The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: January 2011

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Matt Weinstock, Jan. 31, 1961

  Jan. 31, 1961, Comics  

Jan. 31, 1961: Matt Weinstock has an item about author Leonard Wibberley’s experiences in Portugal – recounted in the book “No Garlic in the Soup.”

DEAR ABBY: Help me make a decision that involves a child's future. Sixteen years ago I had an illegitimate son. My whole family knew about it. I refused to give him up for adoption (I was 17) so my parents, God bless them, legally adopted him. When he was 14 months old I married a good man who knew my past but didn't hold it against me. My son grew up believing me to be his sister. I now have four children of my own. They call him "Uncle." I live in fear that one day somebody is going to tell him that I am his mother -- not his sister. My husband says the boy has a right to know the truth. I'm afraid he will despise me. What is the right thing to do?

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Paul Coates, Jan. 31, 1961

  Jan. 31, 1961, Mirror Cover  

Jan. 31, 1961: After hearing reports that the Lady in Black had vanished, and then rumors that she had returned, Paul Coates interviews Ditra Flame.

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Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  Jan. 29, 2011, Mystery Photo  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

[Update: As everyone realized, this is “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” in an image published Sept. 3, 1939, with Edwin Schallert’s story about the current trend in Hollywood of "just what makes the United States tick." Please congratulate Mary Mallory, Jon Weisman, Dewey Webb, Sarah, Dennis Gilliam, Arye Michael Bender, Fibber McGee, Michael Ryerson, Pamela Porter and Ronald Emmis for identifying the photo. ]

Here’s some old school art direction: Cutting the print down to a circle.

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Matt Weinstock, Jan. 30, 1961

  Jan. 30, 1961, Comics  

Jan. 30, 1961: Can anybody do abstract art? Matt Weinstock has an item on a man who thinks so – but there’s a twist to the story.

And Abby has a follow-up on the controversy over square wedding cakes. Unfortunately, when I was scanning the microfilm I didn’t realize the column was so long that they jumped it. But you’ll get the idea.

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Paul Coates, Jan. 30, 1961


  Jan. 30, 1961, Mirror Cover  

Jan. 30, 1961: Paul Coates has a feature on Ditra Flame, who mourns at Valentino’s tomb as the Lady in Black.


The Ladies in Black on the Daily Mirror
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Jan. 30, 1941

  Jan. 30, 1941, Ban on Navy Aid to Britain Beaten  

  Jan. 30, 1941, Comics  

Jan. 30, 1941: Tom Treanor, who was killed covering World War II for The Times, writes about an unforgettable image from his tour of Europe: At the police station in Bucharest, Romania, an Iron Guardist had been chained to a post for taking a bribe to free a political prisoner. 

One more crazy gyration of Hollywood's wheel of fortune: Some two weeks ago Warner Bros. placed under long-term contract, despite her complete lack of experience, a young lady named Juanita Stark, who, for months, had been on Federal relief, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Voices -- Mohamed ElBaradei


Photo: Mohamed ElBaradei via Al Jazeera

Calm Is Urged in Iran Debate

* Mohamed ElBaradei, the U.N. nuclear agency chief, sees no imminent danger from Tehran and asks those discussing the issue to `lower the pitch.'

March 31, 2006

By Jeffrey Fleishman and Alissa J. Rubin, Times Staff Writers

BERLIN -- United Nations atomic energy chief Mohamed ElBaradei urged the international community Thursday to steer away from threats of sanctions against Iran, saying the country's nuclear program was not "an imminent threat" and that the time had come to "lower the pitch" of debate.

ElBaradei's remarks at a forum in Doha, the capital of Qatar, came at a sensitive moment in the discussions over Iran, as the United States and other members of the U.N. Security Council calculate their next steps. His comments publicly expressed the dismay that many diplomats privately have voiced about what they consider an air of crisis that the Bush administration and some European governments have created with recent statements.


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'Fantasia' Acclaimed as Film Masterpiece

  Jan. 30, 1941, Fantasia  

  Jan. 30, 1941, Fantasia  

Jan. 30, 1941: The Times publishes three items on the Los Angeles premiere of “Fantasia”: A review of the film by Edwin Schallert, a music review by Isabel Morse Jones and a color story on the event by Read Kendall, who said that Shirley Temple  (now at the advanced age of 12) almost walked into the theater without being noticed. 

Schallert says: The words most used to describe "Fantasia," besides the conventional "beautiful" and "wonderful" were "path-breaking" and "courageous." The phrase "courageous beyond belief" would be even more accurate.

Unfortunately, as a music critic Jones is no Martin Bernheimer. Here’s a sample from her review, which is the sort of old chestnut we never see anymore: "Stokowski raises his arms and commands heaven and earth and all the sound therein to do his bidding, and that is triumph enough for any mortal."

Notice that the reviews refer to commentary by Deems Taylor.  It’s been many years since I have watched “Fantasia” in its entirety but I can’t say I recall them. According to imdb, most of the Taylor sequences were removed in later releases. 
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Voices: Milton Babbitt, 1916 -- 2011

  March 7, 1986, Milton Babbitt  

  March 7, 1986, Milton Babbitt  

March 7, 1986: As he nears the age of 70, composer Milton Babbitt tells Times arts writer Marc Shulgold, "Even so-called popular composers don't really care what an audience likes. In the end, you write for yourself. Some may call it self-indulgence, but at my age, who better to indulge?"

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Hidden Artistry -- Fooling the Camera

  Mr. Smith  

  “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”  

  Tennessee Johnson  
  “Tennessee Johnson”  

Arye Michael Bender's comments on the "carved panels" in "Mr. Smith" reminded me of the painted statues in "Tennessee Johnson." Here's a better look.

Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, Jan. 29, 1941


  Jan. 29, 1941, Stowaway  

  Jan. 29, 1941, Fantasia  

Jan. 29, 1941: “Fantasia” premieres in Los Angeles tonight!

Greta Garbo, shadow boxer: Despite her yearlong idleness, the illusive Miss Garbo has managed to keep in shape by industriously dodging crowds of curious fans who are no longer there, Jimmie Fidler says. 
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Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  Jan. 28, 2011, Mystery Photo  

  Los Angeles Times file photo  

  July 26, 1970, Virgil Miller  

[Update: Here’s a fun discovery. The Times published this photo to accompany a 1970 feature on cameraman Virgil Miller. According to the caption information, this is the crew filming “Let ‘er Buck” in Pendleton, Ore., in 1924. Please congratulate Mary Mallory, Rotter and Mike Hawks for identifying director "Big Ed" Sedgwick.]

This is a particularly interesting shot. It looks like there’s a mystery keyboardist with a tiny piano or some sort of keyboard instrument. Mood music?  

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