The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Tom Treanor

'Citizen Kane' Opens in L.A.!

  May 9, 1941, Nazi Air Losses Set Record  

  May 9, 1941, Citizen Kane  

May 9, 1941: “Citizen Kane” opens at the El Capitan and the RKO Hillstreet.

“Orson Welles strikes out in a dozen new directions with his technique of ‘Citizen Kane.’ Yet what he does can scarcely be called the work of a schooled innovator. It is rather that of the daring and gifted amateur in a new medium….

“It may be concluded that he uses the 'Rosebud' idea as a symbol of the childhood dreams of Kane, which he was forced to forego for the career of wealth mapped out for him. This change in his life resulted in his becoming a sometimes half-mad super-egotist.

“Well, it's an interesting picture, certainly. It has a great deal of art, some of which verges on the arty. It isn't a satisfying picture, however, in actual theme and the fulfillment of this idea,” Edwin Schallert says. 

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 8, 1941

  May 8, 1941, Comics  

  May 8, 1941, John McNamara Dies  

May 8, 1941: John J. McNamara, one of the key figures in the 1910 bombing of the Los Angeles Times and the bombing of the Llewellyn Iron Works , dies in Montana. His brother James had died in prison on March 8.

Lee Shippey goes home from the hospital and writes about the marvels of health insurance because healthcare is so expensive.

The United States Navy not only supervises all technical details in naval films but reserves the right to censor the completed pictures for entertainment and moral quality, Jimmie Fidler says.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 7, 1941

  May 7, 1941, Bowron Reelected  

  May 7, 1941, Comics  

May 7, 1941: Mayor Fletcher Bowron is reelected and another Times endorsement goes down in flames.

Still recovering from surgery, Lee Shippey files  a column from the hospital, this time on nurses.

Tom Treanor, who was killed covering World War II for The Times,  notes with relief that the newsmen on the press junket to Venezuela have been joined by someone who actually speaks Spanish: Walter Kerr of the New York Herald Tribune.

Ronald Reagan's been bedded three days after being "gassed" during filming of "Flight Patrol" -- he couldn't open the cockpit hood after touching fire to oil-saturated waste, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 6, 1941

  May 6, 1941, Nazis Blame U.S. for Long War  

  May 6, 1941, Comics  

May 6, 1941: Westbrook Pegler wins a Pulitzer Prize for "articles on scandals in the ranks of organized labor, which led to the expulsion and conviction of George Scalise" of the Building Service Employees International.

Lee Shippey is well enough to report on Good Samaritan Hospital. “Most of us think hospitals roll in wealth.... Yet all the seven major hospitals of Los Angeles are heavily in debt,” Shippey says.

Tom Treanor and the companions on his press junket reach Venezuela and he writes a few lines about the U.S. oil companies in Latin America. “The oil companies ... have finally gotten wise to themselves and have entered upon a vast program to foster genuine understanding and a mutual sharing of benefits,” he says.

FLOP OF THE WEEK: Columbia's "They Dare Not Love" (George Brent-Martha Scott.) An anti-Nazi bomb that fails to explode, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 5, 1941

  May 5, 1941, Hitler Defies All Democracies  

  May 5, 1941, Comics  

May 5, 1941: Lee Shippey writes about some of his hospital experiences – and the cost of healthcare.

HEADLINES (and what they mean): From a trade journal: "Hays Office Bans 'The Outlaw' Because of 'Breast Shots' of Jane Russell."

THIS MEANS, since Miss Russell's exposure could hardly be more startling than those of Veronica Lake in "I Wanted Wings," which were okayed by Hays minions, that public protests against screen naughtiness have increased to a point where the powers that be are heeding storm warnings, Jimmie Fidler says.  


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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 4, 1941

  May 4, 1941, U.S. Munitions Ships Reach Suez  

  May 4, 1941, Comics  

May 4, 1961:  Lee Shippey returns and although he doesn’t elaborate on the surgery that kept him from writing, he shows that the cost of healthcare is nothing new.
Tom Treanor has the story of an Irish major in the Shropshire Light Infantry who is being sent back to England after leaving Jamaica to help protect Curacao when Holland fell to the Nazis. 

Jimmie Fidler says: Westerns pay the bills for the costly flops produced to gratify the vanities of producers and "important" actors. Yet when their names -- Gene Autry, Bill Boyd, George O'Brien, Roy Rogers, Bill Elliott -- are mentioned in Hollywood, they either receive no recognition at all or draw a disdainful, "Oh him? He's a cowboy actor!"

