Tuesday, April 28, 2020

New Find 7 - Extremely Rare Louise Brooks Puzzle from Before She Entered Films

There is still a lot of interesting Louise Brooks & silent film material yet to discover. This post is the seventh in an ongoing series highlighting some of the newly found material I have just recently come across while stuck at home due to the corona-virus. With time on my hands, I have turned to picking through some of the many online databases and archives - some of which are newly accessible (due to the physical restrictions put on researchers because of the corona-virus), and some of which I am returning to in order to more thoroughly explore their holdings. As I am always finding out, it pays to not only have more than one set of key words to search under, but to look in the most unlikely places. You never know what you will find. Be sure and follow this blog for more discoveries in the coming weeks. 

Before she entered films, Louise Brooks enjoyed a small but growing reputation as a showgirl. In 1924 and 1925, she performed briefly with both the George White Scandals and the Ziegfeld Follies, and on a few dozen occasions, her name and occasionally her image appeared in one or another of the various New York City newspapers, usually in conjunction with the Scandals or Follies, but sometimes not. Brooks' reputation, or "fame," was essentially local to the Big Apple until she posed for a series of mildly risque photos which ended-up in various low-brow magazines like Police Gazette or Art & Beauty, some of which had regional and even national distribution.

Such was the nature of Brooks' renown in the period after she left Denishawn and before her first screen role, an uncreditted bit part in The Street of Forgotten Men, which was released in July of 1925. All-in-all, it is uncommon to come across a mention or publicity bit for the actress from before that time.... Thus, I was surprised to come across the following "Puzzle Page," which mentions and depicts the actress. It appeared in the Taylor Daily Press on June 18, 1925. (The Taylor Daily Press newspaper is located in Taylor, Texas - a small town in the central part of the state.)


This contest, and the use of Brooks' image, must surely have been syndicated content - but, I have not been able to find any other instances of it in any other American newspapers. Here is a blow-up of the top middle section which references Brooks and her forthcoming appearance in The Street of Forgotten Men.


My apologies for the grainy, low resolution quality of the full page image - but that is as good as it gets. I printed out the page and cut out the pieces which show Louise Brooks. The portrait of the future actress, when reconstructed, resembles this image:



Here are the other two Puzzle Pages referenced in the initial piece. The first mentions "Miss Brooks," the second does not.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Louise Brooks retrospective in Switzerland postponed

A major Louise Brooks film retrospective - originally set to run March 30th through May 15 in Zurich, Switzerland - has been postponed due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Organized by Filmpodium in collaboration with Stadt Zurich and Cinematheque Suisse, the 15 film event is now set to run October 5 through November 15, 2020. The pandemic has hit Europe hard. And just yesterday, Germany cancelled its annual Octoberfest celebrations, which take place in September. So, keep your fingers crossed that this significant retrospective will take place as now rescheduled. More information may be found HERE.


I have been aware of this event for some time now, as I had been emailing back and forth with the director of FilmPodium earlier this year, exchanging information and images, helping source films, etc... The Louise Brooks Society is credited in the back of the program (pictured above) which will accompany the retrospective. BTW, the illustrated program including Elisabeth Bronfen's program essay, can be viewed online on the Issuu website. Pictured below is part of the poster which was displayed around Geneva, including on the local trams.


A statement from FilmPodium about the retrospective and its postponement reads: "Das Coronavirus hat Louise Brooks nicht aufgehoben, nur aufgeschoben: Im Herbst kommt dann doch noch die Filmreihe zu dem schönen Plakat, das in Zürich prangt.

Mit ihrem Bob wurde Louise Brooks (1906–1985) zur Ikone der Roaring Twenties; als Schauspielerin war sie ihrer Zeit voraus. Hollywood setzte die ausgebildete Tänzerin ab 1925 vor allem in Komödien ein, aber Howard Hawks machte sie 1928 in A Girl in Every Port zum kühlen Vamp und William A. Wellman entdeckte in Beggars of Life Brooksʼ Fähigkeiten im ernsten Fach. Erst in Europa entstanden ihre legendärsten Filme: G. W. Pabst besetzte sie als verführerische Lulu in Die Büchse der Pandora (1928) und als unterdrückten Freigeist in Tagebuch einer Verlorenen (1929); in Prix de beauté (1930) von Augusto Genina spielte Brooks ihre letzte Hauptrolle und mit 32 Jahren beendete sie ihre Karriere."

