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Movieland Mystery Photo – Special Edition [Updated]

May 18, 2011 |  6:49 am

  Lionel Comport photo  

image Lionel Comport photo

There’s a saying at the Daily Mirror HQ: “Any day I can do research is a good day.” And Tuesday was certainly an excellent day. I spent the morning with Caroline Comport discussing her research project on her grandfather, Lionel Comport, who survived being shot in 1901 while making his rounds as a milkman and became a successful Hollywood animal trainer. (He raised dairy cows. Movie studios rented cattle for films. The rest is history.)

Lionel, at the center of the photo on the right, posed with an unidentified movie crew and many years later wrote on the back of the print that it was taken at Red Rock Canyon between 1904 and 1907, but his age at the time and the crews’ clothing indicate a later date. 
I’m hoping the Daily Mirror’s Brain Trust will pitch in and help identify the people in this photo – and possibly the movie. Enlargements are on the jump.

[Update: The first responses are in: Zasu Pitts, Slim Summerville and a young Mickey Rooney. More on the jump!]

[Update 2: A big thanks to everyone who pitched in and helped identify this photo as the crew of "Love Birds," especially Mary Mallory, who provided a plot summary of the film. I'd also like to thank Don Danard, who sent his information via email. This is another lesson in why people should label pictures as soon as possible and not leave mystery photos for their grandchildren!] 

  Lionel Comport photo  

  Lionel Comport photo  

  Lionel Comport photo  

Lionel Comport photo

Several folks have identified this mystery person as Zasu Pitts, which was my hunch.

Lionel Comport photo

Readers have also identified this young fellow as Mickey Rooney, which seems correct to me.

Lionel Comport photo

The Brain Trust says this is Slim Summerville.

But we’re not done with the mystery….  IMDB suggests this movie is “Love Birds,” a 1934 film from Universal directed by William A. Seiter. However, the IMDB entry is empty except for a cast list and a citation from “Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood.” There’s nothing about the film in The Times clips, although I can find their other film collaborations from this era, such as “They Just Had to Get Married,” “Out All Night” and “Her First Mate.”  Hm.