Wednesday, December 24, 2008

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks first encountered F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood. According to the Barry Paris biography, they first met in 1927 in the lobby of the Ambassador Hotel. In letters and in interviews, Brooks recounted their one or two additional meetings over the years. What Fitzgerald and Brooks shared was a dislike of Hollywood. Despite its reputation as a dream factory, both the writer and the actress were profoundly unhappy during their tenures in Tinseltown.

I was reminded of all of this while reading David Wiegand's article about Fitzgerald in today's San Francisco Chronicle. The article, which looks at Fitzgerald's relationship with Hollywood and the films made from his books, was prompted by the forthcoming release of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett star in this adaptation of one of the writer's most unusual short stories. [It's a film I am looking forward to seeing, as I am a BIG Fitzgerald fan.]

Weigand raves over Bernice Bobs Her Hair, a 1976 film written and directed for TV by Joan Micklin Silver and starring Shelley Duvall. Has anybody seen this particlur work?

Curiously, Weigand fails to make note of some earlier films based on Fitzgerald's work. Most important among them is The Great Gatsby, a now lost 1926 film directed by Herbert Brenon (who directed Brooks in her first film, The Street of Forgotten Men). Check out the article. It is worth reading.

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