I’m supposed to know my old movies, and yet the instant I saw this photo I realized that not only had I never seen The Senator Was Indiscreet (1947) but until last night I’d never even heard of it. There are always good reasons why movies disappear and never return. I’m presuming that however pleasing it might have seemed to moviegoers in late 1947 and ’48, Senator probably plays like a creaky comedy of manners. Forget about today — it probably had no social resonance five or ten years after it opened. It is one of thousands of respected studio-era films that nobody (not even classic film buffs) gives a damn about today. History is always a merciless critic. Only the truly world-class, creme de la creme efforts are remembered a half-century later. Ask yourselves — among the nine or ten Best Picture contenders vying right now, which will be remembered in 2065? Trust me, only The Wolf of Wall Street, Inside Llewyn Davis and 12 Years A Slave.

Presumably taken sometime in late December of 1947, or just after The Senator Was Indiscreet opened. George Sidney’s Cass Timberlane, another completely forgotten film that costarred Spencer Tracy and Lana Turner, was playing at Leows State.

The Senator Was Indiscreet (also know as Mr. Ashton Was Indiscreet) didn’t lack for pedigree in its day. The only film directed by esteemed playwright George S. Kaufman, it was produced by Nunnally Johnson and penned by legendary Front Page and Twentieth Century co-writer Charles McArthur, and William Powell‘s performance resulted in a Best Actor award from the New York Film Critics Circle.

Snapped sometime in March of 1943, or just after Clarence Brown’s The Human Comedy, which starred Mickey Rooney, has opened at the Astor.

Robert Wise’s The Day The Earth Stood Still opened at the Mayfair (Broadway and 47th) on 9.28.51.