Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title. Lettering over a stage curtain
This week’s mystery movie was the 1953 MGM picture The Clown, with Red Skelton, Tim Considine, Jane Greer, Loring Smith, Philip Ober, Lou Lubin, Fay Roope, Walter Reed, Edward Marr, Jonathan Cott, Don Beddoe and Steve Forrest.  

harrisons_reportsScreenplay by Martin Rackin.

From an adaptation by Leonard Praskins.

Story by Frances Marion.

Photography by Paul Vogel.

Art direction by Cedric Gibbons and Wade B. Rubottom.

Edited by Gene Ruggiero.

Assistant director Bert Glazer.

Music by David Rose.

Recording supervisor Douglas Shearer.

Set decorations by Edwin B. Willis and Fred MacLean.

Montage sequences by Peter Ballbusch.

Hairstyles by Sydney Guilaroff.

Makeup by William Tuttle.

Produced by William H. Wright.

Directed by Robert Z. Leonard.

More on the history of The Clown is available from the AFI Catalog.

The Clown is available on a Warner Archive DVD from Critics’ Choice Videos.


I picked The Clown by going through the trades. As a child of the 1950s, I was a big fan of Red Skelton’s TV show and although his material is a bit cringey now, I have a soft spot for him because of his experience with his son. Skelton took his boy, Richard, who was dying of leukemia, around the world without telling him of his condition. Everything went fine until Skelton and his son arrived in England, where the press, being the British press, informed the boy of his fatal diagnosis. I did post about it in 2007.

As a remake of The Champ, I’m sure Bosley Crowther hated The Clown.

Not even Bosley – A.W. (Abe Weiler) of alphabet critic fame (Jan. 29, 1953):

It has been more than twenty years since Metro released its slightly saccharine but sturdy The Champ with the late Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper making much of a dramatic father-son relationship, so a new generation should not feel especially cheated to have the story refurbished for the Atomic Age. This time, the yarn, retitled The Clown and unveiled at the Capitol yesterday with Red Skelton and a newcomer, a youngster named Tim Considine, doing the honors, evolves as a workmanlike, but hardly imaginative rewrite of an old theme.

For Monday, we have a mystery guest. His mysterious companion has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness.

Update: This is Billy Barty, with a shadowy Red Skelton and Tim Considine caught in a fadeout.

Mysterious woman!
For “Tricky Tuesday,” we have a mysterious woman.

Update: This is Ann Codee and I’m particularly pleased with the trickiness of this image since it’s from a sequence in Bathing Beauty (1944) and converted from color to black and white.

Man stands in the middle of parked cars.
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mysterious gent.

Update: This is Charles Bronson.

Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery clown and companion cropped out due to lack of mysteriousness, Tuesday’s mystery woman and origin of Tuesday’s mysterious scene), Robert Morrissey (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman) and L.C. (mystery movie and mysterious cast).

Young man in pleated pants and a sport shirt.
For “Aha Thursday,” we have a mystery fellow. His mysterious companion has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear Friday.

Update: This is Steve Forrest and Red Skelton.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Monday’s mysterious clown cropped out due to lack of mysteriousness, Tuesday and Wednesday’s mystery guests), Sylvia E. (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Jenny M. (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guest), Anne Papineau (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guest), McDee (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Benito (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Blackwing Jenny (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Funky PhD (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Greg (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Roget-L.A. (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Gary (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Michael Lott (mystery movie, Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests) and Sheila (mystery movie and Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests).

Well-dressed couple. He's in a suitcoat and bow tie. She's wearing an expensive dress, a pearl necklace and earrings.
For Friday, we have this mysterious couple.

Update: This is Philip Ober and Jane Greer.

Man in a suit and tie, boy in a cap.
And our mystery leading man and young co-star.

Update: This is Red Skelton and Tim Considine.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guest), Greg (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guest), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests) and Sylvia E. (Thursday’s mystery guest and cropped-out companion).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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43 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

  1. Sylvia E. says:

    The circus clown 1934


  2. Sylvia E. says:

    Laugh clown laugh 1928

    My real guess is that it is neither of those films, but why not on a Monday.


