The Louise Brooks Society archive contains hundreds of examples of vintage newspaper and magazine advertisements, many of which promote Brooks’ films. These ads — gathered after spending thousands of hours combing through vintage publications — were found either on microfilm at a library, online in a digital archive, or in some surviving form of print. (You wouldn’t believe how many old newspaper pages are still floating around.)
Displayed here are just a few examples of advertisements for the 1926 motion picture, The American Venus. As with the film’s bibliography, much can be gleamed from the detail found in these pieces. They reveal not only where the picture was shown, but also the gist a film’s ad campaign and which stars the studio or theater management thought important to feature. Other interesting details are also sometimes revealed, like the cost of admission, and whether or not any special promotion, musician or opening act accompanied the film. If there was a contest, the ads likely made mention of it. If the film played as part of double bill, we learn what films were paired.
The American Venus was known to have been exhibited about under other titles including: Venus Americana (Brazil); La Venus Americana (Chile); Venuše Americana (Czechoslovakia); Den amerikanske venus (Denmark); The Modern Venus (England); Vénus moderne (France); Vénus américaine (France); Die Schönste Frau der Staaten (Germany); Il trionfo di Venere (Italy); Trionfo di Venere (Italy); 美女大競艶 (Japan); La Venus americana (Mexico); Amerykan’ska Wenus (Poland); A Vénus American (Portugal); Американская Венера (Soviet Union); La Venus americana (Spain); Mannens ideal – Venus på amerikanska (Sweden).
ABOVE: In a fashion show that is part of the film, Brooks wore a gown designed by Gilbert Clark. It was made of white embroidered crystal beads and held up by bands of diamonds. The skirt was slit at four points, out of which appear draperies of blue net. That gown is shown here, where Brooks’ image was used to promote a local Spring Style Show. (St. Louis, Missouri – January 1926)
LEFT: Appearing in only her second film, this ad for the Miller Theater promotes the local girl who made good. (Wichita, Kansas – January 1926)