Monday, May 21, 2018

And yet more of the lost Louise Brooks film, The American Venus

The 1926 Frank Tuttle-directed film, The American Venus, is considered lost. The film was the second in which Louise Brooks had a role, though the first for which she received a screen credit. The budding actress received a good deal of attention for her supporting role as a beauty contestant, Miss Bayport. That supporting role effectively launched Brooks' career. More about The American Venus can be found HERE.



Back in the late 1990s, a few minutes of footage from The American Venus was found in Australia. The surviving material includes fragments, variously in black and white, tinted and in Technicolor, from two coming attraction trailers. These surviving trailers, each about 180 feet in length, are housed at the Library of Congress and at the Pacific Film Archive. The two trailers were screened at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in 2002, and can be found on the DVD box set, More Treasures from American Film Archives 1894 – 1931. This material can also be found on YouTube HERE.

And just recently, the British Film Institute announced it had found a three second technicolor fragment which featuring Brooks. More about that remarkable discovery can be found HERE, which the clip itself can be found HERE.



Well, it turns out, that's not all there is of Louise Brooks and The American Venus. A couple of brief scenes not included in any of the above material may also be found in the trailer embedded below, which can also be found on YouTube (where it has been, hiding in plain sight, since 2007).

The brief bit of contestant Miss Bay Port flirting with Ford Sterling is especially fresh and wholly unknown to me. (Though I am not certain, this particular scene was likely shot in Atlantic City, around the time of the 1925 Miss American beauty contest.) There is also a bit of footage of Esther Ralston, Lawrence Gray, and Fay Lanphier (the actual 1925 Miss America), as well as an unknown actress at the very end. The tvdays trailer is part of a compilation of trailers from lost films.


I am curious, can anyone identify the unknown actress at the very end of the trailer? Here is a technicolor image of that actress.

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