Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Louise Brooks Society under attack again

Just so everyone knows, my Louise Brooks Society Facebook account has been suspended for 3 days due to a bogus report of trademark infringement filed by the internet troll Michael Garcia Mujica, doing business as "Vintage Brooks". My apologies to 5000+ followers, but this troll seemingly doesn't have anything better to do than harass the Louise Brooks Society. What a loser.

The two items on Facebook which were reported were a link to the March 4th Louise Brooks Society blog reporting on the forthcoming publication of a graphic novel about the actress, Dark Star: Louise Brooks in Berlin.  Also reported for trademark violation was my Louise Brooks Society logo, which is shown below. "Vintage Brooks" has no legitimate or lawful claim to either of these items. He does not own each and every use of Brooks name. His claims of trademark infringement is nothing more than harassment.


Today, as well, the re-established Louise Brooks Society Instagram account was also taken down following yet another allegation by Vintage Brooks of trademark infringement. Again, this is bull shit. Last week, two images on my LBS Instagram account were also taken down following a fraudulent claim of trademark infringement. One of images picture an old pinback button showing the image above. The other image which was removed was  an image of my Louise Brooks Society business card. BTW: I had to reestablish the Louise Brooks Society Instagram account after it was taken down once before.

A few weeks ago, the Louise Brooks Society Twitter account was also shut down following a complaint by Vintage Brooks. The Louise Brooks Society has been on Twitter since 2009, and it had gained more than 5000 followers. 

Of course, I have filed appeals with each of these platforms, but each has failed to respond to my appeals. With Twitter and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) in such disarray, it is not surprising. The only good spin on this situation is that Vintage Brooks actions are helping build a legal case and financial liability against himself.

For the record: The Louise Brooks Society™ website was established online in 1995. Its website and the wordmark “Louise Brooks Society” are under copyright and common law trademark protection. Additionally, the Louise Brooks Society operates with the written consent of the Estate of Louise Brooks (Louise Brooks Heirs, LC), and have its permission to use the name and likeness of the actress. "Vintage Brooks" does not.

UPDATE 3/23/2023: Today, the second incarnation of the Louise Brooks Society Twitter account was permanently suspended. No doubt, it was taken down after a complaint by Vintage Brooks. I don't know for sure, as the account was taken down without any explanation.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Evening Clothes, starring Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1927

Evening Clothes, starring Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1927. The film is a romantic comedy about a gentleman farmer who — spurned by his bride, goes to the big city to loose his rustic ways and win back his new wife. A stanza printed in advertisements for the film put it this way, “He was a French hick / Who didn’t please her / So he went to Paris and / Became a Boulevardier.” Louise Brooks plays a character called Fox Trot, a hot-to-trot Parisian who some described as a lady of the evening. More about the film can be found on the Louise Brooks Society filmography page.

Adolphe Menjou, Louise Brooks, and Noah Beery Sr.

The making of the film coincided with Paramount’s transition from its East Coast facilities to the West Coast. Evening Clothes was the first film Brooks made in Hollywood, and at Paramount’s suggestion, the first in which she did not wear her signature bob hairstyle.

Evening Clothes was made to order for its star, Adolphe Menjou. And as with his similarly-themed prior films A Social Celebrity, Ace of Cads, The Sorrows of Satan, and Blonde or BrunetteEvening Clothes proved popular with moviegoers, though less so with critics. The New York Daily News stated “There are a couple of really subtle spots, however, which brighten up the film tremendously, raising it right out of the mediocre class,” while adding “Louise Brooks is a perfect knockout as a good-natured lady of the evening.” The New York Morning Telegraph quipped, ” . . . as it stands, this latest Menjou vehicle offers entertainment value equivalent to the Paramount admission charge.” Other New York papers were more positive. The New York Telegram called the film “a delightful little comedy,” while the New York Journal described it as “an entertaining comedy, with some good situations.” All-in-all, the film received a cool critical response, though it performed very well at the box office.

