Thursday, August 4, 2016

UPDATED: First Louise Brooks television broadcast

Yesterday, I wrote "Certainly, Overland Stage Raiders was the first film featuring Louise Brooks to be shown either on television or at a drive-in. The earliest television listing I came across for the film was from March 8, 1953 in Hazelton, Pennsylvania as part of "John Wayne Theater." The film then showed two days later in Los Angeles. As far as television goes, 1953 is pretty early."

I was wrong.

Yesterday, I couldn't imagine finding an earlier television broadcast of a film in which Louise Brooks appeared. Until today. . . , when I found that Windy Riley Goes Hollywood was broadcast on TV in 1948, five years before Overland Stage Raiders. Wow, as far as television goes, 1948 is very early. The film was shown under the title Windy Riley Goes to Hollywood on November 18, 1948 on WJZ (Channel 7) in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

I found the above listing while I was researching Windy Riley Goes to Hollywood, under which the 1931 Fatty Arbuckle-directed film was listed a few times in the early 1930s. Most times, exhibitors and advertisers got the title, Windy Riley Goes Hollywood, right. But sometimes they didn't. Here is a screen capture of the film's title. Following it is a 1931 advertisement from East Liverpool, Ohio for the Gloria Swanson film Indiscreet, with which the incorrectly named Windy Riley Goes to Hollywood was paired.

This mistake wasn't a one-off. The East Liverpool advertisement named Windy Riley incorrectly three times in three different advertisements over the course of three days. Others made the same mistake.  So did the Hamilton Evening Journal in Hamilton, Ohio in 1931, and the Rhinelander Daily News in Rhinelander, Wisconsin in 1932, and the Medford Mail Tribune in Medford, Oregon also in 1932. As did the Asbury Park Press television listings in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 1948.

Out of curiosity, I searched for television listings for Louise Brooks' other talkies. I found that God's Gift to Women was shown on TV in Cincinnati in September, 1958, and again in 1959 in Bennington, Vermont and Sandusky, Ohio and elsewhere. It was also shown in Tucson, Arizona in 1960. The earliest television listing I could find for Empty Saddles was in March 1957 in Long Beach, California, and then Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in November, 1957 and June, 1958, followed by St. Louis, Missouri in September, 1959. [Oh, King of Gamblers was shown in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in October 1960 and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Christmas Day in 1960.]

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