Monday, August 30, 2021

Buffalo Film Seminars to screen Pandoras Box online

The Buffalo Film Seminars, the popular film series connected with the University of Buffalo, have decided to continue their screening of classic and contemporary films online, for the time being (due to the pandemic). This year's opening film is Pandora's Box, starring Louise Brooks, which will screen August 31. From the UBNow website:

Aug. 31: “Pandora’s Box,” 1929, directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst, C (Kanopy). The semester usually begins with a classic film from the pre-sound era, and the series opener this semester is no exception. This silent film chronicles the rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman, played by Louise Brooks, “whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her,” according to IMDb.

Other films in this year's series include The Grand Illusion (1937), Chinatown (1974), Barry Lyndon (1975), and The Princess Bride (1987), among others. More information about the series, including access, can be found HERE (UBNow article) and/or HERE (Buffalo Film Seminars).

Though online, these screenings are generally only open  to University of Buffalo student and faculty.

This year's screening of Pandora's Box (1929) is not the first time Buffalo Film Seminars has screened the film. Earlier, in person screenings took place in the Fall of 2001, Spring of 2007 (with Philip Carli on electronic piano), Spring of 2013, and Spring of 2016. Apparently, someone in Buffalo likes Louise Brooks as Lulu! What's more, the film series prepares extensive film notes for the films it screens. While similar, the BFS notes for each screening in the past do differ a little. Here are links to a pdf of the previous film note screenings, which were prepared by Diane Christian and Bruce Jackson.

Fall of 2001

Spring of 2007 

Spring of 2013

Spring of 2016

The series has, as well, screened another Louise Brooks film, Diary of a Lost Girl (1929). It was shown in the Fall of 2015. Its film notes can be found HERE. Please note: the pdf notes for Diary include an image of a naked women who is not Louise Brooks.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Another newly uncovered interview you will want to read

Speaking of newly uncovered interviews . . . . The last post featured a newly uncovered 1931 interview with Louise Brooks which which appeared in the Wichita Eagle in May of that year. The article pictured Brooks and her sister June, and also spoke briefly about June's aspirations regarding an acting career and Hollywood. An acting career didn't seem to be in the cards, so June started college at the University of Wichita (now Wichita State University).

During that same research binge, I also uncovered another little known interview. This piece was with June Brooks, and it appeared in an October 1931 issue of The Sunflower, a school publication. And as with the earlier piece, new information about the Brooks' sisters comes to light. The article states that June was a house guest for ten days at William Randolph Hurst's (sic) ranch (presumably the Hearst Castle) over the 1930 Christmas holidays. I presume that Louise was there as well. While a guest, June encountered not only Marion Davies but also Adolphe Menjou, Lawrence Grey, "Skeets" Gallagher and Jean Arthur - all of the latter either past or future film co-stars.  

The most amusing paragraph was this: "'Are movie people interesting? Not particularly.' answers June. 'They talk shop too much. Good looking? Well, they're better looking on the screen'."

One other intriguing bit were the paragraphs at the end where June says she almost appeared in a motion picture, once in a supporting role in a film with Gloria Swanson! Who knew?

Stay tuned or subscribe to this blog for more remarkable clippings in the coming weeks.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Little known 1931 interview with Louise Brooks uncovered

It's rare these days when a truly "new" (meaning little seen) image or magazine clipping about Louise Brooks comes to light. Many of the images which circulate online are "recycled" from past posts on eBay or Facebook or Pinterest or a blog or website, including this. But still, new material occasionally comes to light.

Just recently, additional years of the two main Wichita newspapers have come online. I have been systematically plowing through them, gleaming bits of new information, some of which I have been adding to my extensive three part chronology on the Louise Brooks Society website beginning at Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1939 part 1

I was a bit gobsmacked when I came across a new-to-me May 1931 interview with Louise Brooks which appeared in the Wichita Eagle and which contains a new-to-me portrait of the star. The occasion for the piece, "Pajamas the Latest Thing in Hollywood, Wichita Star Says," was Brooks return to Wichita for a brief, three day visit. A reporter caught wind or her arrival, and spoke with the star at her parent's home.



