You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Die Buechse Der Pandora (Pandora’s Box)

Criterion Collection's double-disc set honors the film but also mines Louise Brooks' life and legacy and, as a side dish, that of director G.W. Pabst. Viewers will find themselves as transfixed as 1920s auds discovering the flapper queen.

With:
With: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Franz Lederer, Carl Goetz, Alice Roberts, Gustav Diessl.

Few more extraordinary Hollywood stories exist than that of Louise Brooks. The helmet-haired dancer from Wichita shot to stardom at age 20 with her erotically charged turn in the German silent epic “Pandora’s Box.” Criterion Collection’s double-disc set honors the film but also mines Brooks’ life and legacy and, as a side dish, that of director G.W. Pabst. Viewers will find themselves as transfixed as 1920s auds discovering the flapper queen.

In her Jazz Age heyday, Brooks defied Hollywood studios, courted censorship with sexual frankness, and loved and left a phalanx of suitors including Charlie Chaplin and CBS founder William Paley. By the time talkies arrived to stay, however, she was blacklisted from Hollywood. After several lost decades wandering and drinking came a startling third act: She found fame as a writer, hitting the bestseller list with “Lulu in Hollywood,” a collection of autobiographical essays named after the siren she played in “Pandora’s Box.”

Cinephiles will feast on the film and the second disc of bonus features. The trove includes a 1998 Turner Classic Movies special, a rare 1971 interview, four soundtracks by different composers and a robust booklet with essays by Kenneth Tynan and J. Hoberman and some of Brooks’ writing.

Boosted by Criterion’s ace restoration, the pic transcends the limits of the silent era. As Lulu flits among gentleman callers, she embodies both pure innocence and unbridled lust. When fate has her meeting Jack the Ripper as a degraded and desperate prostitute, the tension and poignancy of their danse macabre is made gripping by Brooks’ lack of guile.

In the ’71 interview, Brooks explains her appeal: “When I acted, I hadn’t the slightest idea what I was doing. I was simply playing myself, which is the hardest thing in the world to do.”

Die Buechse Der Pandora (Pandora's Box)

Production: A Criterion Collection release of the 1929 G.W. Pabst film.

Cast: With: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Franz Lederer, Carl Goetz, Alice Roberts, Gustav Diessl.

More Digital

  • Rupert Murdoch

    Rupert Murdoch: Facebook Should Pay Publishers Just as Cable Operators Pay for TV

    Few more extraordinary Hollywood stories exist than that of Louise Brooks. The helmet-haired dancer from Wichita shot to stardom at age 20 with her erotically charged turn in the German silent epic “Pandora’s Box.” Criterion Collection’s double-disc set honors the film but also mines Brooks’ life and legacy and, as a side dish, that of […]

  • vice_logo

    British Presenter Details Allegations of Inappropriate Behavior by Vice Media

    Few more extraordinary Hollywood stories exist than that of Louise Brooks. The helmet-haired dancer from Wichita shot to stardom at age 20 with her erotically charged turn in the German silent epic “Pandora’s Box.” Criterion Collection’s double-disc set honors the film but also mines Brooks’ life and legacy and, as a side dish, that of […]

  • Vevo Product Head Mark Hall Exits

    Vevo Head of Product Leaves Month After CEO Departure (EXCLUSIVE)

    Few more extraordinary Hollywood stories exist than that of Louise Brooks. The helmet-haired dancer from Wichita shot to stardom at age 20 with her erotically charged turn in the German silent epic “Pandora’s Box.” Criterion Collection’s double-disc set honors the film but also mines Brooks’ life and legacy and, as a side dish, that of […]

  • dan rather

    Dan Rather to Host Weekly Newscast on Young Turks YouTube Channel

    Few more extraordinary Hollywood stories exist than that of Louise Brooks. The helmet-haired dancer from Wichita shot to stardom at age 20 with her erotically charged turn in the German silent epic “Pandora’s Box.” Criterion Collection’s double-disc set honors the film but also mines Brooks’ life and legacy and, as a side dish, that of […]

  • I'm Poppy - YouTube Red

    'I'm Poppy' Will Be the Weirdest Thing Ever on YouTube Red: Watch the Trailer

    Few more extraordinary Hollywood stories exist than that of Louise Brooks. The helmet-haired dancer from Wichita shot to stardom at age 20 with her erotically charged turn in the German silent epic “Pandora’s Box.” Criterion Collection’s double-disc set honors the film but also mines Brooks’ life and legacy and, as a side dish, that of […]

  • Dangal

    Amazon Prime Music to Launch in India After Saregama, Zee Content Deals

    Few more extraordinary Hollywood stories exist than that of Louise Brooks. The helmet-haired dancer from Wichita shot to stardom at age 20 with her erotically charged turn in the German silent epic “Pandora’s Box.” Criterion Collection’s double-disc set honors the film but also mines Brooks’ life and legacy and, as a side dish, that of […]

  • Peter Hutton

    Facebook Recruits Eurosport Chief Peter Hutton to Lead Global Sports-Rights Deals

    Few more extraordinary Hollywood stories exist than that of Louise Brooks. The helmet-haired dancer from Wichita shot to stardom at age 20 with her erotically charged turn in the German silent epic “Pandora’s Box.” Criterion Collection’s double-disc set honors the film but also mines Brooks’ life and legacy and, as a side dish, that of […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content