Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year from the Louise Brooks Society

Happy New Year from the Louise Brooks Society (

Happy New Year from the Louise Brooks Society (
The Louise Brooks Society website is the oldest and biggest Louise Brooks site on the internet.
Launched in 1995, the LBS is a pioneer among silent film sites.

Happy New Year from the Louise Brooks Society (

And don't forget to follow the Louise Brooks Society on Twitter @LB_Society.
 As of today, the LBS is followed by more than 4800 individuals. Are you one of them?
Why not join the conversation? Be sure and visit the official LBS Twitter profile, and check out the more than 5,550 LBS tweets! For those who like to follow the flow, the LBS twitter stream can also be found in the right hand column of this blog.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Books: Two fascinating women, and more

There are two new books out which silent film buffs, Jazz Age enthusiasts, and those interested in social history and women's herstory will want to know about. Each tell the story of a little known woman from the early decades of the 20th century. Each are fascinating accounts, and each reveals that there still many undiscovered stories left to be told. Each book are recommended reading.

The Lives of Justine Johnstone: Follies Star, Research Scientist, Social Activist (McFarland)
by Kathleen Vestuto

From the publisher: As a Ziegfeld Follies girl and film actress, Justine Johnstone (1895-1982) was celebrated as "the most beautiful woman in the world." Her career took an unexpected turn when she abruptly retired from acting at 31. For the remainder of her life, she dedicated herself to medical research and social activism. As a cutting-edge pathologist, she contributed to the pre-penicillin treatment of syphilis at Columbia University, participated in the development of early cancer treatments at Caltech, and assisted Los Angeles physicians in oncology research. As a divorced woman in the 1940s, she adopted and raised two children on her own. She later helped find work for blacklisted Hollywood screenwriters and became a prominent participant in social and political causes.

The first full-length biography of Johnstone (who travelled in the same social circles as Louise Brooks in 1925 New York City) chronicles her extraordinary success in two male-dominated fields--show business and medical science--and follows her remarkable journey into a fascinating and fulfilling life.

"Here is a book that might otherwise escape you, but if you're lucky you'll find it and read it.... From her humble upbringing in New Jersey to her days as a Broadway and Hollywood fixture to her life as a research scientist and social activist, Johnstone emerges as a fascinating person. Vestuto sprinkles her life story with anecdotes that include some of the people in Justine's world which included, among many others, Fred Astaire, Harpo Marx, Marion Davies, Joan Blondell and W.C. Fields...." – Jeff Still, amazon review

About the Author
: Kathleen Vestuto is a former theatre professional working in the nonprofit social services sector. She lives in New York City.

Southern Belle To Hollywood Hell: Corliss Palmer and Her Scandalous Rise and Fall (BearManor Media)
by Jennifer Ann Redmond

From the publisher: Winning the Fame and Fortune Contest of 1920 made Corliss Palmer a star. It was the worst thing that ever happened to her. Come along as the author of Reels & Rivals: Sisters in Silent Film charts Corliss and publisher Eugene Brewster’s attempt to fashion a Jazz Age empire, only to end up ruling the gossip columns. Over 70 images, including never-before-seen photos from the Palmer family scrapbook, illustrate this incredible tale of obsession, glamour, and why you should always be careful what you wish for.

“Remarkably intimate and detailed… author Jennifer Ann Redmond offers a juicy account of the short but colorful and tumultuous life of a southern beauty queen-turned model and actress who ‘wasn’t the angel people think she was.” – Paula Uruburu, History Channel consultant and author, American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, the Birth of the “It” Girl, and the Crime of the Century

About the Author: Longtime Louise Brooks Society member Jennifer Ann Redmond found her calling at age 7, when her essay won a countywide contest. Since then, her passion for writing, especially poetry, has been rivaled only by her love of the 1920s and 1930s. Silent and pre-Code (1929-1934) films are a particular favorite, and she counts Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, and Jean Harlow among her muses. She currently resides on Long Island, NY.


And for good measure, consider this worthwhile book as well. It contains a bit of material on Frederica Sagor, the silent era screenwriter who penned the story for the 1927 Louise Brooks film, Rolled Stockings.

