Sunday, November 25, 2007

TONIGHT: Louise Brooks double feature at Harvard

A Girl in Every Port (1928) and The Canary Murder Case (1929) will be shown at the Harvard Film Archive, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 24 Quincy Street, in Cambridge, Mass. Tonight's start time is 7:00 pm. For more information about this rare double bill, click there.*

Special Event Tickets $10 - Double Feature Admission 
Live Piano Accompaniment by Martin Marks
Introduction by Caroline Yaeger, Assistant Curator, George Eastman House

A Girl in Every Port

Directed by Howard Hawks
With Louise Brooks, Victor McLaglen
US 1928, 35mm, b/w, silent, 64 min.

A rousing action comedy, A Girl In Every Port is arguably the first quintessential Howard Hawks film, one of the earliest to fully explore the themes of male bonding and sexual relations that would preoccupy the director throughout his entire career. Brooks plays Marie, a protofemme fatale who lures sailors to commit acts of folly. Brooks' wonderful turn in the film brought her to Pabst's attention and rocketed her to sudden celebrity.

The Canary Murder Case

Directed by Malcolm St. Clair
With Louise Brooks, William Powell, Jean Arthur
US 1929, 35mm, b/w, 82 min
One of Paramount's biggest hits of 1929, The Canary Murder Case is a wonderful example of the sophisticated brand of comedy that remained extremely popular in the years leading up to the Production Code. One of Hollywood's earliest private eye films, The Canary Murder Case stars William Powell as the debonair detective Phil Vance, investigating the suspicious career of the eponymous Canary (Brooks), an immoral nightclub singer with a cast of impatient lovers. The script, co-written by Herman J. Mankiewicz, sparkles with sexual innuendo. Brooks' refusal to dub her own voice when Paramount decided to turn the film into a talkie helped alienate her from the studios.

* When A Girl in Every Port was first shown at Harvard in 1928, The Crimson, the Harvard student newspaper wrote, "The main interest of the story comes when Spike meets his rival, and 'the' girl - Louise Brooks. From then on the picture might well be entitled 'A Text Book for Pugilistic Aspirants.' In a word, the picture is very amusing and eminently well worth seeing; well directed with Miss Brooks and Mr. McLaglen forming a very delightful contrast."

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