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Mystery Photo #5: Unknown Horrors

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Since the Library launched this photo ID blog four weeks ago, we have had tremendous success in positively identifying many previously unknown individuals and film titles.  THANK YOU to all who have looked and contributed!

In previous weeks, we have posted blogs looking at unknown women, unknown men, unknown films and, most recently, unknown musicians and singers.  This week, we post a selection of photos that seem to come from obscure horror or suspense films.

As always, we welcome you to look at the following photos, click on them to make them larger, and then post guesses or suggestions in the comments section below.  Should we be able to positively ID a title or a performer, we’ll update this blog throughout the week.

scan141. An individual here at the Library familiar with both French cinema and the Parisian transportation system believes this might be a French film.

SOLVED!: This is a publicity photo for a stage show titled “The Great Air Robbery,” from 1974, staged by the San Francisco Mime Troupe.  The actress is Andrea Snow.  The background is the 24th/Mission BART stations.  It took a village to solve this one.  Thank you to:  Mike, Scott, Loren, Kevin Lee, KTVU, SF Mime Troupe, the San Francisco Film Office, “San Francisco Gate,” Alicia, the San Francisco Public Library and the City of San Francisco.


2.  This still has a code printed in its lower right-hand corner.  It is:  SC-19.  “SC” is probably the initials of the film it is from but, so far, we haven’t been able to determine the title.

SOLVED!:  “Les Aveux Les Plus Doux” (1971).  Also known under the title:  “The Sweetest Confession” (which explains the “SC” in the corner) and “Sweet Torture.”


3.  We have reason to believe that the actor in this still is Swedish actor Gunnar Bjornstrand, but aren’t certain.

SOLVED!:  Yes, this is Gunnar and the film is “Trafaracken” (1966) also known under the title “The Sadist” or “The Coffin.”–Thank you Francesca!


4.  For this particular still, we don’t know if it’s from a horror film or not.  While there’s speculation that this might be some sort of vampire film or a “Jekyll/Hyde” adaption, others believe this might be simply a period piece or a still from an opera.

SOLVED!:  This is actor Stephen Turner as he appeared in the 1970 Hammer film “Horror of Frankenstein.”



5. As with the some of the other photos here, the above may not be from a horror film, but perhaps from something more action-oriented.

SOLVED!:  “Murder by Phone” (1982) (a.k.a. “Bells”).–Thank you, Andy H.


6.  These creatures could be from a horror film, or perhaps even a children’s film, but its title remains a mystery.




Comments (23)

  1. Still No. 2: Could “SC” stand for “Shock Corridor,” a 1963 Samuel Fuller effort starring Constance Towers? That looks like a little like Constance in the photo.

    David N. Lewis

  2. I noticed Still #5 has this carved above the door way, “…LIGHT IS LIFE LIGHT.”

  3. I agree with David N. Lewis, looks like Shock Corridor to me, although I’m not certain that’s Constance Towers pictured. I think it’s when Peter Breck goes into the room of “nymphos”. Maybe Linda Barrett?

  4. I would say that’s more likely a BART station than a Paris Metro station in image #1 — based on the train itself (you can see the iconic “ba” on the front of the train, just beneath the pursuer’s raised arm) and the platform.

    Which would mean this is probably an American film, set at least partly in the Bay Area, released in 1973 or later.

  5. Still #1 is not the Parisian subway–it’s a BART station, somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area.

  6. I don’t see anything about the first photo that looks even remotely like DELICATESSEN.

  7. What is the code in the photograph numbered “5” in the post?

  8. The actor in the second photo reminds me of Sylvia Syms.

  9. I thought #1 could be LA JETTE (1962)

  10. I’ve seen Delicatessen approximately 100 times. #1 is not from Delicatessen.

  11. #3 does look like Gunnar Bjornstrand.

  12. #5 reminds me of the film Alligator from 1980. Specifically a scene near the end where the Alligator disrupts a wedding or party.

  13. #6 looks like a Soviet movie from 1939 called Vasilia the beautiful, telling the Baba Yaga story…

  14. The first still might be promotional material from (or tangentially related to) Curt McDowell’s THUNDERCRACK (1975).

    A pastiche of old-dark-house thrillers that takes place entirely in one location, it’s likely not from the film itself. I don’t specifically remember the moment illustrated. But it’s tonally related, was shot in San Francisco in the early 1970’S, and that could very well be Marion Eaton (and her eyebrows!) in the photo.

    BE WARNED: it also contains hardcore pornography. If that tilts your nostrils, google carefully!

  15. 1 is DEFINITELY not from Delicatessen. These characters are not from the film and none of it takes place in or near a metro; the strange world it’s set in
    I can best describe as post-apocalyptic 1950s, and it barely has electricity, let alone a working transportation system.

  16. As the writer of the original story and the film score for THUNDERCRACK!, I was intimately involved in that film’s production from beginning to end, and I assure you that none of these stills is in any way related to that film.

  17. #5 has an inscription over the door reading “…light is lifelight.” But a Google search turned up nothing. There’s a very strong possibility, given the nature of the stunt that’s being performed in #5, that this is a stunt man rather than an actor, per se. It will probably be doubly difficult to identify, therefore.

  18. Guys, regarding #1. That is with 100% certainty the BART transit system in the San Francisco bay. Most likely one of the 4 stops in downtown SF. Could be a number of other stations, including Oakland, however. It’s very obviously NOT Paris.

  19. Hi,

    #1 is most likely the 16th Street Mission station based on the floor tiles and wall tiles on the stair enclosure; also the light fixtures and signs. Here’s a link to a flickr account with photos of the platform in 1972 for comparison:

  20. It could just as easily be the 24th Street Mission BART station since the only difference between the two is the tile color.

    Due to the absence of the yellow plastic safety tiles on the edge of the platform, the photo must have been taken in the 70’s or 80’s.

  21. #1 I’ve heard that the actress is Michelle Joyce who appeared in films by the Kuchar brothers. Could this be from The Nocturnal Immaculation (1980) The X-People (1984) or Ascension of the Demonoids (1985)dir. by George Kuchar?

  22. Regarding #1 and the probability of it being made by one of the Kuchars – I do agree. However I don’t think it’s from one of their more widely circulated films. I find it more likely that this was either an idea that didn’t get used, or from something they never released. I’ve seen a lot of Kuchar work and while the actress has some very George Kuchar eyebrows, the monster doesn’t resemble anything in his more popular stuff. He was so prolific that I wouldn’t be surprised if this was something he didn’t release.

  23. Showed to a San Francisco friend with film knowledge, he immediately responded it was “Yolanda” by George Kuchar.

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