When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry (McFarland)
by Rosanne Welch; Foreword by Cari Beachamp

From the publisher: This collection of 23 new essays focuses on the lives of female screenwriters of Golden Age Hollywood, whose work helped create those unforgettable stories and characters beloved by audiences--but whose names have been left out of most film histories. The contributors trace the careers of such writers as Anita Loos, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Lillian Hellman, Gene Gauntier, Eve Unsell and Ida May Park, and explore themes of their writing in classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Ben Hur, and It's a Wonderful Life.

About the Author: Rosanne Welch teaches the history of screenwriting and one-hour drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting. As a television writer/producer, her credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences and Touched by an Angel. Her other books include Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture (McFarland, 2017) and Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection (ABC-CLIO, 2017), named to the 2018 Outstanding References Sources List, by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association. Welch has also published chapters in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television (I.B.Tauris) and The American Civil War on Film and TV: Blue and Gray in Black and White and Color (Lexington Books, 2018) and essays in Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology and Outside In Makes it So, and Outside in Boldly Goes (both edited by Robert Smith). She lives in Los Angeles, and is the book reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Around the World with Louise Brooks - Chinese Movie Magazines

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am at work on a new book, Around the World with Louise Brooks, which I expect to have ready sometime early next year. The book, as it looks now, should run at least 500 pages. It will be a multilingual and multinational look at Brooks and her films and how they were perceived around the world in the1920s and 1930s.

With that in mind, I have been looking at all sorts of material related to my book's topic. And that's when a remarkable new book, Chinese Movie Magazines: From Charlie Chaplin to Chairman Mao, 1921-1951 (University of California Press), by Paul Fonoroff.

About the book (from the publisher): "Showcasing an exotic, eclectic, and rare array of covers from more than five hundred movie publications from a glamorous bygone age, Chinese Movie Magazines sheds fresh light on China’s film industry during a transformative period of its history. Expertly curated by collector and Chinese cinema specialist Paul Fonoroff, this volume provides insightful commentary relating the magazines to the times in which they were created, embracing everything from cinematic trends to politics and world events, along with gossip, fashion, and pop culture.

The cover designs reflected the diverse contents of the publications, ranging from sophisticated Art Deco drawings by acclaimed artists to glamorous photos of top Chinese and Hollywood celebrities, including Ruan Lingyu, Butterfly Wu, Ingrid Bergman, and Shirley Temple. Organized thematically within a chronological structure, this visually extraordinary volume includes many rare illustrations from the Paul Kendel Fonoroff Collection in Berkeley’s C.V. Starr East Asian Library, the largest collection of Eastern movie memorabilia outside China."

I have spent more than a few hours enjoyable browsing the many image laden pages of Chinese Movie Magazines: From Charlie Chaplin to Chairman Mao, 1921-1951. It is a visual feast, and is a book which should appeal to anyone interested in film history, graphic design, or early Asian cinema.

Alas, there aren't any images of Louise Brooks in the book, but other silent era stars can be found. Among those I spotted are Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Greta Garbo, Richard Dix, Harold Lloyd, Lupe Velez, Anna May Wong, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Clara Bow, Norma Shearer, Jean Harlow, Maurice Chevalier, Tallulah Bankhead, Janet Gaynor & Charles Farrell, and Charles Rogers & Nancy Carroll. Here are a few page scans from this highly recommended book.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Happy Holidays from the Louise Brooks Society

Happy Holidays from the Louise Brooks Society

Happy Holidays from the Louise Brooks Society



Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Pandora's Box screens in Hungerford, England on January 18, 2019

The celebrated 1929 Louise Brooks film, Pandora's Box, will be shown in Hungerford, England on January 18, 2019. The special event will take place at The Croft Hall, and will feature an introduction by journalist and early film expert Pamela Hutchinson (author of the 2018 BFI book on the film). Information on the event and ticket availability can be found HERE.

According to the venue: "The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naïve young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

One of the great silent films, GW Pabst’s Pandora’s Box is renowned for its sensational storyline, sparkling Weimar-period setting and the legendary, lead performance from its iconic star Louise Brooks.

