Saturday, March 25, 2023

Pandora's Box, with Louise Brooks as Lulu, to screen in Pudsey

Pandora's Box, the 1929 silent screen classic starring Louise Brooks as Lulu, will be shown in Pudsey, a town located in northern England (between Bradford and Leeds). This special screening, sponsored by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival with live musical accompaniment by the Frame Ensemble, will take place on April 20, 2023. More information on this event can be found HERE.

 Here is a bit more information on the event from the event webpage.

G.W. Pabst’s 1929 silent movie masterpiece Pandora’s Box stars Louise Brooks in the role which ensured her a place in the Pantheon of immortal goddesses of the silver screen. This controversial, and in its day heavily censored, movie is still listed in the UK Guardian Newspaper’s top 100 films. It is a two-hour emotional roller coaster ride through the loves – male and female – of Lulu, a high class courtesan and dancer, and the trail of devastation she blazes through 1920s Berlin society, to exile in a Parisian gambling den, and abject poverty and violent death in a fogbound London.

The Music

Frame Ensemble, a quartet of Northern musicians specialising in improvised silent film accompaniments, will improvise a live score. Frame Ensemble is Irine Røsnes (violin), Liz Hanks (cello), Trevor Bartlett (percussion), and Jonny Best (piano).


To learn more about Pandora's Box, please visit the Louise Brooks Society website filmography page

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Louise Brooks Society under attack again

Just so everyone knows, my Louise Brooks Society Facebook account has been suspended for 3 days due to a bogus report of trademark infringement filed by the internet troll Michael Garcia Mujica, doing business as "Vintage Brooks". My apologies to 5000+ followers, but this troll seemingly doesn't have anything better to do than harass the Louise Brooks Society. What a loser.

The two items on Facebook which were reported were a link to the March 4th Louise Brooks Society blog reporting on the forthcoming publication of a graphic novel about the actress, Dark Star: Louise Brooks in Berlin.  Also reported for trademark violation was my Louise Brooks Society logo, which is shown below. "Vintage Brooks" has no legitimate or lawful claim to either of these items. He does not own each and every use of Brooks name. His claims of trademark infringement is nothing more than harassment.


Today, as well, the re-established Louise Brooks Society Instagram account was also taken down following yet another allegation by Vintage Brooks of trademark infringement. Again, this is bull shit. Last week, two images on my LBS Instagram account were also taken down following a fraudulent claim of trademark infringement. One of images picture an old pinback button showing the image above. The other image which was removed was  an image of my Louise Brooks Society business card. BTW: I had to reestablish the Louise Brooks Society Instagram account after it was taken down once before.

A few weeks ago, the Louise Brooks Society Twitter account was also shut down following a complaint by Vintage Brooks. The Louise Brooks Society has been on Twitter since 2009, and it had gained more than 5000 followers. 

Of course, I have filed appeals with each of these platforms, but each has failed to respond to my appeals. With Twitter and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) in such disarray, it is not surprising. The only good spin on this situation is that Vintage Brooks actions are helping build a legal case and financial liability against himself.

For the record: The Louise Brooks Society™ website was established online in 1995. Its website and the wordmark “Louise Brooks Society” are under copyright and common law trademark protection. Additionally, the Louise Brooks Society operates with the written consent of the Estate of Louise Brooks (Louise Brooks Heirs, LC), and have its permission to use the name and likeness of the actress. "Vintage Brooks" does not.

UPDATE 3/23/2023: Today, the second incarnation of the Louise Brooks Society Twitter account was permanently suspended. No doubt, it was taken down after a complaint by Vintage Brooks. I don't know for sure, as the account was taken down without any explanation.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Evening Clothes, starring Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1927

Evening Clothes, starring Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1927. The film is a romantic comedy about a gentleman farmer who — spurned by his bride, goes to the big city to loose his rustic ways and win back his new wife. A stanza printed in advertisements for the film put it this way, “He was a French hick / Who didn’t please her / So he went to Paris and / Became a Boulevardier.” Louise Brooks plays a character called Fox Trot, a hot-to-trot Parisian who some described as a lady of the evening. More about the film can be found on the Louise Brooks Society filmography page.

Adolphe Menjou, Louise Brooks, and Noah Beery Sr.

The making of the film coincided with Paramount’s transition from its East Coast facilities to the West Coast. Evening Clothes was the first film Brooks made in Hollywood, and at Paramount’s suggestion, the first in which she did not wear her signature bob hairstyle.

Evening Clothes was made to order for its star, Adolphe Menjou. And as with his similarly-themed prior films A Social Celebrity, Ace of Cads, The Sorrows of Satan, and Blonde or BrunetteEvening Clothes proved popular with moviegoers, though less so with critics. The New York Daily News stated “There are a couple of really subtle spots, however, which brighten up the film tremendously, raising it right out of the mediocre class,” while adding “Louise Brooks is a perfect knockout as a good-natured lady of the evening.” The New York Morning Telegraph quipped, ” . . . as it stands, this latest Menjou vehicle offers entertainment value equivalent to the Paramount admission charge.” Other New York papers were more positive. The New York Telegram called the film “a delightful little comedy,” while the New York Journal described it as “an entertaining comedy, with some good situations.” All-in-all, the film received a cool critical response, though it performed very well at the box office.

Thin story-line aside, many reviewers focused on the actors as well as Brooks’ new hairstyle. Among them was Regina Cannon of the New York American, “Louise Brooks is again cast as a ‘lady of the evening’ and makes her role pert and amusing. You won’t recognize Miss Brooks at first, for she is wearing her hair curled over her head. This is too bad, for it makes her look just like a thousand other attractive girls. Louise achieved distinction with her straight-banged bob.”

Louella Parsons of the Los Angeles Examiner added, “When you see the show girl, Louise Brooks, cavorting about with a frizzled top you will see why Famous Players Lasky is grooming her for bigger and better things. She fares much better than either Miss Tashman or Mr. Beery, who only appear at long intervals.” Welford Beaton of Film Spectator echoed Parson’s remarks, “There are three girls who do very well in Evening Clothes — Virginia Valli, Louise Brooks and Lilyan Tashman. . . . I was glad to see further evidence of Paramount’s dawning consciousness that Louise Brooks is not composed solely of legs. They work her from the knees up in this picture and it begins to look as if she were headed for a high place.”

