Friday, August 31, 2012

NYU kids take this class: FRSEM-UA 486

Via the NYRBooks Instragram. . . . "NYU kids take this class: FRSEM-UA 486"


That very edition of The Invention of Morel, by Adolfo Bioy Casares, is featured in this piece on the Huffington Post, "Louise Brooks - Cover Girl and Secret Muse of the 20th Century."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pandora's Box plays in Newcastle

A free screening of Pandora's Box (1929), directed by G.W. Pabst and starring the one and only Louise Brooks, will take place in Heaton Park, Newcastle (England) on August 28th. THAT'S TODAY! Musical accompaniment will be provided by pianist Neil Brand. More about this special event on the Huffington Post (UK).

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wil Wheaton tumbles Louise Brooks

Wil Wheaton, of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, tumbled an image of Louise Brooks. Here is a screen capture. He also stated " I just started The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty. It's wonderful so far."


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Watch Pandora's Box with Louise Brooks for FREE on Hulu

Visit this page http://new.hulu.com/watch/215809?playlist_id=1056 this weekend to watch Pandora's Box (1929) with Louise Brooks for FREE on Hulu. They are screening the Criterion edition.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A French street named after Louise Brooks


The recently came across Impasse Louise Brooks, a short street named after the actress located in Bois d'Arcy, a village outside of Paris not so far from Versailles. Other streets in this new subdivision are named after Greta Garbo, Erich von Stroheim, Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Jean Vigo, Joan Crawford, Georges Méliès, Jacques Tati, Fritz Lang and others. Impasse Louise Brooks intersects with Allèe Marlene Dietrich. Above is the best image I could acquire from Google maps of the street sign.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

OMD: "Pandora's Box: It's a Long, Long, Way"

Another musical homage to Louise Brooks. This is "Pandora's Box: It's a Long, Long Way" by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. This was the second single by the band. The song and the video date from 1991.


Though its been around for a while, this video is always good to see. I remember buying this song on LP and then on CD (compact discs were just coming in then). I had sought out the limited edition singles in each format which have Louise Brooks on their cover.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Louise Brooks Hair - two videos

Today, those who do not know Louise Brooks' name or reputation likely know her image, especially the look of her signature hairstyle, a sleek black bob. Brooks' hair is iconic. Here are two videos: one is instructional, the other a homage.


This second video is by a performer known as "The GrrrL," who sings "Black Is The Color (Louise Brooks' Hair)," her DIY adaption of a traditional Southern Appalachian song "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair." Is The GrrrL a Louise Brooks fan? Oh yes - see this earlier article, "Run You Luscious Lesbian."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Frank Thompson's "The Commentary Track"

"Frank Thompson [is] a prolific author and
film historian of the first rank." - Leonard Maltin
Frank Thompson is an acclaimed film historian and author with more than forty books and hundreds of articles, interviews and reviews to his credit. He has also worked as a writer for television, contributed commentary to various DVDs, and has produced, written and/or directed several documentaries.

For fans of Louise Brooks, Thompson is familiar as the author of the William Wellman (Scarecrow Press, 1983), first book about the director of Wings, The Public Enemy and A Star is Born, among other films. One of those films, of course, was Beggars of Life, starring Louise Brooks. Thompson is also the co-author, with John Andrew Gallagher, of a forthcoming book, Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William A. Wellman.

Recently, Thompson started a new venture - "The Commentary Track," a weekly podcast featuring conversations with leading film historians, archivists, actors and filmmakers on all aspects of film history. Each of these freely available and highly recommended podcasts last about an hour. In them, Thompson and his guests swap Hollywood stories and celebrate the great movies – and movie makers – of the 20th Century.

Thompson, the author of Lost Films: Important Movies That Disappeared (Citadel), has also penned books on Henry King, Robert Wise and early film-making in Texas. He has an obvious love for early Hollywood. And that's just what some of his guests - like Kevin Brownlow, Rudy Behlmer, John Bengtson, Marilyn Moss and others - have been discussing on "The Commentary Track." Others, like composer Carl Davis and writer Randy Skretvedt, will be heard in the coming weeks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Louise Brooks Society supports Pussy Riot

In the spirit of Frank Wedekind (who was once imprisoned for insults to the Kaiser) and his immortal character Lulu, the Louise Brooks Society declares its support for Pussy Riot. Free Pussy Riot now!


