Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Lulu in Hollywood

Expanded Edition

2000
Author:

Louise Brooks
Introduction by Kenneth Tynan

Lulu in Hollywood

The collected writings of this icon of the silent era, in a new, more complete edition.

Louise Brooks (1906-1985) is one of the most famous actresses of the silent era, renowned as much for her rebellion against the Hollywood system as for her performances in such influential films as Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl. Eight autobiographical essays by Brooks, on topics ranging from her childhood in Kansas and her early days as a Denishawn and Ziegfeld Follies dancer to her friendships with Martha Graham, Charles Chaplin, W. C. Fields, Humphrey Bogart, and others are collected here.

Louise Brooks, with her straight back and strong shoulders seems to have her own form of sexuality-preconscious and yet intuitively all-knowing. She’s like a cool, beautiful, innocently deadly cat that people can’t keep their hands off.

Pauline Kael

Louise Brooks (1906-1985) is one of the most famous actresses of the silent era, renowned as much for her rebellion against the Hollywood system as for her performances in such influential films as Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl. These are eight autobiographical essays by Brooks, on topics ranging from her childhood in Kansas and her early days as a Denishawn and Ziegfeld Follies dancer to her friendships with Martha Graham, Charles Chaplin, W. C. Fields, Humphrey Bogart, William Paley, G. W. Pabst, and others. New to this edition is the revelatory "Why I Will Never Write My Memoirs" by Brooks and "The Girl in the Black Helmet" by Kenneth Tynan, which brought about the revival of interest in her work and was the best discussion of Brooks’s film work to appear in her lifetime.

Lulu in Hollywood

Louise Brooks (1906-1985) is one of the most famous actresses of the silent era, renowned as much for her rebellion against the Hollywood system as for her performances in such influential films as Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl.

Lulu in Hollywood

Louise Brooks, with her straight back and strong shoulders seems to have her own form of sexuality-preconscious and yet intuitively all-knowing. She’s like a cool, beautiful, innocently deadly cat that people can’t keep their hands off.

Pauline Kael

One of the most literate books ever written about moviemaking.

Democrat and Chronicle

The writing is assured, graceful, and magnetic; the life the dancer-actress-author describes makes most fiction trivial by comparison. This is no ordinary collection of gossipy memoirs. It is a tour de force, as history and as a searching study of human nature.

Publishers Weekly

Brooks is brilliantly perceptive and articulate on everything from the art of film directing to the comedy of W. C. Fields.

New York Times

A minor classic.

Film Quarterly

A tart, fleet, gossipy book, a whip-flicking display of wit and spite. In Lulu in Hollywood, Brooks writes about her contemporaries with a darting precision and down-to-earth compassion that make the mythologizing of most movie commentators sound like so much hot wheeze. Louise Brooks emerges not as a white goddess wreathed in incense, but as a sassy companion, wisecracking, knowledgeable, completely free of cant and coy sentiment.

James Wolcott, Esquire

Louise Brooks is a woman of ideas. Her writings-and this, for an actor, is really extraordinary-are about something more than just herself. She has ideas about Hollywood, she has ideas about life, and she does not necessarily confuse the two. If Brooks has an Achilles heel, it is her own intelligence: she tends to attribute to others as much self-awareness and analytical power as she has herself.

Sight and Sound

Because the book sustains a high level of insight and giddy entertainment value, Lulu in Hollywood is one of the most painlessly useful books in years. It is also an exhilarating display of the sort of diamond-hard prose whose beauty is inseparable from its precision.

Film Comment

Anyone reading Lulu in Hollywood can see that Brooks was a clear-eyed and clever a creature as she was lovely.

LA Weekly

In this slim collection of essays, Brooks recounts her swift rise and even swifter descent as Hollywood’s favorite bobbed star in crisp, unapologetic prose - an essential for feminists and film lovers alike.

Word and Film