A view inside the FilmPodium theatre

Along with the above mentioned films, the retrospective is also set to include the surviving fragment of Now We're in the Air (1927), Its the Old Army Game (1926), The Show Off (1926), Love Em and Leave Em (1926), The Canary Murder Case (1929), God's Gift to Women (1931) and Overland Stage Raiders (1938). Also on the schedule is the outstanding documentary Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu (1998), and the recent feature The Chaperone (2018), which will be having its Swiss premiere.

A view outside the FilmPodium theatre

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Louise Brooks locations tour postponed until 2021

The Louise Brooks' locations tour, sponsored by the Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York and hosted by filmmaker Charlotte Siller, has been postponed. The tour, set to coincide with the 6th Nitrate Picture Show at the Museum, was originally scheduled for June 4–7, 2020, but has now been set back until June 3–6, 2021. More information can be found HERE.
The annual, increasingly popular Nitrate Picture Show event, was cancelled out of concern for the health and safety of attendees, staff, and volunteers due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The descriptive text about the tour reads: "In 1956, at the encouragement of the Eastman Museum’s first curator of motion pictures, James Card, silent-film icon Louise Brooks relocated from New York City to Rochester. The move contributed to the film world’s rediscovery of the largely forgotten Brooks. A long-time admirer of her work in such classic films as Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl (both 1929), Card invited Brooks to use the museum and its film collection as a study center—a place where she could watch films, do research, and write about motion pictures and the people she knew. Brooks’s essays were ultimately published in the 1982 book Lulu in Hollywood.

For the first time, a limited number of Nitrate Picture Show guests will be given an exclusive one-hour bus tour of Rochester’s Park Avenue neighborhood where Brooks lived and wrote until her death in 1985. Led by Charlotte Siller, producer-director of A Curious Idol, a new documentary about Louise Brooks’s post-Hollywood years and the influence her life and career had on those in her wake, the tour will include two of her residences, the church she attended, the site of her last public appearance, and more. Note: This is a street tour of exterior locations only; no interiors of private property are included."


Friday, April 17, 2020

New Find 6 - a few Louise Brooks treasures from opened archives

There is still a lot of interesting Louise Brooks & silent film material yet to discover. This post is the sixth in an ongoing series highlighting some of the newly found material I have just recently come across while stuck at home due to the corona-virus. With time on my hands, I have turned to picking through some of the many online databases and archives - some of which are newly accessible (due to the physical restrictions put on researchers because of the corona-virus), and some of which I am returning to in order to more thoroughly explore their holdings. As I am always finding out, it pays to not only have more than one set of key words to search under, but to look in the most unlikely places. You never know what you will find.

A small number of online archives have generously opened up their collections during the corona-virus crisis, thereby giving those of us stuck at home in front of our computers with an interest in the past something more to do with our time. Usually, these archives can be explored only by paid subscribers....

One such archive is Manx Newspapers and Publications, which covers the Isle of Man (a self-governing British Crown dependency situated in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland). I spend a couple of hours looking through it's holdings, and determined that every one of Louise Brooks silent films were shown on the island except for It's the Old Army Game (1926). Why it didn't show there is not known, though I did determine that other Fields films were shown on the Isle of Man. It's the Old Army Game was shown in England (including on the Isle of Wight), as well as in Northern Ireland and Scotland. I have not been able to find any record of it having been shown in Wales. The film was shown in Ireland. Why It's the Old Army Game wasn't shown on the Isle of Man I can't say, but were I to guess I would suggest it was because the Isle of Man didn't have enough theaters to show all film available, and the managers of the local theaters on the island passed it over if favor of some other Paramount release. When it comes to the silent era, it cannot be assumed that every film was shown everywhere. And among Brooks' silent films, It's the Old Army Game has the slightest international exhibition records.

Among Brooks' early efforts, one film that enjoyed a good reception on the Isle of Man was The Canary Murder Case (1929). As a matter of fact, it was shown twice on the island, first in January 1930 (eleven months after it was first released in the United States), and then again for three days in July 1930. Here are the advertisements from the local press which document its exhibition.

"stupendous weekend attraction" or roller skating
the "most fascinating thriller of them all" or ballroom dancing

The Canary Murder Case was released as both a sound and silent film.... (there are those who say that the silent version is better). Which version was shown on the Isle of Man? We don't know for sure, as some theaters in the UK were not yet wired for sound as late as 1930. Additionally, it is worth noting, the Pavilion Cinema was billing itself as "The House of Golden Silence," which suggests it was still showing silent films.