Read their closing statements here -- http://nplusonemag.com/pussy-riot-closing-statements


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Movie Legends - Louise Brooks (Star)

This nicely done YouTube video features a lot of bangless portraits of Louise Brooks, meaning
the actress isn't wearing her signature bangs.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Silent Beauty" art exhibit


"DREAMIMG LULU" (DETAIL), 72"X84", LASER PRINT, ACRYLIC,ON CANVAS, 2012. 

ALL ARE INVITED TO THE OPENING OF "SILENT BEAUTY". This art exhibit embraces the golden era of "silent" entertainment in the 1920s, in which Holly Suzanne Rader renders a world of vintage ballerinas, follies girls and silent film actresses through mixed media paintings and life-size papier mache dress sculptures.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th, 7-10 PM
ART629 GALLERY
629 COOKMAN AVENUE
ASBURY PARK, NJ
732-988-5111

THE EXHIBITION WILL BE OPEN SEPT 15 through OCT 21. GALLERY HOURS VARY. APPOINTMENTS SUGGESTED. FOR MORE INFO VISIT: www.hollysuzannerader.com

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Louise Brooks... shoes for the June Bride

Mary Mallory, author (of Hollywoodland), early film historian, and blogger extraordinaire forwarded this scan from the May 5th, 1927 issue of the Hollywood Daily Citizen. It is a full page newspaper advertisement for the Wetherby-Kayser Shoe Company in Los Angeles. And there, prominent in the middle, is Louise Brooks dressed as June bride. I don't know much of anything about the Wetherby-Kayser Shoe Company, though from a quick Google search they seem to have been a prominent local maker of footware from the 1890's onward. It is a great ad, though Louise Brooks looks rather glum. She was never one to smile :)


Friday, August 10, 2012

Free screening of Pandora's Box with Louise Brooks on 28 August

A free screening of Pandora's Box (1929), directed by G.W. Pabst and starring Louise Brooks, will take place in Heaton Park, Newcastle (England) on August 28th. Musical accompaniment will be provided by pianist Neil Brand.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beggars of Life in Singapore, Overland Stage Raiders on TV

The recent screening of Beggars of Life at the Cinefamily theater in Los Angeles may have got some wondering about its source material, Jim Tully's novelistic memoir of the same name, and the film made from it. Tully's 1925 book is described as a "bestseller" and the 1928 William Wellman directed film one of the more acclaimed films in the year it was released. 

But just how big were they? 

Recently, while digging through some Singapore newspapers from the 1920's I came across these two items, each advertisements. The first is a booksellers advertisement listing some new books for sale. It dates from 1931. And there, among the 35 cent novels being offered - likely reprints or today's equivalent of the paperback, is Jim Tully's Beggars of Life. Some of the other books offered were by H.G. Wells and Nobel Prize winner John Galsworthy.


The other Tully item I came across is this advertisement for some records for sale. It dates from 1929. Among the records listed is a vocal waltz recording of Beggars of Life, which was the theme song for the movie of the same name. It was recorded by a few different artists, so I am not sure who performed on this one.


I show these two items in order to make a small point: Jim Tully and his book got around. Even  around the world, and all the way to Singapore. Was Beggars of Life shown there? I am not sure. Many of Louise Brooks' films showed in Singapore in the 1920's and early 1930's, though I have yet to come across a listing or advertisement or clipping for Beggars of Life. However, I did come across something else a bit unusual - a listing for Overland Stage Raiders (1938), Brooks' last film. This is a 1976 clipping listing programing on Singapore television. Overland Stage Raiders followed coverage of the XXI Olympics held in Montreal, Canada. Brooks is given forth billing after John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, and Max Terhune.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Louise Brooks (November 14, 1906 – August 8, 1985)

Mary Louise Brooks (November 14, 1906 – August 8, 1985)


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Save 20% on The Diary of a Lost Girl (Louise Brooks edition)















Use coupon code ASTOUND at checkout and receive 20% off The Diary of a Lost Girl (Louise Brooks edition). This offer good only on Lulu.com through August 10th.

"In today's parlance this would be called a movie tie-in edition, but that seems a rather glib way to describe yet another privately published work that reveals an enormous amount of research and passion." - Leonard Maltin

"It was such a pleasure to come upon your well documented and beautifully presented edition." -- Elizabeth Boa, University of Nottingham

"Read today, it's a fascinating time-trip back to another age." - Jack Garner, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

"An important contribution to film history. . . . a volume of uncommon merit." - Richard Buller, author of A Beautiful Fairy Tale: The Life of Actress Lois Moran

"Thomas Gladysz is the leading authority on all matters pertaining to the legendary Louise Brooks. We owe him a debt of gratitude for bringing the groundbreaking novel, The Diary of a Lost Girl, back from obscurity." - Lon Davis, author of Silent Lives

Monday, August 6, 2012

Louise Brooks in the 1940 census

Sharped eyed fan Ray Zantarski found Louise Brooks on the 1940 census. And, he was kind enough to send me a scan. I believe this is our Louise Brooks, as the location, place of birth, age, and prior place of residence all line-up. The page depicted below is the page from the 1940 census which records Brooks as a resident of Los Angeles. See line 13.



