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John Barrymore? Monte Blue? ACJ Still Mystery Discussion    Feb 28, '09 4:22 PM
by jane for historicalziegfeld Feb 28, 2009

Please read all comments. David is unsure of the attribution of this photo though it does appear in the LOC ACJ collection but with the actor named as Monte Blue according to Bob's LOC CD. I explain in comments where I got this copy from. I can't remember where the film title came from.

George very thoroughly explains why this is not from Don Juan and instead "...looks more like "The Beloved Rogue" than "Don Juan.""

Please read his full comment for reasons why. I would like agreement on this from someone familiar with Barrymore films... as if George doesn't know??? George knows!

Thanks so much G, and thanks too for your patience :)

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  • historicalzg - 1Reply
    profdash wrote on Dec 26, '08
    I wonder about the attribution of this photograph.

    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Dec 30, '08
    Hi David :smile: Sorry to be late as usual.

    This was sold by D Mark from Americana Auctions years back (who I recently found out passed away last year) as ACJ along with many other ACJs. Bob Hudovernik also said this was ACJ and it is the Library of Congress (although they'd misnamed the actor as Monte Blue, I believe) as being ACJ (is included on Bob's LOC cd, pg 3 #111) so I am pretty sure the attribution is correct.

    Another to add to your list? Thanks so much!

    gumlegs wrote on Feb 1, '09

    I could be wrong about this, but it looks more like "The Beloved Rogue" than "Don Juan." I think that's Slim Summerville looking at the man wearing the hat. I think, too, that's Dick Sutherland with his arm on the leg crusher. They were both in "The Beloved Rogue," but only Sutherland was in "Don Juan," and that was an uncredited role as a Gentleman of Rome. His position here isn't that of a gentleman.

    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Feb 24, '09
    I doubt that you're wrong since you've never been wrong here :smile: I can't remember if the film was named when D Mark sold it. I'll move this to a new album and see if John or someone who has Bob's LOC CD has it with a film name or untitled as I've messed up my cd.

    Thanks... and thanks so much for your usual patience.

    gilesnemeton wrote on Mar 1, '09
    someone in this pic is supposed to be Monte Blue---i think the guy leaning on the desk looks most like a young monte...

    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Mar 2, '09
    Monte Blue was named on the LOC copy. Can you email me the LOC copy please, John? Thanks!

    gumlegs wrote on Mar 2, '09
    I'm still voting for the hatless gentleman leaning on the desk as Slim Summerville. The still at the link is from a 1932 Universal film, but his face is at the same angle as the man above. Comments? [added Slim Summerville pic into the album]

    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Mar 18, '09
    Now I have no idea but of course that's me as far as id's go. Slim has sort of a cleft, no his chin has a curve to it that I don't see in this in this pic. But of course, makeup could do that. Otherwise he looks very much like him to me, yes.

    Monte Blue... I've collected a few pics of him while I've been gone and this could be him though the person at the desk looks exceptionally jowlly and his chin protrudes more but of course again, makeup could do all that plus age him and add all that weight.

    gilesnemeton wrote on Mar 19, '09
    Was Profdash questioning the attribution of Monte... or ACJ???


    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Mar 22, '09
    Of ACJ. And Gumlegs is questioning the attribution of the film being Don Juan. However, like I said, it's in the LOC as being by ACJ and now that you've kindly resent the photo from Bob's LOC cd, it's just named Monte Blue in the LOC. I found a few photos I'm going to add in a bit that might clear things up some.

    gumlegs wrote on Mar 22, '09
    If that's Monte Blue in the still we have more work to do. He's not listed in the cast of either "Don Juan" or The Beloved Rogue."

    Perhaps the LOC has it confused with "Orphans of the Storm," in which Blue appeared as Danton? The lighting in "Orphans," however, is nothing like the lighting in the still above. (Opinion time: "Orphans" was released in 1922, and could have been shot much earlier judging from its lighting. Our mystery still looks very much like a late silent).

    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Mar 22, '09, edited on Mar 22, '09
    OK, photos added. I remember when I bought the LOC cd from Bob I told him the photo was of Barrymore and not Monte Blue and he said that ACJ didn't remember all of the names and that there were some errors. Perhaps it's just misnamed and has nothing to do with Monte Blue at all. Perhaps you're correct, G! ACJ named them, not the LOC.

    Thanks for checking the cast, G! So Monte Blue isn't in either, duh!!!

