The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: April 5, 2009 - April 11, 2009

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In the Theaters, April 10, 1933


Second Takes -- Billy Wilder

July 1, 1943: "Five Graves to Cairo" opens in Los Angeles. 

July 12, 1943: A typical post-release blurb about the film.


Nov. 5, 1942.

1942_1222_five_graves  Above, Nov. 19, 1942, Erich von Stroheim joins the production of "Five Graves to Cairo." Attempts to cast Ingrid Bergman in the film are unsuccessful. It's interesting to speculate what it would have been like with her.

At left, Dec. 22, 1942, Billy Wilder casts Anne Baxter in the role.

Here's the "Lux Radio Theater" version of "Five Graves to Cairo" with Franchot Tone and Anne Baxter.

Hedda Hopper: Jan. 16 and Jan. 23, 1943.

April 10, 1943: The war in Africa is influencing Hollywood, The Times' Edwin Schallert says.

June 1, 1943: Reports from the New York reviews of "Five Graves to Cairo." The film hasn't yet opened in Los Angeles.

June 6, 1943: The Times' Philip K. Scheuer looks into conflicting attitudes toward war films.


July 2, 1943: Schallert reviews "Five Graves to Cairo" and calls the ending "bitterly tragic." 

Coming Attractions -- Legacies From the ONE Archives Highlights from the ONE Archives' film and videotape collection will be shown at 7 p.m. April 19 at the Billy Wilder Theater. A panel discussion will feature Malcolm Boyd, Lillian Faderman, Joseph Hawkins, Don Kilhefner and Mark Thompson. Tickets are $10.

Sandy Koufax on Pitching and Pain, April 10, 1969

Photograph by Ben Olender / Los Angeles Times

Sandy Koufax makes the final pitch of the 1963 World Series.

Photograph by Art Rogers
 Los Angeles Times

Sandy Koufax winces in pain, but wins his fourth consecutive game, going seven for eight, May 23, 1966.

Sandy Koufax talked about a subject he knew too well--pain.

"Arms weren't made to do what pitchers are asked to do," said Koufax, the former Dodgers star who retired after the 1966 season because of persistent arm problems.

"The pitchers are dominating the hitters but because of the home run--everyone tries to put one out on you--the pitchers have to work harder to do it. You go through a whole lineup nowadays and you have to worry about the long ball with every batter."

Koufax was the only person quoted in the Associated Press story out of New York. As if another source was needed. Injuries cut short his incredible run with the Dodgers during which he pitched four no-hitters, including a perfect game. He won three Cy Young Awards (1963, '65 and '66) and was named the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1963. But the awards came at a great physical cost.

In The Times' story on Koufax's retirement in 1966, Charles Maher wisely just let Koufax talk: "I've had a few too many shots and taken a few too many pills. ... I had to take a shot every ballgame. That's more than I wanted to do. I had stomach aches from the pain pills. I'd be high half the time in ballgames from the pills. I don't want that." 

 Koufax said the Dodgers asked him after the 1968 season to consider a comeback but he turned them down. As Jim Murray put it in a 1966 column, "Baseball lost its left arm because Sandy Koufax didn't want to lose his."

Watch a Koufax video >>>

--Keith Thursby

Jilted Model Kills Herself, April 10, 1959


Postscript -- Eva Gabor married Richard Brown on Oct. 4, 1959. They divorced in 1972.

Nuestro Pueblo -- April 10, 1939


Found on EBay -- Raymond Chandler Letter


What appears to be an original letter by Raymond Chandler, addressed to Edgar Carter, has been listed on EBay. Bidding starts at $15.50.

Matt Weinstock -- April 9, 1959

Justice Strained

Matt_weinstockdA man who lives in an outlying section a few nights ago drove a guest, a visitor from New York, to the Biltmore Hotel. It was after midnight when he reached the downtown section.

He was driving west on 5th Street -- one-way westbound -- and turned left on Olive Street so he could let his passenger off at the hotel entrance. A gendarme nailed him.