When the availability of the census was first announced earlier this year, I tried looking through Kansas records (knowing Brooks had returned home around that time), but couldn't really find my way through the records and gave up. I figured I would wait until the census became keyword searchable.

However, as is indicated on the above form, the census was conducted in early 1940, while Brooks was still living in Los Angeles. And that is why she is recorded in the California records - with her residence being given as 1317 N Fairfax Ave in Beverly Hills. As the census page indicates, Brooks lived in an apartment building. She lived in unit #3, and paid $55.00 per month in rent. (That was an average amount for the street, where renters also listed on the census page paid between $40.00 and $60.00 per month.) Here is a Google street view of the address. I don't know if this is the same building or not, though it looks possible.



View Larger Map

Her neighbors in her apartment building included a couple in unit #1, Denison and Lillian Clift. His occupation was listed as an "independent moving picture" writer. San Francisco-born Denison Clift was a prolific writer and less prolific director of films who got his start in the silent era. He directed a handful of films in England starring Fay Compton, perhaps the best known being A Bill of Divorcement (1922). Other of his British silents were Demos (1921) and Sonia (1921), both of which included Evelyn Brent. (Brooks and Brent appeared in two films together.) Today, Clift's best known film may be The Mystery of the Marie Celeste (1935), starring Bela Lugosi, Gibson Gowland, and Clifford McLaglen, the brother of Victor McLaglen. [In the United States, The Mystery of the Marie Celeste is known as Phantom Ship.]

Denison Clift during the filming of The Mystery of the Marie Celeste


Another of Brook's neighbors in her apartment building was a 30 year old Russian-born freelance musician named Arcady Konchester, who lived in unit #4. He is credited with performing on Dick Haymes and Bing Crosby records. I believe he was a violinist, and in 1935 performed in Singapore under the name Arkady Konchester. Mason and Alice Cline, a couple in their mid-fifties who came from Stockton and who lived in unit #2, managed the apartments.

What's especially interesting about this census record is that Brooks occupation is listed as "copy writer" in the magazine field. Her income for 1939, however, was given as none - and Brooks was listed as unemployed. 

Except for "Hints for Dancers" - the series of text-heavy advertisements which ran in local newspapers which Brooks likely helped write, the former film star is not known to have written or published anything at this period in her life. Her listing as a "copy writer" may have been aspirational. (Once she returned to Kansas, Brooks did write and self-published a booklet titled The Fundamentals of Ballroom Dancing.)

These bits of information beg the question. How did Brooks get by? Did someone else support her? Or did she have a part-time job for which she did not declare any income?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

She was just seventeen: Louise Brooks Society has an anniversary

This month, the Louise Brooks Society celebrates its 17th anniversary. Launched in 1995, the Louise Brooks Society was one of the very first websites devoted to silent film. The earliest archived LBS webpages - housed on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine - dates to December 20, 1996 and April 11, 1997. The earliest archived newsgroup posts (remember those?) mentioning the Louise Brooks Society date from October 27, 1995 (announcing the website) and January 29, 1996 (a query from the LBS regarding an European screening). These posts are part of the 20-year Usenet Archive which contain hundreds of millions of messages.

In the early days, the LBS also earned its fair share of web awards (remember those?). Here are a few that the LBS received. I was especially proud to be recognized by the Encyclopedia Britannica website!
  usa today       hollywood site of the week       open directory      Britannica Internet Guide  

The LBS (www.pandorasbox.com) has grown over the years - and so has its recognition as a world-wide resource for fans of Louise Brooks. The LBS has been referenced and cited in a handful of books, as well as in publications of all sorts all over the world. Here is a select bibliography of magazine, newspaper and web articles about the website. (Unfortunately, some of these articles are no longer online, or have disappeared behind a pay wall.)