Herbert Cruikshank, who wasn’t enthused about the film, nevertheless liked Brooks. He wrote in the New York Morning Telegraph, “It seems to me that Louise Brooks deserves first place. She is charmingly piquant as a chic little gold-digger who turns out to be a pretty good fellow after all — as many of the maligned sisterhood do. While her part is merely a filler, she seems to have built it up materially, and holds center stage in whatever scenes she has.”

And front-and-center is where Brooks’ next film placed her. Rolled Stockings — which featured Brooks in the lead — went into production just as Evening Clothes was opening around the United States.

Under its American title, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia, British Malaysia (Singapore), Canada*, China, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Panama, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, and the United Kingdom (England, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales). In the United States, the film was also presented under the title El Traje de Etiqueta (Spanish-language press) and Roupas Noturnas (Portuguese-language press).

Elsewhere, Evening Clothes was shown under the title Un Homme en Habit (Algeria); El hombre del frac (Argentina); Eine Pariser ehe (Austria); Un homme en habit (Belgium, French) and Een Man in Habijt and Een Man in een Habijt (Belgium, Dutch); De Casaca e Luva Branca (Brazil); Las que no aman (Chile); El traje de etiqueta (Costa Rica); El Traje de Etiqueta (Cuba); Vecerní odev and Muž ve Fraku (Czechoslovakia); Ein Frack Ein Claque Ein Madel (Danzig); I kjole og hvidt (Denmark); In Rok (Dutch East Indies); El Marques de la Moda (Dominican Republic); Un Homme en Habit (Egypt); Mõistueaubielu and Mõistueaubielu abielu and Vernunftehe (Estonia); Frakkipukuinen herra and Parisin yökahviloissa (Finland); Un Homme en Habit (France); Ein Frack ein Claque ein Mädel (Germany); Estélyruha and Frakk És Klakk (Hungary); Il signore della notte and Signore della notte (Italy); 夜会服 or Yakai-fuku (Japan); Aprehķina laulības and Der Liebling der Gesellschaft (Latvia); Un Homme en HabitEin Frack, Ein Claque, Ein Madel! (Luxembourg); El traje de etiqueta (Mexico); In Rok (The Netherlands**); I Kjole og Hvitt (Norway); Szkoła Paryska (Poland); De Casaca e Luva Branca (Portugal); El Traje de etiqueta and El vestido de etiqueta and Vestido de etiqueta (Spain); En herre i frack (Sweden); L’homme en habit and Un homme en habit (Switzerland); and Un Homme en Habit (Vietnam).

* The film was banned in Quebec, Canada because of “concubinage” – the suggestion of interpersonal or sexual relationship between a man and a woman in which the couple are not or cannot be married.

** When the film was shown in The Netherlands in 1929, a cut was made to the film and screenings were restricted to those 18 and over.


—  Evening Clothes is based on a French play L’homme en habit by Andre Picard and Yves Mirande which debuted in Paris on March 25, 1920. The Man in Evening Clothes, an English-language version of the play translated by the noted actress Ruth Chatterton, had a brief Broadway run at the Henry Miller Theatre beginning on December 5, 1924.

—  Evening Clothes had its world premiere at the Metropolitan theater in Los Angeles, California on March 4, 1927. Adolphe Menjou was in attendance at the special event, as was the noted poet and then current French ambassador to the United States, . Each were introduced from the stage. It’s now known if Brooks was in attendance at the premiere.

Arnold Kent (billed as Lido Manetti) had a small role in the film. He began his film career in Italy after having started as a stage actor. (Among his Italian credits were Quo Vadis and a few diva films directed by Augusto Genini.) In the mid-1920s, he moved to Hollywood and worked as a contract player at Universal and later at Paramount. He died in Hollywood in 1928 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

—  In 1931, Paramount produced two sound versions of the play at their studios in Joinville, France. A Spanish-language version, Un caballero de frac, was directed y Roger Capellani and Carlos San Martín and starred Roberto Rey and Gloria Guzmán. And a French-language version, Un home de habit, directed by René Guissart and Robert Bossis, starred Fernand Gravey and Suzy Vernon. Only the Spanish-language film was released in the United States. Additionally, in 1938, Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder outlined a treatment of the play, but nothing seems to have come of an American remake.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Happy St. Patricks Day from the Louise Brooks Society

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, a treasure from my collection of silent film related books - Colleen Moore's copy of "Beggars of Life", inscribed by the celebrated hobo author Jim Tully to the celebrated bobbed actress "with the admiration of an Irish Rover to a whimsical girl who knew him when" in Hollywood, California, 1926.  I am not sure if this is a first edition; and sadly, the dust jack is in tatters. But still, the bookplate and inscription is what sets this book apart.

The original price of the book was $3.00, according to the label from the Hollywood Book Store which is pasted to the rear end paper. I bought this book years ago here in California. The used book shop was asking $90.00, but I remember asking them for a discount and getting it. For obvious reasons, this book is a treasured possession.


Of course, it was another bobbed-hair beauty, Louise Brooks, who went on to star in the film version of Beggars of Life just two years later.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Exhibiting Louise Brooks Around the World

Louise Brooks is a 20th century icon, and a magnet for meaning. Just recently, I became aware of two exhibits which make use of Louise Brooks' name and likeness. 

One of them, "Weimar Female: Women and Gender Diversity in Modern Cinema (1918 – 1933)," runs March 29 to November 12, 2023 at the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum for Film and Television, Berlin in Germany. More on the exhibition can be found HERE, though for more Louise Brooks you should also check out the Deutsche Kinemathek homepage.

According to the Deutsche Kinemathek website, "The exhibition is dedicated to gender diversity and women in the cinema of the Weimar Republic. Gender reversal, self-determination and homosexuality were themes in the film, but the most popular was the "New Woman": To this day, her type stands for modernity and breaking out of convention, he lives on in series like Babylon Berlin  or  Eldorado  KaDeWe . But who were the real New Women? After the First World War, they confidently took advantage of the professional opportunities, also in the up-and-coming film industry. Their stories are told with numerous exhibits and film examples." 

On Instagram, I also came across this stunning image promoting the exhibit. It depicts Alice Roberts and Louise Brooks in what can only be described as large format! From what I gather, around 150 additional exhibits were brought together exclusively for the Frankfurt presentation of the exhibit. I would love to hear from anyone who is able to check out either exhibit.

