Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

June 15, 2019, Mystery Movie
This week’s particularly fun (for me, anyway) mystery movie was the 1950 United Artists release “The Underworld Story,” with Dan Duryea, Herbert Marshall, Gale Storm, Howard Da Silva, Michael O’Shea, Mary Anderson, Gar Moore, Melville Cooper, Frieda Inescort, Art Baker, Harry Shannon, Alan Hale Jr., Stephen Dunne, Roland Winters, Sue England, Lewis L. Russell and Frances Chaney.

Screenplay by Henry Blankfort, adaptation by Cyril Endfield from a story by Craig Rice. Associate producer Bernard W. Burton, photography by Stanley Cortez, production manager Allen K. Wood, assistant director William Calihan, art director Gordon Wiles, film editor Richard Heermance, set decorations by Ray Boltz, dialogue director G. Joseph Dell, technical advisor Ben F. Melzer, sound by Tom Lambert, set continuity by Bobbie Sierks, hairstylist Stephanie Garland, makeup by Tom Tuttle, wardrobe by Esther Krebs and Leonard Harris, set supervisor Dave Milton, musical director Irving Friedman, music by David Rose. Produced by Hal E. Chester. Directed by Cyril Endfield. Presented by Jack Dietz.

“The Underworld Story” is available on DVD from Warner Archive.

Continue reading

Posted in 1950, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Julian Eltinge Says ‘I’m at Your Service, Girls’

I'm at Your Service Eltinge

Note: This is an encore post from 2016.


One of the most famous female impersonators of all time, but now also one of the most forgotten, Julian Eltinge stood as one of the most successful headliners of the early 1900s, setting attendance records at vaudeville and theatre box offices. He entertained audiences as one of the best dressed and most hilarious women on stage for decades, with many shows written around his unique talents. For his 1915-1916 theatre musical, “Cousin Lucy,” he saw to it that a song was created that summed up his career, his audience, and his life.

Eltinge began performing on stage in the mid-1890s per historian Tony Slide in his book, “New York City Vaudeville.” The New York Tribune February 2, 1902, states that Eltinge is “well known to Boston, New York, and Newport society as a female impersonator of talent and stunning costumes.”

“Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays” by Karie Bible and Mary Mallory is available at Amazon and at local bookstores.

Continue reading

Posted in 1915, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, Stage | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

ALLIES INVADE FRANCE! JUNE 6, 1944; Complete Radio Coverage

June 7, 1944, D-day

June 7, 1944, D-Day Map

The headline and map by Charles Owens from The Times.

Note: This is an encore post from 2014. Reposting to fix some broken links.

June 6, 1944: Complete radio coverage of the D-Day Invasion. This was pool coverage using correspondents from various news organizations. By 10 a.m., CBS had resumed regular programming with news bulletins, so I’ll only post up to noon. The full day is at

It’s worth noting that German radio was the source for most of the information in the early hours of the invasion. The eyewitness accounts are vivid and it’s worth listening to Quentin Reynolds’ analysis on how the Allies learned from disastrous surprise invasion at Dieppe in 1942.

Continue reading

Posted in 1944, Radio, World War II | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

James Ellroy: ‘This Storm’ — Racism and Anti-Semitism Masquerading as History

Dec. 6, 1953, L.A. Times

A historical aside to everybody gushing over James Ellroy’s latest, “This Storm,” which opens with a speech from Father Coughlin’s supposed bootleg radio station in Mexico. (Coughlin was a notorious right-wing radio broadcaster of the 1930s who was silenced by Catholic superiors in 1939).



Happen. (See above).

And also, Coughlin said nothing about the U.S. declaring war on Japan (via the New York Times).

N.Y. Times, Dec. 9, 1941.
And also, also:

Let the record show that Ellroy’s text is nothing like Coughlin’s broadcasts, which are available on

I mean “waterlogged wetbacks?”

It’s worse on the jump: Full Ellroy in “Jew-inspired boondoggle…”

“our Jew-pawn president, Franklin “Double-Cross” Rosenfeld….”


