Tag Archives: 1940

The Saddest Man in Hollywood, 1940

The following article originally appeared in a 1940 issue of The New York Times.

More or Less According to Hoyle

by Thomas M. Pryor

The saddest man in Hollywood today is one Irving Sindler. The chances are you’ve never heard of him, for the gentleman so named is a property man by trade and, in motion pictures, these artists do not receive the same program recognition accorded them in the theatre. Though his name has never appeared in the screen credits, Mr. Sindler has become a Hollywood legend because he has managed to sneak his name into at least one scene of every film on which he has worked during the last fifteen years.

In “Wuthering Heights” there was a gravestone bearing the inscription, “I. Sindler, A Good Man.” In “Intermezzo” there was a Swedish bakery owned by “Sindler & Son,” and in “Raffles” a newspaper insert noted that “Lord Sindler had returned from a hunting expedition.” Sindler’s name decorated the front of a delicatessen store in “Dead End” and it appeared in Chinese across a banner in “Marco Polo”—or so we’ve been told. And preview scouts report seeing a sign labeled “Ma Sindler, Home Cooking” over a small cafe in “The Westerner,” which Samuel Goldwyn is holding for Fall release.

To his family and fellow-workers the Sindler trade-mark is as much sought for as is the ephemeral “Lubitsch touch.” But today Mr. Sindler is dejected, ashamed to face his family and friends because he failed to get his name into “The Long Voyage Home.” And it wasn’t that he didn’t try. He had a sign ready bearing the words, “Sindler & Son, Chemists,” but author Eugene O’Neill spoiled that by having most of the action take place on board a freighter. Sindler didn’t give up, however. He tacked the sign over the window of a Limehouse dive where Thomas Mitchell and John Wayne were scheduled to have a brawl, but Director John Ford spoiled that, too, by shooting away from the window.

And that is what has made Irving Sindler the saddest man in Hollywood.

Pryor, Thomas M. “More or Less According to Hoyle.” The New York Times 14 July 1940: 103.