THE ORIGINAL “IT” GIRL OF THE 1920s | THE ALLURE OF LOUISE BROOKS

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“The great art of films does not consist in descriptive movement of face and body,

but in the movements of thought and soul transmitted in a kind of intense isolation.”

–Louise Brooks

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Louise Brooks — The stunning tastemaker of the ’20s & ’30s, who made women everywhere chop their hair, and created the bold and wildly popular “flapper girl” movement.  Louise Brooks’ dark and exotic looks drew a throng of faithful followers that continues to this day. Early on her onscreen talent was often criticized for being somewhat lackluster– but all that changed with a trip to Berlin.  Director G.W. Pabst cast her in two films– Pandora’s Box (1928), and Diary of a lost Girl (1929), that not only cast all doubts about her talent, it also rose her following to cult status.

Brooks, who was known to be strongly independent, and unliked by Hollywood’s elite for not always being the submissive woman expected of her, was beckoned back to Hollywood to record sound retakes for The Canary Murder Case (1929). She flatly refused. Many in Hollywood blacklisted her for her defiance– and in a final act of independence she decidedly ended her own acting career in 1938.  She flirted with a comeback, but by 1946, she was a sales girl at Saks Fifth Avenue making $40-a-week.  She went on to become an accomplished  painter and writer– publishing several novels, including her own biography– Lulu in Hollywood.

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1928 — Legendary American film actress, Louise Brooks (1906 – 1985), wearing a long pearl necklace  against a black background. — Photo by Eugene Robert Richee © Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

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1929 — Louise Brooks — Photo by James Abbe

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ca. 1928 — Louise Brooks (1906 – 1985) wearing a long pearl necklace. — Photo by Eugene Robert Richee © Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

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ca. 1925 — Louise Brooks

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Louise Brooks –Photo © John Springer Collection/Corbis

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Louise Brooks

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1929 — Louise Brooks in ‘The Canary Murder Case.’ — Photo © John Springer Collection/Corbis

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Louise Brooks — Photo © John Springer Collection/Corbis

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Louise Brooks — Photo © John Springer Collection/Corbis

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1927 — American actress Louise Brooks (1906 – 1985) wearing a frilly dress with a large G on the front for the film “Now We’re In The Air.” — Photo by Eugene Robert Richee

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1927 — Louise Brooks, from the film “Now We’re In The Air.” — Photo by Eugene Robert Richee

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1927 — Louise Brooks, from the film “Now We’re In The Air.” — Photo by Eugene Robert Richee

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Louise Brooks

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Louise Brooks

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Louise Brooks — without the harsh bob and bangs in a softer “finger-styled” do.

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Louise Brooks

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Louise Brooks

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Louise Brooks

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1927 — Louise Brooks — Photo by Eugene Robert Richee © John Springer Collection/Corbis

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ca. 1925 — Louise Brooks wearing a chiffon afternoon frock with puff sleeves and a bow at the waist.

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ca. 1925 — Louise Brooks, the Paramount player, relaxes in her garden.

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ca. 1925 — Louise Brooks standing by the stairway — Photo © John Springer Collection/Corbis

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ca. 1928 — Louise Brooks lounging on a large leather armchair. — Photo by Eugene Robert Richee

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1928 — Miss Louise Brooks, movie star, is shown studying the fascinating lines of the modern chair. — Photo © Bettmann/Corbis

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1927 — Actors Gary Cooper (standing) and Jack Luden patiently wait for a shoe shine while actresses Louise Brooks, Doris Hill, and Thelma Todd (left to right) get their shoes polished. — Photo © John Springer Collection/Corbis

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1927 — James Hall (1900 – 1940), American leading man of the early talkie period, playing marbles on the film lot with some colleagues, namely Louise Brooks, Nancy Phillips, Doris Hill and Josephine Dunn.

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“I have a gift for enraging people, but if I ever bore you, it’ll be with a knife.”

–Louise Brooks

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HOW TO MOTIVATE THE MALE MORALE | THE PERSUASIVE POWER OF THE PINUP

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10 thoughts on “THE ORIGINAL “IT” GIRL OF THE 1920s | THE ALLURE OF LOUISE BROOKS

  1. As a haircutter in the 1970’s, trained in the Sassoon Way, Louise Brooks was my It Girl. For awhile, the ‘precision bob’ held forth as a major trend in hairstyling. Unfortunately, that all gave way to 70’s “It Girl” Farah Faucett and her “feathers”.

  2. “I have a gift for enraging people, but if I ever bore you, it’ll be with a knife.”

    what a babe-looks too-those were great days,the pioneering days of motorsports,performance and industrialised warfare

  3. Lovely thought, but the original “it girl” was actually the other 20’s star, Clara Bow. The term became popular after her 1927 movie “It” all about that elusive quality. Love both ladies, but let’s not confuse them!

    • You’re right, everyone knows the story, and yes she starred in “It.” And if I’m wrong (and I am), I don’t wanna be right! -

  4. Lots of great pics I’ve never seen before. I cut my hair myself in a bedroom mirror when I was 14 to achieve the famous bob…can’t imagine going to Vidal for that.

  5. Tragic life: parental neglect, pre-teen sexual abuse, early alcoholism, lifelong attachment issues, poverty, prostitution – but an exquisite, almost mesmerizing beauty.

  6. One of the screen’s greatest natural beauties, no doubt about that by a country mile. No enhancement here.

  7. Pingback: THE TSY WEEKLY ROUNDUP « The Selvedge Yard

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