March 9, 2020
Los Angeles, California
This morning I received the below email from a friend, Australian filmmaker, Frans Vandenburg.
I met Frans several years ago when he and his partner-producer, Claude Gonzalez were in Los Angeles and had just begun making their upcoming documentary, on the life of Australian film director, John Farrow. (See article, “New Documentary To Reveal the Forgotten Life of Australian Filmmaker John Farrow” in the Sydney Morning Herald from 2017.
Frans and Claude met me at my residence apartment back in September 2018 and conducted an interview related to the John Farrow/Lillian Lenorak “connections” as revealed in my books, Black Dahlia Avenger I and II.
Here is Frans email from this morning:
I’m in process of getting those Rowland Brown* films together as well as a bunch of others including your own Lawrence Tierney Film Festival.
Also, another film I’m sending you is a copy of this film – The Accused. William Dieterle, I think another terrific director and I see his nickname was The Iron Stove!
I think a really interesting film, sort of noir but more thriller but you decide? It ticks many boxes.
Really interesting Writing credits, check them out plus a heap of uncredited ones including our oft Farrow collaborator Jonathan Latimer and another one Barre Lyndon.
Loretta Young, I forget often what a beauty she was and too easily dismissed because of it…and the men are good too, the always reliable Robert Cummings and Wendell Corey and a brief but as usual good showing from Sam Jaffe.**
Steve, I’ve hopefully attached a very small section of the film that features a BD mention! AND before Sunset Blvd.
I filmed it off my SONY monitor on the wall in my studio which explains the somewhat “roomy” etc appearance. ok? But hopefully, it will give you some idea.
It’s actually even better BD wise, as though the official release date was 1949, The Accused was actually shot in a few weeks in 1948 but for some reason not released till 1949…..!
Anyway, hope all well with you and I’ll let you know when the discs are ready to go and in the meantime Very Very Bests…
SKH notes on email: * Film Director Rowland Brown as mentioned in BDA was having a long term affair with my mother, and when our father was arrested and the Incest scandal broke in Oct 1949 would assist our mother in moving her and we three boys to a rental near his own residence in Rancho Mirage, then just a tumbleweed town near Palm Springs where we lived for a year or so. (As also mentioned in BDA, Rowland Brown was my personal hero during those “Gypsy Years” and actually saved my life by rushing me to the hospital after I fell through a glass window and cut an artery in my left wrist. (He wrapped it and rushed me to a hospital some twenty miles away in Palm Springs.)
** Frans mention of Sam Jaffe having a role in the film “The Accused” is interesting as Jaffe had a long ongoing “crush” on my mother, Dorothy Huston Hodel, going back to her marriage to John Huston. And, in addition to his Hollywood acting role in “The Accused” Sam, at the same time, had a major role in John Huston’s 1950 THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (See trailer click here) In fact, Jaffe won “Best Actor” in his role at the Venice Film Festival. Huston was producing the film at exactly the same time his good friend, George Hodel was being arrested and tried for Incest (Oct-Dec 1949) and then released the film at the same time George Hodel fled the U.S. in the summer of 1950. And, who can forget Marilyn Monroe’s early role in the film as “Angela Phinlay” (pronounced FineLay?) the young mistress/girlfriend of the rich aging banker, Alonzo d. Emmerich (pronounced I’mRich?)
And, here is Frans clip from “The Accused” with the “Black Dahlia” mention from the 1948 filming of that movie. Click the below link.
OK, Now let’s once again prepare to reenter the 1940s Twilight Zone that is the Black Dahlia investigation. Cue to music below:
THE ACCUSED – THE MOVIE (1949)
I took Frans advice to “check it out” and here’s what I found. The film was in fact made at Paramount Studios, 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, California between 12 April and 28 May 1948. As seen in the map below this is 2.6 miles from the actual murder location, the Sowden/Hodel/Franklin House as 5121 Franklin Avenue.
Above we see that the film was released in the U.S. on January 14, 1949, coincidentally this was two years to the day that Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short was murdered inside the walls of the Hodel Franklin House, a Mayan Temple in the heart of Hollywood.
The next door that opened in our Twilight Zone hallway was the one behind which we discover that actor Robert Cummings, had a starring role in The Accused. Remarkable in itself in that we know from our earlier investigation, as documented in BDA, Robert Cummings was personally interviewed by LAPD Homicide Detectives, in connection with the 1949 murder of actress Jean Spangler. (Spangler, who had a bit part (as a night club patron) in the movie The Pretty Girl, starring Robert Cummings, was also slain by Dr. George Hill Hodel while he was still residing at the Sowden/Franklin House in October 1949). The Pretty Girl was in production from Sept 6-Oct 15 1949 and Spangler was slain on Oct 7, 1949, the day after George Hodel’s arrest and release on bail after being charged with Incest and child molestation with his 14-year-old daughter and my half-sister, Tamar Hodel. In regards to the Spangler murder investigation, actor Cummings informed detectives that “He had spoken with Jean in the previous weeks and she was “all excited about dating and meeting a new boyfriend, but never told me his name.” (See full details in BDA.)
Beyond BIZARRO-I saved the most bizarre “thoughtprint” for the last-
In the above list of cast members in “The Accused” see that the beautiful French actress, Suzanne Dalbert starred in a supporting role as “Susan Duval”.
Unknown to me prior to Frans Vandenburg’s “heads up” today was the fact that Ms. Dalbert acted in this film. What I did know and had previously documented in BDA II was that Suzanne Dalbert was an actress and in 1948 was a tenant/roomer at our home in Hollywood at 5121 Franklin Ave.
Incredibly, at the very time, Suzanne was acting in the film THE ACCUSED which referenced the sadistic and recently committed Black Dahlia Murder, the actress was at the same time renting a room and living at the actual crime scene with the Black Dahlia Avenger, the victim’s killer.
Here are previously published photographs showing Ms. Dalbert inside our home with fellow roomers as described in Black Dahlia Avenger II. I am also attaching that section as published back in 2014:
Huge thanks to my good friend, Frans Vandenburg for sending me this amazing “thoughtprint” today. Also, really looking forward to the release of Fran’s John Farrow Documentary which should be a fascinating and well-told look and one of Hollywood’s great film directors.
Filmmaker Frans Vandenburg’s upcoming documentary is entitled:
John Farrow-Hollywood’s Man In The Shadows
See John Farrow’s incredible filmography HERE.
November 13, 2023 Update
Well, let’s add one more beyond bizarro fact. Turns out the film THE ACCUSED was released on January 12, 1949 (two days before the second anniversary of Elizabeth “Black Short’s murder) and then two days later, was copyrighted ON THE EVE OF HER MURDER, JANUARY 14, 1949.