Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Girl in Every Port - French novelization

Speaking of French fiction relating to Louise Brooks . . . as this blog has been doing of late.

A rather uncommon French novelization of the 1928 Howard Hawks-directed film, A Girl in Every Port, is currently for sale on eBay. This 1929 softcover edition is 96 pages long and includes 16 pages of stills from the film. I suppose it might be considered a photoplay edition

How it survived I'll never know. I already own a copy of this ephemeral publication, and it reminds me of the old pulp fiction periodicals of the 1930's. The paper is indeed pulpy!

Louise Brooks might well be more popular in France then in the United States. And certainly, one of her most popular films in that country has long been A Girl in Every Port. Its title is here given as Poings de Fer Coeur d'Or.

What's especially interesting about this publication is the author, Jean Mitry. According to his page at Wikipedia, Mitry was a "was a French film theorist, critic and filmmaker, co-founder of France's first film society and later of the Cinémathèque Française in 1938." He was also the first lecturer on film aesthetics in France, as well as one of the first intellectuals responsible for taking film studies out of the era of the film club and into that of the university. I have run across Mitry's name in the past, as a film historian and as the author of later articles about Louise Brooks. I guess when he wrote this cheap paperback novel back in 1929 it was love at first sight.

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