Aside from a factual error, i.e., the fact that Brooks was a Paramount actress and not a First National star, what I find remarkable about this piece is Brooks' candor. The anonymous reporter asked about Hollywood trends and hairstyles, and after asking about pajamas, Brooks referenced Marlene Dietrich, her supposed rival for the role of Lulu. I wish she had said more.

Brooks seemingly refused to comment ("was non-committal") when asked to dish further Hollywood gossip, but she did let slip on hot Hollywood couple of the moment Estelle Taylor and Jack Dempsey, who she apparently said where having difficulty over money matters. And regarding Clara Bow, for whom Brooks had a genuine affection, she said the "titian-haired star" had suffered a nervous breakdown and was recovering in a sanatorium and "hiding away from blackmailers." To be sure, the marriage difficulties experienced by Taylor and Dempsey were reported on in the press, as was Bow's emotional distress and trouble with those who sought to exploit her. But that fact that Brooks mentioned them specifically suggests to me a personal awareness of those star's public difficulties.

At the time Brooks gave this interview, she was only 25 years old, yet she speaks like an old-timer pointing out the behavior of the young whipper snappers nipping at her heals. "Really life among the stars who are really big in their profession is as matter-of-fact as that of any prosperous and highly respected business man," Brooks declared. "Take a party in Hollywood, for instance," Brooks continued. "The kids and newcomers to the screen. who don't really amount to much, throw wild parties and get their names over the front pages, but the really worthwhile people there have dinner, play bridge and go home early so that they can be fit for the next day's work in the studios." Either Brooks or the reporter who transcribed this interview really liked the word "really."

The newspaper reporter was likely tasked with asking Brooks about something more than just Hollywood gossip. That newsworthy something was a concern shared by everyone everywhere in the country. In 1931, the one thing on everyone's mind was the depression then ransacking the nation. Brooks seems to have had a real awareness of the hurt everyday people were suffering, including those in the bubble known as Hollywood. The article notes, "The depression which has slowed down business over the United States the past year is just now being felt in the film colonies, Miss Brooks said. Several hundred workmen have been laid off in the various studios and the production of pictures has slowed down considerably in the last few weeks." The pieces continues, and Brooks exaggerates a bit to make a point. "Actors and actresses are also taking the depression more seriously than many suspect. Instead of rushing out and buying a couple of Rolls Royces out of one pay check, they save their money and invest it in something that will pay good dividends, she declared." Unfortunately, Brooks didn't act as cautiously as she said others did. She was something of a live-for-today spendthrift. In 1932, she declared bankruptcy.

By the time Brooks gave this interview, she had completed work on three films, each of which were released in 1931. It is interesting that Brooks said at the end of the piece that she would be out of pictures for a year, as she hoped to act on the stage. Her stage work, in a NYC production of Norma Krasna’s comedy, Louder, Please, came to naught. Brooks did not return to pictures for five years, when she appeared in the Buck Jones western, Empty Saddles.

By the way, Louise's pretty younger sister, June, who is pictured in the clipping above, never had the Hollywood career she had once hoped for and is mention at the end of the article. She ended up going to college at Wichita State University before eventually relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Memoirs of a silent film loving bookseller, as told through "baseball" cards, part 2

This post continues a kind of sidebar to a long and heavily illustrated piece I wrote called "One booksellers memoirs, told through 'baseball' cards." That piece is awaiting publication, when and if it is published, I will edit in a link. See my previous post for the first part of this saga.

As a kid, who didn't collect baseball or football cards, or cards depicting their favorite characters from Star Wars or Star Trek or Buffy the Vampire Slayer ? But did you ever collect cards depicting film historians, biographers, or critics ?

For more than 20 years I worked at The Booksmith, an independent bookstore located in San Francisco. For about half that time, I ran the events program. I worked with publishers in selecting authors and creating a monthly schedule. I also hosted the various events. In order to make the series stand out, Booksmith began issuing a series of promotional cards for most every author event the store put on. These author cards (which number more than 1000) were similar to baseball cards or other like collectibles, except that these cards featured contemporary poets, novelists, essayists, biographers, historians and critics – as well as more than a few pop culture celebrities. Because of my interest in the silent film star Louise Brooks as well as early film and film history, there were also a handful of cards depicting authors who wrote on those subjects. I tried to secure events with as many as I could, provided they had a new book and/or were touring: among those who I managed to host an event with and who appear as author trading cards are prominent names like Jeanine Basinger #962 and Steven Bach #923 as well as notable behind the scenes individuals like John Baxter #832 and Famous Monsters of Filmland publisher Forrest J Ackerman #224, #329. Despite it being a niche interest, I made sure we always sold books!