The motorist asked what he had done wrong. He was told he had turned left from the middle lane as if it were a two-way street instead of from the extreme left curb lane. The motorist pointed out there was no traffic and he had created no hazard. He got the ticket anyway.

After he said goodbye to his passenger and drove off, he turned right -- that is, west -- on 6th Street, posted one-way eastbound. The same officer nailed him again.

HE WAS GUILTY, no question about that, and he has paid his fines. But he remains outraged. In five minutes, through ignorance, he received two moving violations. he does not like them on his record. He is a careful driver. In 20 years of driving he had received only one citation -- a questionable 551A, failure to yield on a left turn.

1959_0409_some_like_it_hot And he brings up a point that has been reiterated here. Is our traffic enforcement, as decreed by a public servant named Parker, supposed to educate, control and give guidance or merely to punish by issuing as many citations as possible? He felt that the officer, at least on the second offense, could have smiled.

Meanwhile, he has resolved his resentment into a simple statement: "Unless it's absolutely necessary I shall never go downtown again."


news photogs seemed to have flash-gunned their fill of Harry Truman Tuesday a cameraman from another paper inevitably asked for "one more."

Harry said good-naturedly, "I guess you're not a member of the Just One Club -- you didn't give the password."

"What's that?" the photog asked.

"Please," laughed the ex-president.


While waiting for a train to pass on Alameda Street, Bob Schwartz of the APCD saw four husky, grinning workmen at the California Milling Corp. -- one at each wheel -- lift a parked blue Isetta and hold it aloft a moment to see how heavy it was.


1959_0409_comics ALONG VINE STREET
they're telling of the Martian who went up to an earthman, unaware he was a Method acting coach, and said, "Take me to your leader." The acting coach studied him a moment and replied, "You're a little too tense!" -- Then there was a certain writer's comment on the last half hour of the Academy Awards clambake: "I thought Al Jarvis had gone coast-to-coast!"



Before you can go to heaven you
Must be marked Paid Up
by the Bureau of Internal Revenue



he doesn't care to discuss, H.S. has worked out this parody:

"What are you doing?"

"I'm cleaning my doghouse."

1959_0409_coates"Oh, are you a dog?"

"No, I'm a man."

"Do you think everyone should be a man?"

"That's something everyone should decide for himself, but I do think everyone should keep his doghouse clean."


Let's not panic, but the title of Hale Spark's University Explorer program on KNX Sunday will be "The Stubborn Staphylococcus." It's the germ which causes boils and stubbornly resists wonder drugs ... "Imagine!" says Frank Barron, "some day we may have war surplus atom bombs" ... Modern Medicine has this quote from a coroner's report: "An act of God under very suspicious circumstances."

Paul Coates -- April 9, 1959


Coates Talks With Exiled Boss Batista

This is another in a series of columns by Paul Coates, based on a trip to the Dominican Republic, where he interviewed ousted dictators Juan Peron andFulgencio Batista.

By PAUL V. COATES, Mirror New Columnist

Paul_coatesCIUDAD TRUJILLO, Dominican Republic, April 9 -- Fulgencio Batista, the former dictator of Cuba, may be a lonely man. But he is far from alone.

He shares his exile with one of his sons, a retinue composed of his former government officials, and a covey of bodyguards with familiar bulges in their back pockets.

When I called on him at his third-floor suite at the Hotel Jaragua here, I was stopped by two men in civilian clothes who stood in front of the door.

"I have an appointment with Senor Batista," I told them.

They nodded, but still barred the way. Their eyes gave me a quick, professional frisk. Then they motioned me to enter.

Another two men were standing in the living room of the suite.

The Once-Over

1959_0409_astronauts They watched with intense interest as my cameraman, Red Humphreys, began unloading his suspicious-looking boxes of film equipment.

Finally satisfied, they walked into the corridor and left us alone in the room.

Batista's apartment in this hotel is lavish. It has a huge terrace overlooking the ocean and a number of sitting rooms that have been turned into makeshift offices for his assistants.

