Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Windy Riley Goes Hollywood - A round up of reviews

Windy Riley Goes Hollywood, Louise Brooks' one short film, was officially released on this day in 1931. The 21 minute film follows cocky Windy Riley as he tries to revamp the publicity department of a Hollywood studio and mucks it all up.


The film stars Jack Shutta (brother of Ethel Shutta, who appeared in the Follies with Brooks) as Windy Riley, and Louise Brooks as Betty Grey. Also in the cast are William B. Davidson, Dell Henderson (a frequent associate of film pioneer D.W. Griffith and, on a less prolific basis, Mack Sennett), Wilbur Mack, and Walter Merrill. This Educational Pictures film, based on the screenplay by Ernest Pagano and Jack Townley, was adapted from the cartoon strip character by Ken Kling. The film was directed by Roscoe Arbuckle under the name William B. Goodrich.

The film received very few reviews, and in fact, they are very few documented showings of the film following its initial release. Here are a few of its reviews drawn from the Louise Brooks Society archive.

anonymous. "Riley Comic Strip Short Rather Dull." Hollywood Reporter, January 22, 1931.
--- "Louise Brooks is the star and brings forth the fact that she has an excellent speaking voice, looks very well, and that her forte is not short-reel comedies."

anonymous. Film Daily, April 5, 1931.
--- review

anonymous. "Shorts." Motion Picture Herald, April 11, 1931.
--- "The auto record of Windy Riley from New York to Hollywood and the subsequent excitement at a studio when he works a fake publicity stunt, cannot be rated more than fair. The story by Ken Kling is not at all unusal. Jack Shutta, Louise Brooks, William Davidson, Dell Henderson, Wilbur Mack and Walter Merrill do their best but not very successfully."

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