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  (www.pandorasbox.com). 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  (www.pandorasbox.com). 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  (www.pandorasbox.com). 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  (www.pandorasbox.com). 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  (www.pandorasbox.com). 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  (www.pandorasbox.com). 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  (www.pandorasbox.com). Original contents copyright © 2023. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

For the Record: A Brief History of the Louise Brooks Society Social Media

For the Record: A Brief History of the Louise Brooks Society social media accounts.

The Louise Brooks Society website was launched in 1995. That makes it an internet pioneer. The LBS was the first Louise Brooks website, and one of the earliest sites devoted to silent film or just about any actor or actress. With a goal of stimulating interest in her life and films, the LBS has long sought new ways of getting the word out.

A screen grab of the old LBS

One of its earliest efforts at reaching fans was through posting messages on various bulletin board systems (BBS), listserv’s, newsgroups (Usenet), and on AOL and Prodigy forums, back when these forums were dominant. The earliest archived newsgroup post mentioning the Louise Brooks Society, from October 27, 1995, announces the website. Another, a query from the LBS asking about a screening of Pandora’s Box in Poland, dates to January 29, 1996. Another, from December 31, 1996 announces the LBS move to its new domain at www.pandorasbox.com, where it has resided since. Each of these posts, which can still be read, are now part of the Google groups / Usenet Archive.

The LBS was an early adopter of social media, before the term existed. In the past, it has had its own message board, newsletter, Yahoo Group, Tribe.net page, and still lingering MySpace account. The LBS started blogging in 2002, first on LiveJournal and then on Blogger beginning in 2009. Between the two forums, there are more than 3500 posts, most of which now reside on the LBS blog at Blogger. This LBS blogger site has been visited by more than 1.8 million readers, and is a member of various affiliations, including the CMBA (Classic Movie Blog Association), Classic Movie Hub (CMH), and LAMB (Large Ass Movie Blogs). In 2018, the CMBA profiled the LBS blog, and in 2023, the CMH named it one of the 5 best early film blogs.

The same year that the LBS began blogging, it also jumped on the internet music bandwagon and launched its own “radio station.” RadioLulu streamed Louise Brooks-inspired, silent film themed music of the 1920s, 1930s, and today. The station streamed on Live365.com from 2002 to 2016, when Live365 ceased operations. (Read a Huffington Post article about the demise of RadioLulu.) After that, RadioLulu moved over to TuneIN, where it ran a couple more years before shutting down for good.

The LBS joined Twitter in January 2009, has tweeted thousands of times, and has gained thousands of followers. And would you believe, the LBS and its efforts has been retweeted or tweeted about by the likes of Roger Ebert and Neil Gaiman, among others. The LBS Facebook page goes back to 2010. It has also gained thousands of followers, and been “liked” thousands of times; there are many postings of interest. The LBS joined in YouTube 2013, where it has posted original content and created playlists of related videos. The LBS also has a Vimeo and Soundcloud page which features rare video and audio. The LBS Instagram account dates to 2021, and had proven popular with more than 5300 followers until it was suspended due to the bogus claims of a disagreeable individual who shall go unnamed. (Why given him any attention?)

For the record, the “Louise Brooks Society” website was launched under that name in August, 1995. The earliest Wayback Machine capture of the site at it’s current domain, www.pandorasbox.com, dates to April 11, 1997. Prior to its current domain, the site was hosted on servers at slip.net and sirius.com. The first media mention of the website and its earliest print reference dates to May 23, 1996, when it was named a USA Today “Hot Site” and mentioned in that newspaper’s “Net: New and notable” column. See the clipping below, which also noted the site’s early / ugly URL.  

 Later in 1996, the LBS was named one of the five best sites devoted to actresses by Net Directory, a now defunct English computing magazine. Two other early print/web references occurred on April 10, 1998 on the Wired magazine website, and May 3, 1998 in the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle. Early on, the LBS was also mentioned in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, San Francisco Examiner, and New York Times. A comprehensive checklist of media mentions can be found on the LBS “In the News” page. There, you will find mention of the LBS in the London Times, Irish Times, Le Temps, Stuttgarter Zeitung, Melbourne Age, South China Morning Post and other publications from around the world.

The Louise Brooks Society was a pioneering website. Mosaic, the first web browser, recognized the LBS by including it on its “What’s New” page on June 27, 1996. The LBS was similarly honored by Netscape, another early browser. Here are some of the other designations (i.e., old-school web bling) received ever so long ago by the LBS.

The very first Internet honor the LBS received was a four-slate rating (best possible) from the North Carolina Institute of Film Arts. Since then, the LBS received other honors and designations, including making Yahoo’s “Desert Island List” in November, 1996. The LBS is proud to have been once named a recommended site by the online version of Encyclopedia Britannica. As well, the LBS was included in the Art & Music Pavilion of the Internet 1996 World Exposition, a “world’s fair for the information age”. The LBS has also been named a “Celebrity Site of the Day” and “Hollywood Site of the Week”.