Continue reading

Posted in 2019, Books and Authors, Radio | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Black Dahlia: Newsweek Mangles the George Hodel Story Beyond All Recognition

Newsweek Black Dahlia

About 1980, when I was in journalism school, one of my classes heard guest speaker Martin Kasindorf, who impressed the room of aspiring reporters with his tales of being a Newsweek correspondent. (He was later the magazine’s New York bureau chief, worked at Newsday and was White House correspondent for USA Today before retiring in 2007.)

From Kasindorf in 1980, it has been a long, hard fall to 2019 and Kelly Wynne, who graduated from The New School last year and currently writes about culture for Newsweek.

I typically ignore Newsweek. But then it attempted to write something about the Black Dahlia case. Oh dear.

Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2019, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)


This week’s mystery movie was the 1929 MGM picture “The Last of Mrs. Cheyney,” which was released in sound (8,651 feet) and silent (6,484 feet) versions.

With Norma Shearer, Basil Rathbone, Herbert Bunston, George Barraud, Hedda Hopper, Moon Carroll, Madeline Seymour, Cyril Chadwick, George K. Arthur, Finch Smiles and Maude Turner Gordon. From the play by Frederick Lonsdale, continuity by Hans Kraly and Claudine West, recording by Douglas Shearer, art direction by Cedric Gibbons, photography by William Daniels, gowns by Adrian, editing by Conrad A. Nervig. Directed by Sidney Franklin.

“The Last of Mrs. Cheyney” is available from Warner Archive or on sale from TCM. Also available in streaming video from Amazon.

Continue reading

Posted in 1929, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: First National Building Banks On Hollywood’s Future

Hollywood First National Building

Hollywood First National Bank Building, Courtesy of Mary Mallory.

Note: This is an encore post from 2014

oaring to the skies, displaying confidence in Hollywood’s unlimited future, the First National Building, constructed and opened in 1928, brought Art Deco-Gothic beauty to Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. Operating as bank and office building for decades, the First National Building celebrated Hollywood’s business success and its glorious potential, a economics temple.

The Hollywood and Highland intersection served as the western end of Hollywood Boulevard’s business district, anchored by the regal Hotel Hollywood. Businesses sprang up around it, two blocks north of Hollywood High School. The First National Bank of Hollywood built a branch here, leasing space on its upper floor to the Frank Meline Co. Meline operated its Hollywood office here at 6777 Hollywood Blvd. from 1920, offering properties in the immediate area for sale. Buster Keaton even filmed a scene from his 1921 short “The Goat” looking south from a garage at 1741 N. Highland Ave. toward the intersection, per John Bengtson on his blog, “Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd Film Locations.”

Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found” is available for the Kindle.

Continue reading

Posted in 1927, Architecture, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Maria Ridulph, Mary Mallory, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Commercial Photographers and Hollywood

Van Rossem Santa Monica Intl Photo 4-31

Thanks to the work of often uncredited talented stills photographers during the era of classic Hollywood, movie stars appeared sexy, glamorous and larger than life, gods and goddesses the moviegoing public could only aspire to. These stills men and women created the stunning iconography of classic Hollywood thanks to their sharp eyes for details, lighting and composition.

While a few such as Ruth Harriet Louise, George Hurrell, Clarence Sinclair Bull and Eugene Robert Richee achieved renown for their output, the vast majority remained virtually anonymous to the general public, just camera cogs in the giant studio system. Most of the time their stunning prints appeared uncredited in magazines and newspapers, though occasionally their last names would be mentioned in captions.

Mary Mallory’s latest book, Living With Grace: Life Lessons From America’s Princess,”  is now on sale.

Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

June 1, 2019, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie was the 1935 Twentieth Century film “Les Miserables,” with Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Rochelle Hudson, John Beal and Frances Drake. Directed by Richard Boleslawski, associate producers William Goetz and Raymond Griffith, screenplay by W.P. Lipscomb, photography by Gregg Toland, art direction by Richard Day, edited by Barbara McLean, musical direction by Alfred Newman, sound by Frank Maher and Roger Heman, costumes by Omar Kiam, assistant director Eric Stacey. A Darryl Zanuck production, presented by Joseph M. Schenck.

“Les Miserables” is available on DVD and streaming from Amazon.