Along with screenwriter Frederica Sagor Maas #302 (mentioned in the previous post), the store also hosted other individuals associated with early Hollywood, among them 1930s film star Gloria Stuart #318. Known for her roles in Pre-Code films as well as horror movies like The Old Dark House (1932) and The Invisible Man (1933), this Academy Award nominee went on to achieve later day fame as the older Rose in James Cameron's epic romance, Titanic (1997). Little did I know when I booked the event that Stuart had a connection to the space where it was held.

Gloria Stuart

If the store expected an especially big crowd, we might hold the event off-site at the nearby Park Branch library, which had a meeting room in the basement. That was the case for the event with Gloria Stuart, who was especially pleased to appear at this modest branch library, the oldest in the city; just after she arrived, Stuart told us she had visited it in her younger days while living in the Bay Area and attending college at UC Berkeley! Although the branch had  closed for the day, Stuart asked the librarian on duty if she could have a nostalgic tour, which she got. What a pleasure it was to meet Stuart and her daughter Sylvia, who accompanied her.

Another individual I hosted at the store and who appears on a card is Diana Serra Carey (aka Baby Peggy) #523, who before her death at age 101 in 2018, was considered the last living silent film star. Prior to her talk, we screened a Baby Peggy short, The Kid Reporter (1923), which everyone enjoyed and which received a brisk round of applause. During her talk, the crowd hung of Carey's every word, and despite the fact she hadn't appeared in a film in nearly half a century, those who showed up treated the aged actress as a contemporary "movie star." An event was also held for Suzanne Lloyd #722, the granddaughter of silent film superstar Harold Lloyd. Her famous grandfather helped raise Suzanne, and she has done much to help bring renewed attention to Harold's career, helping compile DVDs and write books, including Harold Lloyd's Hollywood Nudes in 3D!, the subject of her talk. Adults only please !

One event that stands out in memory was with Arthur Lennig #375 for his then just published, revised version of Stroheim. What a masterful biography; it was the book that got me fascinated with this legendary director! I recall after the event my wife and I took Lennig out to dinner, and he regaled us with stories about Stroheim as well as with stories about the subject of Lennig's other well known biography, The Immortal Count: The Life and Films of Bela Lugosi. As a teenage film buff, Lennig had written fan letters to Lugosi, who was touring the country acting in small theater companies. One day, Lennig told us over our entree, there was a knock at the door. His mother answered, and Bela Lugosi asked if a young fan of his named Arthur was at home!

The Lennig event came about because of the store's success in selling the Frederica Sagor Maas memoir, which was published by the University Press of Kentucky. That press also published two other books for which I put on events, Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood by the late-great Robert Birchard #690, and The Barrymores: Hollywood's First Family, a pictorial by Carol Stein Hoffman #479. The latter book includes material on Drew Barrymore, who is pictured on the cover, and for about thirty seconds their was talk and the hope that the actress would make a special appearance at the store to help promote a book about her famous family. Too bad it never came to be.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s university presses and small presses emerged as the de facto leading publishers of books on film history, especially regarding the silent and early sound era. The Booksmith did events with Matthew Kennedy for his delightful Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes (University Press of Mississippi), with Caryl Flinn #992 for Brass Diva: The Life and Legends of Ethel Merman (University of California Press), and with David Stenn for the reissues of his Clara Bow: Runnin' Wild (Cooper Square Press) and Bombshell: The Life and Death of Jean Harlow (Lightning Bug Press). The store also did an event with Jeff Kraft and Aaron Leventhal #560 for their fascinating pictorial, Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco (Santa Monica Press). A few weeks after the event, Patricia Hitchcock came by the store to sign books. She was the director's daughter, an actress, and had written the forward to the Footsteps in the Fog

The store also did a couple of events with San Francisco writer Emily Leider #198, #593 for her stellar biographies of films stars Mae West and Rudolph Valentino. Each are highly recommended. There were also two events with San Francisco Chronicle film critic Mick LaSalle #403, #566 for his fascinating studies of pre-code film, Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood and Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of the Modern Man. On a not unrelated note, Hollywood photographer and film historian Mark A. Vieira #324 made an appearance for his landmark pictorial Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood. No film book library is complete without the latter book.

