January, 2004

Less Than the Dust

From Motion Picture Magazine of February, 1928:

"A tragedy of India is brought to picturesque life. Louise Brooks illustrates one of the Indian Love Lyrics of Laurence Hope, which Amy Woodforde-Finden has set to music."

Less Than the Dust was a 1916 Mary Pickford movie, where she played a Hindustani Indian, Rahda. A typical melodrama, according to "Mary Pickford Rediscovered: Rare Pictures of a Hollywood Legend" by Kevin Brownlow, Mary "extend[s] her range...to play a Hindu, Rahda, who becomes friendly with a British officer, Captain Townsend (David Powell). The Indian who raised Rahda is arrested for his part in an anti-British rebellion; once in jail, he tells Mary that she is really the daughter of a British officer who died of a drug overdose."

The song "Less Than the Dust" was copyright 1902 by Mrs. Woodforde-Finden.

From the age of four, Louise Brooks was a dancer. Making her dubt in a church benefit production of "Tom Thumb's Wedding" as the little bride, Louise went on to perform at men's and women's clubs, fairs, theatres, and dance halls in her native Kansas. Later, at the age of 15, she would study with and become a member of the Denishawn dance troupe.

Mary, meet Louise.

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