And the next day, elsewhere on the continent, Louise Brooks is once again the poster girl for an educational event in Spain. I also found this image and announcement on Instagram. The description states, "Literature and cinema once again go hand in hand where the same language is intertwined. A review of the narrative and visual history where the protagonists are women, including the career of Alice Guy-Blaché, Mary Pickford, Dorothy Azner, María Falconetti and Louise Brooks. Luis Romero Siluto will recreate a dreamlike atmosphere that will make us remember great moments of the genre. An unmissable date for great lovers of the seventh art. To register, contact the email: or the contact telephone number: 922 42 00 07 (Department of Culture)."

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

New Louise Brooks graphic novel forthcoming - Dark Star: Louise Brooks in Berlin

Louise Brooks has been the subject of a number of comic strips and graphic novels over the years, from the long running Dixie Dugan / Show Girl strip beginning in the 1920s to Valentina in the 1960s and Louise Brooks Detective in 2015. There have been others. The latest is Shane Filer's Dark Star: Louise Brooks in Berlin, which is due out later this year. 

Here is some info from the author's press release.


A new graphic novel featuring iconic silent film star Louise Brooks is set to launch on Kickstarter in April/May. "Dark Star: Louise Brooks in Berlin" is written by Shane Filer and illustrated by Aulia Rachmatulloh.

This four-issue series takes readers on a wild ride through the life of one of the most enigmatic figures of the 20th century, Louise Brooks. Set in 1920s Berlin, Louise drifts through a single night, seeking a mysterious gift and encountering the city's present and future inhabitants. Through flashbacks of her past and flash-forwards into the unknown, Louise confronts herself and the demons that have haunted her throughout her life.

This is not a biography, nor is it entirely fiction, rather a darkly re-imagined biographical fairy tale. "Artists use lies to tell the truth," Alan Moore famously wrote, and "Dark Star" aims to do just that.

Shane Filer, the writer behind "Dark Star," previously published a novel (Exit) and wrote scripts for the long-running UK comic "Commando." One of his issues in this most male dominated comic, featured a very rare female heroine based visually upon Louise Brooks and brought to life by veteran Spanish comic book artist Carlos Pino.

Filer aims to tell compelling stories that resonate with readers, taking inspiration from comic classics like "Love and Rockets," "Maus," and "Concrete," along with influential comic book writers like Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, authors like Haruki Murakami, Milan Kundera, and filmmakers like David Lynch, and Michelangelo Antonioni.

Illustrator Aulia Rachmatulloh, a talented Indonesian animator and artist, brings the story to life with beautiful, detailed artwork that fits the era. Art assistance is provided by artists Alessandro Saccotelli and Samuele Giannicola.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to explore the life of the iconic Louise Brooks in this unique graphic novel series. Support "Dark Star: Louise Brooks in Berlin" on Kickstarter, coming this April/May.

For more information, sign up to the project's newsletter.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

It Pays to Advertise, with Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1931

It Pays to Advertise, with Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1931. The film is a farce about rival soap companies, an advertising agency, and a ne’er do-well playboy who attempts to make good. Louise Brooks plays Thelma Temple, a dancer appearing in a musical titled Girlies Don’t Tell. More about the film can be found on the Louise Brooks Society filmography page

Production on the film took place in and around Los Angeles in late 1930. Brooks’ part in the film, done to fulfill her contract with Paramount, amounted to little more than a cameo. The Hollywood Reporter wrote “Louise Brooks flashes in and out of the opening scenes and looks like a good bet for bigger roles.” Due to tepid reviews and negative publicity, It Pays to Advertise did poorly at the box office. At best, most exhibitors reported only fair business. In Los Angeles, according to one report, the film “set a new low.” The film also failed to do much for Brooks’ sputtering career.

It Pays to Advertise was based on a popular stage play from 1914. In 1931, reviewers commented that the story was old-fashioned – despite the fact that Paramount attempted to update its scenario through the use of new scenes, art deco sets, snappy dialogue, and a fast-moving script.

The film received few positive reviews. Photoplay wrote that it has “plenty of speed and lots of laughs”, while praising the “perfect cast”. Variety wrote “Subject to the limitation of all screen farces, this revamped stage frolic makes good enough program material with only moderate prospects at the box office.” New York’s The World, however, called it “pretty dreary.” The New Yorker stated “Among the dull pictures of the week we might list that old relic, It Pays to Advertise, which is full of smart-aleck cracks and is altogether a bore.”

The film starred Norman Foster, then husband of Claudette Colbert, and Carol Lombard, who was at the beginning of her film career. The gravel-voiced Eugene Pallette played the soap king; he had also played a supporting role in Brooks’ previous American film, The Canary Murder Case. The fast talking Skeets Gallagher played the wisecracking publicist – then called press agents. Brooks received fifth billing, and was largely left off promotional materials supplied by the studio.

Few publications mentioned Brooks, except to mention her brief appearance. Some publications noted that the role represented a comeback. The Kansas City Star commented, “Carole Lombard is pretty as the Mary Grayson in the cast, but Louise Brooks, who used to be quite a name in the photoplay world, is more attractive as the actress who does the airplane fall and is not seen thereafter.” Harry Evans, writing in Life magazine, stated “Louise Brooks, whom we have not seen on the screen since her momentary appearance in The Canary Murder Case (in which a voice double was used to speak her lines), seems to have been studying, as she gets away with her bit in this one creditably. Her real purpose in the film, however, is to show her legs, and in this phase of stage-craft she certainly needs no double.”

Under its American title, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia (including Tasmania), British Malaysia (Singapore), Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, The Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom (including England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland). In the United States, the film was also promoted under the title Vale a Pena Anunciar (Portuguese-language press). Elsewhere, It Pays to Advertise was shown under the title To platí, aby inzeroval (Czechoslovakia).


It Pays to Advertise was based on the play of the same name by Roi Cooper Megrue and Walter C. Hackett. It was first presented on the Broadway stage on September 8, 1914 at the Cohan Theatre, and ran for nearly a year. Thelma Temple, the character played by Louise Brooks, does not appear in the original play.