Continue reading

Posted in 1935, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)


May 25, 2019, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie was the 1979 film “Zulu Dawn,” with Burt Lancaster, Peter O’Toole,  Simon Ward, Nigel Davenport, Michael Jayston, Peter Vaughan, James Faulkner, Christopher Cazenove, Simon Sabela, Dai Bradley, Bob Hoskins, Anna Calder-Marshall, Freddie Jones, Nicholas Clay, Ronald Lacey, Phil Daniels, Donald Pickering, Paul Copley, Ken Gampu, Ronald Pickup, Denholm Elliott, John Mills.

Photography by Ousama Rawi, edited by Malcolm Cooke,  production design by John Rosewarne, costume design by John Buckley, associate producer Dieter Nobbe, co-produced by James Faulkner, music by Elmer Bernstein. Original story and scenario by Cy Endfield, screenplay by Cy Endfield and Anthony Storey, executive producer Barrie Saint Clair, produced by Nate Kohn, directed by Douglas Hickox.

“Zulu Dawn” is available on DVD from TCM.


Continue reading

Posted in 1979, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: The House of Westmore Beautifies Hollywood

Ann Sheridan promotes the House of Westmore.

Note: This is an encore post from 2015.

Since the 1920s, the Westmore family has served the entertainment industry as some of the greatest practitioners of makeup artistry. From leading studio makeup departments to creating unique makeup effects, the Westmores have excelled at promoting and publicizing the art of beautification, often blazing new trails in the process. In fact, they were the first active entertainment industry professionals to open a successful salon on the side serving both their studio clientele and the general public, known as the House of Westmore.

Patriarch George Westmore introduced the family to the beauty field back in England, getting his start at as an assistant to a barber, lathering and shaving clients, and as apprentice hair-dresser. From an early age, he drummed into his sons the importance of soap and simple things when it came to beautification. Percival “Perc” Westmore claimed in his book, “The How-To Beauty Guide For 1950s Woman,” that their father told them every night, “The beginning of facial loveliness is in a bar of pure mild soap and a jar of cleansing cream.” Makeup artists and hairstylists nicknamed their annual awards, the Georgie Awards, after George Westmore, in honor of his pioneering work.

Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found” is available for the Kindle.
Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Now on Wikipedia — Hodel vs. Hodel Family Feud!


OK, I admit it. I love that this is happening.

This is Steve Hodel vs. Fauna Hodel’s daughter Rasha Pecoraro on the question of the Hodel family DNA and whether it shows that George Hodel was Fauna Hodel’s father. (Spoiler alert: No. Tamar Hodel got pregnant up in San Francisco while George Hodel was either in Los Angeles or Hawaii).

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Wikipedia | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: 4634 Santa Monica Blvd., Where History Was Made

Lois Weber Mildred Chaplin Ad

Though today the home of Union Swap Meet, 4634 Santa Monica Blvd. once served as the location for pioneering director Lois Weber’s motion picture studio from 1917 through 1925. Ranking as one of the top three directors in 1915, Weber was among the first multi-threat artists to act, direct, write and produce her own pictures. Within a few months, however, 4632 Santa Monica Blvd. will be demolished and leveled to make way for a large-density project.

Director Weber began her entertainment career on the stage with her husband, Phillips Smalley. Born June 13, 1879, in Pennsylvania, Weber was raised in a religious family, singing in the church choir, which led her to serve as a street-corner missionary and singer to prisoners and asylum inmates before moving on to opera, musical comedy and the stage. The talented young woman met her future husband on the boards before they both entered the moving picture business around 1907.

Mary Mallory’s latest book, Living With Grace: Life Lessons From America’s Princess,”  is now on sale.

Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)


This week’s mystery movie was the 1941 Columbia picture “Texas,” with William Holden, Glenn Ford, Claire Trevor, George Bancroft, Edgar Buchanan, Don Beddoe and Willard Robertson. Screenplay by Horace McCoy, Lewis Meltzer and Michael Blankfort, from a story by Michael Blankfort and Lewis Meltzer, photography by George Meehan, editing by William Lyon, art direction by Lionel Banks, musical direction by M.W. Stoloff, produced by Samuel Bischoff, directed by George Marshall.

“Texas” is available on DVD from Amazon.