  3. Matt Berger says:

    At first I thought this was from THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962), but that used a Queen of Hearts not a Queen of Spades.


  4. Mary Mallory says:

    THE CIRCUS CLOWN (1934). Dorothy Burgess today.


  5. Jenny M says:

    Blanche Yurka


  6. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Monday: Billy Barty in THE CLOWN (1953), with Red Skelton
    Tuesday: Ann Codee, clip from BATHING BEAUTY


  7. Gary says:

    Kay Armen?


  8. Robert Morrissey says:

    Tuesday’s lady is the indelible Ann Codee.


  9. Robert Morrissey says:

    Lol….I just noticed on IMDb that there is a 1953 film titled The Clown. Red Skelton at his best?


  10. LC says:

    The Clown (1953) w/Red Skelton, Jane Greer, Tim Considine, Ann Codee, Philip Ober, Walter Reed, Lou Lubin, Billy Barty, Steve Forest…


  11. Mary Mallory says:

    THE CLOWN (1953). Ned Glass and Red Skelton off camera. Ann Codee Tuesday and Charles Bronson today.


  12. Sylvia E. says:

    Dang! Charles Bronson. One of the films I read about while checking out the other two was “The Clown” 1953 and one of the reviews mentioned that Mr Bronson was in it. It seemed too early for that Monday image so didn’t include it in my list.

    Soooo, is this week’s film “The Clown” 1953?


  13. Mary Mallory says:

    Shirley Mitchell as Mrs. Blotto on Monday.


  14. Jenny M says:

    Charles Bronson in The Clown (1953).


  15. Anne Papineau says:

    On Monday, Billy Barty and on Wednesday, Charles Bronson in “The Clown”


  16. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Charles Bronson


  17. McDee says:

    Charles Bronson on Weds?


  18. Anne Papineau says:

    Is Tuesday’s “guest” Ann Codee?


  19. Benito says:

    Charles Bronson today


  20. Ok, Charles Bronson!


  21. Sylvia E. says:

    I’m going to go with my previous guess on the name of the movie being correct, along with the name of Wednesday’s guy. So Monday’s clown is probably Billy Barty. Not sure of Tuesday’s woman.


  22. FunkyPhD says:

    Wednesday’s mysterious gent is Charles Bronson.


  23. Greg says:

    Hm Wednesday: Charles Buchinski aka Charles Bronson?


  24. Sylvia E. says:

    Tuesday – Ann Codee is my guess


  25. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Wednesday’s mysterious gent looks like Charles Bronson.


  26. Gary says:

    Charles Bronson?


  27. Michael Lott says:

    The Clown, 1953. The star for Monday is Billy Barty. The actor for today is Charles Bronson.


  28. Sheila says:

    Ann Codee and Charles Bronson, ‘The Clown’?


  29. Mary Mallory says:

    Steve Forrest today. So Skelton wasn’t cropped out on Monday? Or is that Skelton as the clown with Tim Considine cropped out?


  30. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Steve Forrest


  31. Greg says:

    Thursday’s mystery man, I believe, is Steve Forrest. The movie would have to be, maybe, Red Skelton’s “The Clown”.


  32. Charles Kjelland says:

    William Hopper today, don’t have a clue on the movie


  33. mike hawks says:

    Charles Bronson and Steve Forrest in THE CLOWN.


  34. Sylvia E. says:

    Thursday – Steve Forrest and cropped for lack of mysteriousness is Red Skelton (dressed as Dodo)


  35. Mary Mallory says:

    I’ve said multiple times that Red Skelton was the person out of camera for Monday. Tim Considine must be the clown. Red is also now in Thursday and Friday, with Tim on Friday.


  36. Sylvia E. says:

    Philip Ober and Jane Greer
    Red Skelton and Tim Considine

    Looking forward to the Saturday breakdown.


  37. Mary Mallory says:

    I think I left out Philip Ober and Jane Greer last night.


  38. mike hawks says:

    Billy Barty, Philip Ober, Jane Greer, Red Skelton and Tim Considine.


  39. Gary says:

    I wondered all week if this might not be The Clown…with Jane Greer and whats his name. I remember seeing this when first relaesed. I was 14 and looking for laughs. Not many here.


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