Following the rise and fall of Lulu (Brooks), a spirited but innocent showgirl whose sheer sexual magnetism wreaks havoc on the lives of men and women alike, the film was controversial in its day, then underappreciated for decades. Pandora’s Box now stands as an incredibly modern movie, and few stars of any era dazzle as bright as Louise Brooks.

Before the film Pamela Hutchinson a freelance journalist and film critic and former Guardian production editor will give a short presentation on the significance of this classic film and of Louise Brooks the amazing leading lady. Listen to a short piece on BBC Radio 4 "The Film Programme." CLICK HERE from 17:36 mins

1929 Cert PG 1 hour 49mins. Crime/Drama/Romance In German with subtitles."

Monday, December 17, 2018

Louise Brooks text: Need more help translating from Japanese

I am hard at work on a new book, Around the World with Louise Brooks, which I hope to have finished in a few months. It's about just what the title suggests.... it will be a large format, 500 to 600 page, multilingual and multinational look at the actress and her films and the way they were viewed in countries all around the globe. It will be chock-a-block in images, including many not seen in decades. It will also contain some remarkable new information.

Louise Brooks' films were shown all around the world in the 1920s and 1930s, including in Japan, where the actress was very popular. (See this earlier LBS blog, as well as a chapter in my recent book, Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star.) In my search to document all things related to the actress and her legacy, I have come across all kinds of interesting material in languages which I don't read. That material includes articles,  advertisements, and other miscellaneous clippings from non-English language publications.

I tried rendering meaning from these clippings using virtual Japanese characters, but couldn't find exact matches. Can any good soul translate or summarize these NUMBERED clippings from vintage Japanese magazine?

1) This clipping references G.W. Pabst.

2) A personality portrait

3) A personality portrait

4) A personality portrait

5) Something from Love Em and Leave Em

6) A personality portrait

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Louise Brooks text: Need help translating from Japanese

Louise Brooks' films were shown all around the world in the 1920s and 1930s, including in Japan, where the actress was popular. In my search to document all things related to the actress and her legacy, I have come across all kinds of interesting material in languages which I don't read. That material includes articles,  advertisements, and other miscellaneous clippings from non-English language publications.

I tried rendering meaning from this clipping using a virtual Japanese characters, but couldn't match the characters.

Can any good soul translate or summarize the two text groups (one to the right of Brooks, the other above Garbo) from this vintage Japanese magazine?

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Did you Know? Louise Brooks and Pola Illery

In 1931, Paramount remade the 1927 Louise Brooks' film Evening Clothes as a French talkie under the title of Un Homme en Habit. (That was also the French title of Evening Clothes when it was shown in France in the late 1920s). The French film, based on the same story material (Yves Mirande and André Picard's play) as the earlier American silent, starred Suzy Vernon (in the role played by Virginia Valli) and Fernand Gravey (in the role played by Adolphe Menjou). 

Pola Illéry on the cover of a Portuguese magazine.
The role played by Louise Brooks in Evening Clothes was played by Pola Illéry (1909–1993), a 4' 11" exotic silent film star in France and Romania in the 1920s who was best known for portraying sexually liberated women. For a time, she was considered the most glamorous film star in Romania. In 1939, with the rise of Nazism, the Jewish actress fled to the United States where she lived a quiet life. 

Born Paula Iliescu, she changed her name to "Pola" in tribute to the Polish-born actress Pola Negri. Her other key credits include Alberto Cavalcanti's Captain Fracasse (1929) and Le petit chaperon rouge (1930), and Parada Paramount (1930), the Romanian-language version of Paramount on Parade. For more on the actress, check out her Wikipedia and IMDb pages. There is even a Facebook page for her!

Above and below, Pola Illéry in the 1930 René Clair film Sous les toits de Paris (Under the Roofs of Paris).

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Louise Brooks related text: Need help translating from Russian

In my search to document all things related to the actress and her legacy, I have come across all kinds of interesting material in languages which I don't read. That material includes articles,  advertisements, and other miscellaneous clippings from non-English language newspapers published in the United States. In fact, there were many such "ethnic" newspapers in the 1920s and 1930s, including those published in Spanish, Portuguese, German, Yiddish, and Russian. I have found Louise Brooks-related material in each language.