Continue reading

Posted in 1941, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: San Francisco Silent Film Festival Celebrates Humanity

The Cameraman

Just as today’s immigrants search for shelter and sanctuary, the films at the 24th Annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival featured protagonists pursuing their own refuge and safety through the dreams of opportunity, love, and home.

Spanning the globe with movies from Russia, Japan, Germany, India, France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, and the United States, the festival’s schedule demonstrated the messiness and joy of humanity, uniting us in our imperfections, sadnesses and joys.

Unintentionally interweaving such subjects and themes as aimlessly stumbling through life, experiencing hallucinatory travels through purgatory, and finding sanctuary in family and the land, the festival’s emotionally satisfying and edifying slate also highlighted the evolution of the art of silent filmmaking.

Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

May 7, 1959: Dodgers Honor Roy Campanella as Coliseum Crowd Sets Record

May 7,1959, Los Angeles Times

Keith Thursby has the story of Roy Campanella being honored in a ceremony during an exhibition game at the Coliseum between the Dodgers and Yankees. The game raised nearly $60,000 for the former Dodger catcher, who was partially paralyzed in a 1958 car crash.

The story originally appeared on in 2009 and is available via

Posted in 1959, Dodgers, Keith Thursby, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

This week’s mystery movie was the 1935 Columbia film “She Married Her Boss,” with Claudette Colbert, Melvyn Douglas, Michael Bartlett, Raymond Walburn, Jean Dixon, Katherine Alexander, Edith Fellows, Clara Kimball Young, Grace Hale and Charles E. Arnt. Screenplay by Sidney Buchman, story by Thyra Souter Winslow, photography by Leon Shamroy, editing by Richard Cahoon, art direction by Stephen Goosson, directed by Gregory La Cava.

“She Married Her Boss” has never been commercially released on DVD or VHS. It is available on streaming via Amazon and shows up occasionally on TCM.

Continue reading

Posted in 1935, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Los Angeles Elks’ Temple Highlights Importance of Fraternal Organizations

The Elks Temple in an undated photo.

Note: This is an encore post from 2015.

Long a glamorous, outstanding example of Neo-Gothic Architecture and the powerful force of fraternal organizations, Los Angeles’ Elks’ Temple #99 still stands proudly at 607 S. Park View St. across from MacArthur Park. Now mostly an empty shell, the striking building once housed a busy Elks’ Temple that hosted all manner of social groups, an almost holy place that exalted the power of fraternal groups to better living conditions, educational skills, and the ongoing life of their surrounding communities.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks” Lodge #99 was one of Los Angeles’ premiere fraternal and charity organizations, founded in 1888 in downtown Los Angeles. The organization allowed men to gather together in friendship as well as providing services to the community such as allowing children to grow and thrive, feeding and clothing the needy, culturally enriching their neighbors, and honoring American veterans. Originally housed on South Spring Street, the organization outgrew its location in 1908 and moved into a larger, more elegant facility on Third and South Olive Street at the top of Angels’ Flight. By 1920, the organization once again was searching for a new home, and considered buying a couple of properties over the next couple of years.

Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found” is available for the Kindle.

Continue reading

Posted in 1926, Architecture, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Follies Burlesque Dancer Scales Rosslyn Hotel!

Follies EBay

A photographer for an unidentified men’s magazine from the 1950s (Argosy? Swank? Nugget?) took a dancer with the nom de strip “Dotty Pearce” up to the roof of the Rosslyn Hotel for some pictures. The article is part of a lot of magazine clippings listed on EBay for $12.95.

Technical note: This is the side blade of the Rosslyn Hotel sign. (Nathan Marsak, this is for you!)

Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Downtown, Found on EBay, Main Street | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Los Angeles Junior League Cookbook, 1930

Junior League Cookbook

A copy of the Los Angeles Junior League cookbook from 1930 has turned up on EBay. It’s not cheap, listed as Buy it Now for $250, but then again, who can put a price on Mrs. John Russell’s recipe for prune whip with soft custard? Or Biltmore chef Gus Waser’s recipe for small cream puffs?  As Junior League cookbooks go, this is quite early and, presumably, collectible. A previous copy sold for $600.

Continue reading

Posted in 1930, Books and Authors, Food and Drink | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment