The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: 1941

Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 15, 1941

  May 15, 1941, Hess Tells British Nazi Secrets  

  image May 15, 1941, Comics  

May 15, 1941: Harry Bedford-Jones, “one of America’s most prolific writers” (and no, I’ve never heard of him either,) is filling in for Lee Shippey, who is recovering from surgery.

Nobody lives in Texas anymore. They've all come to Venezuela, says Tom Treanor, who is on a press junket sponsored by U.S. oil companies.

Dorothy ("Citizen Kane") Comingore, after furnishing a new home, must move out because of her hay fever, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 14, 1941

  Churchill to Quiz Hess  

  May 14, 1941, Comics  

May 14, 1941: Harold Lamb fills in for Lee Shippey, who is recovering from surgery.

Tom Treanor files a report from Caripe, Venezuela, where he manages to find a cold beer kept in a refrigerator that runs on kerosene.

Guy who never forgets to say thanks for a favor: Clark Gable, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Hitler Aide Rudolf Hess Flees to Scotland!

  May 13, 1941, Hess, Hitler Aide, Deserts  


May 13, 1941: Rudolf Hess, the Nazis’ No. 2 deputy, bails out  of his Messerschmitt over Scotland. He will commit suicide in Spandau prison in 1987.

Ralph Bellamy fills in for Lee Shippey, who is recovering from surgery.

Tom Treanor, who was killed covering World War II for The Times, visits an oil field in Venezuela and says the employee facilities  built by Standard Oil are cheap and dreary.

ON THE CONTRARY DEPT. (The boldface type is mine): From a Hollywood daily: “George Raft and Edward G. Robinson, after feuding for days, went at each other with blood in their eyes. Marlene Dietrich separated them,” Jimmie Fidler says. 
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 12, 1941


  May 12, 1941, Comics  

May 12, 1941: Producers have a new name for their movie: “Bahama Passage.” The working title may have provoked some unwanted reaction.  
Garner Curran fills in for Lee Shippey, who is recovering from surgery, and writes about the late Times columnist Harry Carr.

Ronald Reagan has a new Warners contract with bigger dough and promising a star buildup, Jimmie Fidler says.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 11, 1941

  May 11, 1941, Nazis Batter London  

  May 11, 1941, Fire Engulfs Whole Blocks  

  May 11, 1941, Comics  

May 11, 1941: We decided to poll a vote to decide which of the "funny men" are really funny. Bob Hope won the majority vote for originality. Milton Berle was classed as the fastest spieler with the best memory for gags (it was generally agreed that Berle doesn't mind swiping material).

George Burns won almost hands down as the best teller of anecdotes and stories. Groucho Marx was extolled as a master of dry wit. Jerry Colonna, it was agreed, isn't funny often, but is very funny on those few occasions. Harry Ritz was acclaimed as a top joke teller, especially with stories having a risque slant.

Jack Benny, most of us agreed, is seldom funny in private.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 10, 1941

  May 10, 1941, 300 Bombers Raid German Ports  

  May 10, 1941, Comics  

May 10, 1941: Times Managing Editor L.D. Hotchkiss has a long piece against using material that is off the record. He says: “The moment any speaker or person being interviewed announces ‘this is off the record,’ the press should pick up its collective hat and walk out.”
Lee Shippey, who does seven columns a week and writes books in his spare time, muses about about laziness. No, really.

NO BELLS TO: Twentieth Century-Fox for dropping Modelovely Bunny Hartley from contract on the heels of her suicide attempt. It would have been more generous to have given her a chance to regain lost perspective, Jimmie Fidler says.

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'Citizen Kane' Opens in L.A.!

  May 9, 1941, Nazi Air Losses Set Record  

  May 9, 1941, Citizen Kane  

May 9, 1941: “Citizen Kane” opens at the El Capitan and the RKO Hillstreet.

“Orson Welles strikes out in a dozen new directions with his technique of ‘Citizen Kane.’ Yet what he does can scarcely be called the work of a schooled innovator. It is rather that of the daring and gifted amateur in a new medium….

“It may be concluded that he uses the 'Rosebud' idea as a symbol of the childhood dreams of Kane, which he was forced to forego for the career of wealth mapped out for him. This change in his life resulted in his becoming a sometimes half-mad super-egotist.

