Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title: Lettering over what is supposed to be Hearst castle, but isn't.
This week’s mystery movie was the 1985 TV movie The Hearst and Davies Affair, with Robert Mitchum, Virginia Madsen, Fritz Weaver, Doris Belack, Laura Henry, Francis Hyland, Caroline Yeager, Lorne Kennedy, George Touliatos, Wayne Best, Donna Goodhand, David Daldorisi and Cynthia Belleveau.

Music by Lawrence Rosenthal.

Edited by Richard Bracken.

Art direction by David Jacquest.

Photographed by Charles Wheeler.

Produced by Paul Pompian.

Teleplay by Alison Cross and David Solomon. Story by Alison Cross.

Directed by David Lowell Rich.

The Hearst and Davies Affair is available on VHS from Amazon. It originally aired on ABC on Jan. 14, 1985.


Yes, The Hearst and Davies Affair was a departure for the mystery photo. I rarely do television shows and I don’t recall doing another TV movie, although it’s possible. And a TV movie shot on location in Canada, with lots of Canadians in the cast.

Why this one? I was looking for something on Marion Davies; I only have a few of her movies in the vault and nothing that would work for a mystery movie as they were all airing on TCM. When I saw Robert Mitchum cast as William Randolph Hearst, how could I not do it? Plus, I’m a sucker for movies involving newspapers and newsboy caps.

I have no memory of this 1985 opus, although I was doing the Arizona Daily Star’s weekly TV magazine at the time. I was a new dad at the time and I’m sure that consumed every waking moment – and some of the sleeping ones. The movie came and went and boy did it went. Mitchum walks through his part in ill-fitting suits, hitting his marks, knowing his lines, but not much more.  The show was universally panned, with John J. O’Connor of The New York Times writing:

The Hearst and Davies Affair on ABC manages to make what it bills as “the scandalous love affair between one of the richest and most powerful men in America and the obscure Ziegfeld girl he promoted to stardom” seem like just another ordinary story about a man and his mistress. The title characters in the ABC film, produced by Paul Pompian and directed by David Lowell Rich, are, of course, William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies, or reasonable facsimiles thereof. He is played by Robert Mitchum in his now patented style of bemused detachment. She is portrayed by Virginia Madsen, who does her best to flesh out a sketchy role with endless bits of acting business.


For Monday, we have a mystery fellow.

Update: This is Lorne Kennedy as You Know Who.

Man in newsboy cap. Wears three-piece suit.
For “Tricky Tuesday,” we have a mysterious fellow in a newsboy cap.

Update: This is Wayne Best. Newsboy cap alert!

Older man in gray three-piece suit with wide lapels.
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mystery fellow.

Update: This is Fritz Weaver.

For “Aha Thursday,” we have three mysterious women.

Woman with massive jewelry at her neck and forehead.
This is mystery woman No. 1.

Update: This is Doris Belack as Louella Parsons in what is that she’s wearing?

Woman with pearl necklace.
This is mystery woman No. 2. Also Back of the Head Guy.

Update: This is Caroline Yeager with Robert Mitchum as Back of the Head Guy.

Woman with big hair in a vintage nightgown
This is mystery woman No. 3.

Update: This is Donna Goodhand.

Brain Trust roll call: Anne Papineau (mystery movie and all mysterious guests), Mary Mallory (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Floyd Thursby (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest), Sarah (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest), Richard Wegescheide (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest), Jenny M. (mystery movie and Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Blackwing Jenny (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest), Greg (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Suzanne Stone (mystery movie and Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests), B.J. Merholz (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Sarah (mystery movie and all mystery guests), E. Yarber (mystery movie and Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests), L.C. (mystery movie and mysterious cast) and Benito (Wednesday’s mysterious fellow).

Apologies to those who ended up in the spam folder: Floyd Thursby, Sarah, L.C. and Suzanne Stone.

Woman on a movie screen in a pirate/gypsy outfit. Or something.
For Friday, we have a mystery woman.

Update: This is Virginia Madsen as Marion Davies doing her impression of acting in silent films.

Suave older man in tuxedo
We also have this mysterious leading man.

Update: This is Robert Mitchum walking through his role as William Randolph Hearst, as starched as his shirt.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery women Nos. 1 and 2, Back of the Head Guy), Anne Papineau (Thursday’s mystery women Nos. 1 and 2), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery woman No. 1), Sylvia E. (mystery movie, Monday’s, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests, plus Thursday’s mystery women Nos. 1 and 2, and Back of the Head Guy) and Mark G. (Wednesday’s mystery fellow).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1985, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. Mary Mallory says:

    A Charlie Chaplin impersonator. MR. LONELY?