Thin story-line aside, many reviewers focused on the actors as well as Brooks’ new hairstyle. Among them was Regina Cannon of the New York American, “Louise Brooks is again cast as a ‘lady of the evening’ and makes her role pert and amusing. You won’t recognize Miss Brooks at first, for she is wearing her hair curled over her head. This is too bad, for it makes her look just like a thousand other attractive girls. Louise achieved distinction with her straight-banged bob.”

Louella Parsons of the Los Angeles Examiner added, “When you see the show girl, Louise Brooks, cavorting about with a frizzled top you will see why Famous Players Lasky is grooming her for bigger and better things. She fares much better than either Miss Tashman or Mr. Beery, who only appear at long intervals.” Welford Beaton of Film Spectator echoed Parson’s remarks, “There are three girls who do very well in Evening Clothes — Virginia Valli, Louise Brooks and Lilyan Tashman. . . . I was glad to see further evidence of Paramount’s dawning consciousness that Louise Brooks is not composed solely of legs. They work her from the knees up in this picture and it begins to look as if she were headed for a high place.”

Herbert Cruikshank, who wasn’t enthused about the film, nevertheless liked Brooks. He wrote in the New York Morning Telegraph, “It seems to me that Louise Brooks deserves first place. She is charmingly piquant as a chic little gold-digger who turns out to be a pretty good fellow after all — as many of the maligned sisterhood do. While her part is merely a filler, she seems to have built it up materially, and holds center stage in whatever scenes she has.”

And front-and-center is where Brooks’ next film placed her. Rolled Stockings — which featured Brooks in the lead — went into production just as Evening Clothes was opening around the United States.

Under its American title, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia, British Malaysia (Singapore), Canada*, China, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Panama, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, and the United Kingdom (England, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales). In the United States, the film was also presented under the title El Traje de Etiqueta (Spanish-language press) and Roupas Noturnas (Portuguese-language press).

Elsewhere, Evening Clothes was shown under the title Un Homme en Habit (Algeria); El hombre del frac (Argentina); Eine Pariser ehe (Austria); Un homme en habit (Belgium, French) and Een Man in Habijt and Een Man in een Habijt (Belgium, Dutch); De Casaca e Luva Branca (Brazil); Las que no aman (Chile); El traje de etiqueta (Costa Rica); El Traje de Etiqueta (Cuba); Vecerní odev and Muž ve Fraku (Czechoslovakia); Ein Frack Ein Claque Ein Madel (Danzig); I kjole og hvidt (Denmark); In Rok (Dutch East Indies); El Marques de la Moda (Dominican Republic); Un Homme en Habit (Egypt); Mõistueaubielu and Mõistueaubielu abielu and Vernunftehe (Estonia); Frakkipukuinen herra and Parisin yökahviloissa (Finland); Un Homme en Habit (France); Ein Frack ein Claque ein Mädel (Germany); Estélyruha and Frakk És Klakk (Hungary); Il signore della notte and Signore della notte (Italy); 夜会服 or Yakai-fuku (Japan); Aprehķina laulības and Der Liebling der Gesellschaft (Latvia); Un Homme en HabitEin Frack, Ein Claque, Ein Madel! (Luxembourg); El traje de etiqueta (Mexico); In Rok (The Netherlands**); I Kjole og Hvitt (Norway); Szkoła Paryska (Poland); De Casaca e Luva Branca (Portugal); El Traje de etiqueta and El vestido de etiqueta and Vestido de etiqueta (Spain); En herre i frack (Sweden); L’homme en habit and Un homme en habit (Switzerland); and Un Homme en Habit (Vietnam).

* The film was banned in Quebec, Canada because of “concubinage” – the suggestion of interpersonal or sexual relationship between a man and a woman in which the couple are not or cannot be married.

** When the film was shown in The Netherlands in 1929, a cut was made to the film and screenings were restricted to those 18 and over.


—  Evening Clothes is based on a French play L’homme en habit by Andre Picard and Yves Mirande which debuted in Paris on March 25, 1920. The Man in Evening Clothes, an English-language version of the play translated by the noted actress Ruth Chatterton, had a brief Broadway run at the Henry Miller Theatre beginning on December 5, 1924.