—  Set in the advertising and business world, It Pays to Advertise referenced a number of actual products and their slogans. As a result, one trade journal took exception to the practice. Harrison’s Reports, which billed itself “a reviewing service free from the influence of film advertising,” objected to product placement in film — be it verbal or visual. Over the course of four months (in articles titled “The Facts About Concealed Advertisements in Paramount Pictures,” “This Paper’s Further Efforts Against ‘Sponsored’ Screen Advertisements,” and “Other Papers That Have Joined the Harrison Crusade Against Unlabelled Screen Advertising”) editor P. S. Harrison railed against the business world farce in particular and product placement in films in general. “The Paramount picture, It Pays to Advertise, is nothing but a billboard of immense size. I have not been able to count all of the nationally advertised articles that are spoken of by the characters.” In the next issue, Harrison stated “In last week’s issue the disclosure was made that in It Pays to Advertise there are more than fifteen advertisements in addition to the main advertisement, ’13 Soap Unlucky for Dirt,’ which Paramount is accused of having created as a brand for the purpose of selling it.”  Taking the high moral ground, Harrison’s Reports spurred a campaign against “sponsored moving pictures – meaning pictures which contain concealed or open advertising of some one’s product.” Harrison wrote to the studios – and Harrison’s Reports noted that a handful responded with pledges to not include verbal or visual product placement. The crusading editor also wrote to more than 2,000 newspapers, and a number published articles and editorials decrying the practice. Among those papers that joined Harrison’s cause were four of the New York dailies, the Gannett chain, and scores of small town papers, as well as the Denver Post, Detroit Free Press, St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and Tulsa Tribune. The Christian Science Monitor added to the chorus of complaint when it remarked, “Paramount should have been well paid for the large slices of publicity for trade-marked products that are spread all through this artificial story.”

— The play has been made into a film on four occasions: there was a silent film in 1919, directed by Donald Crisp; the talkie in 1931, directed by Frank Tuttle; and a Swedish adaptation in 1936, directed by Anders Henrikson. In 1932, Paramount produced French language version of the 1931 film: Paramount remade the film at their studio at Joinville, France under the title Criez-le sur les toits, directed by Karl Anton and starring Saint-Granier and Robert Burnier.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Monday, February 27, 2023

When You’re in Love, with Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1937

When You’re in Love, with Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1937. When You’re in Love is a romantic musical scripted and directed by long-time Frank Capra writer Robert Riskin and starring Grace Moore and Cary Grant. The enjoyable and fast-moving plot turns on high-spirits and high-notes. Louise Brooks makes an uncredited appearance as one of a number of dancers in a musical sequence near the end of the film. More about the film can be found on the Louise Brooks Society filmography page.

Louise Brooks, third from the left, is obscured by Grace Moore's hand.

Production of the film took place at Columbia Pictures studios in Southern California between October 5 and December 20, 1936 . The musical pageant at the end of the film, which likely includes Louise Brooks, was likely shot in part at the Hollywood Bowl.

For When You’re in Love, Brooks accepted work as an extra (its almost impossible to spot her) with the promise of the feminine lead in another Columbia film. To exploit the situation, the studio put out the word that Brooks was willing to do anything to get back into pictures. “Louise Brooks is certainly starting her come-back from the lowest rung of the ladder,” wrote Wood Soanes of the Oakland Tribune. “She is one of a hundred dancers in the ballet chorus of Grace Moore’s When You’re in Love.” Brooks kept her part of the bargain, but the studio did not. Brooks’ lead in a Columbia film never materialized.

The film proved especially popular, and was seen as a worthy successor to Moore’s triumph in the 1934 film One Night of Love, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The Hollywood Reporter stated, “With a more substantial story than the last two Grace Moore vehicles, When You’re in Love is a signal triumph for the foremost diva of the screen, for Cary Grant who should soar to stardom as result of his performance in this, and for Robert Riskin, here notably handling his first directorial assignment.” The Hollywood Spectator added “It is unquestionably her best to-date and never has she appeared to better photographic advantage.” Rob Wagner, writing in Rob Wagner’s Script (a trade journal), was especially enthusiastic. “Here is the perfect combination – the director who writes his own script and delivers perfectly . . . Yes, I’m raving, … but because I’m a priest of beauty; and this picture thrilled me.”

The film was held over in New York City, as well as in Baltimore, Seattle, Detroit, New Orleans, Trenton, Tacoma, and Springfield (Massachusetts and Illinois). The same was true in Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta Constitution wrote that the film, the “best picture made by Grace Moore” was “now in its third week at the Rialto Theater, with the demand for seats showing no signs of easing.” The same was true in Hartford, Connecticut. The Hartford Courant wrote “Don’t look now, but Loew’s Theater appears to be starting another one of those record-breaking picture engagements with When You’re in Love.”

The great British novelist Graham Greene, writing in Night and Day, was tempered in his assessment. “Miss Moore, even in trousers singing Minnie the Moocher, can make the craziest comedy sensible and hygienic. In For You Alone, the story of an Australian singer who buys an American husband in Mexico so that she may re-enter the States where her permit has expired, Mr. Riskin, the author of Mr. Deeds and (let’s not forget) Lost Horizon, has tried his best to write crazily, but he comes up all the time against Miss Moore.”

Under its American title, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia (including Tasmania), Bermuda, British Malaysia (Singapore), Canada, China, Dutch Guiana (Surinam), Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestine (Israel), Papua New Guinea,  The Philippines, and South Africa. As well, it was once advertised in Canada as When You Are in Love. In the United States territory of Puerto Rico, the film was exhibited under the title Preludio de amor (Spanish-language press).
Elsewhere, When You’re in Love was shown under the title Le Cœur en fête (Algeria); Preludio de Amor (Argentina); Sérénade and Interlude (Austria); Sérénade (Belgium); Prelúdio de Amor (Brazil); 鳥語花香 (China);  Preludio de amor (Cuba); Když vy jste v lásce (Czechoslovakia) and Ked si zalúbeny (Slovakia, unconfiirmed); Serenade (Denmark); Preludio de Amor (Dominican Republic); Ma olen armunud (Estonia); Rakastuessa and När man är kär (Finland); Le Cœur en fête (France); Otan i kardia ktypa (Greece); Közjáték and Preludio de Amor (Hungary); Serenade (Iceland); Amanti di domani (Italy); 間奏楽 or Kansō-raku (Japan); Wenn die Liebe erwacht (Latvia); Serenade (Luxembourg); Preludio de amor (Mexico); Le Cœur en fête (Morocco); Als je verliefd bent (The Netherlands); Forelsket (Norway); Kiedy jestes zakochana (Poland) and חפּחדדה (Yiddish in Poland); Prelúdio de Amor (Portugal); A rioi szerenad (Romania); Preludio de amor (Spain); När man är kär (Sweden); Le Cœur en fête and Wenn Du verliebt bist (Switzerland); Bir ask macerasi and Sen aska dusunce and Yalniz senin için (Turkey); and Preludio de amor (Uruguay). 

The film was also shown under the title For You Alone in British Malaysia (Singapore), Ireland, and the United Kingdom (including England, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, and Scotland).