There were other notable events as well, like those with Mark Cotta Vaz #775 for Living Dangerously: The Adventures of Merian C. Cooper, Creator of King Kong, and John Wranovics #770 for Chaplin and Agee: The Untold Story of the Tramp, the Writer, and the Lost Screenplay. It was an honor to host an event with one-time producer and United Artists studio head Steven Bach #923 for his study, Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl. Likewise, I was proud to do an event with writer Donald Richie #468 for his 2001 book, The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan. Although he looms large as a writer on the culture of Japan, Richie considered himself primarily a film historian. (He also directed a number of experimental films.) His 1965 book on the films of Akira Kurosawa, his 1977 book on Yasujirō Ozu, and his others books on Japanese cinema are cornerstone works.

Because of my early involvement with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, I was able to bring some of the authors I had done events with at the Booksmith to the SFSFF to do a booksigning, where the store had a table with all manner of films books for sale. On a few occasions, authors like Frederica Sagor Maas, Arthur Lennig, and Baby Peggy followed their Booksmith appearance by signing the next day at the festival. That was also the case with Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye #807, who had authored a biography of 1920s crooner Russ Colombo, and screenwriter Jerry Stahl #691, who wrote a novel, I, Fatty, loosely based on the life of Roscoe Arbuckle. Unfortunately, not everyone understood the difference between biography and fiction. But we still sold some books.

I have likely gone on too long with this "memoir" of my time spent as a bookseller. It was an exercise in nostalgia; I don't make any claim as to its value, except in the telling of stories about authors and individuals of interest to readers and film buffs. An annotated checklist of all the cards can be found at

Monday, August 23, 2021

Memoirs of a silent film loving bookseller, as told through "baseball" cards, part 1

This post is a kind of sidebar to a long and heavily illustrated piece I wrote called "One booksellers memoirs, told through 'baseball' cards." The piece is awaiting publication, when and if it is published, I will edit in a link.

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows that I once worked as a bookseller at the Booksmith in San Francisco, much of the time running the store's events program. As such, I worked with publishers in selecting authors, creating a monthly schedule, arranging for newspaper listings, and generally banging the drum to make sure someone showed up. I also hosted events – which meant setting up chairs and a podium, making sure there were books, bottled water and signing pens available, and most importantly, introducing the writer before an audience which might range between three and 300.

Author events can be highly competitive, especially in the bookstore rich San Francisco Bay Area. In order to make the series stand out, the Booksmith began issuing a series of promotional cards for most every author event the store put on. These author cards were similar to baseball cards or other like collectibles, except that these cards featured contemporary poets, novelists, biographers, historians and  more than a few pop culture celebrities. And because of my interest in early film and film history and especially Louise Brooks, there were also a handful of events related to authors in those areas who then recently had a book published.

The three authors I hosted who are most closely associated with Louise Brooks (among the approximately 30 related to early film) are Peter Cowie, Frederica Sagor Maas, and Barry Paris. There are stories behind each event, and each card. 


-- The event with screenwriter Frederica Sagor Maas #302 took place on July 10, 1999, just four days after her 99th birthday. The event was held to mark the publication of Maas' The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (University Press of Kentucky).

One day in April,1999 I was roaming about the floor of the national booksellers convention in Los Angeles (or was it Anaheim). I was looking at new and forthcoming books and considering authors who I might like to have for an event. That's when I came across the booth housing the University Press of Kentucky, and met the charming Leila Salisbury. I visited the UPK booth because I had heard they were publishing books on film history, and I wanted to check things out. Leila and I struck up a conversation, and that when she handed me a advance copy of The Shocking Miss Pilgrim, the memoir of an early Hollywood screenwriter whose career began in the silent era. The author's name seemed familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. I took the advance copy back to my hotel, and later, began reading it before I went to sleep. . . . However, I couldn't put it down as one fascinating anecdote followed another until I came across Louise Brooks' name and realized who the author of the book was -- Frederica Sagor, the author of the story that served as the basis for the 1927 Louise Brooks' film, Rolled Stockings! OMG.

