Thursday, October 20, 2016

Louise Brooks Oddities #3

In my ongoing research, I come across all sorts of material which is a little odd or unusual, and sometimes entertaining. Here is something I found two days ago. It is a rare 1931 issue of Inside Facts of the Stage and Screen, which touted itself as the "Only Theatrical Newspaper on the Pacific Coast." I am pretty familiar with the various film publications of the time, and have even gone through regional trade publications like Weekly Film Review out of Atlanta, George and Detroit Saturday Night out of the Motor City, BUT, had never heard of this one!

This particular issue ran a review of the 1931 William Wellman film, The Public Enemy, which lists Louise Brooks among the "fem members" appearing in the film. She didn't, of course. Inside Facts of the Stage and Screen wasn't the only publication to make this mistake. It was a mistaken credit that lingered for years, even making its way into film reference books. Years later, in 1965, Brooks wrote "What happened was that William Wellman had offered me a part in Public Enemy and I turned it down to go to New York. But the advance publicity had gone out with my name in the cast (the part Wellman then gave to Jean Harlow), so when people see an extra girl walk through a scene with a black bob and bangs, they say 'There is Brooks'."

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