Another archive that has generously opened its archive is LIBRARIA Ukrainian Online Periodicals Archive. I have written about my Ukrainian newspaper search in the past, and the frustration I felt at not being able to access material that I knew was there and otherwise was only available onsite in the Ukraine. But with the opening of this archive, I was able to access a 1929 page from a German-language newspaper in that country. With its half-page spread on Die Buchse der Pandora, I think you can see why I was pleased to take a look at this page.


Speaking of Pandora's Box, just a couple-three days ago I came across a rare clipping about its American showing in New York City in - of all places - a Hungarian periodical archive, Arcanum Digitheca. This new-to-me clipping dates to December 1929 and comes from Uj Előre (New Forward), a Hungarian-language newspaper based in New York City. The film, which was sometimes exhibited in the United States under the title Box of Pandora, was showing at the 55th Street Playhouse in Manhattan. (In Hungary, the film was shown under the title Pandora szelenceje.)


In the past, I have found material on the 1929 showing of Pandora Box in NYC in a variety of ethnic newspapers, including those printed in German, Russian, and Yiddish. This Hungarian clipping, along with my earlier discoveries, will go into a special chapter in my forthcoming work, Around the World with Louise Brooks. That chapter looks at the way Brooks' films were advertised and received in America's non-English language ethnic and emigre press. Here is one more little Pandora's Box gem from the book, which I think you may appreciate. Such a smile....

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

New Find 5 - another RARE Portrait of Louise Brooks

There is still a lot of interesting Louise Brooks & silent film material yet to discover. This post is the fifth in an ongoing series highlighting some of the newly found material I have just recently come across while stuck at home due to the coronavirus. With time on my hands, I have turned to picking through some of the many online databases and archives - some of which are newly accessible (due to the physical restrictions put on researchers because of the coronavirus), and some of which I am returning to in order to more thoroughly explore their holdings. As I am always finding out, it pays to not only have more than one set of key words to search under, but to look in the most unlikely places. You never know what you will find. Be sure and follow this blog for more discoveries in the coming weeks. 

As I mentioned in the second installment in this series, "New Find 2 - a Rare Paparazzi Picture of Louise Brooks," I am always a bit gobsmacked when I see a picture of Louise Brooks which I have never seen before. Here is another such image, which I uncovered a few days ago. It dates from 1933, and depicts newlyweds Louise Brooks and Deering Davis.


The caption below this portrait reads: "The Deering Davises, of Chicago, down on the farm. Mrs Davis is the former Miss Louise Brooks, erstwhile of the movies in the dear silent days."

I am not sure what farm the caption refers to, but judging by their attire, I don't think the new couple (he, a suit and she, high heels and gloves) were engaged in farm work. Perhaps they were enjoying horseback riding, as Deering Davis was a wealthy, well known polo player.... Here, for your amusement, is another picture of the soon divorced couple.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

New Find 4 - an Unknown Louise Brooks Film Cameo?

There is still a lot of interesting Louise Brooks & silent film material yet to discover. This post is the fourth in an ongoing series highlighting some of the newly found material I have just recently come across while stuck at home due to the coronavirus. With time on my hands, I have turned to picking through some of the many online databases and archives - some of which are newly accessible (due to the physical restrictions put on researchers because of the coronavirus), and some of which I am returning to in order to more thoroughly explore their holdings. As I am always finding out, it pays to not only have more than one set of key words to search under, but to look in the most unlikely places. You never know what you will find. Be sure and follow this blog for more discoveries in the coming weeks.


In 1926, Paramount released Fascinating Youth; the studio filled the film with its "Junior Stars" - including Charles "Buddy" Rogers (in his feature debut), as well as Thelma Todd, Josephine Dunn, Jack Luden, Iris Grey and others. It was an ensemble effort which was meant to feature and promote recent graduates of the Paramount Pictures acting school. Sam Wood directed, while Robert Benchley helped pen the titles. In addition, a number of established Paramount stars also made cameo appearances in the film, including the one and only Clara Bow. Some of the other well known Paramount talent who appear in Fascinating Youth include actors Richard Dix, Adolphe Menjou, Lois Wilson, Percy Marmont, Chester Conklin, Thomas Meighan, and Lila Lee, as well as directors Lewis Milestone and Malcolm St. Clair. AND POSSIBLY, LOUISE BROOKS?