Can any good soul translate or summarize the first two clippings from a Russian-language newspaper? Each related to the debut of Pandora's Box in the United States in December of 1929.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Louise Brooks Society books - Black Friday #silentfilm specials

Looking for something good to read? In search of that special gift for the silent film fan on your Holiday shopping list?

The Louise Brooks Society is pleased to let everyone know that for a limited time (Thanksgiving November 22 through Cyber Monday November 26, 2018) each of the following titles are available at a special discounted price. And what's more, the LBS will pay the tax and ship the book for free (within the United States). The LBS accepts PayPal and major credit cards through it's safe and secure PayPal account. Click on a button below to place an order. Want a special inscription? Place a note in your order, and we'll be happy to oblige.

Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star (softcover 1st edition)
by Thomas Gladysz
-- This new 296 page book brings together 15 years work by the Director of the Louise Brooks Society. Gathered here are the author's best articles, essays, reviews and blogs about the silent film star and her films: Beggars of Life, Pandora’s Box, and Diary of a Lost Girl are discussed, as are many other little known aspects of Brooks’ legendary career. With dozens of illustrations, many rare.  AUTOGRAPHED by the author.

Regular price $22.50 // now just $19.00 (includes shipping & handling within the USA)

Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film (softcover 1st edition)
by Thomas Gladysz
-- This first ever study of Beggars of Life looks at the film Oscar-winning director William Wellman thought his finest silent movie. With more than 50 little seen images, and a foreword by William Wellman, Jr. A must have addition to your library, and an essential companion to the KinoLorber DVD/Blu-ray. AUTOGRAPHED by the author.

Regular price $13.50 // now just $9.00 (includes shipping & handling within the USA)


Now We're in the Air (softcover 1st edition)
by Thomas Gladysz

This companion to the once "lost" 1927 film tells the story of the film’s making, its reception, and its discovery by film preservationist Robert Byrne. With two rare fictionalizations of the movie story, more than 75 little seen images, detailed credits, trivia, and a foreword by Byrne. AUTOGRAPHED by the author.

Regular price $17.50 // now just  $14.00 (includes shipping & handling within the USA)

Looking for more great reads and more great deals?
Check out the "Related Books for Sale" Page.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Beggars of Life will be showing in Sydney, Australia on 25 November

Beggars of Life, the acclaimed William Wellman directed silent film starring Louise Brooks, will be showing in the Metcalfe Auditorium at the State Library NSW in Sydney, Australia on November 25. Further information on this special event can be found HERE. Tickets can be purchased HERE. (Thanks to longtime LBS member Camille Scaysbrook for the tip on this happening.)

Want to learn more about Louise Brooks and Beggars of Life? Last Spring saw the release of my well reviewed new book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, and last Summer saw the release of a new DVD / Blu-ray of the film from Kino Lorber. (The DVD, featuring the best copy of the film available anywhere, also includes a commentary by your's truly!) If you haven't secured a  copy of either the book or the DVD / Blu-ray, why not do so today? Each is an essential addition to your Louise Brooks collection. And what's more, my book (but not the DVD) is available around the world on Amazon, including Amazon Australia.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Louise Brooks text: Need help translating from Hungarian

Louise Brooks' films were shown all around the world in the 1920s and 1930s, including in Hungary. In my search to document all things related to the actress and her legacy, I have come across all kinds of interesting material in languages which I don't read.

Can any good soul translate or summarize this clipping from a Hungarian newspaper? It seems to be a sort of "people in the news" feature like those we see today.

By the way, to the left of Louise Brooks is Bruno Walter (1876 – 1962), is the German-born pianist and composer widely considered to be one of the great conductors of the 20th century. Földes Bandi, pictured at the top of the piece, was a musical prodigy who played the piano. I couldn't find anything more about him for certain, though he may be the same young Jewish man who died at Auschwitz. I have not been able to identify the man to the right of Louise Brooks. Can anyone?