Meddis, Sam Vincent. "Net: New and notable." USA Today, May 23, 1996.
--- "Silent-film buffs can get a taste of how a fan club from yesteryear plays on the Web. The Louise Brooks Society site includes interview, trivia and photos. It also draws an international audience."

anonymous. Net Directory, issue 7, 1996.
--- named one of five best sites devoted to actresses in UK computing magazine

anonymous. "NetSurf." HotWired, 1997.
--- mention on Wired website

Roberson, Fontaine. "Flapper Has 'Virtual' Fan Club in Noe Valley." Noe Valley Voice, September, 1997.
--- article in San Francisco monthly

Silberman, Steve. "Fan Site Sparks Biopic." Wired, April 10, 1998. 
--- feature article about the LBS (reference a few weeks later by Roger Ebert)

Farrant, Darrin. "Programs - Sunday." Melbourne Age, April 16, 1998.
--- mention in Australian newspaper - "She was far more than just a pretty face .... The Louise Brooks Society has an exhaustive web site about this fascinating siren."

Bentley, Rick. "Ahead of Her Time." Fresno Bee, April 30, 1998.
--- article in Fresno, California newspaper - "Internet users have embraced the actress for years. Web pages and various sites have dealt with this actress, whose fame started in the silent films era and exploded in the information age. Her career and her life off the set have become a source of interest unparalleled by many other film stars. And those bits and bytes of information were a catalyst for this TV special."

Evenson, Laura. "Lovely Lulu Lives Again." San Francisco Chronicle, May 3, 1998.
--- mention in newspaper article

anonymous. "NetWatch." Atlanta Journal and Constitution, May 5, 1998.
--- mentioned as exemplary website in Atlanta, Georgia newspaper

anonymous. "Fan Site Profiles." bLink. February, 1999.
--- article in magazine for Earthlink subscribers

Garner, Jack. "Movie buffs can find trivia, reviews online." Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, September 12, 2000.
--- "A fine example of a fan page, a thoughtful, artful site devoted to the life and times of a fabled silent movie legend, with rare articles from the '20s and superb photos."

Roether, Barbara. "Three Make Their Mark: Lulu Lives at Booksmith." Publisher's Weekly, November 20, 2000.
--- mention in trade journal 

Douglas, John. "Online with you." Grand Rapids Press , March 26, 2001.
--- "There has never been a more interesting actress in the history of movies or a more beautiful woman than Louise Brooks, who made a name for herself in American and German films. This Web site at www.pandorasbox.com, created by The Louise Brooks Society, is crammed full of photos of the lady with the page boy bob. It also has biographical material and still shots from her movies plus posters and links to other Brooks sites."

Anderson, Jeffrey M. "Thirteen great film sites." San Francisco Examiner, November 29, 2001.
--- "This San Francisco-run site pays tribute to one of the greatest and most underappreciated stars of all time, Louise Brooks, who played numerous bit parts and starred in only two films during the silent era. It contains tons of info, pictures and history."

l., tk. "Ins Netz gegangen Pandora Brooks." Stuttgarter Zeitung, July 14, 2002.
--- described as "vorbildlichen website" in this German newspaper

O'Connell, Pamela Licalzi. "Dreaming Celebrities and the Earth's Eye Candy." New York Times, August 29, 2002.
--- "The Louise Brooks Society (www.pandorasbox.com) is an excellent homage to the art of the silent film as well as one of its most luminous stars."

Pattenden, Mike. "An era of glamour." Sunday Times, April 27, 2003.
--- mentioned in London newspaper - "She bucked the system to make movies in Europe, notably Pandora's Box, which lends its name to www.pandorasbox.com, dedicated to her remarkable life."

Watson, Dave. "Basking in the Glow of On-Line Info Flow." Straight.com, July 15, 2004.
--- "She's not well-known anymore, but Louise Brooks was one of the biggest stars of silent and early-sound cinema. Naturally, there's a home for her fans on the Net (www.pandorasbox.com), but the site also has a lot of incidental information about that era of moviemaking as well."

Dufour, Nicolas. "Louise Brooks, l'adoration perpétuelle." Le Temps, December 23, 2004.
--- referenced in French newspaper

Melton, Wayne. "That '20s Girl: Lulupalooza celebrates the work of a screen goddess." Style Weekly, July 20, 2005.
--- mentioned in article in Richmond, Virgina weekly " . . . a weekend-long festival of the silent-screen goddess presented by Yellow House Productions and the Firehouse Theatre with the assistance of the Louise Brooks Society."

