Dance with Ricardo Cortez and Barbara Stanwyck.


  25. Mary Mallory says:

    I had Peggy Doner right earlier in the week, you just didn’t credit me for it.


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