Monday, June 13, 2016

Louise Brooks in Movies and Conduct

By 1932, Louise Brooks' career was on the decline. She would appear in no films that year, and fewer and fewer magazine or newspaper articles bothered to mention her. The few that did were more often than not of the "What ever happened to" type.

The year 1932 saw the publication of an important book, Movies and Conduct, by the sociologist Herbert Blumer. It was one of a small handful of books which looked at the influence of motion pictures upon society, especially the young. (The group that helped bring this tome into being was the National Committee for the Study of Social Values in Motion Pictures.) If you're interested, the book can be read or downloaded via the Internet Archive.

What caught my attention was the mention of Brooks. (It is among the earlier mentions of the actress in a book.) One appendix includes a teenage girl talking about the movies, and Brooks is mentioned as a particular favorite.

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