I recently came across an article about the film which mentions Louise Brooks' "minor role" in Fascinating Youth. The article is Bill Reilly's "The School for Scandalous Success," which appeared in Moving Picture World on March 13, 1926. Seemingly, the article was written after the author saw the film premiered at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York City on March 2nd, following a banquet and the Paramount school graduation exercises. Brooks' name is highlighted in the piece below.

Brooks' possible cameo was news to me! I searched out and read a number of other magazine and newspaper articles about the film, and only a few mentioned some of the prominent stars who appear in bit parts. This brief write up in Photoplay lists them, and is likely one of the sources for the very same credits found on IMDb and Wikipedia.


This considered review in Picture Play magazine (shown below) also mentions some of the big names in the film, but not all, and not Louise Brooks. Sally Benson, the reviewer who penned this piece, especially liked Chester Conklin's role, but curiously didn't mention emerging superstar Clara Bow.


Shown below are Chester Conklin and Clara Bow in a scene from the 1926 Paramount Pictures production, Fascinating Youth.


Few newspaper articles (which are typically shorter and less detailed) mentioned cameos by the big name stars. One that did appeared in the Washington Evening Star on July 7, 1926. The author changes the standard line-up of stars ever so slightly, adds Ralph Lewis, and misspells Lois Wilson's name. The Evening Star article, shown below, also mentions that the film offered "behind-the-scenes glimpses of Paramount's Long Island Studio."


A similar piece in the Boston Globe mentions Adolphe Menjou, Richard Dix, Lois Wilson, Clara Bow and Percy Marmont. While a May 10 review in the Brooklyn Times-Union notes only Adolphe Menjou, Richard Dix, and Lois Wilson. However, the latter piece does ad some interesting detail to the roles played by the name stars. It is excerpted here, beginning with "The rather vapid story tells of a young man threatened...."


Of all the few dozen magazine and newspaper articles I looked at, only Bill Reilly's "The School for Scandalous Success" mentions Louise Brooks. I wonder why? Was it a simple mistake? Did Reilly confuse a similar looking background actor with Brooks? Or did Reilly confuse Clara Bow (who isn't mentioned) with Brooks, a not uncommon mistake? We may never know....

Compared to Menjou, Dix, Marmont and the other Paramount actors said to have appeared in Fascinating Youth, Brooks was little known. Their cameos were deliberate, meant to ad star luster to a film whose cast featured talent who hadn't made a name for themselves. If Brooks made an appearance in the film, it was in all likelihood accidental.

By March of 1926, Brooks had achieved a certain degree of renown in New York City - when Fascinating Youth was screened at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. While not yet known nationally as an actress, Brooks was known around NYC as a showgirl & personality, having performed with both the George White Scandals and Ziegfeld Follies. She had also gotten her name and picture in local papers on numerous occasions. Perhaps Reilly knew her or knew of her and recognized her and gave her a shout-out? We may never know....

While it is unlikely Brooks appeared in Fascinating Youth (based on scant evidence = one mention in an article in a film magazine), it is not impossible. According to friend and film historian J. B. Kaufman, who authored a stellar article "Fascinating Youth: The Story of the Paramount Pictures School," Fascinating Youth was in production "between 23 November and 24 December 1925. Then the location shooting started the week after Christmas and lasted until mid-January 1926." According to articles from the time, location shooting on Fascinating Youth was done in the Adirondacks, while  the earlier work was done at Paramount's Astoria Studio on Long Island, and as well, possibly, in Greenwich Village, as some articles mention.

At the time Fascinating Youth was being made, Brooks was also in New York City, and was set to begin work on A Social Celebrity. Brooks' third film was directed by Mal St. Clair, starred Adolph Menjou, and featured Chester Conklin - each of whom made a cameo in Fascinating Youth. Production work on A Social Celebrity began on December 21, 1925 and continued through the third week of January, 1926. Like Fascinating Youth, the Brooks' film was shot at Paramount’s Astoria Studios on Long Island, with location work done elsewhere on Long Island (in the village of Huntington) as well as in Manhattan.


Today, Fascinating Youth is considered a lost film. And truth be told, we may never know who else - including Louise Brooks - may have made an appearance in the film, no matter how brief. She was in the right place at the right time, but we may never know....

Friday, April 10, 2020

New Find 3 - Trade Ads Mentioning Louise Brooks and Her Films

There is still a lot of interesting Louise Brooks & silent film material yet to discover. This post is the third in an ongoing series highlighting some of the newly found material I have just recently come across while stuck at home due to the coronavirus. With time on my hands, I have turned to picking through some of the many online databases and archives - some of which are newly accessible (due to the physical restrictions put on researchers because of the coronavirus), and some of which I am returning to in order to more thoroughly explore their holdings. As I am always finding out, it pays to not only have more than one set of key words to search under, but to look in the most unlikely places. You never know what you will find. Be sure and follow this blog for more discoveries in the coming weeks. 

