splash  Rolled Stockings is a drama set among students at the fictional Colfax College. It was one of a number of similarly-themed films aimed toward the youth market of the 1920s. Besides Louise Brooks, who was then 20 years old, its cast included a few of Paramount’s “junior stars” — then up-and-comers Richard Arlen, James Hall, Nancy Phillips, and El Brendel. Brooks plays the love interest of two brothers, one a fop, the other an athlete.

To add verisimilitude, Rolled Stockings was largely filmed on and around the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. It also includes footage of actual crew races between the University of California and the University of Washington.

A summer release, the film proved popular wherever it was shown. Harrison’s Reports, a film industry trade journal, described Rolled Stockings as “a light comedy drama of college life” that was “Pretty good entertainment for the hot weather.” The Chicago Tribune named it one of the six best films of June, 1927. Not surprisingly, the film found a receptive audience in college towns across the country. The critic for the Ann Arbor Times News, for example, appreciatively stated “The three stars, Louise Brooks, James Hall and Richard Arlen are so thoroughly likable and the story so different from the usual line of college bunk, that Rolled Stockings proves to be a delightful bit of cinema entertainment.”

Rolled Stockings was a cut above many of the other motion pictures about the younger generation. The Seattle Times praised the film, noting “Paramount’s ‘youth’ picture, which is now at the Coliseum Theatre, has everything — a thrilling college crew race, some exciting automobile scenes, snappy comedy, a good love story and lots of pep.” Regina Cannon of the New York American proclaimed, “This is another college story and it is realistic enough to be entertaining. . . . Louise Brooks is seen for the first time in a ‘straight’ role. This child is so smartly sophisticated that it has seldom been her lot to portray anything but baby vamps on the screen. She has an unusual personality which the camera catches and magnifies, dresses snappily and makes the most of her every movie moment.”

Critics were divided on Brooks, the star of the film. Some noted her “provoking presence” and “demure charm, with its tricky suggestion of mild sophistication.” The Los Angeles Examiner wrote, “Louise Brooks is utterly adorable as Carol Fleming. She is exactly the type college boys swoon over. She displays a sincerity in her work that has been absent from her previous roles. Though this particular part offers little opportunity to show any great acting, she measures up splendidly in the few scenes that border on the emotional.” Across town, the Los Angeles Daily Illustrated News stated “Louise Brooks, judging by this film, is destined to go a long way. She has some of Colleen Moore’s qualities with a dash of Florence Vidor thrown in, and a lot of her own distinctive personality.”

The New York Daily Mirror countered, stating “Louise Brooks looks remarkably like Clara Bow, though she lacks the famed pep of our national flapper.” The Washington Times went even further, “The leading role is borne by Louise Brooks and the part could have been better cast. Miss Brooks has the bad habit of stalking through her screen parts like an automaton and her face is devoid of emotion under all circumstances.” In a piece titled “Louise Brooks Shows Acting Ability in Rivoli Feature,” Mark K. Bowman found middle ground in the Portland Oregonian, “In the past Miss Brooks has been accused of strutting instead of acting, but it is apparent in this latest picture that she is endeavoring to do less posing, which is a promising move.”

RELATED MATERIAL:

  • Promotional Materials
  • Posters & Lobby Cards
  • Scene & Publicity Stills

RELATED LINKS:

PREVIOUS Louise Brooks Film

NEXT Louise Brooks Film

STORY SYNOPSIS:
“Jim Treadway disappoints his father in not making the boat crew at college while his freshman brother, Ralph, makes the team and upholds the family tradition. Both boys are smitten, however, by the charms of Carol Fleming, but Ralph is handicapped by hazing and strict training rules. On the eve of the big college race, Jim takes Carol to a dance and leaves Ralph burning with jealousy; deciding to brave official disapproval, Ralph goes to the dance and takes a jazzy young blonde to a roadhouse. Jim follows and ejects his brother after a fight and is himself found with the girl. After being acclaimed a hero, Ralph confesses that he is to blame for Jim’s disgrace, and Carol finds happiness with the older brother.”

