Feb. 17, 1953: This is how I got here. I started researching the Lionel Atwill sex scandal of 1941 and discovered that before his career was derailed, Atwill planned to produce a film of the novel “The Dark River” by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. The project was never filmed, but the novel resurfaced in 1953 in a production that was to star Macdonald Carey.
That project was also never filmed, but the Feb. 17, 1953, column by Edwin Schallert about the movie referred to the Edward D. Wood Jr. production titled “Transvestite” that was released as “Glen or Glenda?”
And in searching for “Transvestite,” I discovered the March 4, 1953, story of Arnold Lowman, a chemist and part-owner of a cosmetics company who was suing his ex-wife to get upsupervised visits with their son, Brent. Lowman's ex-wife, Dorothy, objected to anything but supervised visitation, "principally on her former husband's admitted propensity for feminine apparel," The Times said.
Judge Clarence E. Johns decided in favor of Lowman, giving him custody one day a week and on alternate holidays.
Stay tuned for the Lionel Atwill case. It’s complicated, and The Times was squeamish about some of the details.