Join me on a secret government mission! (Okay, it’s actually identifying mystery stills but I got your attention, right?)

The Library of Congress needs our help and since they do so much for film preservation, it’s only fair that fans of classic cinema would pitch in. What do they need? Our braaaaaaaains!

More specifically, our knowledge of cinema. You see, there are some stills that need identifying and we’ve been asked to help. These are both silents and talkies. I know my readers are absolute wizards at this sort of thing so I am looking forward to seeing you in action. (Not the header image, obviously. We all know who that is.)

You can either leave a comment here or on the Library of Congress’s blog post. If you would like to comment here, these are the ground rules:

  1. Don’t be shy! There are no wrong answers. Type any names or titles that come to mind. Even if your comments do not identify the still, they may jog someone else’s memory.
  2. Think outside the box. Some images may not be from American films.
  3. Have fun!

Ready? Let’s go!

Mystery headshot (LoC)
Mystery headshot (LoC)


Update: The LoC has labeled the above still solved! It’s Josephine Dunn. Thanks, madfashionista!

Lumberjack/frozen north pictures were very popular in the silent era (LoC)
Lumberjack/frozen north pictures were very popular in the silent era (LoC)
Possibly Jeannette Loff? (LoC)
Possibly Jeannette Loff? (LoC)
The young lady sitting in the front corner of the second balcony has an actressy look to her (the others look to be non-professionals). Betty Compson? And Emory Johnson in the front?
(LoC)
Movie still or possibly an ad (LoC)
Movie still or possibly an ad (LoC)
Believed to be from a Brazilian production from between 1958 and 1964.
Believed to be from a Brazilian production from between 1958 and 1964. (LoC)
An actress, perhaps? (LoC)
An actress, perhaps? (LoC)
Unidentified horror/fairy tale still (LoC)
Unidentified horror/fairy tale still (LoC)

One last thing: let’s have a nice round of applause for our friendly national archivists at the LoC.

polish-dancer-applause

23 Replies to “Join me on a secret government mission! (Okay, it’s actually identifying mystery stills but I got your attention, right?)”

  1. I don’t know any of these, but I’ll be fascinated to know the answer to the Fairy Tale one. It looks like a Russian movie to me, but there’s really not enough information there to be sure.

  2. I think that the woman in the 7th picture has a resemblance to Helen Twelvetrees. Change her hair style,glamour her up a little it. Perhaps an early headshot?

  3. Hi, Fritzi.
    I’d take a risk and say the Brazilian still is from Sinfonia Carioca, from 1955.
    It was distributed by Unida Filmes, and we can read the word Unida in capital letters. We can also read in the pictured that it was censored (“censurado”), and Sinfonia Carioca was, inded, censored in 1964.
    Sinfonia Carioca stars Eliana Macedo, a blonde girl, and has lots of painted sets like this in the picture. You can see Eliana and the painted sets in this BBC page:
    http://www.bcc.org.br/fotos/galeria/013997
    I hope I have helped!

  4. I love a good mystery, so I’ll give other guesses:
    The lady in picture 3 looks a lot like Jeanette Loff – the smile is the same! I think it’s her, you’re right.
    In picture 4 the second woman sitting on the ground level could be Kay Francis.
    I’d say te woman in picture 7 is an unglamorous Una Merkel (maybe before she became an actress?).

  5. I Believe The Actor On The Right In The Lumberjack Picture Is Hobart Bosworth. he Was a Fan Of Jack London And When He Had His Own Film Company, Bosworth Pictures, He Did A Lot Of Jack London Adaptations. Also The Photo Of The Blonde With The Prominent Nose Looks Just Like Hope Hampton.

    1. Hi Glenn–Thanks for the suggestions. I will investigate. By the “woman with the prominent nose,” do you mean the photo of the woman we thought was Jeanette Loff? Thx!

      1. Yes That’s Right! I Don’t Believe That’s Jeanette Loff. The Photo Reminds Me Of A Picture Of Hope Hampton I Saw In A Book Years Ago.

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