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Mongo and others need information about this photo. PLEASE!!!


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I bought this photograph some 8 or 9 years ago at the MGM Grand Hotel in Reno, Nevada. When I bought it I thought it was Ruth Chatterton in an early MGM 1929-1931 film, like Madame X, but I'm not sure now...I'm almost 100% sure it's a still from a MGM film from the early 1930's, but I need to know the name of the actress and film. THANKS!!!


Follow the link please:



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The only MGM film I can recall, which Ms. Chatterton made in the first half of the 1930s, besides "Madame X", which I saw and I'm almost sure this production still does not belong to, is "The Lady of Scandal" (1930) opposite Basil Rathbone.


The thing is that I've seen many photos of Ms. Chatterton from this period, mostly from her Paramount films from 1928-1932, but her "look" (color of hair, hair-style, eye make-up, etc.) does not match the one of this still. That's why I'm thinking it may be another lesser-know actress from that period like Raquel Torres (not sure) or other.

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A-Lonely-Chord: When you asked me about the number of the still I began thinking that maybe there was the clue in order to "solve the mystery".


I looked at the MGM old production stills I have and realized that the first number of the still might identify the year in which the movie was filmed. I read the numbers written on all the stills and it made sense!


I have a production still from a 1927 Norma Shearer Silent which has the number 317-...written on it ("After Midnight"), so if this still featuring "The Lady with the Flowers" has written 303-71 on it, then the picture must have been taken from a SILENT film, in production in 1927! That's the conclusion to which I arrived. Hope I'm right.


Then I started looking at pictures of MGM female contract players of the years between 1925-1928 and came up with three probable candidates: Yola D'Avril, R?n?e Ador?e and Sally O'Neill.


I feel that the lady might be Sally O'Neill in one of the films in which she appeared in 1927, but I have not discarded Ador?e either, 'cos she made several movies in 1927 too. And certainly, in some of the stills I've seen of both ladies wearing similar make-up and hairstyles, they look alike to the "Lady of the Flowers".


Hope this helps someone to solve the "mystery", 'cuz it's been driving me crazy for a while.

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Hi Fernando,


I think your lady is Pauline Starke who was in an MGM movie called "Women Love Diamonds" in 1927.

She replaced Mae Murray and then Greta Garbo, who both refused to do that picture because of unfinished scripts.

I think LBM was getting even with his expensive glamour girls and gave the movie to Pauline.....


See if your investigation can yield any pictures of her in that movie. She was variously a blonde and a brunette in pictures, so she doesn't have a clear cut recognition factor, like Mae - she was blonde and there's no mistaking her!!


Hope this helps....



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Hi Fernando -


In the photo with Conrad Nagel, the actress is definitely not Ruth Chatterton, and I cannot figure out who it is for sure. I thought it might be Betty Compson, but they only made one film together, and in it she played his finance', not a secretary, which is what I assume the girl in the photo is. I also thought it might be Virginia Bruce, but I don't think so. Aside from "Kongo" which the still is definitely not from, they made one more film together in 1934 called "Dangerous Corner," at RKO. And you said the still is from MGM, so I don't think it's that movie either.


My best guess is that it's Leila Hyams, and that the scene is from "The Idle Rich." It was made by MGM in 1929, and in it Hyams plays Nagel's secretary, so it looks like that might be the answer, but I don't know for sure. If you look up pictures of Lelia Hyams on google, she does look a lot like the girl in your photo, and of course her role as a secretary in this film fits, since the girl in the photo is obviously a secretary. But like I said I don't know for sure. Check it out and tell me what you think.

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Thanks Pal,


But I've already identified Conrad Nagel's companion in the the other picture from my fotolog in another thread related to that still in this same Folder.


She's Leila Hyams and the movie is an early talkie called "The Idle Rich"....


It's the still of the "Lady with the Flowers", who first seemed to be Ruth, then I thought she was Raquel Torres, then when I realized it was a 1927 pix and I thought of Dorothy Sebastian, Yola D'Avril, R?n?e Ador?e and finally Sally O'Neill, whom I think she is....which still keeps me "stumped"

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Hi Ayres - I'm glad I'm not the only one who messed that word up!


And Fernando, I didn't realize that the girl in the photo with Conrad Nagel was already identified. I didn't see another thread relating to the photos. Anyhow, I was proud of myself that I figured out who she was, with only Conrad Nagel and MGM to go by. And I'm glad you found out who the woman in the other photo was too. Mysteries solved!


You know, it's actually kinda fun. If enough of us had old movie photos, we could start a thread devoted to identifying the stars pictured. It would make a great game in the "game" section of the website too.

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You are totally right. There's a guy in another Message Boards that can identify the films by means of the production number written on the Still, especially the MGM production Stills. Anyhow you did a great job identifying Leila and the film all by yourself Joe!!!

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