Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Scotsman

I just read that a searchable archive for The Scotsman, the leading Edinburgh newspaper, is now on-line. The archive contains most all issues of the paper dating from 1800 - 1950. And so, I purchased a subscription to see what (if any) Louise Brooks material I could find. My approach in searching this archive is similar to the way I approach other on-line databases. First I try searching under "Louise Brooks." Then I try each individual film title. Then I try other keywords and names, such as G.W. Pabst, Frank Wedekind, or Lulu.

What I found this time were listings/plain text advertisements for screenings of a half-dozen of Brooks' American silent films. Among them were American VenusLove Em and Leave Em, and The City Gone Wild. Each showed in Edinburgh about a year after it's American release. I also uncovered an advertisement for a recording of Beggars of Life, by the Troubadours, which noted that it was the theme song to the film of the same name. Among these listings, the only one which named Brooks was that for The Canary Murder Case. Brooks and William Powell were given top billing. I had hoped to find something about Pandora's Box, but came up empty. The only full-fledged review I found was for King of Gamblers, which screened in Edinburgh in September, 1937.

One interesting, related article I uncovered reported on a 1929 lawsuit brought against actor Percy Marmont. The article stated that he had been accused of abandoning his wife in 1903. Marmont, it was claimed, was then known as Garland Scholes, and one day, he simply dissappeared. Some twenty years later, the women said that an actor she saw in the movies was her long missing husband! At the trial, the woman went on to say that she had seen her husband in a film in which he played a blind man - The Street of Forgotten Men.

I think I found all of the Brooks-related material there was. I did notice a bunch of other articles about G.W. Pabst (he was referred to time and again as one of the world's great directors), as well as Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, etc.... I hope to return to The Scotsman  archive sometime in the future in search of other interesting stuff.

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