Today we celebrate the 100th birthday of Louise Brooks, born November 14, 1906, in Cherryvale, Kansas. Here’s the link to the Bright Lights article celebrating her centenary. Here’s the link to David Hudson’s post at GreenCine Daily, providing many other links.
In my very first post at Bright Lights After Dark, I commented on the extraordinary number of significant film people who were born in the year 1906 – Roberto Rossellini, Vincent Sherman, Luchino Visconti, Anthony Mann, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, John Huston, and Carol Reed, among many others.
So how does Louise’s career differ from those of the gentlemen named above? By the early 1930’s, her career was substantially over. She had already made the classic films we remember her for: G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl (both released in 1929), Howard Hawks’ A Girl in Every Port (1928). Her last starring role of any significance was in Prix de beauté (1930), directed by René Clair. Whereas Rossellini, Visconti, Preminger, Wilder, Huston, et al. were barely getting started. Not one of them had even directed his first film.
Consider this a reflection of the sexism (and ageism with respect to women) that existed in the film industry at that time, sexism that in today’s film industry has all but disappeared …