Thursday, June 21, 2007

Louise Brooks first film appearance?

Was Louise Brooks'  first film appearance in a minor 1923 film called Cause for Divorce ?

I came across this intriguiging May, 1924 clipping while going through Denishawn scrapbooks during my recent visit to New York City. Frankly, I had almost missed it, as it was one of hundreds of similar small articles of no particular interest. (I am still slowly going through the nearly 600 photocopies I made on that trip - the most material I have ever uncovered during one of my research expeditions.)

The article refers to a minor 1923 film directed by Hugh Dierker (perhaps the only one he made - though he did write the screenplay for another). The film was released by Hugh Dierker Productions, and distributed by the Selznick Distributing Corporation. According to the article, the manager of a New Brunswick, New Jersey theater claimed that members of the Denishawn Dance Company appear in the film. The company had recently performed in New Brunswick, and seemingly there was still a bit of a buzz about the dancers around town. Enough so, at least, for the manager of a movie theater to make a claim that "Ted Shawn and most of the girls will positively appear in the picture." How he would know they were in the picture, I can't say.

I haven't been able to find out much of anything about Cause for Divorce except that it was released in 1923. Brooks was a member of Denishawn in 1922 and 1923. However, the Denishawn Dancers are not credited in the IMDb entry on the film. Until some further proof emerges - like stills, production history of Cause for Divorce, or even the film itself - the possibility of Brooks' first film appearance will have to remain a mystery.

[ Does any reader of this blog know anything about Cause for Divorce ? ]

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