Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Social Celebrity - A Round-up of Reviews

A Social Celebrity, Louise Brooks' third film, was officially released on this day in 1926. The film is a comedy about a small town barber's son who poses his way into New York high society. This Paramount film was directed by Malcolm St. Clair. Adolphe Menjou played Max Haber, Louise Brooks played Kitty Laverne, and Chester Conklin was Johann Haber. The film is lost.




A Social Celebrity proved popular. Here is a round up of magazine and newspaper reviews and articles drawn from the Louise Brooks Society archive.

Marzoni, Pettersen. "Picture Reviews." Birmingham Age, March 29, 1926.
--- "A newcomer also provides color to A Social Celebrity. She is Louise Brooks, who flashed a moment of inspiration in The American Venus." (brief review in Birmingham, Alabama newspaper; the film was also deemed acceptable by the Better Films Committee of Birmingham in an adjunct column)

Tinee, Mae. "Adolphe Menjou Proves He's No One Role Actor." Chicago Tribune, March 31, 1926.
--- "Louise Brooks, who plays the small town sweetheart who want to make a peacock out of her razorbill, is a delightful young person with a lovely, direct gaze, an engaging seriousness, and a sudden, flashing smile that is disarming and winsome. A slim and lissome child, with personality and talent."

Hughston, Josephine. "Adolphe Menjou At Liberty in A Social Celebrity." San Jose Mercury Herald, April 2, 1926.
--- "Louise Brooks is Kitty, the girl who sets the pace in leaving the small town to dance in a New York night club."

anonymous. "A Social Celebrity." New York Morning Telegraph, April 19, 1926.
--- "Besides Menjou's capital performance, various rosettes and medals should go to Josephine Drake, Louise Brooks, Chester Conklin and Elsie Lawson. . . . Louise Brooks, provocative, alluring, would have been enhanced by better lighting or darker make-up, but that will doubtless come in another picture. She is, Heaven knows, potent enough as it is."

W., M. "Mr. Menjou in Another Cinema Joy on Valentine Silver Sheet." Toledo Times, April 19, 1926.
--- "Louise Brooks, who left Mr. Ziegfield's 'Follies' for a career on the shadow stage, has her first important role opposite him and does admirably. She is a captivating little brunette with the figure of a Venus."

McGowen, Rose. "Social Celebrity Shaved Off Nobility by Chance Remark." New York Daily News, April 20, 1926.
--- "Louise Brooks would have been ample excuse for making any picture. Here is a young actress who has fresh young beauty reinforced by one of the most expressive faces I have ever seen on the screen."

Pelswick, Rose. "New Pictures on Broadway." New York Evening Journal, April 20, 1926.
--- "It is about 85 per cent top grade entertainment and consequently much better than the average. . . . Louise Brooks is an unusually attractive girl who stirs the hero to ambition by leaving the same small town to do the inevitable Charleston in a Broadway night club."

Fred. "A Social Celebrity." Variety, April 21, 1926.
--- "And in Louise Brooks it looks as though Famous has a find that might rank in the Colleen Moore class providing they handle her right."

anonymous. "Adolphe Menjou in A Social Celebrity." Film Daily, April 25, 1926.
--- "Louise Brooks a cutey and with a quantity of good looks. She isn't exactly the heroine type though. She would make a far better baby vamp."

Montfort, Lawrence M. "Menjou Funny in Granada's Screen Farce." San Francisco Illustrated Daily News, April 26, 1926.
--- "Louise Brooks, who plays the small town girl who coaxes Menjou to emulate her example and try luck in New York is a comer and awfully good to look upon. Her straight-cut bob, black eyes and not too sweetly pretty face are different, and she displays some acting ability."

B., D. W. "Films of the Week." Boston Evening Transcript, April 28, 1926.
--- "In this instance the manicurist is no less provocative a morsel than Miss Miss Louise Brooks, remembered for her bit in that specious puff-pastry, The American Venus. Miss Brooks has anything but a rewarding task in A Social Celebrity. Yet it would be ungracious not to comment on the fetching qualities of her screen presence. She affects a straight-line bang across the forehead with distressingly piquant cow-licks over either ear. Her eyes are quick, dark, lustrous. Her nose and mouth share a suspicion of gaminerie. Her gestures are deft and alert - perhaps still a shade self-conscious. In body she is more supple than facial play and her genuflectory exertions in the Charleston might well repay the careful study of amateurs in that delicate exercise."

anonymous. "Menjou, Heart Breaker, Tries Hand at Barbering." Portland Oregonian, May 11, 1926.
--- "It introduces to the movie public a new heroine in the person of the sleek and boyish Louise Brooks. A little young, perhaps, but buoyant and of most engaging smile. There is no opportunity to learn whether or not she can act, but in her role of chorus girl she reveals the most beautiful pair of legs in the movies - which is a rather broad statement and a comment which would have been in very poor taste in crinoline days."

anonymous. "The Screen in Review: A Barber-shop Chord." Picture-Play, August, 1926.
-- "Louise Brooks is the young lady with the black hair who saved The American Venus from a fate worse than death. This young lady, very recently from Kansas, is the newest of all those new faces that have been cropping up lately. And the prettiest, too."

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