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Louise Brooks tribute centerpiece of inaugural silent film festival in Bainbridge, WA

The Frank Buxton Silent Film Festival, a two-day celebration of silent film, will show two seldom exhibited Louise Brooks' films, It’s the Old Army Game (1926), starring W. C. Fields, and the surviving fragment of Now We’re in the Air (1927). For the latter film, this special event marks the film's first screening in the Pacific Northwest in nearly 90 years! And what's more, Louise Brooks adorns the festival poster.

The two-film Louise Brooks tribute, a kind of centerpiece to the two day festival, will take place on November 17 at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art in Bainbridge, Washington.

The Festival is a tribute to the late Frank Buxton (1930-2018), a local resident and longtime champion, advocate and appreciator of the arts. He was also a fan of Louise Brooks. Programming for the Festival was curated by Frank's friend and program collaborator John Ellis in partnership with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. More information HERE. The Bainbridge Island Review ran a piece on the event; read that piece HERE.

In celebration of the festival, the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art's Orientation Gallery will feature a three-week exhibition of rare and historical posters, photos and ephemera from the silent film era from Buxton’s own extensive private collection.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

CMBA Fall Blogathon featuring the 1927 Louise Brooks' film The City Gone Wild

The theme of the 2018 CMBA Fall Blogathon is Outlaws, which I am stretching to include gangsters and the criminal underworld (i.e. those outside the law). The focus of this blog is the 1927 Louise Brooks film The City Gone Wild.

Now considered a lost film, The City Gone Wild is a terse crime drama, with gangsters, gangs, and gunfights, in which a criminal lawyer turns prosecutor to avenge the death of a friend. As she did in The Street of Forgotten Men, Louise Brooks plays a moll, this time the deliciously named Snuggles Joy, the “gunman’s honey.”

The story, by Charles & Jules Furthman, goes like this: “With the outbreak of city gang wars between Gunner Gallagher and Lefty Schroeder, criminal lawyer John Phelan, feared in the underworld, brings temporary peace, while district attorney Franklin Ames investigates. Nada Winthrop, daughter of a powerful capitalist, is sought by both men. Though Nada loves John, she disapproves of his criminal practice; and when he frees Gunner Gallagher on bail, she announces her engagement to Ames. When Ames discovers that her father is the secret brain of the underworld activities and Winthrop has him killed, John takes the district attorneyship to avenge his friend. Snuggles, Gunner’s girl, threatens to inform on Winthrop unless John releases Gunner, and he concedes; John is about to resign when Snuggles, rejected by her man, confesses.” Screenplay credits went to Charles Furthman, and title credits to Herman J. Mankiewicz.

The “gangster film” (as we know it today) more-or-less began with Paramount’s Underworld (1927). Though there were earlier crime films, the Joseph von Sternberg directed Underworld set the tone for many of the genre films which followed, namely Little Caesar (1931), The Public Enemy (1931), and Scarface (1932).

With the surprising success of Underworld, Paramount quickly put another crime film into production, namely The City Gone Wild. The film, originally titled First Degree Murder, was meant as a vehicle for leading man Thomas Meighan, who in 1927 saw his star start to fade. To boost his career, Paramount paired Meighan with a topical story “ripped from the headlines,” a first rate director (James Cruze), and popular supporting actors (including Louise Brooks). Also assigned to The City Gone Wild were individuals who had worked on Underworld, namely writer Charles Furthman, cinematographer Bert Glennon, and tough-guy actor Fred Kohler.

The two films, not surprisingly, were sometimes compared. Intoning the slang of the time, Variety wrote, “The gang stuff is a la Underworld — machine guns and plenty tough. The two main yeggs each have a moll carrying their gat in the pocketbook. Very authentic in these little details ….” Many focused on the acting and actors. The noted critic Ward M. Marsh of the Cleveland Plain Dealer stated, ” . . . pitting her against crookdom’s love of Louise Brooks brings out the worst in all of us. On the credit side is Miss Brooks and also Fred Kohler in a role paralleling his Mulligan in Underworld. They do excellent work.” The San Antonio Express echoed Marsh, “Although Meighan is featured in the cast, he has his co-stars, Louise Brooks, one of Paramount’s niftiest, and Fred Kohler, remembered for his great crook work in Rough Riders and Underworld.”