“Well, it's an interesting picture, certainly. It has a great deal of art, some of which verges on the arty. It isn't a satisfying picture, however, in actual theme and the fulfillment of this idea,” Edwin Schallert says. 

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 8, 1941

  May 8, 1941, Comics  

  May 8, 1941, John McNamara Dies  

May 8, 1941: John J. McNamara, one of the key figures in the 1910 bombing of the Los Angeles Times and the bombing of the Llewellyn Iron Works , dies in Montana. His brother James had died in prison on March 8.

Lee Shippey goes home from the hospital and writes about the marvels of health insurance because healthcare is so expensive.

The United States Navy not only supervises all technical details in naval films but reserves the right to censor the completed pictures for entertainment and moral quality, Jimmie Fidler says.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 7, 1941

  May 7, 1941, Bowron Reelected  

  May 7, 1941, Comics  

May 7, 1941: Mayor Fletcher Bowron is reelected and another Times endorsement goes down in flames.

Still recovering from surgery, Lee Shippey files  a column from the hospital, this time on nurses.

Tom Treanor, who was killed covering World War II for The Times,  notes with relief that the newsmen on the press junket to Venezuela have been joined by someone who actually speaks Spanish: Walter Kerr of the New York Herald Tribune.

Ronald Reagan's been bedded three days after being "gassed" during filming of "Flight Patrol" -- he couldn't open the cockpit hood after touching fire to oil-saturated waste, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 6, 1941

  May 6, 1941, Nazis Blame U.S. for Long War  

  May 6, 1941, Comics  

May 6, 1941: Westbrook Pegler wins a Pulitzer Prize for "articles on scandals in the ranks of organized labor, which led to the expulsion and conviction of George Scalise" of the Building Service Employees International.

Lee Shippey is well enough to report on Good Samaritan Hospital. “Most of us think hospitals roll in wealth.... Yet all the seven major hospitals of Los Angeles are heavily in debt,” Shippey says.

Tom Treanor and the companions on his press junket reach Venezuela and he writes a few lines about the U.S. oil companies in Latin America. “The oil companies ... have finally gotten wise to themselves and have entered upon a vast program to foster genuine understanding and a mutual sharing of benefits,” he says.

FLOP OF THE WEEK: Columbia's "They Dare Not Love" (George Brent-Martha Scott.) An anti-Nazi bomb that fails to explode, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 5, 1941

  May 5, 1941, Hitler Defies All Democracies  

  May 5, 1941, Comics  

May 5, 1941: Lee Shippey writes about some of his hospital experiences – and the cost of healthcare.

HEADLINES (and what they mean): From a trade journal: "Hays Office Bans 'The Outlaw' Because of 'Breast Shots' of Jane Russell."

THIS MEANS, since Miss Russell's exposure could hardly be more startling than those of Veronica Lake in "I Wanted Wings," which were okayed by Hays minions, that public protests against screen naughtiness have increased to a point where the powers that be are heeding storm warnings, Jimmie Fidler says.  


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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 4, 1941

  May 4, 1941, U.S. Munitions Ships Reach Suez  

  May 4, 1941, Comics  

May 4, 1961:  Lee Shippey returns and although he doesn’t elaborate on the surgery that kept him from writing, he shows that the cost of healthcare is nothing new.
Tom Treanor has the story of an Irish major in the Shropshire Light Infantry who is being sent back to England after leaving Jamaica to help protect Curacao when Holland fell to the Nazis. 

Jimmie Fidler says: Westerns pay the bills for the costly flops produced to gratify the vanities of producers and "important" actors. Yet when their names -- Gene Autry, Bill Boyd, George O'Brien, Roy Rogers, Bill Elliott -- are mentioned in Hollywood, they either receive no recognition at all or draw a disdainful, "Oh him? He's a cowboy actor!"

And editorial cartoonist Bruce Russell carries the flag on The Times’ endorsement of Stephen Cunningham against Mayor Fletcher Bowron. As in the 1938 Frank Shaw recall and the Yorty-Poulson race of 1961, the voters of Los Angeles once again ignored The Times’ strident politicking.

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