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October 28, 2012


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Jim Gabriel

My God, look at her in the bottom still. That look is two degrees away from being able to strip paint. She was glorious.

Not David Bordwell

Second Jim Gabriel's sentiment, but that's one of the things that makes Pandora's Box relentlessly depressing (complicity in the male gaze, etc. etc.). Great film, but hard to watch and want to watch again.

Sounds like Glenn finds the John Wayne programmer producing some of the same feelings of sadness and loss?


It was Kenneth Tynan's profile of Brooks in 'Show People' that introduced me to her. That was a very happy discovery.

La Faustin

Does anyone know whether the chorine with Brooks' bob and, to my eye, smile, who pops up in early 1930s screen musicals -- WHOOPEE, FOOTLIGHT PARADE's "Honeymoon Hotel" number -- is in fact Brooks?

David Ehrenstein

I read all her pieces whn they first appeared in "Film Culture" -- years before they were assembled as "Lulu in Hollywood." She was a goddess and a scholar.

When Henri Langlois opened his grand museum at the Cinematheque Francaise an enormously blow-up photograph dominated the entrance. An unwary cineaste asked him "Why her? What about Garbo? What about Dietrich" to which Langlois replied

"There is no Garbo! There is no Dietrich! THERE IS ONLY LOUISE BROOKS!!!!"

David Ehrenstein

Here's Part 1 of 4


Glenn Kenny

Yes, there's sadness and loss here, but as David E. points out, she was a goddess and a scholar, and the fact that she lived to write such a great collection of essays is both a not-unhappy postscript to the sadness and loss but an interesting riposte to the oft-gratuitously-cited Fitzgerald observation concerning the absence of second acts in American lives.

Gigi Allen

Yeah, that second still...wow, I had no idea Louise Brooks was that freaking hot. You take that woman out of that still and drop her into any random Brooklyn house party today and she would be the defacto hottest woman in the room.


A few years ago, Paramount kindly struck a new 35 of OSR--the first since 1953!--so we could shoe it at Cinecon. Not just because it's a darn good picture, but I felt that Brooks' presence might attract some folks who otherwise wouldn't be caught dead at a B-western. It played like gangbusters, with several people expressing surprise afterwards at how slick and well-made it was. The moral, of course, is that any road that gets you there is the right one.

Ed Hulse

Glenn Kenny reviews a Three Meskeeters pitcher for his foo-foo blog! Hot damn!

I notice Cadavra takes credit for introducing Cinecon attendees to this "darn good" Republic B Western. It wasn't all that many years ago he wouldn't be caught dead watching a B Western, much less pimping one to Cinecon's audience.

Glenn Kenny

I liked "The Night Riders" too, Ed. Enough to get the other couple Sherman/Mesquiteers titles from Olive, if I can.

You and Cadavra play nice. Remember the good times!

Ed Hulse

Actually, the four remaining Wayne Mesquiteer pictures -- due for release next year -- are actually the better of the eight 1938-39 series entries, in my estimation. They include the last of the group, NEW FRONTIER (aka FRONTIER HORIZON), which had young Phyllis Isley in the ingenue role. The daughter of a prominent exhibitor, she was given a six-month contract by Republic execs looking to curry favor with her father. Ms. Isley's only other Republic film was the 1939 serial DICK TRACY'S G-MEN, which gave her limited screen time and placed no demands on her talent ("Here's that file you asked for, Dick..."). Her acting career went nowhere until David O. Selznick placed her under personal contract and changed her name to Jennifer Jones. For the record, she fared somewhat better in her appearance with the Mesquiteers.


Mr. Hulse misremembers slightly. I wouldn't "wouldn't be caught dead" at a B-western; in fact, I had not been exposed to many of them, and indeed I owe him a great debt for furthering my understanding of and appreciation of the genre. He is no doubt referring to my less than great affection for singing cowboys, and the cracks I would make during screenings of some of the worst offenders. He has a tendency to take one specific remark and make it a blanket statement. He also can't understand my great affection for JOHNNY GUITAR. But that's okay. The man knows his shit, and deserves props for that.



Brooks in a 1931 Educational comedy (the best thing she could manage after turning down the Harlow role in "Public Enemy").

I'm afraid she needed silence to be magical. Same haircut, but her face looks different in the more natural lighting used in talkies. She's not unattractive, but there's nothing special about her. She could be anyone.

She's magical in the early Paramount talkie, "The Canary Murder Case" (1929), but her scenes were shot silent.

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