The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Film

Voices: James Arness, 1923 – 2011

  June 18 1954, Them  

  March 8, 1955, Gunsmoke  

James Arness, from “Them!” to “Gunsmoke” and "How the West Was Won." Times TV critic Howard Rosenberg interviewed Arness (or tried to) in 1981 as he began working on “McClain’s Law.” Arness was thrifty with his comments – except when it came to the environment. 

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, June 2, 1941

  June 2, 1941, Dolly Sister,  

  June 2, 1941, Comics  

June 2, 1941: The pajama-clad body of Hungarian-born danseuse Jenny Dolly, who with her sister Rosie was the toast of two continents two decades ago, was found dangling from a wrought-iron curtain rod in her luxurious Hollywood apartment, 1735 N. Wilcox Ave., The Times says. 

TWENTIETH CENTURY-FOX AT A GLANCE: Granite-eyed gatemen relaxing into big grins as Jane Withers drives past, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Maltese Falcon, 1931

  June 8, 1931, Malese Falcon  

  June 8, 1931, Maltese Falcon  

June 1931: Warner Bros. releases “The Maltese Falcon,” starring Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels. Although the film is little more than an obscure curiosity today, it made a deep impression at the time.  Reviewing the now-famous 1941 remake, The Times’ Philip K. Scheuer  said the 1931 version “pales into insignificance.”

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, June 1, 1941

  June 1, 1941, Iraq Conquered by British Troops  

  image June 1, 1941, Streetcar  
  June 1, 1941, Streetcar
June 1, 1941, Streetcar


June 1, 1941: LONDON, May 31. (AP)-- German airmen who went belatedly to Iraq to bolster the Axis-inspired war against Britain were reported fleeing the country tonight as Iraqi resistance collapsed. British imperial advance forces entered the disorderly capital of Bagdad.

Lee Shippey says the  argument in the Seymour house always begins in May: Should we turn off the furnace? 

Probably you've seen some of the new jukebox "soundies" and formed your own opinion of them. I've just previewed 24 at one sitting, all produced by composer Sam Coslow, and I'm convinced that big movie moguls, instead of regarding them with contempt, should give them special attention, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Audie Murphy Dies in Plane Crash, June 1, 1971

  June 1, 1971, Comics  

June 1, 1971: World War II hero Audie Murphy, whose record as the Army's most decorated soldier launched a movie career, dies in a plane crash with five other people.

Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor, two Silver Stars, a Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts, the Distinguished Service Cross and the Legion of Merit, The Times said. 

Bonus fact: He was married for former Movieland Mystery Photo guest Wanda Hendrix!

DEAR ABBY: What do you do with a nagging husband? We've been married for 15 years and have five children ranging from 6 to 13. This man nags me from the minute he gets home from work until I go to bed at night.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 31, 1941

  May 31, 1941, Arthur Hohmann's Son Dies  

  May 31, 1941, Comics  

May 31, 1941 – Arthur Hohmann, the LAPD’s reform police chief, will step down in June, citing the deaths of his son and his mother. He was replaced by Clemence C.B. “Jack” Horrall, who served as chief during World War II and retired in 1949 during the Brenda Allen scandal.

Lee Shippey says: It is strange how masterminds disagree as to whether the president's speech last Tuesday means war. So I think I should clear up the matter for my readers.

The speech does not necessarily mean war. All it means is that we must fight or the Nazis must surrender. I'm not joking. I do not think it impossible that the Nazis will surrender.

Also on the jump:  The Times opposes gasoline conservation, Daylight Saving Time and other measures as the country moves toward  wartime stringency measures. Typically, The Times says that the real way to prepare for war is to forbid strikes by unions!

And yes, The Times’ editorial page featured a Bible quote every day for many years.

HOLLYWOOD AFTER DARK: Carole Lombard grinning apologetically at the Hollywood and Vine traffic cop as her car rolls too far into the intersection, Jimmie Fidler says.

Also From The Times’ Editorial Page:

Don’t Recall Mayor Frank Shaw, 1938
Don’t Change Immigration Quotas for Jewish Refugees Fleeing Hitler, 1938
We Don’t Need a Federal Anti-Lynching Law, 1938
U.S. Shouldn’t Recognize Red China, 1959
Times Endorses Nixon, 1960

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Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  May 28, 2011, Mystery Photo  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

[Update: This is Lisa Eilbacher in a photo published Nov. 24, 1977. Please congratulate JM Green, Cold in Phoenix, Barbara, Mary Mallory and Candy C for identifying her. ] 

Here’s our weekend mystery gal!

There’s a new photo on the jump!

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Found on EBay – Symphony Theater

  Symphony Theater, 1921  

  Symphony Theater, 1921  


Oct. 9, 1921, Never Weaken Oct. 8, 1921, Never Weaken

A photograph of what appears to be the opening of Harold Lloyd’s 1921 “Never Weaken” has been listed on EBay. The vendor erroneously says that the theater is the Mason Opera House, but The Times shows that the film premiered at the Symphony, at 6th Street and Broadway, and a few letters of the word “Symphony” are  visible  behind Lloyd’s picture.

