Louise Brooks

Barry Paris, Author Alfred A. Knopf $24.95 (609p) ISBN 978-0-394-55923-0
Film historian Paris covers actress and author Brooks's life (1907-1985) from her days as a precocious child in Kansas through her sexually promiscuous, hedonistic adult years, here detailed exhaustively. Only 15 when she arrived in New York to dance with an established company, Brooks fouled up this opportunity, like many others, through sheer carelessness. A promising star in early Hollywood films, she scorned later roles and decamped for Europe. Eminent German director G. W. Pabst then spotted the American ``vamp'' and chose her to play Lulu in the film that made her a screen icon, Pandora's Box. It was downhill all the way after that as Brooks failed at everything, finally growing old, poor and alcoholic in New York. But she was discovered and befriended by one John Benz, whose influence brought her again to public attention and secured the home where she lived out her days, cared for and reasonably contented. The biography is a gossip lover's feast, naming names and telling tales, yet also makes an addition to film history. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 609 pages - 978-0-385-41559-0
Paperback - 624 pages - 978-0-8166-3781-2
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