Critics noticed Brooks’ hard-boiled character, and the edge she brought to an otherwise atypical role. Radie Harris of the New York Morning Telegraph wrote, “Louise Brooks is in the cast and that is something to grow ecstatic about. Christened with the preposterous name of Snuggles Joy, she is the most entrancing crook that ever pulled a Holt. No wonder the city went wild.”

Gordon Hillman of the Boston Daily Advertiser wrote “Another distinct ornament of the cast is Louise Brooks, who lends considerable vividness to her portrait of a lady of the underworld. In fact, she gives so good an interpretation of the part that Marietta Millner, supposedly the feminine lead, actually relapses into only secondary importance.”

Brooks was so good that she out shown Millner, who had appeared earlier in the year with Meighan in the Cruze directed film We’re All Gamblers. “Louise Brooks, who plays the crook’s girl, is better looking, more attractive and a better actress than Marietta Millner, the district attorney’s jeune fille, and in real life Tommy probably would have preferred her to Marietta,” wrote Stanley Orne in the Portland Oregonian. “Louise Brooks, the pert flapper, completely shadows the more important role allotted to Marietta Millner, and the ‘girl of Gunner Gallagher’ brief as her part is, is a far more intriguing character than the society girl of Miss Millner,” added Leona Pollack of the Omaha World Herald.

The City Gone Wild was officially released November 12, 1927, with a stated length of 6 reels (5,408 feet), or approximately 60 minutes. [Pre-release Paramount production records list the film length at 6 reels (5,601 feet) for the domestic release, and 6 reels (5,390 feet) for the foreign release.] The film opened across the United States on November 6, 1927, with screenings in Atlanta, Georgia, Boston, Massachusetts, San Francisco, California and elsewhere.

The City Gone Wild is considered lost. The film was shown in Fairbanks, Alaska as late as January, 1930, and was largely extant as recently as 1971. In his 1990 book, Behind the Mask of Innocence, Kevin Brownlow wrote, “David Shepard, then with the American Film Institute’s archive program, had a list of 35mm nitrate prints held in a vault Paramount had forgotten it had. He asked me which title I would select, out of all of them, to look at right away. I said The City Gone Wild. He called Paramount to bring it out of the vaults for our collection that afternoon. The projectionist went to pick it up. ‘O, there was some powder on that,’ said the vault keeper ‘We threw it away.’ The film had been unspooled into a tank of water (recommended procedure for decomposing nitrate). Shepard complained officially to Paramount, who promised it would not happen again. He tried to rescue it, even from its watery grave, but a salvage company had carted it off by the time he got there.” In June of 2016, I spoke with David Shepard about the demise of the film. He confirmed this account, and  recalled grimly that Paramount would, at the time, discard any film which showed any degree of decomposition.

Under its American title, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia (including Tasmania), Canada,* China, Dutch Guiana (Suriname), Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (including England, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales). The film was occasionally shown in the United States as City Gone Wild (and at least once in Scotland under the title A City Gone Wild).

In the United States, the film was advertised under the title A Cidade que Enlouqueceu (Portuguese-language press).

Elsewhere, The City Gone Wild was shown under the title The City Gone Mad and La ciudad del mal (Argentina); Der Verbrecherkönig von Chicago (Austria); La cité maudite (Belgium); A cidade bulicosa (Brazil); La ciudad del mal (Chile); Mesto uplynulý divoký (Czechoslovakia); Storstadens svøbe! (Denmark); Het Kwaad eener Wereldstad (Dutch East Indies – Indonesia); La cité maudite and La Ville Maudite (France);  狂乱街 (Japan); Die Gottin der Sunde (Latvia); La onda del crimen (Mexico); Boeven en Burgers and Het Kwaad Eener Wereldstad (The Netherlands); Piraci Wielkiego Miasta (Poland); A Cidade Ruidosa (Portugal); Gonosztevok kiralya (Romania); La ciudad del mal (Spain); and La cité maudite (Switzerland).

* Except in Quebec, where the film was banned due to “too much shooting.”