Grace Moore (1898–1947) was an American operatic soprano and actress in musical theatre and film. She was nicknamed the “Tennessee Nightingale.” During her sixteen seasons with the Metropolitan Opera, she sang in several Italian and French operas as well as the title roles in Tosca, Manon, and Louise. Louise was her favorite opera and is widely considered to have been her greatest role. Moore is credited with helping bring opera to a larger audience through her popular films. Moore died in a plane crash near Copenhagen’s airport on January 26, 1947, at the age of 48. Moore’s life story was made into a movie, So This Is Love, in 1953.

Attracted to Hollywood in the early years of talking pictures, Moore’s first screen role was as Jenny Lind in the 1930 MGM film A Lady’s Morals. Later that same year she starred with the Metropolitan Opera singer Lawrence Tibbett in New Moon, also for MGM. After a hiatus of several years, Moore returned to Hollywood under contract to Columbia Pictures, for whom she made six films. In the 1934 film One Night of Love, she portrayed a small-town girl who aspires to sing opera. For that role she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The last film that Moore made was Louise (1939), an abridged version of Gustave Charpentier’s opera of the same name, with spoken dialog in place of some of the original opera’s music. The composer participated in the production, authorizing the cuts and changes to the libretto, coaching Moore, and advising director Abel Gance.

— In the film, Moore sings “Siboney“. Xavier Cugat’s version of “Siboney” was recommended by Brooks in her self-published booklet, The Fundamentals of Good Ballroom Dancing.

— The New York Times noted that the lyrics of Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher” had been censored, writing “we did notice that the censors took out the reference to the King of Sweden who gave Minnie whatever she was needin’. Now it’s the King of Rythmania, who filled her full of vintage champagnia.” Although Daily Variety noted that preview audiences enjoyed Moore’s swing rendition of the classic song, it was not included in the general release print. 

—  Back in 2016, I wrote an article for Huffington Post on When You're in Love when it debuted on the cable station, getTV.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

In memoriam Stephen Salmons

I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Stephen Salmons, co-founder of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, a personal friend, and friend to the Louise Brooks Society. I am passing along the following message from the SFSFF.

Stephen Salmons, cofounder of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and its artistic director through 2009, died on February 10. We join his friends and loved ones in mourning this great loss. A writer, performer, and filmmaker born in Santa Cruz in 1958, he made his home in San Francisco, where he became half the team that turned SFSFF from a dream into a reality. His knowledge ranged widely and deeply across literature, music, film, theater, and he drew from it all to the benefit of our festival audiences. In 2006, he received the Marlon Riggs Award from the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle in recognition of his unique contribution to the city’s cultural landscape. Steve, of course, was much more than titles, accomplishments, or a list of works can convey. He was modest about his own artistic endeavors but was the first to encourage and applaud the artistic pursuits of others. He especially relished when he could inject a bit of ballyhoo into a festival program and the kinships that quickly form over a fresh insight or discovery made chatting between shows. Above all he valued kindness and that came through in his dealings every day. We will remember him most as a warm and witty colleague and friend who took visible delight in the playful exchange of ideas. He will be sorely missed. We send our most heartfelt condolences to his wife Melissa Chittick, with whom he cofounded SFSFF and shared a life for 24 years. Our thoughts are with her at this difficult time.
Photo by Pamela Gentile


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

A Girl in Every Port, starring Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1928

A Girl in Every Port, starring Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1928. A Girl in Every Port is a classic early “buddy film,” On loan to Fox, Louise Brooks plays Marie (Mam’selle Godiva), the girl in Marseille, France. The film was directed by Howard Hawks, and stars Victor McLaglen and Robert Armstrong as the two sailors, and features Marie Casajuana, Sally Rand, Natalie Kingston, Leila Hyams, and Myrna Loy as the women they romance in various ports of call. More about the film can be found on the Louise Brooks Society filmography page

The film was shot in November and December, 1927 at Fox’s studios in Hollywood. Location shooting was done on a boating trip to Santa Cruz Island, located along the California coast. The film debuted at the mammoth Roxy theater in New York City. Fox claimed, and Film Daily reported, that A Girl in Every Port had broke the “world’s record” for a single day’s box office receipts, when on February 22, 1928 it premiered at the Roxy in New York and grossed $29,463.00. A hit, the film was written up in just about every NYC publications, from the German-language New Yorker Volkszeitung to Women’s Wear Daily to the socialist Daily Worker.

The film received glowing reviews. TIME magazine stated, “A Girl in Every Port is really What Price Glory? translated from arid and terrestrial irony to marine gaiety of the most salty and miscellaneous nature. Nobody could be more charming than Louise Brooks, that clinging and tender little barnacle from the docks of Marseilles. Director Howard Hawks and his entire cast, especially Robert Armstrong, deserve bouquets and kudos.” Weekly Film Review noted that the audience “Cheered it – and loved it!”

What many critics focused on was the bond between the two male characters, sailors played by Victor McLaglen and Robert Armstrong. Bland Johaneson of the New York Daily Mirror wrote, “A Girl in Every Port at the Roxy is a man’s picture. It’s a good character comedy. But the love interest is the love of two men friends. The girls are all rats. And that limits the picture’s appeal to the romanticists. . . . Victor McLaglen and Robert Armstrong do fine acting, and the comedy is neatly handled.” Limitations aside, women also liked the picture, according to the Newark Star-Eagle. “Women laughed delightedly in the Fox Terminal yesterday at what was supposed to be exclusively a he-man picture. Victor McLaglen starred as a true adventurer in A Girl in Every Port, and although the film was mostly fast battling, feminine spectators found delightful entertainment in it. . . . He has a prize associate in Robert Armstrong, who was the fighter in the stage version of Is Zat So, and Louise Brooks, cast as a sideshow siren, does capitally as the crisis of McLaglen’s career as a seaport Don Juan. . . . This is a salty, virile picture, full of flying fists and colorful rows in strange climates and distinguished by the unmovie like and emphatic characterizations of the two leading males.” 

The salty nature of the picture did not go unnoticed. According to Irene Thirer of the New York Daily News, “Director Howard Hawks has injected several devilish touches in the piece, which surprisingly enough, got by the censors.” An exhibitor from Michigan wrote in the Exhibitor’s Herald, “the salesman said that this was a good picture when he sold it to me… time must have rotted it for it is one of the smuttiest pictures on the market. If you want to promote immorality, by all means play this one. I have to use care and precaution in the selection of pictures, and this one brought plenty of criticism”.

