Friday, January 8, 2010

Louise Brooks and Redskin

Rugged silent screen star Richard Dix - who appeared in a number of Paramount films in the 1920's (including one almost with Louise Brooks) - will be celebrated at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont, California on Saturday, January 9th.

Tomorrow's events including an author appearance & booksigning with the actor's son, Robert Dix, and a screening of Richard Dix's best known silent film, The Vanishing American (1926). More on the day's activities and the Hollywood careers' of "Dix & Son" can be found at my column on

Throughout his long career, Richard Dix appeared in a number of Westerns. And in some of those, like The Vanishing American, he played a Native American. That's true as well for his 1929 Paramount film, Redskin.

What's little known is that Louise Brooks almost appeared in Redskin. The film was in production in 1928. And Brooks was cast in the film as "Corn Blossom," a Native American girl. Pictures of the actress, in costume wearing Indian type dress, were taken.

However, it was not to be. Brooks was withdrawn from the film and was instead placed in the role of "The Canary" in the early sound film, The Canary Murder Case (1929). Gladys Belmont ended up playing the role of Corn Blossom.

How Paramount executives could have imagined Brooks - an actress known for her roles as a pert and sassy flapper - in a Western I just don't know! Nevertheless, they did.

Brooks, of course, finished her career in two Westerns with contemporary settings - Empty Saddles with Buck Jones in 1936, and Overland Stage Raiders with John Wayne in 1938. More about Redskin can be found at

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