splash  What did critics think of A Social Celebrity (1926)? Opinion was generally positive. Here is a survey, in the form of a number of quotes, from some of the newspapers and magazines of the time. All sources are American unless otherwise noted.


“Louise Brooks, provocative, alluring, would have been enhanced by better lighting or darker make-up, but that will doubtless come in another picture. She is, Heaven knows, potent enough as it is.” — New York Morning Telegraph

“ . . . the beauteous Louise Brooks poses exquisitely and acts atrociously.” — The Moviegoer, New York Sun

“We like Louise Brooks, but not as a heroine. She should be always a lady who lures.” — Harriette Underhill, New York Herald Tribune

“Incidentally, Miss Brooks, who impersonates the heroine, sometimes reminds one a little of Beatrice Lillie.” — Mordaunt Hall, New York Times

“Louise Brooks would have been ample excuse for making any picture. Here is a young actress who has fresh young beauty reinforced by one of the most expressive faces I have ever seen on the screen.” — Roscoe McGowen, New York Daily News

“And in Louise Brooks it looks as though Famous has a find that might rank in the Colleen Moore class providing they handle her right.” — Fred, Variety

“The cast is uniformly excellent, but the players certain to leave an imprint are winsome Louise Brooks, who wears her clothes with a flaunt that no feminine member of the audience is apt to forget.” — Weekly Film Review

“Louise Brooks is a cutey and with a quantity of good looks. She isn’t exactly the heroine type though. She would make a far better baby vamp.” — Film Daily

“Miss Brooks, with her mannish bob, is a treat for the eyes.” — Duluth News Tribune

“Louise Brooks, who left Mr. Ziegfield’s ‘Follies’ for a career on the shadow stage, has her first important role opposite him and does admirably. She is a captivating little brunette with the figure of a Venus.” — M. W., Toledo Times

“Louise Brooks as the girl in the case is very attractive and dances the Charleston almost as well as Bessie Love, although more vigorously, yet she does little acting.” — Boston Herald

“Louise Brooks, who plays the small town girl who coaxes Menjou to emulate her example and try luck in New York is a comer and awfully good to look upon. Her straight-cut bob, black eyes and not too sweetly pretty face are different, and she displays some acting ability.” — San Francisco Illustrated Daily News

“Opposite Menjou, Louise Brooks, a recent addition to the screen from the chorus, possesses a vivacious personality and gives a fresh and promising portrayal.” — Philadelphia Public Ledger

“Probably the most pathetic thing about A Social Celebrity is the casting opposite Menjou of Louise Brooks, a recent ‘find.’ She is absolutely negative so far as acting goes, lacks artistry and ingratiation, and so far as expression is concerned is a positive blank. It even appeared at times that the urbane Menjou was strikingly conscious of her incompetence.” — Roy Chartier, Billboard

“Louise Brooks, who is coming along fast, does fine work as the manicure girl. A little too harsh in the more tender moments, she is very good in the more dashing episodes, and goes well beyond her previous accomplishments.” — Epes W. Sargent, Moving Picture World

“He has to help him in this venture an exceedingly personable and promising newcomer called Louise Brooks.” — TIME

“Louise Brooks, who plays opposite Adolphe Menjou, gives her role vigor and strength of character.” — L. M. W., Ann Arbor Times News

“Louise Brooks, who caused such a ripple of interest in her small role in The American Venus, is a flop as Kitty. One reason is that her makeup gives her a hard look that is neither becoming nor liked.” — Frances V. Feldkamp, St. Louis Globe-Democrat

“It introduces to the movie public a new heroine in the person of the sleek and boyish Louise Brooks. A little young, perhaps, but buoyant and of most engaging smile. There is no opportunity to learn whether or not she can act, but in her role of chorus girl she reveals the most beautiful pair of legs in the movies – which is a rather broad statement and a comment which would have been in very poor taste in crinoline days.” — Portland Oregonian

“Louise Brooks, possessing one of the most striking and expressive faces ever to come to the screen, plays the heroine in a saucily successful manner.” — Harold Heffernan, Detroit News

“Adolphe Menjou is, of course, excellent, and his leading lady, Louise Brooks, indulges in some eye-and eyebrow-play which is not at all difficult to watch. Miss Brooks looks to me like a safe bet.” — Robert E. Sherwood, Life

“Louise Brooks proves a capable leading woman, considerably removed from the conventional type. She makes the character definite and gives it a quality of hardness that fits in nicely with her treatment of Menjou. She moves a bit too slowly, sometimes giving the effect of a carefully studied portrayal. This is particularly noticeable in several close-ups with Menjou, when she invariably turns her face toward the camera with great deliberation before speaking the subtitle.” — Herbert Moulton, Los Angeles Times

“Louise Brooks, who quits her position in the shop, dashing off to broader fields of endeavor in New York, where she becomes a cabaret dancer, has the feminine lead, contributing liberally to the value of the picture in spite of the meager possibilities of the role.” — R. G. T., Indianapolis Star

“A familiar story, true, but Menjou’s capable acting and that of Louise Brooks as Kitty make it pleasantly new.” — M.E. R., Grand Rapids Press

“Louise Brooks, a recent screen find and one who bids fair to rise rapidly in the ranks of popular stars, plays opposite Mr. Menjou and handles the role of the small town sweetheart who becomes a chorus girl with more than the usual ability shown by the beginner.” — Agnes Taaffe, Minneapolis Daily Star

“The girl is played by Louise Brooks, whom we remember as looking more attractive than either Esther Ralston or Fay Lanphier in The American Venus.” — Hubert B. Mewhinney, Austin Statesman

“The provocative Louise Brooks enters into the scheme of things too. She has screen personality. Her expressions have an impish playfulness. She has a manner of teasing you to join her, while at the same time she warns you to keep your distance.” — Laurence Reid, Motion Picture

“Louise Brooks is the young lady with the black hair who saved The American Venus from a fate worse than death. This young lady, very recently from Kansas, is the newest of all those new faces that have been cropping up lately. And the prettiest, too.” — Picture-Play