This is one of the few talkies made by Louise Brooks and amongst her last significant roles: her final feature. Within the space of just six years she’d gone from rising star to almost untouchable as the studios dropped and blocked.
Yet here she is alongside Joan Blondell – three months younger and at the start of a long career from talkies to Grease… But, if Louise had had it in her she would have…could have…. As it was she burned bridges like no other and enjoyed the glorious re-evaluation and rediscovery that has done as much than anything else to engender fascination with silent film. After all, if Hollywood could miss out on this transcendent talent what else are we missing?
It’s better to burn out than fade away… and Brooks burned bright indeed before a rapid fade...
|24 hour party people... Louise on the left.|
Of course the film is also notable as Brooksie speaks and sounds pretty good too… She’s also involved in a hell of a cat fight with Blondell and Margaret Livingston as they compete to look after the seemingly ailing Toto Duryea (Fay). As in her other comedies, Brooks just keeps it real, she hasn’t got Blondell’s humour but anchors the action in naturalism while Fey and others go (way) over the top.
|Laura La Plante and Frank Fay|
He pursues her but is fended off by her father and has to promise to not see her for six months to prove serious intent. Given a medical by the family’s doctor he is told that he has a weak heart and that the slightest excitement could prove fatal.
|All in the best possible taste...|
|Joan Blondell and Frank Fay|
The only surprise is why the girls fancy the aging lothario in the first place and why he choses La Plant’s rather dour character over the looks of Brooks or Blondell’s good cheer.
Can Toto resists them all and hold out for Diana against all the odds?
|Margaret Livingston, Brooks and Blondell|
He married Barbara Stanwyck in 1928 and it has been said that their relationship formed the basis of A Star is Born. What goes up must come down, what matters is that you have your moment and Louise Brooks certainly had those.