Aside from its popularity in the United States, the film had an even bigger impact in Europe, especially France. Writing in 1930 in his “Paris Cinema Chatter” column in the New York Times, Morris Gilbert noted “ . . . there are a number of others – mostly American – which have their place as ‘classics’ in the opinion of the French. . . . They love A Girl in Every Port, which has the added distinction of being practically the only American film which keeps its own English title here.” The film enjoyed a long run in Paris, where to this day it is still highly regarded.

Notably,  Jean-Paul Sartre hoped to take Simone de Beauvoir to see the film on one of their first dates. Later, the writer Blaise Cendrars stated the film “marked the first appearance of contemporary cinema”.

Under its American title, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia (including Tasmania), Bermuda, British Malaysia (Singapore), Canada, China, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom (England, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales). In the United States, the film was also presented under the title Uma noiva em cada porto (Portuguese-language press).

Elsewhere, A Girl in Every Port was shown under the title Poings de fer, coeur d’or (Algeria); Una novia en cada puerto and Una chica en cada porto (Argentina); Das Verdammte Herz – Zwei lustige Matrosen (Austria); Une fille dans chaque port (Belgium, French) and Een liefje bij elke landing (Belgium, Dutch); Uma noiva em cada porto (Brazil); Una Novia en Cada Puerto (Cuba); Dívka v každém prístavu (Czechoslovakia) and Dievca v kazdom pristave and Vsade ine dievca (Slovakia); Blaue jungens, blonde Mädchen (Danzig); En Pige i hver Havn (Denmark); Una Novia en Cada Puerto (Dominican Republic); Een Liefje in iedere Haven and In iedere Stad een andere Schat! (Dutch East Indies - Indonesia); Poings de fer, coeur d’or and Une femme dans chaque port and Une fille dans chaque port (France); Blaue jungens, blonde Mädchen (Germany); Az ocean Don Juana (Hungary); Kærasta i hverri höfn! (Iceland); Capitano Barbableu and Il Capitano Barbableu and Capitan Barbablù (Italy); 港々に女あり or Minato Ni on'na ari (Japan); Ein zeitgemasser Don-Juan and Meitene katra osta (Latvia); Mergina kiekviename uoste (Lithuania); Poings de Fer – Coeur d’Or Blaue Jungen – Blonde Madchen (Luxembourg); Una novia in cada puerto (Mexico); In iedere Stad ... een andere Schat! and In elke stad een andere schat (Netherlands); En pike i hver havn (Norway); A kochanek miał sto and Dziewczyna w kaz.dym porcie and Era Pogoni Za Bogatym Memzem (Poland); Uma Rapariga em Cada Pôrto and Uma companheira em cada pôrto (Portugal); O fata in fiecare port (Romania); Una novia in cada puerto and Un Amor en Cada Puerto and Una xicota a cada port (Spain, including The Canary Islands); En flicka i varje hamn (Sweden); and Poings de fer et coeur dor (Switzerland).


Much was made over the “bevy of beautiful girls” appearing in the film. Writing in the Hollywood Daily Citizen, Elena Brinkley quipped, “It seems to me they’ll never finish signing girls for Victor McLaglen’s A Girl in Every Port.” Early on, among those she reports cast was Anna May Wong.

— Maria Casajuana, a Spanish-born dancer and one-time “Miss Spain,” made her screen debut in A Girl in Every Port. As a newcomer, her role was heavily promoted. Beginning with Road House (1928), Casajuana appeared in films as Maria Alba. She also appeared in Goldie, a 1931 remake of A Girl in Every Port.

— Casajuana was not the only actress working under another name. Gretel Yolz was actually Eileen Sedgwick, one of the Five Sedgwicks, a pioneering family in Hollywood.

— In 1931, Fox remade A Girl in Every Port as a sound film entitled Goldie. The remake was directed by Benjamin Stoloff and starred Spencer Tracy, Warren Hymer and Jean Harlow. The 1952 Marx Brothers’ film of the same name is unrelated.

Some day, I would like to see a proper DVD release of A Girl in Every Port. A few years back, there was talk of such a thing, but nothing ever materialized.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Monday, February 20, 2023

More Bits and Pieces Found on The Street of Forgotten Men

In my forthcoming book, The Street of Forgotten Men: From Story to Screen and Beyond, I state "Bits and pieces of this book were first tried out on my Louise Brooks Society blog, where anyone interested in The Street of Forgotten Men can find additional material which didn’t make it into the book." This is one such post.

One chapter in the book focuses on the film's legacy, and the surprising way it impacted American culture. I discuss how the title of the film became a catchphrase, and survey some of the fiction, film, and other material which was "inspired" by The Street of Forgotten Men, including poetry. I found a handful of pieces, including a prose poem in a 1928 high school yearbook, which referenced the film title. In my book, I didn't have room to discuss each of the examples of poetry which I came across. Here, I foucs on the two poems whose titles were taken from the film.

The film's title-phrase became the subject of a newspaper poem titled “The Street of Forgotten Men.” At the time, many papers printed inspirational or humorous verse, much of which rhymed, was satirical, or sought to teach a lesson. (Today, Edgar Guest may well be the best known writer of such verse.) 

One piece I came across was Daniel J. Knott, Jr.’s “original composition,” which appeared on December 13, 1929 in the Putnam County Courier, published in Carmel, New York. Knott’s verse, which is a sing-songy tour of the Bowery, reflects on the hungry and homeless – the “bodies of wrecks caught in poverty’s mesh.” It ran just a couple of months after the stock market crash which began the Depression.

Another piece I came across was an anonymous poem published in a book, Seth Parker Fireside Poems, a 1933 collection of folksy poems originally broadcast on the radio by Seth Parker (aka Phillips H. Lord), a popular radio personality and the host of the long running program, Jonesport Neighbors. Parker was quite famous in his day, and in 1932 he starred in a motion picture produced by RKO Radio Pictures which was based on another of his books. In the film, Way Back Home, he starred opposite Bette Davis.

A note accompanying the poem reads, “This poem was handed to Mr. Lord during his Monday night broadcast from his ‘Bowery Den’ (the old ‘Tunnel Saloon’ on the Bowery) by one of the men in the bread-line, It was written in pencil on an old scrap of paper. When questioned as to why he had written this poem, the author’s only reply was, ‘My tribute to Phil Lord for what he is doing for us boys down here’.”