Caloudas, Constantine. "Louise Bobs Her Hair." Washington City Paper, July 22, 2005.
--- article in Washington D.C. weekly

Maltin, Leonard. "Links We Like." Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy, August 2005.
--- "Not many sites of any kind can claim to be celebrating a tenth anniversary online, but that’s true of the Louise Brooks Society, devoted to the life and times of the magnetic silent-film star and latter-day memoirist. Thomas Gladysz has assembled a formidable amount of material on the actress and her era; there’s not only a lot to read and enjoy, but there’s a gift shop and even a 'Radio Lulu' function that allows you to listen to music of the 1920s. Wow!"

anonymous. "Louise Brooks Expert Speaks at Silent Film Fest." Noe Valley Voice, July 2006.
--- referenced in San Francisco monthly

Matheson, Whitney. "Happy birthday, Louise!" USA Today, November 14, 2006.
--- "My favorite Louise Brooks site belongs to the Louise Brooks Society, a devoted group of fans that even keeps a blog. There, you can find just about everything about the actress: articles, filmography, photos, links and more."

"Interview: THOMAS GLADYSZ, founder of the LOUISE BROOKS Society." SiouxWire, April 5, 2007.
--- interview on website

Stinnett, Chuck. "Louise Brooks had beauty that was decades ahead of its time." The Gleaner, September 22, 2009.
--- "Brooks remains a focus of remarkable interest...." - mention in Henderson, Kentucky newspaper

anonymous. "New Diary of a Lost Girl." Noe Valley Voice, July/August 2010.
--- mention in San Francisco monthly

Maltin, Leonard. "Silent Stars Still Mesmerize." Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy, August 10, 2010.
--- mention in review

Couch, Christina. "Quiet riot." Time Out Chicago, August 28, 2010.
--- mention in article

Blackburn, Gavin. "Forgotten book by Margarete Boehme to be revived in US." Deutsche Welle, November 3, 2010.
--- article on English-language German news site

K., A. "Stoletni dnevnik prostitutke, oče avtobiografskih izmišljotin?" RTV Slovenia, November 4, 2010.
--- article on Slovenian news site

Rombeck, Terry. "A cut above: Local author’s novel generates national buzz." Lawrence News-Tribune,  June 10, 2012.
--- mention in article about Laura Moriarty's The Chaperone in Kansas newspaper

LaSalle, Mick. "Me at Book Passage." SFGate, August 4, 2012.
--- referenced in San Francisco Chronicle blog

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New book offers another view of silent film legend Louise Brooks

Be sure and check out Jack Garner's write up of Laura Moriarty's recent novel, The Chaperone, in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Garner, the former film critic for the newspaper, was friends with Louise Brooks during the last years of her life in Rochester. (Garner also wrote the forward to Peter Cowie's Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever.)

The article, "New book offers another view of silent film legend Louise Brooks," can be found at http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20120801/LIVING0107/307300079/1032/LIVING

What is special about this piece is that Garner recalls some of his own encounters with Brooks, including the time she told him about her heading to New York City in the summer of 1922 - a key event in The Chaperone. Garner begins "Louise Brooks, the silent screen legend of Pandora’s Box, spent the last third of her life in Rochester. Before her death in 1985, she became a memorable and engaging friend to my wife and I. . . . I also remember Brooks’ stories about her first venture to New York from her home in Wichita, Kan. She was only 15 (15 going on 20!), so Brooks’ parents sent along a friend, an older woman, to be Louise’s chaperone."

If you haven't read The Chaperone - do so. It is a great read!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hot August Nights at Niles Essanay with sexy Clara Bow and sultry Evelyn Brent

Things heats up in August at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont, California. Known among early film devotees around the world, the venerable museum and theater is set to once again screen rarely shown early feature films (some not available on DVD), along with animated shorts, their regular "Comedy Short Subject Night" and Laurel & Hardy Talkie Matinee. What's causing the heat? How about sexy "It girl" Clara Bow and sultry Evelyn Brent. The latter appeared in two films in which Louise Brooks had a role: Love Em and Leave Em (1926) and King of Gamblers (1937). Here is the line-up for the month.

"Saturday Night at the Movies" with Judy Rosenberg at the piano
Saturday August 4 at 7:30 pm 

In Dancing Mothers (1926, Paramount), energetic "It girl" Clara Bow steals the show in this jazz age melodrama about societal expectations with a surprise ending. Penned by Edmund Goulding, and directed by Herbert Brenon, Dancing Mothers also features Alice Joyce, Conway Tearle, Donald Keith and Leila Hyams. A tinted version will be shown. The feature will be preceded by two shorts films, the animated Automobile Ride (1921, Bray) with Koko the Clown, and Dad’s Choice (1928, Paramount) with Edward Everett Horton.