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


Friday, February 10, 2023

For the Record: A Brief History of the Louise Brooks Society

For the Record: A Brief History of the Louise Brooks Society

The Louise Brooks Society was established in 1995 as a gathering place for like-minded individuals from around the world. The site’s followers hail from dozens of countries on six continents. They include film buffs and movie industry professionals, celebrities, teachers, students and other interested individuals from all walks of life. To date, more than 3,500,000 people have visited this website! Logs show individuals have visited from countries from across North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific — showing Louise Brooks is truly an international star.  It is hoped that those who visit these pages and share an interest in the actress will join in furthering in its efforts.

The Louise Brooks Societywas founded by Thomas Gladysz; the website is written, designed and maintained by Gladysz with the assistance of Christy Pascoe. The Louise Brooks Society operates with the consent of the Estate of Louise Brooks (Louise Brooks Heirs, LC), and have its permission to use the name and likeness of Louise Brooks in connection with its activities. Content original to this site is © 1995 – 2023 by Thomas Gladysz / Louise Brooks Society. All rights reserved.

(Left) With Louise Brooks fan and actor Paul McGann (the 8th Doctor Who) and
(Right) with film historian Kevin Brownlow


The Louise Brooks Society is devoted to the appreciation and promotion of the life and films of Louise Brooks. The mission of the society is to honor the actress by 1) stimulating interest in her life, films and writings, as well as her place in 20th century culture; 2) fostering and coordinating research; 3) serving as a repository for relevant material; and 4) advocating for the preservation and restoration of her films, writings and other related material.

The purpose of the LBS website is to promote interest in the actress by serving as a focal point for related activities; by disseminating accurate information including authoritative texts; and by offering individuals a variety of materials to aid in their appreciation of the actress. Above all, the LBS encourages the viewing of Brooks’ surviving films, and the fellowship of her admirers. Future projects will include the publication of new material about the actress (in the form of articles, books, and e-books), as well as the ongoing development of this website, its blog, and social media accounts. Future projects, such as video, podcasts, in-person talks, screenings and related events, are also under consideration.


Since first becoming interested / fascinated / obsessed with Louise Brooks, I have always appreciated meeting others who shared my enthusiasm for this singular silent film star. Early on, I searched for some kind of fan club — but found none. It then occurred to me that I might form a group. The idea of starting the Louise Brooks Society coincided with my growing interest in computing in the early 1990s. That’s when I realized there would be no better way of forming a group or club than over the internet. A fan club (in the traditional sense) is a way to share information and “meet” other like-minded individuals. Thus, enabled by the world wide web, the Louise Brooks Society was born.

The Louise Brooks Society website was launched in August, 1995. Since then, the LBS has become one of the leading websites devoted to any film star — silent or sound. In 1996, USA Today named the LBS a “Hot Site,” noting “Silent-film buffs can get a taste of how a fan club from yesteryear plays on the Web.The Louise Brooks Society site includes interviews, trivia and photos. It also draws an international audience.” That was the website’s first media mention. 

The first feature story centering on the LBS appeared on the Wired magazine website in 1998. Other articles mentioning the LBS appeared early on in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Atlanta Journal Constitution. In 2000, Rochester, N.Y. film critic and friend to Louise Brooks, Jack Garner, wrote an article in which he stated the Louise Brooks Society is “A fine example of a fan page, a thoughtful, artful site devoted to the life and times of a fabled silent movie legend.” Around the world, the LBS was mentioned in various publications including Stuttgarter Zeitung, Le Temps, London Times, Melbourne Age, and South China Morning Post.

The LBS has also been praised by Leonard Maltin on his Movie Crazy website, and by the late Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize winning film critic. Before his passing, Ebert told me that he had used the site while researching Louise Brooks and Pandora’s Box. The LBS has also received email from distant relatives of Brooks, who mentioned they enjoyed surfing the website and learned much about their famous relation.

In 1999, with Frederica Sagor Maas, silent era
screenwriter whose story became Rolled Stockings


Here are highlights from the 25-plus year history of the Louise Brooks Society.

LBS Website: Launched in August, 1995, the LBS is a pioneering website that has proven itself among the most comprehensive, popular and long-lasting websites devoted to just about any film star — silent or sound, vintage or contemporary. For its efforts, the LBS has received considerable media attention in newspapers and magazines from around the world. In 2015, the LBS was singled out in Wild Bill Wellman: Hollywood Rebel, a biography of the celebrated director. As an educational resource, this 100+ page website has drawn not only film historian, but also film buffs, teachers, students and academics.

 Internet Presence: The long running was started in June, 2002. It currently has more than 3500 posts and hundreds of subscribers, and has been visited more than 1,800,000 times (as of 2023). The LBS also maintains an active social media presence on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and elsewhere. See the LBS Social Media page for further details.

