Monday, July 13, 2015

BIG NEWS: Lost Louise Brooks related film found!

The big news from Ron Hutchinson and the Vitaphone Project is that the long missing First National silent feature, Show Girl (1928), has been found and is being restored with music and effects from its original Vitaphone disks. The Alfred Santell directed film stars Alice White as Dixie Dugan. It's expected the film will be shown at the Pordenone Film Festival in Italy in October.

As Louise Brooks fans know today, and as was known then, the Dixie Dugan character and the many works she appeared in were inspired by Brooks and her brief time as a show girl with the Ziegfeld Follies. (Show Girl author J.P. McEvoy had worked with Brooks in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1925.) When work began on Show Girl, many expected Brooks would be cast as Dugan. There were even reports to that effect in the Los Angeles newspapers.

Unfortunately, Brooks didn't get the part. Working against her was the fact that she was under contract with Paramount, and Show Girl was a First National film. (Despite the fact that its director, Alfred Santell, had already directed Brooks in a loan out in 1926, Just Another Blonde.) Brooks was never even tested for the part.

According to Ron Hutchinson, Show Girl features much of the same sort of hot dance music as Why Be Good?, the recently found and restored Vitaphone film starring Colleen Moore. Here is a sample. Notice that the record label indicates it is from the Show Girl motion picture.

Why Be Good? is terrific. If Show Girl is half as good, then it will certainly delight. And heck, Alice White is pretty darn cute and the film looks fun. Here are a couple three stills from the film, which I am looking forward to seeing someday.

For more, be sure and check out the Vitaphone website and Facebook page. And remember, silent film were never silent, and early talkies were often musical.

UPDATE: Also found was a Billie Dove feature The Man and the Moment (1929) with Rod La Rocque; both it and Show Girl discovered in the Milan (Italy) Archive. A few other titles uncovered were all First National Picture silents, have yet to be announced. Lets keep out fingers crossed for Just Another Blonde. or a Colleen Moore film.

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