The artful styling of Pabst's direction and Brooks's playful innocence keep the story's focus on Lulu's childlike vulnerability, without turning the whole thing into a burlesque. No one in Germany could accept the idea of an American actress in the coveted role, and the censors weren't at all happy with the film's overt sexuality, either. But with her extraordinary presence, Brooks is absolutely stunning as the carefree, alabaster dream girl. Brooks is very hard to find in the movies, so you shouldn't miss this opportunity to see, in the silent era's last hurrah, one of the most alluring and fantastically beautiful actresses to ever grace the screen.
Pandora's Box is at the Michigan Theater on Saturday, June 7.
[Originally published in June, 2003.]