Advocacy: In 1998, inspired by the popularity of the LBS website, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) commissioned the Emmy nominated documentary Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu. The part played by the LBS in bringing the documentary to television was acknowledged by TCM as well as the director of the documentary. [See “Fan Site Sparks Biopic” (Wired) and “Lovely Lulu Lives Again / A decade after her death, silent-film star Louise Brooks is more popular than ever” (San Francisco Chronicle).]  

Additionally, in 2000, following a grass-roots campaign, the LBS helped bring both the Barry Paris biography of the actress and Louise Brooks’ own book, Lulu in Hollywood, back into print through the University of Minnesota Press. The LBS is acknowledged in each edition, and the books have remained in print since.


 Scholarship: The wealth of information found on the LBS is one of its primary achievements. Much of it, including the annotated filmographies, bibliographies, detailed chronology, are the result of thousands of hours of research. Research conducted by the LBS has also lead to a handful of groundbreaking discoveries regarding Brooks’ numerous childhood performances; the cultural life of Brooks’ mother; G.W. Pabst’s reasons for choosing Louise Brooks to play Lulu; the previously undocumented exhibition history of Pandora’s Box in the United States in the 1930s, etc…. Also uncovered during the course of research were rare audio recording of Brooks’ radio appearances in the 1960s! In 2018, the Irish Times newspaper noted, “An online tribute site, the Louise Brooks Society, contains an extraordinary day-by-day chronology of her life.”

Additionally, the Louise Brooks Society has contributed to the restoration of two Louise Brooks’ films, Now We’re in the Air (1927), and The Street of Forgotten Men (1925). The LBS is acknowledged in contemporary prints of both films.

Notably, the LBS has been cited in a number of books including Geheimnisvolle Tiefe G.W. Pabst (Austrian Film Archive, 1998), German Expressionist Films (Pocket Essentials, 2002), Photoplay Editions (McFarland, 2002), and Sirens & Sinners: A Visual History of Weimar Film 1918-1933 (Thames & Hudson, 2013), among others.

Publications: In 2010, the LBS published the “Louise Brooks edition” of Margarete Bohme’s The Diary of a Lost Girl, which served as the basis for the 1929 film. Notably, it was the book’s first English-language publication in more than 100 years. This unique edition was highly praised, and was the subject of an article in Deutsche Welle. Other publications of the Louise Brooks Society include Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film (2017, with a foreword by William Wellman, Jr.), Now We’re in the Air: A Companion to the Once Lost Film (2017, with a foreword by Robert Byrne), and Louise Brooks, the Persistent Star (2018). The hallmark of each of these illustrated books is the considerable research that went into each volume, as well as the new and little known information revealed in them. 

Due out in 2023 is The Street of Forgotten Men: From Story to Screen and Beyond. Also in the works and nearly completion is Around the World with Louise Brooks, a two volume work.

The first four publications of the Louise Brooks Society

Additionally, as the Director of the LBS, Thomas Gladysz has written numerous online articles, contributed material to various scholarly and general interest books, and provided liner notes and audio commentary to two DVD/Blu-ray releases from KINO Lorber, Diary of a Lost Girl (1929), and Beggars of Life (1928).

Exhibits: In 2005, 2010, and 2011 the LBS mounted Louise Brooks and silent film-related exhibits at the San Francisco Public Library. Each was accompanied by a well attended public program which featured a lecture, screening or presentation.

Events: Over the years, the LBS has co-sponsored a handful of events, including talks with silent era screenwriter Frederica Sagor Mass, Louise Brooks biographer Barry Paris, and film historian Peter Cowie (Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever). These and other events took place at various bookstores, libraries and theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area. The LBS has also co-sponsored or participated in a handful of other events, including screenings. As the Director of the LBS, Thomas Gladysz has introduced Brooks’ films at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, San Francisco Public Library, Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, and Action Cinema in Paris, France. His talks on the actress have taken place at the Hollywood Forever cemetery, Folsom Public Library, and Village Voice bookstore in Paris. Gladysz has also written program notes for screenings of Brooks’ films shown elsewhere around the United States. Images from some of the LBS events and exhibits can be found on the LBS Flickr account.

Promotion: Through its website, long-running blog, and various social media accounts, the LBS has promoted related books, DVD’s, articles, exhibits and events held all around the world. You can even find the LBS credited on the first edition of Laura Moriarty’s novel, The Chaperone. The LBS supplied the cover image, as it did for various other books published around the world. The LBS also had more than a little something to do with the depiction of Louise Brooks on the cover of Adolfo Bioy Casare' The Invention of Morel.

The enthusiasm and generosity of Brooks’ many fans have contributed to the growth of this website. Individuals from around the globe have shared rare material. Others have performed research, translated articles, visited libraries and archives, or sent images and interesting information. The LBS acknowledges their efforts, and appreciates the emails and letters others have sent from across the United States and the world. Judging by these fans, and knowingly repeating myself, Louise Brooks is truly an international star! Thank you one and all for your interest in Louise Brooks and the Louise Brooks Society.

At the San Francisco Public Library

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

At the George Eastman House
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