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May 18, 2020

Stunning Portrait Photos of Louise Brooks in ‘The Canary Murder Case’ (1929)

The Canary Murder Case is a 1929 American Pre-Code crime-mystery film made by Paramount Pictures, directed by Malcolm St. Clair and Frank Tuttle, based on novel The Canary Murder Case by S.S. Van Dine. Starring Louise Brooks as “the Canary”.

After filming the silent version, Brooks left for Germany to make two films for director G. W. Pabst. Her option with Paramount Pictures was up, and since the studio would not give her a raise, she saw no reason to remain in Hollywood.

Months later, Paramount decided to re-shoot some scenes of Canary with recorded dialogue. The studio cabled Brooks in Berlin, demanding that she return to record her lines. She refused, taking the position that she no longer had an obligation to Paramount. Under the purported threat that she would never work in Hollywood again after such open defiance, she bluntly replied, “Who wants to work in Hollywood?”

Paramount spent considerable money to hire actress Margaret Livingston to dub the dialogue for Brooks where possible, as well as to re-shoot some scenes, with Livingston seen only in profile or from behind.

When Brooks found herself back in Hollywood, she was unable to get good roles. Though her time as a star was over, her battle with studio moguls helped add to her eventual legend.

These vintage photos captured portrait of Louise Brooks during her filming The Canary Murder Case in 1929.


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