With live music by Donald Sosin Directed by A. Edward Sutherland. 1926. 70 min., 35mm print from the Library of Congress. With W.C. Fields, Louise Brooks. Fields plays a misanthropic, small-town pharmacist whose lovely shop assistant (Louise Brooks) gets him involved in a phony real estate scheme. The film is regarded as a high point of Fields’s silent filmography. The story was later revised and revamped in the talkies The Pharmacist (1933) and It’s a Gift (1934).
For more information about the film, check out the Louise Brooks Society filmography page. The film, especially interiors, were shot at Paramount’s Astoria Studios on Long Island (located at 3412 36th Street in the Astoria neighborhood in Queens) and in Manhattan. Location shooting, including exteriors, was done in Ocala and Palm Beach, Florida in February, 1926. The outdoor scenes in Palm Beach were shot at El Mirasol, the estate of multi-millionaire investment banker Edward T. Stotesbury. In 1912, after having been a widower for thirty-some years, Stotesbury remarried and became the stepfather of three children including Henrietta Louise Cromwell Brooks (known simply as Louise Brooks), an American socialite and the first wife of General Douglas MacArthur. In her heyday, she was “considered one of Washington’s most beautiful and attractive young women”. Because of their names, the two women were sometimes confused in the press. (Read more about the Palm Beach location on silentlocations.com.)
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