"Saturday Night at the Movies" with Bruce Loeb at the piano
Saturday August 11 at 7:30 pm 

In Wild Beauty (1927, Universal), crooks attempt to effect the outcome of a horse race in order to take over a ranch - that's if Rex the Wonder Horse can be controlled. Rex, one of the most animal actors of his time, stars here as a wild horse smitten by a thoroughbred rescued from a World War I battlefield. Along with this bit of horse romance, there’s plenty of satisfying racehorse action in this major Universal Jewel production. June Marlowe, who played Miss Crabtree, the teacher in the "Our Gang" comedies, is featured. A tinted print of Wild Beauty will be shown. The feature will be preceded by two shorts films, Felix Wins Out (1923, Sullivan) with Felix the Cat, and Sword Points (1928, Lupino Lane Comedy) with Lupino Lane.

"Laurel and Hardy Talkie Matinee"
Sunday August 12 at 4:00 pm

This month's Laurel and Hardy Talkie Matinee features four comedic shorts, Them Thar Hills (1934) and Tit for Tat (1935), each with Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, and Mae Busch, and Forgotten Babies (1933) and For Pete’s Sake (1934), with Our Gang. 

"Comedy Short Subject Night" with Bruce Loeb at the piano
Saturday August 18 at 7:30 pm


Love to laugh? Then don't miss this  monthly program which features some of the most famous comedians of the silent era. On the bill are The Adventurer (1917, Lone Star) with Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance, Cops (1922, Buster Keaton) with Buster Keaton, Number Please (1920, Rolin) with Harold Lloyd, and Bacon Grabbers (1929, Hal Roach) with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. 

"Saturday Night at the Movies" with Frederick Hodges at the piano
Saturday August 25 at 7:30 pm 

One of the surprise hits of the recently concluded San Francisco Silent Film Festival was Josef von Sternberg's The Docks of New York (1928). The director's atmospheric story of hapless souls straight out of a police line-up was downbeat, but moody and appealing. Add a dash of danger, and the same can be said for Underworld (1927, Paramount). Solid performances by George Bancroft, Clive Brook and sultry Evelyn Brent along with the sure directing hand of von Sternberg makes this gangster melodrama a classic. Preceding the feature are two shorts, the animated Cartoon Factory (1924, Out of the Inkwell) with Koko the Clown, and Limousine Love (1928, Roach) with Charley Chase.


For more info: The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is located at 37417 Niles Blvd. in Fremont, California. For further information, call (510) 494-1411 or visit the Museum's website at www.nilesfilmmuseum.org/.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

More about Jim Tully, author of Beggers of Life

In the 1920s and 1930s, author Jim Tully was a household name. His writing - a singular brand of rough and tumble realism - was both popular and critically acclaimed. In his heyday, Tully's books appeared on bestseller lists, were adapted for the stage, and were made into movies.

On August 1st, the Cinefamily theater in Los Angeles screened the 1928 film, Beggars of Life, which stars Louise Brooks. The film was based on a celebrated 1925 novelistic memoir by Tully, a once popular "hobo author."


Over the last few years, Kent State University Press in Kent, Ohio (Tully's one-time home) has been reissuing this forgotten writer's long-out-of-print books. So far, they've released Circus Parade (with a foreword by the late comix artist Harvey Pekar), Shanty Irish (with a foreword by film director John Sayles), The Bruiser (with a foreword by critic Gerald Early), and Tully's breakthrough work and what's likely his best remembered book, Beggars of Life (with an introduction by series editors Paul Bauer and Mark Dawidziak).

Last year saw the release of Bauer and Dawidziak's outstanding biography, Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler. That book includes a foreword by documentary film maker Ken Burns, who has called the book a "wonderful, hugely important biography."

And also last year, the Akron Summit Library hosted an event with Paul Bauer and Mark Dawidziak called "Jim Tully: Rediscovering a Lost Ohio Writer." And here it is in its entirety. The video lasts one hour and seventeen minutes. Check it out.



Three films were made from Jim Tully books, including Beggars of Life (1928), Way For a Sailor (1930), and Laughter In Hell (1933). Beggars of Life is the only silent film among the three. This William Wellman directed feature starred Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen and Louise Brooks. Way For a Sailor was John Gilbert's second talkie. It also featured Wallace Beery, and Tully himself. Laughter In Hell is described as a chain-gang melodrama. It stars Pat O'Brien.
  
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