The cast of The City Gone Wild is certainly an interesting one: it includes Thomas Meighan as John Phelan, Marietta Millner as Nada Winthrop, Louise Brooks as Snuggles Joy (Gunner Gallagher’s girlfriend), Fred Kohler as Gunner Gallagher, Duke Martin as Lefty Schroeder, Nancy Phillips as Lefty’s Girl, Wyndham Standing as Franklin Ames, Charles Hill Mailes as Luther Winthrop, King Zany as Bondsman, (renown boxer) Gunboat Smith as a Policeman, and Shirley Dorman in an uncredited role.

Interestingly believe-it-or-not, Meighan was Louise Brooks’ “uncle-in-law.” Meighan was married to Frances Ring, a Broadway stage actress and the sister of the popular entertainer Blanche Ring. Director Eddie Sutherland — Brooks’ husband at the time, was the nephew of both Meighan, as Sutherland’s mother, Julie, was a sister of Blanche and Frances Ring.

In the mid-1920s, Meighan became interested in Florida real estate after talking with his brother, who was a realtor. In 1925, Meighan bought property in Ocala, Florida (where scenes for the Eddie Sutherland-directed It’s the Old Army Game were shot). In 1927, he built a home in New Port Richey, Florida. It was there that he spent his winters and helped support a local movie theater, the Meighan Theatre, which was named in his honor. The Meighan Theatre opened July 1, 1926, with a showing of the Meighan movie The New Klondike, a film set against the backdrop of the Florida land boom of the 1920s. Today, the renamed Richey Suncoast Theater is home to the annual Thomas Meighan film festival.

Notably, Meighan was involved in two of the more sensational happenings of the silent film era. In 1916, he was the sole witness to Jack Pickford and Olive Thomas’ secretive wedding. And in 1923, Meighan put up a large chunk of the bail money, and with the help of June Mathis and George Melford, and got Rudolph Valentino out of jail after he was charged with bigamy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Happy birthday to Louise Brooks - the magnetism of the cinema

who was born on this day in 1906 in Cherryvale,  Kansas

"Louise Brooks is the only woman who had the ability to transfigure no matter what film into a masterpiece. The poetry of Louise is the great poetry of rare loves, of magnetism, of tension, of feminine beauty as blinding as ten galaxial suns. She is much more than a myth, she is a magical presence, a real phantom, the magnetism of the cinema." 

So said Ado Kyrou (1923-1985), a Greek-born filmmaker, writer, critic and associate of the Surrealists long resident in France. Kyrou was a contributor to the French film journal Positif, and the author of Amour - érotisme & cinéma (1957) and Le Surréalisme Au Cinéma (1963).

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A hopeless song of love for Louise Brooks

Here are two version of the Louise Brooks inspired song, "Hopeless." The first is a video by Stuart Pound to a recording by the UK band Evangelista. The song dates from the 1990's, and is a tribute to Louise Brooks. The song is about an impossible love for Brooks, an impossible love
because she died in 1984.

Hopeless from Stuart Pound on Vimeo.

The second version is a live recording by the Great Admirers of the "Evangelista cult classic."
The video was shot at the Seven Stars pub in Bristol, England on a Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2008.
Sound by Alfie Kingston. Long live Lulu!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Louise Brooks related text ? Need help translating from the Arabic !

Louise Brooks' films were  shown all around the world in the 1920s and 1930s, including the Middle East. In my search to document all things related the the actress and her legacy, I came across the following material, which I suspect contains a bit related to either the Canary Murder Case (1929) or the Greene Murder Case (1929) or the Benson Murder Case (1930), each of which starred William Powell as Philo Vance. Brooks was the co-star of the Canary Murder Case, the first film in the series of films based on S.S. van Dine's bestselling murder mysteries.

Can anyone tell me what these pages are about?

The are excerpted from a contemporary book, The Writings of El Sayyed Hassan Gomaa v. 2 1930-1934, compiled and edited by Farida Marei, with an introduction by Prof. Dr. Madkour Thabet. This book is part of a series, "The Legacy of Film Critics in Egypt," published by the Ministry of Culture / Egyptian Film Centre.

Do the reference Canary Murder Case? Or Louise Brooks? Or suggest when these films were shown in Cairo, presumably?

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