If you are wondering how it is that I am ascribing the title of these two poems to the film and not some other source, you will have to read my book. I trace the history of the phrases "forgotten man" (or "forgotten men") and "street of forgotten men," and note that the latter was not used in any print source I could trace until George Kibbe Turner's 1925 magazine story (upon which the 1925 film was based) was published. As I state in the book, "Herbert Brenon's 1925 film has a distinction few other movies can claim, namely, its title became a catchphrase."

The Street of Forgotten Men: From Story to Screen and Beyond is nearly done. I am waiting for one last document to arrive, and have begun a final edit and indexing of the book. As The Street of Forgotten Men is Louise Brooks' first film, this is a book fans of the actress and of the silent era will want to read.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Louise Brooks and Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis

Thanks to Simon Werrett for tipping me off to the forthcoming screenings of Walther Ruttman's Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis (1927) in Berlin! Curiously, posters for the event feature Louise Brooks. And what's more, those very posters are, according to Simon, "peppered" throughout Berlin's underground stations. More information about this pair of screenings (one on February 22, and the other on March 26) can be found HERE.

Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis (also sometimes called Berlin: Symphony of a City) is an exceptional film. It is a thrilling non-fiction, poetic film, an example of the "city symphony" film genre. According to its Wikipedia entry, "it portrays the life of a city, mainly through visual impressions in a semi-documentary style, without the narrative content of more mainstream films, though the sequencing of events can imply a kind of loose theme or impression of the city's daily life." If you haven't seen the film, you must. I wish I could make it to Berlin, not only to snatch one of those posters, but to see this magnificent film on the big screen with live music IN BERLIN.

Here is information about the event both in German and in English:

Berlin – Die Sinfonie der Großstadt Live begleitet vom Babylon Orchester Berlin unter Leitung von George Morton (Sa, 11.2.)

So klingt #Berlin ! #TheSoundofBerlin
Walter Ruttmann's classic is a fascinating journey through time in the roaring twenties from Berlin.
… accompanied by #edmundmeisel‘s stirring original music!

Berlin – Die Sinfonie der Großstadt, D 1927, R: Walther Ruttmann, 65 Min., ohne Dialog/No dialog!

Berlin, eine Stadt erwacht aus dem Schlaf und wird zur Legende, 1927, fünf Jahre vor dem Ende der Weimarer Republik. Elektrisierend!
Eine Stadt vor ihrem Untergang.

Ein Kaleidoskop von Eindrücken, die ein lebendiges Bild der Viermillionen-Metropole vermitteln: von der ersten Morgendämmerung, wenn die ersten Pendlerzüge einlaufen bis in die späte Nacht, wenn sich die Lichtreklamen der Kinos und Tanzpaläste auf dem regennassen Asphalt spiegeln.

Hektik und Beschaulichkeit, Armut und Reichtum, Angestellte, Flaneure, und immer wieder Busse, Straßenbahnen, Lastwagen, U-Bahnen, Züge, Autos, Fahrräder, Fußgängerströme als Pulsgeber des groß-städtischen Rhythmus: Walter Ruttmanns Klassiker ist eine faszinierende Zeitreise in die #goldenezwanziger

A daily routine in Berlin's life, filmed in the late 1920s.

Berlin, a city awakens from sleep and becomes a legend, in 1927, five years before the end of the Weimar Republic. Electrifying! A city before its downfall.

A kaleidoscope of impressions that convey a vivid picture of the four million metropolis: from the first dawn, when the first commuter trains arrive, until late at night, when the neon signs of the cinemas and dance palaces are reflected on the rain-soaked asphalt.

Hustle and bustle and tranquility, poverty and wealth, employees, strollers, and again and again buses, trams, trucks, subways, trains, cars, bicycles, pedestrian streams as the pulse generator of the urban rhythm: Walter Ruttmann's classic is a fascinating journey through time in the roaring twenties from Berlin.


THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

The Canary Murder Case, starring Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1929

The Canary Murder Case, starring Louise Brooks, was released on this day in 1929. The Canary Murder Case is a detective story involving an amateur sleuth, a blackmailing showgirl, and the “swells” that surround her. The film was initially shot as a silent, and shortly thereafter reworked for sound. Louise Brooks, who plays the canary, would not dub her lines for the sound version. Her refusal and perceived “difficulty” harmed her career, effectively ending her stardom in the United States. More about the film can be found on the Louise Brooks Society filmography page.

Production of the film took place between September 11 and October 12, 1928 at Paramount’s studio in Hollywood. Sound retakes took place on and around December 19, 1928. Malcolm St. Clair directed The Canary Murder Case, with Frank Tuttle taking over the sound retakes. The film was released as an 80 minute talkie in most markets, and as a shorter silent in theater’s not yet “wired for sound.” A few publications, such as The Film Daily, reviewed both formats.

Based on a bestselling book of the same name, The Canary Murder Case was released to great anticipation. In February, 1929 Motion Picture named the film one of the best for the month, declaring “William Powell is superb. The rest of the players, including Louise Brooks, Jean Arthur, James Hall, Charles Lane, Gustav Von Seyffertitz and many others, win credit.” That opinion, however, was not shared by most. More typical of the reviews the film received was that of the New York World, who declared the film “an example of a good movie plot gone wrong as the result of spoken dialogue.”

Mordaunt Hall, writing in the New York Times, was more generous, “It is on the whole the best talking-mystery production that has been seen, which does not imply that it is without failings. It is quite obvious that Louise Brooks, who impersonates Margaret Odell, alias the Canary, does not speak her lines. Why the producers should have permitted them to be uttered as they are is a mystery far deeper than the story of this picture.” Billboard added “Louise Brooks is mediocre as the Canary, but this does not detract from the production, as she appears in but a few scenes.”

Louella Parsons, writing in the Los Angeles Examiner, stated St. Clair “was handicapped by no less a person than Louise Brooks, who plays the Canary. You are conscious that the words spoken do not actually emanate from the mouth of Miss Brooks and you feel that as much of her part as possible has been cut. She is unbelievably bad in a role that should have been well suited to her. Only long shots are permitted of her and even these are far from convincing when she speaks.” Parson’s comments were echoed by Margaret L. Coyne of the Syracuse Post-Standard, who observed, “The only flaw is the substitution of another voice for that of Louise Brooks — the Canary — making necessary a number of subterfuges to disguise the fact.”