When Leila first handed me a copy of The Shocking Miss Pilgrim, she casually mentioned the press would be holding a lunch with the author at Musso and Franks, the famous Hollywood restaurant. First thing the next day, I returned to the UPK booth and wormed my way into the luncheon. I simply had to meet the author, a then 98 year old woman who had known and penned scripts not only Louise Brooks, but also Garbo, Clara Bow, Norma Shearer, Erich von Stroheim and others. 

That fortuitous encounter in April led to Maas' first ever bookstore event at the Booksmith just three months later. Maas had just turned 99 years old, and was somewhat frail, nearly blind, and hard of hearing - but still mentally sharp. She wasn't able to stand and give a talk or read from her book, and so she and I sat down together in front of few dozen film buffs and I asked her a bunch of softball questions drawn from my reading of her anecdotal memoir. The crowd loved her, and hung on every word. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Maas told some dishy stories including one about Joan Crawford, who she met when the future star first arrived in Hollywood. Maas was assigned by the studio to greet Crawford (then Lucille LeSueur) at the train station, show her about, take her shopping, and teach her how to dress. Still mentally sharp and opinionated after nearly a century, Maas recalled not being impressed by the young Crawford, and thought the then aspiring actress little more than a “tramp.” The crowd giggled with delight.

After her presentation and book signing, my wife and I took Maas and her helper (her niece) out to dinner, and once again Maas told more stories of early Hollywood. I got to ask her about Brooks, and I was in heaven. The following day, I arranged for Maas to sign books at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, where she spoke briefly from the stage and again wowed a crowd of nearly a thousand. At the book signing that followed, everyone wanted to meet this witness to history. We ended up selling nearly 100 books! 

I have written about Frederica in the past here on the Louise Brooks Society blog. Those posts can be found HERE and HERE. The Shocking Miss Pilgrim did well, and even went into a second printing - pretty good for a memoir by a little know individual published by a university press. Frederica also endured, and became a supercentenarian, and one of the oldest surviving entertainers from the silent film era. In fact, Maas lived to the age of 111, making her at the time of her death the second oldest person in California and the eighteenth oldest in America, as well as the  44th oldest verified person in the world. If you haven't read her memoir, The Shocking Miss Pilgrim, I would encourage you to do so.

-- The event with biographer Barry Paris #413 took place on November 14, 2000, on what would have been Louise Brooks' 94th birthday. The event was held for the reissue of the Paris biography of actress (University of Minnesota Press).

For a brief time in the late 1990s, both the Barry Paris biography of Brooks as well as Brooks' own Lulu in Hollywood had fallen out of print. (This was before the era of e-books, when little goes out of print.) I led a grass roots campaign to bring both books back into circulation, emailing and phoning and chatting with whoever might listen. Eventually, the University of Minnesota Press answered the call. They too were starting to publish film history. (My name and the Louise Brooks Society are acknowledged on the copy right page of each edition.)

In an unprecedented "thank you" for my efforts, the UMP flew Barry Paris from his home in Pittsburgh, PA to San Francisco, where he did an event at the Booksmith. I was thrilled, as were others. A good crowd turned out, with a few coming up from as far away as Los Angeles, hundreds of miles away. And again, we sold a good number of books. A year or two later, I stopped by the UMP booth at the annual bookseller's convention and ask how things were going with the book.  I was told the Barry Paris biography was still going strong, and in fact, it was among the university press' best selling backlist titles. Both books are still in print today.

BTW: to mark the appearance of Barry Paris at the Booksmith, I produced a limited edition autographed broadside featuring a brief quotation from the Paris book. It can be seen HERE.