    From the stills I've added, I would have to say it's definitely not from The Beloved Rogue. In that film, his hair was always gray or silver. Slim Summerville is shown in two of them and his character is nothing like the person shown in the debated still.

    However, Barrymore's hair is the same as in the Don Juan still as is his shirt though both could mean nothing? I've included some photos of Monte Blue for the heck of it.

    So opinions? Does anyone else feel that The Beloved Rogue can be ruled out?

    gilesnemeton wrote on Mar 22, '09
    The only way i can see to clear this up is IF---IF someone has an original copy of this pic--with a decent snipe and credit on the back.....
    we can speculate all we want and still be dead wrong...

    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Mar 22, '09
    That's true but for some reason D. Mark didn't post the verso when he sold it... and also didn't sell it as an ACJ. I didn't know it was one till I saw it on Bob's LOC cd. He only sold it as being from Don Juan which is why I had it named that but like I said, he didn't show the verso which he never did in his ebay auctions as far as I can recall... but you know what my memory is like.

    profdash wrote on Mar 23, '09
    I've gone back and forth about whether this is ACJ or not. John Kobol loved the stills for the movie but thought them created by the cinematographer. This is definitely Don Juan, definitely Barrymore, and probably shot by photographer John Ellis, who began his career as a portraitist in Washington, D.C., but broke big in Hollywood for his fantastic stills for "Omar the Tentmaker." I've seen one still w/ an Ellis credit with Barrymore wearing these pants, but not located in the dungeon. Harold Dean Carsey shot portrait stills for publicity connected with this release as well.

    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Mar 24, '09
    David, you're talking about the scanned image in the Misc ACJ pics folder then, right? Not the LOC still identified as being by ACJ?

    gumlegs wrote on Mar 29, '09
    TCM is running "Don Juan" as I type this. I'll report what I see.

    gumlegs wrote on Mar 30, '09
    I watched “Don Juan” on TCM last night, it all its Vitaphoned glory. It has some nice touches and some very silly ones, but it was fun.

    What it did not have was a scene remotely like the one in our disputed still. I realize that this could merely be a scene missing from the current print, but there are other reasons for my suspicion that it’s from another film. Whether that film is “The Beloved Rogue” can’t be determined from a viewing of “Don Juan,” of course, but given what I just saw, I’m ruling out “Don Juan.”

    I was aware that the scene depicted in the still might be missing, so I looked for other clues. I took note, particularly, of Barrymore’s shoes in our still. The vamp (the part of the shoe that goes up the top of the instep), flares out and up. This is unlike any of the shoes Barrymore wears in the other “Don Juan” stills, but those may simply not show this particular costume detail.

    Unfortunately, the film doesn’t show this costume detail either. All of the shoes he wore are like the ones in the next still, “DJ456” per the ID in the lower right hand side of the image – the shoes seem to be covered by his leggings. He didn’t always wear the leggings with one striped leg, but irrespective of leg covering, his shoes always conformed to that design.

    “DJ456” also shows the only dungeon scene, although Barrymore does escape into the next cell holding the deranged husband of one of his lovers. There is no torture scene.

    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Apr 1, '09
    Thank you so much for this detailed viewing, G! Who else but you would know that "the part of the shoe that goes up the top of the instep" is called the vamp? Dear Maestro, you must go win millions on Jeopardy!!!

    Now that you've viewed the film and given us all the details I must agree with you. Thank you!

    From your description of the shoes did it seem that these were the shoes in The Beloved Rogue? This still just doesn't seem to be one similar to those posted to me but what do I know.

    gumlegs wrote on Apr 1, '09
    I'm just not sure that the shoes in our still match those in "The Beloved Rogue." I think they do, but I'm going off an old memory of the film. Let's all admit among ourselves that my memory is not as reliable as it was when I could remember things reliably.

    Whenever that was.

    In any case, the search continues.

    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Apr 2, '09
    I can't promise to remember that your memory is not as reliable as it was when you could remember things reliably, G. Sorry but my memory is not reliable.

    OK, so we are at an impasse!

    Lovely work everyone :smile: Thanks again so much Maestro for watching the delightful film which had some good moments and some silly moments :smile:

    gilesnemeton wrote on Apr 2, '09
    IT may be that it was a publicity still taken out of context and shows no scene in the movie....but it should show the costumes shown in the movie in question....but at this far a remove from the publish date it will be hard to prove anything, one way or the other....


    ziegfeldgrrl wrote on Apr 2, '09
    That's a good point, John, thanks. We may never know.
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