Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Picture Perfect Wednesday:
Louise Brooks, Classic Bird

Louise Brooks was a fashion trend-setter in the 1920s, with her bobbed hairstype being widely imitated after she began appearing in film. Often, when someone says "flapper style," they are picturing Louise Brooks.

Brooks only appeared in a couple dozen features. Some sources say her career suffered because she refused to bend to the will of the studio system. Other sources say that her career was damaged by working in European for a couple of years during the late 1920s. Others claim that the fact she posed for a number of nude photos as a young dancer--a choice that Brooks later said had been a tremendous mistake. Finally, her death of career is attributed to her involvement with the Philo Vance Picture "The Canary Murder Case."

Starring William Powell as Philo Vance and Brooks as a blackmailing nightclub singer who ends up murdered, it was originally shot as a slient movie in 1928, but Paramount executives decided to rework the film as a talkie and called the actors back to loop their lines. When Brooks refused to cooperate, it gave her a bad reputation and she never worked for a major Hollywood studio again.

"The Canary Murder Case" was a hit, even if Brooks didn't receieve a career boost from it. However, some great publicity stills for the film exist, featuring the lovely Louise Brooks as the nefarious and ill-fated Canary.

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