—  Evening Clothes had its world premiere at the Metropolitan theater in Los Angeles, California on March 4, 1927. Adolphe Menjou was in attendance at the special event, as was the noted poet and then current French ambassador to the United States, . Each were introduced from the stage. It’s now known if Brooks was in attendance at the premiere.

Arnold Kent (billed as Lido Manetti) had a small role in the film. He began his film career in Italy after having started as a stage actor. (Among his Italian credits were Quo Vadis and a few diva films directed by Augusto Genini.) In the mid-1920s, he moved to Hollywood and worked as a contract player at Universal and later at Paramount. He died in Hollywood in 1928 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

—  In 1931, Paramount produced two sound versions of the play at their studios in Joinville, France. A Spanish-language version, Un caballero de frac, was directed y Roger Capellani and Carlos San Martín and starred Roberto Rey and Gloria Guzmán. And a French-language version, Un home de habit, directed by René Guissart and Robert Bossis, starred Fernand Gravey and Suzy Vernon. Only the Spanish-language film was released in the United States. Additionally, in 1938, Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder outlined a treatment of the play, but nothing seems to have come of an American remake.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  (www.pandorasbox.com). Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Happy St. Patricks Day from the Louise Brooks Society

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, a treasure from my collection of silent film related books - Colleen Moore's copy of "Beggars of Life", inscribed by the celebrated hobo author Jim Tully to the celebrated bobbed actress "with the admiration of an Irish Rover to a whimsical girl who knew him when" in Hollywood, California, 1926.  I am not sure if this is a first edition; and sadly, the dust jack is in tatters. But still, the bookplate and inscription is what sets this book apart.

The original price of the book was $3.00, according to the label from the Hollywood Book Store which is pasted to the rear end paper. I bought this book years ago here in California. The used book shop was asking $90.00, but I remember asking them for a discount and getting it. For obvious reasons, this book is a treasured possession.


Of course, it was another bobbed-hair beauty, Louise Brooks, who went on to star in the film version of Beggars of Life just two years later.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  (www.pandorasbox.com). Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Exhibiting Louise Brooks Around the World

Louise Brooks is a 20th century icon, and a magnet for meaning. Just recently, I became aware of two exhibits which make use of Louise Brooks' name and likeness. 

One of them, "Weimar Female: Women and Gender Diversity in Modern Cinema (1918 – 1933)," runs March 29 to November 12, 2023 at the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum for Film and Television, Berlin in Germany. More on the exhibition can be found HERE, though for more Louise Brooks you should also check out the Deutsche Kinemathek homepage.

According to the Deutsche Kinemathek website, "The exhibition is dedicated to gender diversity and women in the cinema of the Weimar Republic. Gender reversal, self-determination and homosexuality were themes in the film, but the most popular was the "New Woman": To this day, her type stands for modernity and breaking out of convention, he lives on in series like Babylon Berlin  or  Eldorado  KaDeWe . But who were the real New Women? After the First World War, they confidently took advantage of the professional opportunities, also in the up-and-coming film industry. Their stories are told with numerous exhibits and film examples." 

On Instagram, I also came across this stunning image promoting the exhibit. It depicts Alice Roberts and Louise Brooks in what can only be described as large format! From what I gather, around 150 additional exhibits were brought together exclusively for the Frankfurt presentation of the exhibit. I would love to hear from anyone who is able to check out either exhibit.

And the next day, elsewhere on the continent, Louise Brooks is once again the poster girl for an educational event in Spain. I also found this image and announcement on Instagram. The description states, "Literature and cinema once again go hand in hand where the same language is intertwined. A review of the narrative and visual history where the protagonists are women, including the career of Alice Guy-Blaché, Mary Pickford, Dorothy Azner, María Falconetti and Louise Brooks. Luis Romero Siluto will recreate a dreamlike atmosphere that will make us remember great moments of the genre. An unmissable date for great lovers of the seventh art. To register, contact the email: culturapilar@santacruzdelapalma.es or the contact telephone number: 922 42 00 07 (Department of Culture)."