While we waited for the ex-strong man to appear, a maid served us demitasses of potent Dominican coffee. I made a quick survey of the living room.

Roy Rogers en Espanol

A couple of Roy Rogers comic books in Spanish shared an end table with copies of the New York Times, the Dominican Herald and an expensively bound Havana equivalent of the Social Register.

Suddenly, Batista entered the room.

He was wearing a neat blue suit, dark tie and white shirt.

I asked him first how I should address him. Should I call him "Generalissimo" or, now that the party is over for him in Cuba, just "Senor."

A Dignified Title

1959_0409_wright_roHe spread out his hands and smiled. "Who can say when a thing is over?" he asked me. "Maybe tomorrow it will be over for Castro and not for me. Nobody can say.

 You want to know how to address me?" he went on. "My title is 'Generalissimo.' But 'Senor' is a dignified title, too. Call me that."

We sat on the terrace and talked.

I asked him to tell me the worst thing about his exile.

"The worst?" he replied. "The worst is sitting here and reading in the papers about friends -- people who worked with me in my government -- being killed. That's the worst thing.

"And," he went on, "my family. We are all separated now. I have nine children. five boys, four girls.

"Four of them are with my wife in Florida. The others are in different places in the United States. Only one, my son George, is here with me."

I mentioned to him the constant rumor in the Caribbean that Castro is planning to invade the Dominican Republic. And I asked if this worried him.

1959_0409_painter  He shook his head.

"Castro only talks," he said. "He talks like a crazy man. But I am not worried."

An aide came onto the terrace and handed him a message. He read it, grunted and handed it back.

A moment later, as we were walking back into the living room, a door somewhere in the apartment slammed shut with a loud bang.

I jumped.

Batista, the most wanted man in Latin America, looked at me and laughed.

"You were scared, huh?" he said.

Then he shook his head slowly.

"That's no good," he told me. "A man must never be scared."

In the Theaters, April 9, 1931


Second Takes -- Billy Wilder


After the opening, Paramount went to one-column ads for "The Major and the Minor," then bought larger ads once the film was held over.
"Lux Radio Theater" featured "The Major and the Minor" on May 31, 1943. Showings of "The Major and the Minor" included the Fleisher cartoon "Japoteurs," which is filled with the predictable World War II caricatures.


The Times' Philip K. Scheuer visits Billy Wilder on the set of "The Major and the Minor."



As far as I can tell, this is the closest we ever came to a review of "The Major and the Minor," and it's a pastiche of the New York reviews

This blurb is typical of the items we used to run in the 1940s and '50s about current films. Sometimes they're only one paragraph. A popular picture might get three or four brief plugs with some tidbit about one of the stars.

Jack Smith on the "dry martini" line in "The Major and the Minor."

State Tax Plan; Dodger Breaks Ankle, April 9, 1969


1969_0409_sports Tommy Davis was a star with the Dodgers, a two-time National League batting champion. Then everything changed with one slide.

Davis was headed toward second in a 1965 game at Dodger Stadium, a routine play that forever slowed his career. Davis broke his ankle trying to slide into second and although he played again, the batting champion became a well-traveled hitter with a promising past.

Davis said he "didn't know how it happened. I thought there was going to be a play on me and I came up with a new kind of slide. When I looked down, I thought my ankle was in right field."

He won consecutive batting titles by hitting .346 in 1962 and .326 in '63. But the Dodgers traded him to the Mets after the 1966 season. By 1969, Davis was starting over again with the first-year Seattle Pilots. The Times' Mitch Chortkoff visited with the former Dodger, who still had good things to say about his old team.

"I've been with four teams but the Dodgers are still special to me," he said. "I think they have a chance to be real good this year. When I heard they had won their opener I was happy for them."

His new manager, Joe Schulz, planned to play him regularly. But by August he was on the move again, to Houston. There would be more stops, including a brief stint with the Angels in 1976.

--Keith Thursby


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