-- The event with European film historian Peter Cowie #890 took place on November 12, 2006, just two days ahead of the Louise Brooks centennial. The Booksmith event was held to mark the publication of Cowie's Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever (Rizzoli), which was published to coincide with the centennial and the handful of events which were taking place around the country.

Sometime earlier that year, I had caught wind of the books' forthcoming publication. (I think Cowie had contacted me, as I am acknowledged in the book.) And once again, I was roaming about the floor of the national booksellers convention when I came across the Rizzoli booth. The press representative and I chatted, and he gave me a photocopy of the book's manuscript. Flash forward nearly half a year, and Cowie's publisher was putting together a small author tour in support of the publication of Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever. Rizzoli contacted me to gauge my interest, and of course I said yes. 

The Booksmith event was held off-site at the historic Balboa Theatre in San Francisco. I put together a slide-show of rare images and spoke briefly. Cowie spoke, there was a screening of a little seen Brooks' film, and Cowie signed books in the lobby. It was a memorable occasion. I even created a vintage looking handbill for the occasion which were given away to all of those who attended the event. 

I gave Peter Cowie one of the Louise Brooks buttons I made featuring a vintage caricature of the actress. He can be seen wearing it in the picture above. And, he can be seen wearing it in the centennial event held two days later in the Dryden Theater at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.

Those are the stories behind the three cards pictured above (front) and below (back side of card). To be continued....HERE

BTW: the Booksmith card series began in 1993, and ran for 15 years; by the time it ended, the number of cards totaled more than 1000, making it, I would hazard to guess, one of the larger non-sport card series of the time. However, less than 30 cards relate to early film. An annotated checklist of all the cards can be found at

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

More on the Cinecon schedule

Yesterday's post sketched this year's schedule for the Cinecon Classic Film Festival. The annual event, which takes place in Hollywood, has moved online due to the ongoing pandemic. All films will be streamed live via the internet on the Cinecon main page Friday September 3rd through Monday September 6th. The show will start at 3:00 PM PT / 6:00 PM ET on Friday and run about 4 1/2 hours.

I am looking forward to a handful of programs, including a Colleen Moore film, a Clara Bow / Baby Peggy film, a Thomas Meighan film (Brooks' co-star in The City Gone Wild), and the Francis X Bushman documentary (Bushman was my grandmother's favorite actor), among others. Here is a little more detail on this year's event, which is coming up in just a few weeks over Labor Day weekend. Don't miss this special online event. 

This following information comes from THIS PAGE:

ELLA CINDERS (1926, First National Pictures)
A special screening of ELLA CINDERS staring the great Colleen Moore. This showing will feature a brand new score by Scott Lasky of the Famous Players Orchestra. There will also have bonus footage from other Moore films featuring fragments from FLAMING YOUTH and clips from the set of PAINTED PEOPLE. and if that wasn't exciting enough this special program will be introduced by Colleen Moore's niece Melinda Morrison-Cox.

The film was based on the comic strip of the same name, created by William Conselman and Charles Plumb, which was running in newspapers across the country at the time the film was made. In the story poor hard working Ella wins a contest to travel to Hollywood and make a movie. Unfortuatly when she gets there she finds out the contest was a scam and she needs to find a job. Colleen is Ella and Lloyd Hughes plays her love interest. Others in the cast include Vera Lewis, Doris Baker, Emily Gerdes and Mike Donlin.

HELEN'S BABIES (1924, Sol Lesser Prod.)
Cinecon decided to encore this film at Cineconline for two reasons, one, it's a nice little film that deserves to be screened again, and two, we wanted to give our online audience a feel for our in person show. This was our opening night film for Cinecon 54 in 2018. We had selected this film to pay tribute to our long time Cinecon friend, "Baby Peggy" herself, Diana Serra Cary in honor of her 100th birthday. It was also the premier of a new restoration of the film by the Library of Congress. It featured newly discovered footage unseen since the film was originally released. In addition it was accompanied live by the Famous Players Orchestra with a new original score compiled and lead by maestro Scott Lasky.