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  (www.pandorasbox.com). Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

New Louise Brooks graphic novel forthcoming - Dark Star: Louise Brooks in Berlin

Louise Brooks has been the subject of a number of comic strips and graphic novels over the years, from the long running Dixie Dugan / Show Girl strip beginning in the 1920s to Valentina in the 1960s and Louise Brooks Detective in 2015. There have been others. The latest is Shane Filer's Dark Star: Louise Brooks in Berlin, which is due out later this year. 

Here is some info from the author's press release.


A new graphic novel featuring iconic silent film star Louise Brooks is set to launch on Kickstarter in April/May. "Dark Star: Louise Brooks in Berlin" is written by Shane Filer and illustrated by Aulia Rachmatulloh.

This four-issue series takes readers on a wild ride through the life of one of the most enigmatic figures of the 20th century, Louise Brooks. Set in 1920s Berlin, Louise drifts through a single night, seeking a mysterious gift and encountering the city's present and future inhabitants. Through flashbacks of her past and flash-forwards into the unknown, Louise confronts herself and the demons that have haunted her throughout her life.

This is not a biography, nor is it entirely fiction, rather a darkly re-imagined biographical fairy tale. "Artists use lies to tell the truth," Alan Moore famously wrote, and "Dark Star" aims to do just that.

Shane Filer, the writer behind "Dark Star," previously published a novel (Exit) and wrote scripts for the long-running UK comic "Commando." One of his issues in this most male dominated comic, featured a very rare female heroine based visually upon Louise Brooks and brought to life by veteran Spanish comic book artist Carlos Pino.

Filer aims to tell compelling stories that resonate with readers, taking inspiration from comic classics like "Love and Rockets," "Maus," and "Concrete," along with influential comic book writers like Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, authors like Haruki Murakami, Milan Kundera, and filmmakers like David Lynch, and Michelangelo Antonioni.

Illustrator Aulia Rachmatulloh, a talented Indonesian animator and artist, brings the story to life with beautiful, detailed artwork that fits the era. Art assistance is provided by artists Alessandro Saccotelli and Samuele Giannicola.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to explore the life of the iconic Louise Brooks in this unique graphic novel series. Support "Dark Star: Louise Brooks in Berlin" on Kickstarter, coming this April/May.

For more information, sign up to the project's newsletter.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  (www.pandorasbox.com). Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

It Pays to Advertise, with Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1931

It Pays to Advertise, with Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1931. The film is a farce about rival soap companies, an advertising agency, and a ne’er do-well playboy who attempts to make good. Louise Brooks plays Thelma Temple, a dancer appearing in a musical titled Girlies Don’t Tell. More about the film can be found on the Louise Brooks Society filmography page

Production on the film took place in and around Los Angeles in late 1930. Brooks’ part in the film, done to fulfill her contract with Paramount, amounted to little more than a cameo. The Hollywood Reporter wrote “Louise Brooks flashes in and out of the opening scenes and looks like a good bet for bigger roles.” Due to tepid reviews and negative publicity, It Pays to Advertise did poorly at the box office. At best, most exhibitors reported only fair business. In Los Angeles, according to one report, the film “set a new low.” The film also failed to do much for Brooks’ sputtering career.

It Pays to Advertise was based on a popular stage play from 1914. In 1931, reviewers commented that the story was old-fashioned – despite the fact that Paramount attempted to update its scenario through the use of new scenes, art deco sets, snappy dialogue, and a fast-moving script.

The film received few positive reviews. Photoplay wrote that it has “plenty of speed and lots of laughs”, while praising the “perfect cast”. Variety wrote “Subject to the limitation of all screen farces, this revamped stage frolic makes good enough program material with only moderate prospects at the box office.” New York’s The World, however, called it “pretty dreary.” The New Yorker stated “Among the dull pictures of the week we might list that old relic, It Pays to Advertise, which is full of smart-aleck cracks and is altogether a bore.”