In the movie biz, trade ads were advertisements taken out by a studio or some other corporate entity which typically promote not just one film or actor, but rather a group of films or stars. These ads might be aimed toward theater managers or the press, but sometimes as well the movie going public. Over the years, I have accumulated a number of examples of these sorts of ads. One chapter in my forthcoming book, Around the World with Louise Brooks, for example, will feature a selection of rare foreign ads, each of which promote Louise Brooks or one of her films.

In the meantime, here are a few American trade ads which I came across just a few days ago. Each were found in a general interest magazine, in particular Ladies Home Journal; each promote a batch of new releases and were aimed at the movie going public. To me, these ads are interesting in that they show which films and which stars Paramount was especially keen to promote. Which as it turns out, wasn't necessarily Louise Brooks. Nevertheless, these ads featured some rather delightful graphics.

This piece below suggests a world of adventure awaits those who go to see a Paramount Picture. It mentions The Show-Off  and its four stars, including Louise Brooks. We're in the Navy Now, which is mentioned in the right hand column, was directed by Brooks' husband at the time, Eddie Sutherland. He named one of the small boats in that nautical comedy "Louise."


This piece, with a humorous illustration, also features a prominent mention of The Show Off, as seen in the left hand column.


The delightful comic strip featured in this piece mentions Evening Clothes, which starred Adolphe Menjou (and which featured Louise Brooks in a supporting role). Apparently, older women and Mothers were keen on Menjou, who almost always played a sophisticate and was a heart-throb to some.


This piece, which merely lists Love Em and Leave Em among the "Best Motion Pictures", features a nifty Ralph Barton-like illustration - though this illustration is initialed "R.I." Among the films highlighted in the right-hand column is the German production, Metropolis, which Paramount distributed in the United States.


This trade ad features W.C. Fields first feature film for Paramount, It's the Old Army Game, which co-starred Brooks. The stylistic illustration at the top is again by "R.I." (Does anyone know the name of "R.I." ?)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

New Find 2 - a Rare Paparazzi Picture of Louise Brooks

There is still a lot of interesting Louise Brooks & silent film material yet to discover. This post is the second in an ongoing series highlighting some of the newly found material I have just recently come across while stuck at home due to the coronavirus. With time on my hands, I have turned to picking through some of the many online databases and archives - some of which are newly accessible (due to the physical restrictions put on researchers because of the coronavirus), and some of which I am returning to in order to more thoroughly explore their holdings. As I am always finding out, it pays to not only have more than one set of key words to search under, but to look in the most unlikely places. You never know what you will find. Be sure and follow this blog for more discoveries in the coming weeks. 

I have seen a lot of images of Louise Brooks, in fact hundreds if not thousands. Thus, I am always a bit gobsmacked when I see a picture of Louise Brooks which I have never seen before. Here is one such image, which I uncovered just days ago. It dates from 1933.


In th picture, Louise Brooks is shown standing on an Atlantic Ocean beach while walking her dog, a terrier. The women she is talking with, also shown in profile to the left, is Lois Long (aka "Lipstick"), the well known New Yorker writer who was once married to the famous New Yorker cartoonist Peter Arno. (When this picture was taken, Long and Arno were divorced.) It is interesting to note that as late as 1933, Brooks was still wearing her hair in a bob and rather short.

This image, which has been cropped and had been captioned, was published in a society magazine, and in the days to come and as part of the "New Find" series, I will run another previously unknown image of Brooks from the same source from around the same time. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 6, 2020

New Find 1 - Mention of Louise Brooks in Charlie Chaplin's FBI file

There is still a lot of interesting Louise Brooks & silent film material yet to discover. This post is the first in an ongoing series highlighting some of the newly found material I have just recently come across while stuck at home due to the coronavirus. With time on my hands, I have turned to picking through some of the many online databases and archives - some of which are newly accessible (due to the physical restrictions put on researchers because of the coronavirus), and some of which I am returning to in order to more thoroughly explore their holdings. As I am always finding out, it pays to not only have more than one set of key words to search under, but to look in the most unlikely places. You never know what you will find. Be sure and follow this blog for more discoveries in the coming weeks. 

