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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  Los Angeles Times file photo  

[Update: This is a production shot from “Tennessee Johnson,” published Jan. 2, 1943. The fellow  on the ladder with the gloves is director William Dieterle.]

In this mystery scene, we have a large room, a big cast, and lots of lights!



Here’s our mystery camera crew….


… maybe a lighting director can explain what’s going on here. Looks like a combination of spots and diffused lights. 


[Update: This is Van Heflin as Andrew Johnson.]

… our mystery talent …


[Update: William Dieterle is the gloved fellow.]

… our mystery fellow on a ladder …


… and mystery guys standing around.

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Comments (10)


It's the Tea Party taking over Congress. No, it's the Know Nothings in the Senate. No, maybe its "The Gorgeous Hussy" (1936) about Pres. Andrew Jackson if you're on a Joan Crawford kick.

I bet the set got used again for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

The movie set is Tennessee Johnson and actor is Van Heflin

Looks like it's ether a stage scene of the U.S House of Representin' or the US Senate. I need to think about the actor (can't make out the shot, could be Van Heflin), but the movie could be, "Tennessee Johnson" (1942)

Guessing this is from 'The President's Lady', with C. Heston properly cast as A. Jackson. They both were tall and liked guns.

My bet is the 1942 film "Tennessee Johnson"-with the scene of Van Heflin, as former and impeached President Andrew Johnson, being welcomed back to the U.S. Senate.

It's Andrew Johnson, the impeached former president, returning to his senate seat after the Confederate states returned to the Union. Van Heflin stars in "Tennessee Johnson." The portrayal would be different today.

"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

It's director William Diertele standing on the ladder, he was known for wearing white gloves.


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