I don’t encounter the Symphony Theater very often in the old clips. It opened Aug. 29, 1914, “on the east side of Broadway near Sixth,” The Times said.  The theater was apparently demolished in 1923.

Bidding on the photo starts at $9.99.

Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 28, 1941

  May 28, 1941, President Declares Emergency  

  May 28, 1941, Comics  

May 28, 1941: LONDON, May 27 (AP) -- The 35,000-ton German battleship Bismarck, one of the newest and most powerful in the world, was smashed and sunk today by British warships and aerial bombers on the fifth morning of as coldly implacable a chase as sea warfare has ever known.

Jimmie Fidler says: Tucked away in a corner of the Los Angeles Times the other day was an item that left me cold with rage.... The item to which I refer digested down to this: "The Hollywood Guild may have to close its doors and cease aiding unfortunate members of the film industry because the drain of foreign charities has cut so deeply into the guild's income as to threaten its existence.”

FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! How can American-born actors and executives of the movie industry be so blind? How can they continue to pour thousands of dollars into foreign relief funds, meanwhile ignoring the pitiful cry of indigents right here at home?

Also on the jump: A map of the Bismarck’s demise by Times artist Charles Owens.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 27, 1941

  May 27, 1941, Battle Raging in Atlantic  

  May 27, 1941, Comics  

image  LONDON, May 27 (Tuesday.) (AP) -- British warships apparently were engaged in a mighty duel with a German battle squadron, including the 35,000-ton Bismarck, in the North Atlantic early today after a British naval plane rammed an aerial torpedo into the Bismarck.

Lee Shippey has an item on Homer Lea (d. 1912), the author of the 1909 book "The Valor of Ignorance." (The book is also listed on Despite considerable physical handicaps, Lea became a military advisor to Sun Yat-sen and his observations on Japan were widely studied during World War II. (I wrote a long post about Lea for the 1947project. Stay tuned for another one on the Daily Mirror.)

The home for destitute actors, to be built near Hollywood with Motion Picture Relief Fund money, will be named "Roosevelt Home," Jimmie Fidler says.  

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Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

  May 23, 2011, Mystery Photo  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

[Update 2: Yes, I got tricky. There were two Jack Lamberts in the Jack Lambert envelope!

[BAD MAN ... 1800 style ... is popular character actor Jack Lambert, here seen as the villainous Valentine, right-hand man to bandit Wallace Beery in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's "Big Jack." Beneath the scar and coonskin cap, Lambert's really a solid citizen who would sooner kid than kill. In addition to Beery, the cast includes Richard Conte, Marjorie Main, Vanessa Brown and Edward Arnold. Richard Thorpe directed, Gottfried Reinhardt, producing.

[Jack Lambert -- Popular character actor. Latest release "Big Jack" opposite the late Wallace Beery. Just finished featured lead in "Stars in My Crown" opposite Joel McCrea for M-G-M. Lambert has played in 35 pictures in 4 years.

[The photo is stamped July 26, 1949. ]

[Update: This is everybody’s favorite villain! Please congratulate Julie Merholz, Bob Levinson, Michael Ryerson, Jenny M, Fibber McGee, Lee Ann Thom and Megan, [Update: Mike Hawks], Carmen, Mary Mallory and Don Danard (via email) for identifying him!] 

Here’s a tough-looking mystery fellow!

There’s a new photo on the jump!




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Coming Attractions: Silent Movies!

  Aug. 8, 1920, Humoresque  

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is presenting Summer of Silents, nine selections chosen from movies that were awarded Photoplay magazine’s  Medal of Honor. Except for “The General,” the films will be shown on Monday nights at 7 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., starting June 13 and concluding Aug. 8. Most presentations will include opening remarks by a film historian.

A pass for the series is $25 ($20 for Academy members and students). Tickets for individual films go on sale June 1.

The films are:

June 13, "Humoresque" plus "One Week" (1920), Cari Beauchamp.

June 20, "Tol'able David" plus "Never Weaken" (1921), David Shepard.

June 27, "Robin Hood" plus "Pay Day" (1922), Jeffrey Vance.

July 11, "The Covered Wagon" (1923) plus fragments of "Abraham Lincoln" (1924) and 3-D images from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1923).

July 18, "The Big Parade" (1925), Kevin Brownlow.

July 20, "The General" (1927), Kevin Brownlow.

July 25, "Beau Geste" plus "Saturday Afternoon" (1926), Frank Thompson.

Aug. 1, "7th Heaven" (1927) plus "Mighty Like a Moose" (1926) and a fragment of "The Patriot" (1928), Janet Bergstrom.

Aug. 8, "Four Sons" plus "Two Tars"and a fragment of "The Case of Lena Smith" (1928).

Further information is here.


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