Hollywood Mystery (June 21, 1934)
Released on June 21, 1934: A movie studio pretends to hire a real hoodlum to star in their next gangster movie, but the fake gangster is suddenly threatened by a real mobster who wants to kill him.
Produced by Fanchon Royer
Directed by B. Reeves Eason
Written by William Bloecher and John T. Neville
The Actors: June Clyde (Doris Dawn), Frank Albertson (Daniel Patrick Ryan), Jose Crespo (Tony Capello), Tenen Holtz (Benjanmin Vogel), John Davidson (Siegfried Sonoff), Stanley Price (Joe Romano), Cyril Ring (Duke, Tony's assistant), Edith Terry Preuss (Marie), Frances Morris (Daisy, Dan's secretary), William H. O'Brien (Tony's butler), Monte Vandergrift (reporter)
Gangsters and Hoodlums in Hollywood
Fanchon Pauline Royer was born in 1902 in Des Moines, Iowa, but by the time she was a teenager she was living in Hollywood with her divorced mother. She quickly discovered that motion pictures were her passion, but she failed to get acting jobs in anything other than small bit parts.
She tried writing for a movie fan magazine, and although she enjoyed earning a living as part of the motion picture business she was still restless. She worked as a freelance publicity agent and magazine columnist writing movie reviews but none of her jobs filled a small empty spot in her soul . . . .
Until one spring day while waiting for her husband in a Hollywood café she suddenly had a burst of inspiration. She walked down the street to her bank and borrowed enough money to produce her own motion picture.
In this fast-paced comedy that was originally named 'Hollywood Hoodlum,' Fanchon Royer has produced an independent ‘B’ movie about an independent ‘B’ movie producer who is talked into making a gangster movie with a real-life gangster in the leading part.
Of course, this is Hollywood, so nothing is as it is advertised, thanks to a fast-talking publicity agent. All of Hollywood believes that the star of the movie is really a gangster . . . . Including a real mobster who wants to rub out the fake gangster acting like a real gangster in a movie about a gangster in an independent movie produced by an independent lady producer. Confused yet? Don’t worry, you’ll understand it all as it unfolds.
A few years after producing this movie, Fanchon produced a movie that has the only known appearance of another woman who is famous because of her husband, and the only known photo and appearance of this famous woman is in a Fanchon movie production.
Magician and escape artist Harry Houdini wanted to know if living people could really communicate with the dead, so he made a pact with his wife Bess that included a secret word known only to him and her. They decided that whichever of them died first would try to communicate with the remaining partner.
Harry Houdini tragically died before his wife, and she spent several years with spiritual mediums who promised to connect her with her dead husband. After many failed attempts, Mrs. Harry Houdini paid Fanchon Royer to produce a movie about her experiences that you can watch here, including a scene with the real Bess Houdini: Relgious Racketeers.
Pop a bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy both shows.
Frances Morris and Frank Albertson
John Davidson, Frank Albertson and June Clyde
John Davidson and José Crespo
José Crespo races home
June Clyde and Frank Albertson
June Clyde and José Crespo
Stanley Price and José Crespo
Stanley Price and José Crespo
Tenen Holtz and Frank Albertson
Tenen Holtz and José Crespo
William H. O'Brien