Anita Loos Retrospective

This article is from 2007

Anita Loos Retrospective

Name Anita Loos.

Born 26 April, 1888, California.

Died 18 August 1981, New York.

Who was she? Loos was one of the most celebrated US screenwriters, playwrights and authors of the last century. Over her long life she experienced several careers and comebacks. Having been around at the birth of cinema she worked on scenarios, screenplays and silent film title cards for such legendary directors and stars as DW Griffiths, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, later going on to write some fine scripts for sound pictures. But she is most famous for writing the source novel of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes which was made into a film, twice. She later became a New York-based society journalist, unreliable memoirist and all-round wit.

Films we should catch at this year’s Loos retrospective All of them, natch, but the best ones are: San Francisco, The Women, The Struggle and of course Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).

Interesting fact The proper pronunciation of Loos, her French family name, is ‘Lohse’, but, unlike the rest of her wealthy family, Loos could never be bothered to correct anyone who said it wrong. (Paul Dale)

The List-sponsored Anita Loos Retrospective, Filmhouse, 623 8030, daily, noon, from Fri 17 Aug, £6.50 (£4.55).

San Francisco

  • 1936
  • US
  • 1h 55min
  • E
  • Directed by: Woody Van Dyke, D W Griffith
  • Written by: Robert E Hopkins, Anita Loos
  • Cast: Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy, Jack Holt, Jessie Ralph, Ted Healy

Decadence battles decency and man takes on the elements in this classic disaster thriller. 'Part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2007'.

The Struggle

  • 1931
  • US
  • 1h 17min
  • E
  • Directed by: D W Griffith
  • Written by: Anita Loos, John Emerson, D W Griffith (uncredited)
  • Cast: Hal Skelly, Zita Johann, Charles Richman, Helen Mack

Raw, unvarnished take on poverty-stricken urban life about a sensitive man's descent into alcoholism. 'Part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2007'.