PRODUCTION HISTORY:
Production took place April 4 through May 5, 1927. The film was shot at Paramount’s studio in Hollywood, California, as well as at the Glendale train station (belonging to the Southern Pacific Railroad) in Glendale, California and in and around the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.

CAST:

James Hall
Jim Treadway
Louise Brooks
Carol Fleming
Richard Arlen
Ralph Treadway
Nancy Phillips
The Vamp
El Brendel
Rudolph
David Torrence
Mr. Treaday
Chance Ward
Coach
Sally Blane
Uncertain role (uncredited)
Josephine Dunn
Uncertain role (uncredited)
Dean Harrell
Uncertain role (uncredited)
Jack Luden
Uncertain role (uncredited)

CREDITS:

Studio:
Famous-Players Lasky
Producer:
Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky
Associate Producer:
B.P. Schulberg
Director:
Richard Rosson
Writing Credits:
Frederica Sagor (story), Percy Heath (screenplay), Julian Johnson (titles)
Cinematography:
Victor Milner
Film Editor:
Julian Johnson
Format:
Silent – black & white
Running Time:
7 reels (6,249 feet), reported as 65 minutes
Copyright:
June 18, 1927 by Famous Players-Lasky Corp. (LP24103)
Release Date:
June 18, 1927
LA Premiere:
June 16, 1927 (Metropolitan Theater); prior screenings recorded in Columbus, Ohio and San Jose, California
Country of Origin:
United States

ALTERNATE TITLES:
Under its American title, Rolled Stockings, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia, British Malaysia (Singapore), Canada, China, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), Dutch Guiana (Surinam), Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa, and the British Isles (England, Isle of Man, and Northern Ireland). Elsewhere, this motion picture was known to have been shown under other language titles including Alles fur mein Madell (Austria); Freres ennemis (Belgium); Vijandelijke Broeders (Belgium); Meias indiscretas (Brazil); Medias Enrolladas (Chile); Medias Enrolladas (Cuba); Studenti i Colffaxu (Czechoslovakia); Válel puncochy (Czechoslovakia); Wend wenna wastu (Estonia); Freres Ennemis (France); Calze rimboccate (Italy); オール持つ手 (Japan); Bruder-Rivalen (Latvia); Freres Ennemis (Luxembourg); Medias enrolladas (Mexico); Wij, moderne studenten (The Netherlands); Gdy mlodosc szumi (Poland); Gole Kolanka (Poland); Tesouros da Juventude (Portugal); Meias Enroladas (in Portuguese-American newspapers); and Juventud, divino tesoro (Spain).

STATUS:
The film is presumed lost.

RELATED ARTICLES & REVIEWS:
— “
Medias enrolladasin Mensajero Paramount (the studio’s Spanish-language publication for North America).

TRIVIA: about the film

— The film was based on a topical story, “Sheiks and Sheibas,” by Frederica Sagor. Along with raccoon coats, flagpole sitters, goldfish swallowers, hip flasks, and ankle watches, rolled stockings worn by women were one of the many fads of the Jazz Age.

Rolled Stockings was first called Sheiks and Sheibas, but the title was changed because it conflicted with a First National property. At different times, different trade journals reported that Monty Brice and then Frank Strayer would direct the film, with Charles “Buddy” Rogers and Sterling Holloway among the cast.

— Sally Blane, who had an uncredited part in Rolled Stockings, was born Elizabeth Jane Young and was the sister of actress Loretta Young.

Rolled Stockings was largely filmed on and around the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. It includes footage of actual crew races between two schools, the University of California and the University of Washington, that were filmed on San Francisco Bay.

— Grover Jones, a gag man, doubled as director while the Rolled Stockings  company was on location in Berkeley, California. Director Richard Rosson was summoned to Hollywood by the death of his mother and Jones took the microphone and directed shots of the California-Washington boat race.

— Years later, in an interview, Brooks said director Richard Rosson didn’t want to direct the film, and in fact, didn’t even want to be a director. “He’d been Allan Dwan’s assistant, and it was an assistant that he wanted to be. During [this picture] he sat sweating, with a trembling script. There wasn’t enough Bromo-Seltzer to float him out of his chair.”