In this silent comedy Edward Everett Horton is a young bachelor, Uncle Harry, who suddenly finds himself saddled with raising two precocious little girls: Jeanne Carpenter and our star, Baby Peggy, who at the time this film was released was the second most popular child star (after Jackie Coogan of Chaplin’s THE KID) in all of moviedom. The girls' antics drive him crazy at first, but then he begins to warm to them. 19-year-old Clara Bow is the local girl who enters into Uncle Harry’s life.

from the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum and Flicker Alley this documentary film by Lon and Debra Davis is a natural follow up to their extensive and well researched book on Bushman, King of the Movies: Francis X. Bushman (published 2014 by BearManor Media).

This documentary covers Bushman's life from his early film success in silent films as a romantic idol at Essanay and Metro studios through his later life. Though he made the transition to talkies his career never regained the prominence of those early days. He eventually spent some time working outside of the film industry, only to return later to play smaller parts both in films and on television until his death in 1966 at the age of 83.

THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN (1921, Paramount Pictures)
Another rarity courtesy of The Library of Congress Staring Thomas Meighan. The cast also includes Doris Kenyon, Diana Allen and Louis Hendricks. From the novel by Booth Tarkington with a scenario by Frank Tuttle and directed by R. William Neill.

The town of Canaan, Indiana is the backdrop for of this tale of political corruption. Meighan plays Joe Louden who is the hero of the misfortunate, but spurned by the “respectable” members of the town led by the corrupt Judge Pike (Hendricks). Joe leaves town to go to law school and comes back to town to defend the less fortunate against the judge and gain the respect of everyone.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Cinecon schedule announced

For more than half a century, Cinephiles have gathered in over Labor Day Weekend to celebrate the movies at the annual Cinecon Classic Film Festival. As Hollywood's longest running classic film festival, Cinecon is where fans as well as archivists, authors, and collectors have come together to experience classic film screenings, special programs, celebrity guests, and the best movie memorabilia show in the nation.

I have attended Cinecon a few times in the past, most recently in 2016 to sign books in the memorabilia room. The first time I went, in the late 1990s, I had the chance to meet, ever so briefly, Francis Lederer, Louise Brooks' co-star in Pandora's Box. Lederer was on hand for a screening of The Wonderful Lie of Nina Petrovna (1929). Afterword, Lederer, though very old, took questions from the audience about his career - including a couple about Brooks. I got his autograph on my Cinecon program, and had a snapshot taken with the both of us in it. I hope to return to Cinecon sometime soon, perhaps next year, when it plans to resume its in-person festival.

Covid-19 has temporarily derailed the festival from taking place in Hollywood, and instead, it has moved online. Just recently, the Cineconline 2021 schedule of streaming events was announced. While there is no Louise Brooks related material this year, there is a program of rare Colleen Moore trailers as well as a streaming screening of Moore's Ella Cinders (1926). I can't wait.


NOTE: Friday streaming begins at 3PM PDT
Saturday, Sunday and Monday streaming begins at 12:00PM PDT
This is the order of appearance.
Exact Start Times to come
Each day will begin with a Ten Minutes to Showtime Clock
There will be five minute intermissions between features.
In addition to the films shown below, Cineconline will feature celebrity guests, Cinecon Memories and more.
Friday September 3rd.
DYNAMITE DAN - introduced by Sara Karloff
MAKE MINE MONICA - introduced by Ms. Lang's Son Rocky Lang
ELLA CINDERS - introduced by Ms. Moore's niece Melinda Morrison
End Of Day One Approx 4 ½ hours
Saturday September 4th.
Cinecon Memories
End DAY 2 Approx 5 ½ hours
Sunday September 5th.
SLEEPY TIME GAL introduced by Juli Canova
END OF DAY 3 Approx 6 hrs.

Monday September 6th.
SWING FEVER - introduced by Mr. Gilbert's great nephew Bryan Cooper
Cinecon Memories
KING OF THE KONGO - introduced by Sara Karloff
END OF DAY 4 Approx 5 1/2 hrs.


Sunday, August 8, 2021

Mary Louise Brooks (November 14, 1906 – August 8, 1985)

Remembering  Mary Louise Brooks (November 14, 1906 – August 8, 1985),
known professionally as Louise Brooks.

 From my collection of fan art.

"The Magic of Lulu"

by Ana Rosa 

acrylic on 11" x 14" board, 2003

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