  2. B.J. Merholz says:

    Not Lucille Ball.


  3. Greg says:

    Grasping at straws here, Robert Downey, Jr.?


  4. Megan says:

    I’m going to spitball here, and guess Lesley Ann Warren.


  5. Anne Papineau says:

    The Charlie actor reminds me of Nathan Lane.


  6. Anne Papineau says:

    Lorne Kennedy, Wayne Best and Fritz Weaver in “The Hearst and Davies Affair”


  7. Mary Mallory says:

    Finally. THE HEARST AND DAVIES AFFAIR. Lorne Kennedy Monday, Wayne Best Tuesday, and Fritz Weaver today.


  8. Floyd Thursby says:

    For Wednesday we have Fritz Weaver in “The Hearst and Davies Affair, “ a TV movie from 1985.


  9. Sarah says:

    Wednesday”s gent is Fritz Weaver, I’ll guess this is “The Hearst and Davis Affair” (1985).


  10. Sarah says:

    Not say re my first comment got through. Fritz Weaver, The Hearst and Davis Affair.


  11. Richard Wegescheide says:

    Fritz Weaver on Wednesday. I guess it’s the “Hearst and Davies Affair’?


  12. Jenny M says:

    The Hearst and Davies Affair with Lorne Kennedy and Fritz Weaver.


  13. mike hawks says:

    Lorne Kennedy, Wayne Best and Fritz Weaver in THE HEARST & DAVIES AFFAIR.


  14. Fritz Weaver! “The Hearst and Davies Affair”.


  15. Greg says:

    Hm Wednesday: Fritz Weaver?


  16. Suzanne Stone says:

    Fritz Weaver as “Arthur Beal” in THE HEARST AND DAVIES AFFAIR, a 1985 TV movie. Lorne Kennedy as Charlie Chaplin.


  17. Sarah says:

    On Monday it’s Lorne Kennedy as Charlie Chaplin and on Tuesday it’s Wayne Best as Byron Sloan the director.


  18. E. Yarber says:

    An obscure TV film: “The Hearst and Davies Affair”?


  19. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Monday: Lorne Kennedy in The Hearst and Davies Affair
    Tuesday: Wayne Best
    Wednesday: Fritz Weaver


  20. E. Yarber says:

    Well, then that’s Lorne Kennedy Monday and Fritz Weaver Wednesday. Going out on a Canadian limb, does that make Tuesday Derek Keurvorst?


  21. LC says:

    The Hearst and Davies Affair (1985)w/Fritz Weaver, Robert Mitchum,Virginia Madsen, Lorne Kennedy, Doris Belack, Derek Keurvorst…


  22. Benito says:

    Fritz Weaver, of CREEPSHOW and TZ fame


  23. Mary Mallory says:

    Doris Belack, Carline Yeager, and Virginia Madsen, with Robert Mitchum BOTH.


  24. Anne Papineau says:

    Doris Black, Caroline Yeager and … Laura Henry?


  25. mike hawks says:

    #1 Doris Belack. #2 Frances Hyland.


  26. Sylvia E. says:

    Had no idea until today, with Ms Belack. A TV movie this time.

    The Hearst and Davies Affair 1985
    Monday – Lorne Kennedy
    Tuesday – Wayne Best (just guessing – his character’s name is Slone)
    Wednesday – Fritz Weaver (knew that face, couldn’t think of his name)
    Thursday – Doris Belack, Caroline Yeager (I think) with BOTHG Robert Mitchum, a Babyfaced Virginia Madsen maybe
    Friday will bring a frontal view of Mr Mitchum and maybe a dressed up view of Ms Madsen.


  27. Mark G. says:

    Wednesday’s mystery fellow is Fritz Weaver.


  28. Mark G. says:

    And I believe our film is the 1985 TV movie the Hearst and Davies Affair.


  29. Mark G. says:

    And of course, Robert Mitchum is Friday’s leading man.


  30. Mary Mallory says:

    Virginia Madsen and Robert Mitchum today.


  31. Sylvia E. says:

    Friday – Virginia Madsen and Robert Mitchum

    Donna Goodhand maybe for Thursday’s woman #3.


  32. mike hawks says:

    Virginia Madsen and Robert Mitchum.


  33. E. Yarber says:

    Well, I slithered back here in time to note Virginia Madsen and Robert Mitchum. Am currently busy setting up a shoddy little website in response to absolutely no public appeal to do so and I may or may not reveal its location depending how it turns out.


  34. B.J. Merholz says:

    I think I was at the movies that night.


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