And editorial cartoonist Bruce Russell carries the flag on The Times’ endorsement of Stephen Cunningham against Mayor Fletcher Bowron. As in the 1938 Frank Shaw recall and the Yorty-Poulson race of 1961, the voters of Los Angeles once again ignored The Times’ strident politicking.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 3, 1941

  May 3, 1941, Nazi-Backed Iraq Battles British  

  May 3, 1941, Comics  

May 3, 1941: Novelist James Hilton fills in for Lee Shippey, who is recovering from surgery. (I must say, I’m impressed by the number of authors among Shippey’s friends).

Tom Treanor, who was killed covering World War II for The Times, files a report from Curacao, noting that Royal Dutch Shell maintains the world's third-largest refinery there. He watches the tankers leave for England and speculates on their chances against the Nazis.

“A certain number of tankers, loaded with high-octane gasoline, turn red and a certain number of seamen, a large number, die for England. It made us feel funny watching them go out so slowly and so bravely, so steadily for England,” he says.

BELLS TO 12-year-old Roddy McDowall for his one-man campaign, which broke down studio red tape and landed his chum, Wells Wohlwend, a 20th Century-Fox stock job, Jimmie Fidler says. 

Also on the jump: Bruce Russell’s editorial cartoon on fighting over Iraq’s oil.
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 2, 1941

  May 2, 1941, Battle Rages in Drive to Suez  

  May 2, 1941, Comics  

May 2, 1941: Darrell Ware, filling in for Lee Shippey, writes about the opening of trout season.

I've yet to see Adolphe Menjou in evening attire sans a boutonniere, Jimmie Fidler says 
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 1, 1941

  May 1, 1941, Lefty O'Doul  

  May 1, 1941, Comics  

May 1, 1941: Alan Le May fills in for Lee Shippey, who is recovering from surgery.

S.S. Santa Rosa -- Like your appendix, this cruise is just a vestige of time gone by. As we slide through the soft Caribbean, looking through the open roof of the dining room to the glitter of the Southern Cross, we're living in a half-forgotten glory that war has already destroyed. We're living in the just finished past. These careless, happy-go-lucky voyages seem almost certain to come to an end. They won't belong on seas maybe crawling with submarines.

I'm tipped (and I believe) the George-Raft - Edward G. Robinson feud stories are a publicity stunt leading to their fight scene in "Man Power," Jimmie Fidler says.
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, April 30, 1941

  April 30, 1941 U.S. Navy May Patrol War Zone  

  April 30, 1941, Comics  

April 30, 1941: Horatio Winslow fills in for columnist Lee Shippey, who is recovering from surgery, with a piece about the Women's Ambulance and Defense Corps of America. The organization, unofficially supported by the Army, is intended to respond to local emergencies, Winslow says. 

Tom Treanor pays the price of not getting a visa when his ship visits Bermuda.

With George Raft and Edward G. Robinson refusing to speak, W.B. execs are punch drunk trying to soothe wounded feelings and get "Man Power" finished," Jimmie Fidler says.
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, April 28, 1941

  April 28, 1941, Comics  

  April 28, 1941, Nazi Film  

April 28, 1941: Irvin S. Cobb fills in for Lee Shippey, who is still recovering from surgery.
Tom Treanor files a report from a press junket to Venezuela, saying that reporters are treating it as a vacation while the sponsors consider it serious business. The trip was organized by Standard Oil, the Grace Line and “various business interests," Treanor said.

That George Raft-Edward G. Robinson feud has become so venomous that their portable dressing rooms have now been moved to opposite sides of the stage, Jimmie Fidler says.

I can find no further information about “Dr. Koch,” the purported Nazi film that was banned from being shown at the Pacific Electric Theater,  627 S. Los Angeles St. It might be “Robert Koch, der Bekämpfer des Todes.”

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, April 27, 1941

  April 27, 1941, Nazis Batter at Gates of Greece  

  April 27, 1941, Comics  

April 27, 1941: Lee Shippey files  a column from his hospital bed!

OUR PARTY FOR VENEZUELA met in the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center before sailing today. We could look out across the city at the spires which last year seemed as solid as rock cliffs, but now look fragile and brittle for bombs in the pearly, iridescent haze, touched today with sun and faintest color of the rainbow, Tom Treanor says. 
Few stars can wear an evening gown with such dazzling effect as Loretta Young, Jimmie Fidler says.

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