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Diary of a Lost Girl [Import]

Louise Brooks , Josef Rovenský , Georg Wilhelm Pabst , Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 40.74 & FREE Shipping. Details
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The mystique and stunning beauty of Louise Brooks are on glorious display in Diary of a Lost Girl (1929), Brooks's second historic collaboration (after Pandora's Box) with director G.W. Pabst. In a restrained performance that a lesser actress would've taken over the top, Brooks strikes a resonant note of innocence, tenacity, and worldliness as Thymian, the idealistic daughter of an unscrupulous pharmacist, who is raped by her father's lecherous assistant. Forced to leave her child with a midwife, she escapes from a hellish reform school and is drawn into a brothel as if her fate were predetermined. Pabst tells her story (from Margurethe Bohme's novel) with lurid flourishes, especially in his encouragement of leering, grotesque performances from Thymian's ruthless exploiters. Mature even by modern standards, this lurid melodrama spans a full spectrum of emotions, expressed with subtle nuance by Brooks, who casts her spell in close-ups that will take your breath away. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

This DVD also includes the 1931 comedy short "Windy Riley Goes Hollywood," costarring Louise Brooks. Hollywood largely rejected Brooks after her star-making exodus to Germany, leaving her to play in low-budget features and independent two-reelers like this one, directed under a pseudonym by Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, who likewise never recovered from his own Hollywood scandal. "Windy Riley" is typically innocuous fare, with Brooks playing "the girl" in the tepid tale of a cross-country auto racer (Jack Shutta) who gets mixed up in Hollywood high jinks. Picture and sound quality are poor, but this remains a rare and fascinating artifact from Brooks's declining career. --Jeff Shannon