The film starred Norman Foster, then husband of Claudette Colbert, and Carol Lombard, who was at the beginning of her film career. The gravel-voiced Eugene Pallette played the soap king; he had also played a supporting role in Brooks’ previous American film, The Canary Murder Case. The fast talking Skeets Gallagher played the wisecracking publicist – then called press agents. Brooks received fifth billing, and was largely left off promotional materials supplied by the studio.

Few publications mentioned Brooks, except to mention her brief appearance. Some publications noted that the role represented a comeback. The Kansas City Star commented, “Carole Lombard is pretty as the Mary Grayson in the cast, but Louise Brooks, who used to be quite a name in the photoplay world, is more attractive as the actress who does the airplane fall and is not seen thereafter.” Harry Evans, writing in Life magazine, stated “Louise Brooks, whom we have not seen on the screen since her momentary appearance in The Canary Murder Case (in which a voice double was used to speak her lines), seems to have been studying, as she gets away with her bit in this one creditably. Her real purpose in the film, however, is to show her legs, and in this phase of stage-craft she certainly needs no double.”

Under its American title, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia (including Tasmania), British Malaysia (Singapore), Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, The Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom (including England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland). In the United States, the film was also promoted under the title Vale a Pena Anunciar (Portuguese-language press). Elsewhere, It Pays to Advertise was shown under the title To platí, aby inzeroval (Czechoslovakia).


It Pays to Advertise was based on the play of the same name by Roi Cooper Megrue and Walter C. Hackett. It was first presented on the Broadway stage on September 8, 1914 at the Cohan Theatre, and ran for nearly a year. Thelma Temple, the character played by Louise Brooks, does not appear in the original play.

—  Set in the advertising and business world, It Pays to Advertise referenced a number of actual products and their slogans. As a result, one trade journal took exception to the practice. Harrison’s Reports, which billed itself “a reviewing service free from the influence of film advertising,” objected to product placement in film — be it verbal or visual. Over the course of four months (in articles titled “The Facts About Concealed Advertisements in Paramount Pictures,” “This Paper’s Further Efforts Against ‘Sponsored’ Screen Advertisements,” and “Other Papers That Have Joined the Harrison Crusade Against Unlabelled Screen Advertising”) editor P. S. Harrison railed against the business world farce in particular and product placement in films in general. “The Paramount picture, It Pays to Advertise, is nothing but a billboard of immense size. I have not been able to count all of the nationally advertised articles that are spoken of by the characters.” In the next issue, Harrison stated “In last week’s issue the disclosure was made that in It Pays to Advertise there are more than fifteen advertisements in addition to the main advertisement, ’13 Soap Unlucky for Dirt,’ which Paramount is accused of having created as a brand for the purpose of selling it.”  Taking the high moral ground, Harrison’s Reports spurred a campaign against “sponsored moving pictures – meaning pictures which contain concealed or open advertising of some one’s product.” Harrison wrote to the studios – and Harrison’s Reports noted that a handful responded with pledges to not include verbal or visual product placement. The crusading editor also wrote to more than 2,000 newspapers, and a number published articles and editorials decrying the practice. Among those papers that joined Harrison’s cause were four of the New York dailies, the Gannett chain, and scores of small town papers, as well as the Denver Post, Detroit Free Press, St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and Tulsa Tribune. The Christian Science Monitor added to the chorus of complaint when it remarked, “Paramount should have been well paid for the large slices of publicity for trade-marked products that are spread all through this artificial story.”

— The play has been made into a film on four occasions: there was a silent film in 1919, directed by Donald Crisp; the talkie in 1931, directed by Frank Tuttle; and a Swedish adaptation in 1936, directed by Anders Henrikson. In 1932, Paramount produced French language version of the 1931 film: Paramount remade the film at their studio at Joinville, France under the title Criez-le sur les toits, directed by Karl Anton and starring Saint-Granier and Robert Burnier.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  (www.pandorasbox.com). Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

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