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October 6, 2010  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Counter Space
Mystery Film Still Contest!

Mystery Film Still No. 1

We are very lucky to have the resources and colleagues we do here at MoMA, but sometimes we need extra help. For example, our much-loved exhibition title, Counter Space—to give credit where credit is due—was provided by Architecture & Design superfan Andrew Ashwood. Now we need YOUR help with another kitchen-y project…and why not add some fun by making it a contest?

After a full day this summer spent exploring the impressive film still archive of our Film Department, we returned with a wonderful group of photographs, all set in kitchens. These are now on view in the exhibition in pre- and postwar slideshows, and a selection is also available here. They provide an excellent record of the important cinematic roles kitchens have played in every decade. In film as in real life, kitchens are memorable settings for scenes of coziness and chaos, sex and violence, schmaltz and slapstick. While we were able to sort many with the help of eager friends (thank you, Charles Silver and Liz + Deborah Weiss!), a handful of our photographs were unfortunately not identified, and remain mysteries.

So here’s the CONTEST: Below are ten selected film stills that we really like but have stumped us; test your film whiz-ardry and submit your guesses by October 31 to (Please include photo numbers; No. 1 is above.) We will do our best to confirm, and the participant with the most correct answers will receive a prize from the MoMA Design Store: a Folding Cutting Board designed by Mark Sanders. (Thank you to vendor Joseph Joseph.) Titles are most appreciated, but we will give partial credit for actors or other related information. Good luck!

Mystery Film Still No. 2

Mystery Film Still No. 3

Mystery Film Still No. 4

Mystery Film Still No. 5

Mystery Film Still No. 6

Mystery Film Still No. 7

Mystery Film Still No. 8

Mystery Film Still No. 9

Mystery Film Still No. 10


film still 1. Charles Ruggles and Misha Auer
2. Alan Marshal
6.George Brent in dark coat
10. Clark Gable and Myrna Loy

No 9. John Dall, Peggy Cummins and Anabel Shaw in Gun Crazy (1949).

Myrna Loy and Clark Gable sitting at the table.

I believe #7 has Joan Blondell on the left, but not sure what film.



Old film fancier here from the Great White North.
Not interested in winning a prize, but do like to help out.

#1 is from “Service de Luxe” (1938)with Charles Ruggles (left) and Mischa Auer (right). First film for Vincent Price.

#9 is from “Gun Crazy” (1950) with Peggy Cummins and John Dall and Anabel Shaw. Haven’t seen this flick for ages…

#10 is from “Test Pilot” (1938) with Myrna Loy and Clark Gable.

Working on the others, I am…

That’s not Joan Blondell in #7, but the other two are Beryl Mercer and Una O’Connor, so it’s likely either CAVALCADE or CALL IT A DAY.

The fellow in #5 might be Richard Dix.

Hey Aidan,

What does it say on the doll stand in Mystery Still #5?? On the kitchen counter next to the box…
Use a magnifying glass and see if you can make it out from the still… May or may not be a clue…

Sorta wondering if #6 is from “Cavalcade” and #7 from “Call It A Day”? But still working on it…



In regard to photo number 5.

Richard Dix and Jean Arthur in Warming Up – Paramount 1928

I believe the doll was won by Richard Dix on the boardwalk by throwing baseballs. Warming up is a baseball movie.


A simple request:
The exhibition looks swell, for sure, but as you know, lots of us dont come to NYC in person…
How impossible would it be to post on to YouTube those fascinating FILMS which appear to part of the exhibition?
Some are copyright, for sure, and probably thus unavailable but the others (including the commercial promotional films) should be available?
How about it, hey
Paul, Paris & Sydney

I just sent in the correct answers for all ten. A few were a little difficult, but I figured them all out. And I am SURE of all of them. I’m tempted to post the answers here, or would the MoMA folks prefer to keep the contest going anyway?
Hey, MoMA, you got any more you need identified?We’re ready for the next ten!
By the way, hi Mike S. Nice to see you here!


I posted this contest to the good people on the message board at TCM – Turner Classic Movies.

I would suggest to Richard F. to keep things quiet answer-wise. And are you the same one who posted on the TCM message board?
I live in Ontario, Canada and so don’t qualify and so I would appreciate it if you would email me privately at with the answers. I promise I won’t share.

I figured out 3, but the others make my brain hurt. And I don’t want the prize, either.
Just like to help. It’s sad so many old movie actors and films are forgotten today.

My classic Hollywood film knowledge comes mostly from a TV program here in Ontario called
“Saturday Night at the Movies” on TVOntario.
It’s been around for 40 years and is much like TCM, showing old films with a program host and interviews of actors, producers, and directors involved in the films being shown.
I grew up watching “SNAM” on Saturday nights.

Anyway, please email me privately and thanks for helping MoMA and film lovers in general.

And I’m sure MoMA has more movie stills to identify.


Randy M.
Great White North (aka Canada)

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