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Silent Gem Aug. 16 2002
Format:DVD
I enjoyed the DVD of "Diary of a Lost Girl", Louise Brooks' second collaboration with G.W. Pabst, although not as much as "Pandora's Box". It is not a sequel, however much this film may seem like one. This film is more sentimental, tragic, and less sexually charged than it's predecessor, and for that reason does not gain a higher rating from me (Pandora's Box being more riske`).
The film is in true black & white (no tinting on this version), and the score is a very suitable composition that is quite appropriate here. The Kino DVD is a fine piece of work and I recommend it to any fan of Brooks or the silent era.
I'm just baffled as to why no one will produce a Region 1 version of "Pandora's Box" on DVD, and give us Diary of a Lost Girl, (somewhat inferior in quality to Pandora's), instead. If only one Louise Brooks film should be transferred to DVD, Pandora's Box must be the first!
But Diary of a Lost Girl is still a good film, and has one or two surprises up its sleeve. I will recommend it on this feature if for no other reason: there aren't many films I can name that are quite like this and Pandora's Box; they are truly unique and quite unlike any other in the history of film.
I also recommend this DVD for the extra short-film "Windy Riley Goes Hollywood". Not because the short is any good, (it's actually pretty lousy), but because it was the first "talkie" by Louise Brooks. I was thrilled when I bought this DVD and finally realized that I would finally get to hear Louise speak as well as watch her act. She was a remarkable natural!
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5.0 out of 5 stars New Kino DVD Nov. 21 2001
Format:DVD
This new Kino DVD version of DIARY OF A LOST GIRL contains footage that has been added, re-edited, and even RE-SHOT, compared to Kino's 1990 VHS version.
I did a side-by-side comparison of the DVD and the 1990 VHS tape version and found that director G.W. Pabst had apparently shot two versions of some scenes -- one version being used on the 1990 VHS version, another on this DVD. Most of the differences are minute, such as actors standing on slightly different spots or posing or gesturing a little differently. For instance, at time 00:02:39 on the DVD, Thymian (Louise Brooks) is standing at the doorway with her arms bent. But in the 1990 VHS version, the same shot shows that her arms are straight. At time 00:03:43 of the DVD, Thymian bends forward (toward camera) to pick something up on the floor. In the 1990 VHS version, she bends sideways (to viewer's right) to pick it up. A few re-shot scenes, however, have more drastic differences, with the tone and mood of the scene altered considerably. At 00:04:50, Meinert raises his eyebrows and nods at Thymian, who returns a flirtatious smile. In the 1990 VHS version, however, Meinert only smiles softly, and Thymian's expression is more restrained. At 00:07:52 of the DVD, after Thymian sees what Meinert wrote in her diary, she turns her head slowly and stares incredulously at Meinert for a moment, then locks her diary. In the 1990 VHS version, she simply locks her diary and never looks at Meinert.
Kino emailed me a list of about 80 differences between the 1990 VHS version (which they call the "English version") and the new DVD version (which they call the "German version"). The list reveals there are actually some scenes on the 1990 VHS version that are not on this DVD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oh boy!!!! Oct. 28 2001
By Ed N
Format:DVD
WOW!!! I never in my wildest dreams thought this silent film classic starring Louise Brooks was coming to DVD! I thought for sure Pandora's Box (Ms. Brooks' most famous film) would come first. And furthermore, I thought Criterion would be the company to release the film, but it looks like Kino's will have the honor. That's not bad, either - Kino's has a LOT of good foreign/silent/independent films, and I've always liked their VCR tapes, so I'm looking forward eagerly to Diary of a Lost Girl.
For those not in the know, Louise Brooks was the ultimate flapper girl of the 1920s. She was probably more famous for her haircut, beauty, and lifestyle than her films. But her film legacy is firmly established by two German films she made after leaving Hollywood briefly - Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl, both by G.W. Pabst (one of the legendary silent film directors). Both films, if you can find them, are absolute classics. The German expressionist style has rarely been more beautifully captured than in Pandora's Box (Hitchcock used this style too in a lot of his early black/white films). And I was lucky enough to find a beat-up VHS copy of Diary. If you like silent films, you can't go wrong with this film either! The imagery is stunning, Louise Brooks looks gorgeous and gives a moving performance a young lady who, having lost her virtue, is consequently shunned by society and has to learn to care for herself. I don't like to give away plots, so that's all I'll say, but I am looking forward to owning this film on DVD! Highly recommended!
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Format:DVD
And she can act. Louise Brooks's restrained but affecting performance elevates what would have been to me a shamelessly sensational and sordid melodrama into moving and compelling entertainment. I am docking this half a star for the abrupt (albeit somewhat positive) ending, and some embarrassingly hammy (and creepy)overacting by several of the key supporting actors; in contrast, all of the supporting actresses did a fine job: notably the hausfrauses playing the former-housemaid-turned-"evil"-stepmother and the kindly brothel madame.
And Ms. Brooks, ah...she can even make the simple act of drinking liquer out of a glass look deliriously fetching and artlessly natural at the same time. I must say, after not being all that taken with oft cited past candidates for most lovely screen actresses of all time (including Gene Tierney, Rita Hayworth, and Hedy Lamarr), I think I have found the face that launched my thousand ships. But really, it's also a very good movie.:)
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite complex, well presented, you will be absorbed
Black and white silent movie with English subtitles. Sound track relevant to the story. Original title "Tagebuch einer Verlorenen"

Thymiane (Louise Brooks) not aware of... Read more
Published 10 months ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite complex, well presented, you will be absorbed
Black and white silent movie with English subtitles. Sound track relevant to the story. Original title "Tagebuch einer Verlorenen"

Thymiane (Louise Brooks) not aware of... Read more
Published on March 7 2007 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars A silent with no expiration date
Great quality picture dvd. A great movie for those for are afraid to venture into the silent category. The direction, the story, the acting done by Ms. Brooks is superb.
Mr. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Buenoslibros.es
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet and tragic
"Diary of a Lost Girl" (1929) shows us Louise Brooks at her best. It is the bittersweet tale of a young girl's loss of innocence. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2003 by Emiliano Moreno
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Film, Great Brooks
Louise Brooks, in the finest meaning of the word, does not act in this film. What this means is that when the emotions are true to life, Brooks' performance is absolutely perfect. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Well made, but very slow moving!
This film is pretty good in general. Louise Brooks really is versatile and talented. Too bad this film moves so darn slow! Read more
Published on June 4 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars LOUISE BROOKS IGNITES THE SCREEN
In the era of the silent cinema, no one ignited the screen like Louise Brooks. In the still shocking "Pandora's Box," and in the lurid, 1929 melodrama "DIARY OF A... Read more
Published on Dec 9 2001 by Robin Simmons
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