splash  What did critics think of Louise Brooks and The Canary Murder Case (1929)? Opinion of the film was mixed, though the film proved popular. 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.


“Louise Brooks plays the brief role of the Canary, the musical-comedy star whose personality is such that she is given deafening applause for merely swinging over an audience’s head on a trapeze.” — Ken Taylor, Los Angeles Evening Express

“Louise Brooks is brilliant as the murdered girl.” — Star-News Critic, Pasadena Star-News

“Louise Brooks is the hard-boiled ‘Canary,’ and Louise can be excessively evil when she tries – on the screen. She disappears early from the scene because of the little matter of murdering her, but while she is there she shows quite a considerable advance in finesse, and she uses her voice nicely.” — George C. Warren, San Francisco Chronicle

“Louise Brooks plays the harsh-souled but physically magnetic dancer who counts her wealthy dupes by the score and stops at nothing to win a husband whose name will give her the entree to New York’s most fashionable circles.” — Everhardt Armstrong, Seattle Post Intelligencer

“Louise Brooks, an ‘It’ gal with intelligence aplenty, plays the canary. She’s a bird in a gilded cage, to be sure, but wotta bird and wotta cage!” — Regina Cannon, New York American

“Louise Brooks’ magnificent legs ornament the screen for half the picture before she [is] murdered. But Louise is such a wicked little blackmailer, even the legs don’t get your sympathy.” — Bland Johaneson, New York Daily Mirror

“Louise Brooks, who plays the Canary, is very bad and it appears from the dialogue that she is not actually doing the talking. Apparently a substitution was made here.” — Boyd Martin, Louisville Courier-Journal

“Mechanically, too, The Canary Murder Case has been well handled. The voices are well modulated and free of static. It is evident that Miss Brooks’ voice test was a flop for a double is used in sequences requiring speech from her.” — Harold Heffernan, Detroit News

“Louise Brooks as the fascinating light-o-love who comes to a mysterious and not undeserved end is at once alluring and crystal-hard in her evil determination of collecting blackmail from her many wealthy admirers.” — Ella H. McCormick, Detroit Free Press

“The Canary is Louise Brooks, cast as a gay Broadway Circe, something after the pattern of ‘Dot’ King – and quite as lucky.” — Nelson B. Bell, Washington Post

“Louise Brooks, ‘The Canary,’ acts the part of this hardboiled wench in pretty good style.” — J. W. B., Washington Times

“As an all-talk murder mystery melodrama, The Canary Murder Case will occupy the front rank, for its plot has been constructed so intelligently that it is logical almost in every one of the situations.” — Bige, Variety