As is known, Louise Brooks and Charlie Chaplin had an affair in the summer of 1925. It took place around the time Chaplin was visiting New York City for the premiere of The Gold Rush. Chaplin was married at the time, and was twice Brooks' age. (He was 36 years old, and she was just 18.) The affair was brief, and lasted just a couple-three months. Nevertheless, newspapers of the time took notice, and tongues wagged, if only in an oblique manner. Below is four panel comic strip which alludes to the affair between the then little known showgirl and international film star. It appeared in a NYC newspaper in the Fall of 1925, around the time Brooks' own "draped nudes scandal" was unfolding after she posed in a semi-nude state for the photographer, John DiMirjian.


Gossip made the news. The feature photo shown below, which more directly references their affair, was syndicated across the country. (Despite Chaplin's denials, in later years he recalled his affair with Brooks, vividly describing Brooks' breasts as being like "little pears.")


As is also known, Chaplin liked younger women. His brief affair with Louise Brooks - which had taken place some 18 years earlier - wasn't forgotten when the Federal Bureau of Investigation was interviewing individuals in 1943 as word was beginning to break about his affair with aspiring actress Joan Berry. (Chaplin was 52 years old, and Berry was 22 years old at the time.) A three page section from a FBI file of the time includes a surprising mention of Brooks - with her name highlighted in green.
The passage from the above document which references Brooks reads: "With reference to the individual mentioned in VON ULM's book as 'MAISIE" xxxxxxxx advised he thought it was Louise Brooks. He said she was very young at the time and later married EDDIE SOUTHERLAND (sic), who is a Director in pictures at the present time." Does anyone have an informed guess as to whom the person "advising" the FBI might be? Whoever it is, they are likely wrong about conflating Maisie with Brooks.

I have a copy of Gerith von Ulm's 1940 book, Charlie Chaplin: The Birth of Tragedy, and read the passage which mention "Maisie." First of all, the book isn't very good, and I don't think Maisie is Brooks, but rather Marion Davies (if I were to guess). Von Ulm states in a footnote regarding Maisie, "This is not her name, but because this star has retired into private life, she enjoys a 'legal right to privacy' which is not the writer's wish to invade." For those wishing to check things out, the relevant passages about "Maisie" (which is a garbled almost-anagram of Marion Davies) begin at the bottom of page 203 of Von Ulm's book.


Back to the FBI document, and my shock at having come across Brooks' name in Chaplin's FBI file: I find it surprising that Louise Brooks was mentioned at all in 1943, as she was long forgotten and living in near obscurity at the time. Brooks had been out of films since 1938, and had returned home to Wichita, Kansas in 1940, where she lived in her parents house until January of 1943, when she relocated to New York City in the hopes of finding work in radio. Compared to her heyday in the late 1920's, Brooks was rarely ever mentioned in the press anymore. (I have come across only about a half-dozen mentions of Brooks in 1943, with most of those coming from columnist Dorothy Kilgallen.) The fact that she was mentioned in this FBI document leads me to believe that whoever it was that mentioned her must have known her and known of her affair with Chaplin. Does anyone have an informed guess as to whom the person "advising" the FBI might be? Inquiring minds want to know.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

RadioLulu off the air, with a few recommended videos

After 18 years of streaming Louise Brooks and silent film related music, Radio Lulu has come to an end. The Louise Brooks Society online station was begun in 2002, and has reached countless listeners all over the globe. For more on this sad occasion, see the earlier LBS blog post, "Louise Brooks Society announcement regarding RadioLulu".


The station rotation began with "Louise," sung by Maurice Chevalier. In fact, it was my love of this song that led me to launch RadioLulu. In the early days of the Louise Brooks Society, a brief snippet of Chevalier's famed recording launched whenever someone clicked on the LBS website. I was not alone in my love for this particular recording. I recall once receiving an email from a fan who said they visited the LBS website everyday just to hear the snippet!


Because you likely want to hear it again, here is another video recordings of "Louise, a song which originally had nothing to do with our Louise. "Louise" was a show-stopping number from the 1929 film, The Innocents of Paris, Paramount's first musical. The song is sung by Maurice Chevalier, with the Leonard Joy Orchestra,  and it peaked at #3 on US Music Charts in 1929. Today, however, "Louise Brooks" has become associated with Brooks.


And finally, here is Chevalier performing the song in 1932. Chevalier recorded the song a few times over the years, but usually stuck to this original arrangement. Enjoy!

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