All were not fooled. The Oakland Post-Enquirer and other publications eventually caught on. “It is generally known by this time that Margaret Livingston doubled for Louise Brooks in the dialogue sequences. Hence the not quite perfect synchronization in close-ups and the variety of back views and dimly photographed profiles of the Canary.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer quipped “The role of the murdered girl is played by Louise Brooks, who is much more satisfying optically than auditorily.” Writing in Life magazine, Harry Evans went further, suggesting Brooks’ didn’t speak well. “Louise Brooks, who furnishes the sex-appeal, is evidently a poorer conversationalist than Miss Arthur, because all of her articulation is obviously supplied by a voice double.” It was an assertion that would haunt Brooks for years.

Under its American title, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia (including Tasmania), Bermuda, British Malaysia (Singapore), Canada, China, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), India, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Trinidad, and the United Kingdom (England, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales).

Elsewhere, The Canary Murder Case was shown under the title Die Stimme aus dem Jenseits (Austria); O drama de uma noite (Brazil); El Crimen de la Canaria (Cuba); Die Stimme aus dem Jenseits and Kanárkový vražedný prípad (Czechoslovakia) and Hlas Ze Záhrobí (Slovakia); Die Stimme Aus Dem Jensits (Danzig); Hvem dræbte Margaret O’Dell? (Denmark); De Kanarie Moordzaak (Dutch East Indies – Indonesia); Hääl teisest maailmast and Hääl teisest ilmast (Estonia); Salaperainen Rikos and Ett hemlighetsfullt brott and Det hemlighetsfulla brottet (Finland); Le meurtre du Canari (France); Die Stimme Aus Dem Jensits (Germany); Kandari Gyilkosság and Gyilkossag a szailoban (Hungary); La canarina assassinata and Il caso della canarina assassinata (Italy); カナリヤ殺人事件 (Japan); 카나리아 머더 케이스 (Korea); De Kanarie Moordzaak (The Netherlands); I Kanarifuglens Garn and I fristerinnens garn (Norway); Kryyk z za Swlatow (Poland); Die stimme aus dem Jenseits (Poland, German language publication); O Drama duma Noite (Portugal); Kdo je morilec? (Slovenia); ¿Quién la mató? (Spain, including The Canary Islands); Midnattsmysteriet (Sweden); and Дело об убийстве канарейки (U.S.S.R.).


 —S. S. van Dine is the pseudonym used by art critic Willard Huntington Wright (1888 – 1939) when he wrote detective novels. Wright was an important figure in avant-garde cultural circles in pre-WWI New York, and under the pseudonym (which he originally used to conceal his identity) he created the once immensely popular fictional detective Philo Vance, a sleuth and aesthete who first appeared in books in the 1920s, then in movies and on the radio in the following decades.

Wright was one of the best-selling authors in the United States. The Canary Murder Case was the second book in a popular series featuring Vance — though the film made from it was the first in the series to feature the character. William Powell revived his role as Vance in four additional films, including The Greene Murder Case, released later in 1929. Other actors who played Vance include Basil Rathbone and Edmund Lowe.

— S.S. van Dine’s novel was loosely based on the real-life murder of showgirlDot King, which was never solved. King was among those nicknamed “Broadway Butterflies.”

— Glenn Wilson, a Federal investigator attached to the bureau of criminal investigation for Los Angeles county, reportedly served as an adviser on the film.

— In a 1931 article on the cinema in Singapore, the New York Times notes that “Asiatics love the gangster film, but very few are shown, owing to the censorship regulations which bar gun battles and will not tolerate an actual ‘kill’ on the screen. The first cuts made before they decide to ban all films of this type were very clumsy and made a mystery story a bigger mystery than ever. For instance, in the Canary Murder Case.”

— An Italian TV version of the story, directed by Marco Leto and featuring Giorgio Albertazzi as Philo Vance and Virna Lisi as the Canary, was broadcast in 1974.

Some day, I would like to see a proper DVD release of The Canary Murder Case which includes both the sound and (reportedly superior) silent versions.

THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Happy Valentines Day from the Louise Brooks Society

Happy Valentines Day from the Louise Brooks Society ! And happy February 14th. This day is not only a day for lovers, but also a notable day in Louise Brooks' life history. What a wonder she was ! She was, in the words of the great Marshall Crenshaw, the ultimate Jazz Age "cynical girl."

On this day in 1921:
According to her diary, Louise Brooks performs three dances, including "French Baby." Afterwords, Louise and her mother attend an orchestra performance.

On this day in 1923:
Louise Brooks appears with Denishawn at the Garden Theatre in Bennettsville, South Carolina. 

On this day in 1924:
Louise Brooks appears with Denishawn at the Orpheum Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska.

On this day in 1930:
In one of the very last recorded American theatrical screenings following its release, A Girl in Every Port shows at the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso, Indiana. 

On this day in 1932:
News wires report Louise Brooks has left for Bermuda the previous day aboard the Monarch of Bermuda, just a few days after reporting on the actress' money troubles. The Universal piece reported "She was the last passenger to board the vessel, dashing up the gangway with a Pomeranian dog a minute before sailing. She had reserved one of the least expensive rooms on the ship." Also on board is Mr. and Mrs. Jesse L. Lasky.

On this day in 1945:
Variety reports "Louise Brooks film and radio actress, now working as a press agent."

On this day in 1959:
Researching Clara Bow. Types letter to Jan Wahl, and mentions possible trip to Toronto to attend a February 22nd screening of Pandora's Box. (Brooks does not go.) Mentions that she had recently seen Ehe im Schatten (Marriage in the Shadows), an East German melodrama released in 1947. The film was shown at the Dryden theater and was introduced by James Card. Also mentions that when she was 18 years old she took a signed George Moore novel, Portrait of a Young Man, from the library of Algonquin Hotel owner Frank Case

On this day in 1969:
The Blue Banner (the student newspaper of Onondaga Community College in New York state) publishes Brooks' letter to student journalist James Rolick, along with a long profile of the actress which included pictures sent to Rolick by Brooks. 

On this day in 1975:
Pandora's Box screens at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

On this day in 1978:
Pandora's Box screens at the Goethe House in NYC. 

The images found here are some of Thomas Gladysz's favorite images of Louise Brooks. The information found on this page is from the Louise Brooks Society pages, Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1939 and Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1940-1985. Check 'em out. In 2018, Tara Brady wrote in the Irish Times, "An online tribute site, the Louise Brooks Society, contains an extraordinary day-by-day chronology of her life."
THE LEGAL STUFF: The Louise Brooks Society™ blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society  ( Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

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