Saturday, June 29, 2013

Funny Lady Blogathon: Clara Bow "The It Girl".

Clara Bow, was often cast as a waitress, a manicurist, or a salesgirl. Armed with only her humor and her charm, Clara's character would always rise above her lowly place in life and win over her man. It was her performance as a salesgirl in the film "It" that brought the nickname "The It Girl". Bow came to symbolize the Roaring Twenties. She appeared in 46 silent films and 11 talkies, including comedies such as:

One of Clara best movies, Mantrap (1926), where she plays a girl from the big city of Minneapolis who's personality and stunning beauty that are the main assets in this film. if you are a Clara bow fan, this is definitely a film for you.

The film begins with, divorce lawyer Ralph Prescott, who needs a change of scenery and his friend Woodbury, who runs a ladies hosiery business across the hall, suggests that they get away from the city and camp in... Mantrap, Canada.

Bachelor Joe Easter, who runs a small store in Mantrap, travels to a Minneapolis barbershop, where he meets flirtatious manicurist Alverna, who agrees to meet Joe for dinner.

Prescott and Woodbury, get into a fight while camping and Joe takes Prescott back to Mantrap, where Prescott meets the bored Alverna, now married to Joe.

Alverna throws a party and flirts, with Prescott, who decides it is best if he leaves. Alverna, waits for Prescott's canoe to pass, telling him that she wants to go with him.

Alverna insults their Native American guide, who takes the canoe, leaving Prescott and Alverna on their own in the woods. They flag down a passing float plane, which lands in the lake.

Alverna flirts with the pilot, angering Prescott. The pilot leaves them some food. Joe, hot on their heals catches up with them. Prescott tells Joe he'll marry Alverna if Joe grants a divorce. Joe warns Prescott that Alverna will never stop flirting with other men.

Alverna, takes the canoe and leaves them both behind. Prescott returns to his law practice, refreshed by his time in the woods. Joe, goes back to working in his store... Will his wife return to him?

Clara Bow's youthful beauty, energy and unique charm of the "it" girl were never more evident than her signature film. The plot may be simplistic and the dialog dated, but.. this is what draws silent film buffs to silent films. The rest of the cast including Gary Cooper in a brief scene are great. If you're not already a fan of silent films, viewing the lighthearted "IT" maybe a good silent film to start with.

This silent romantic, comedy tells the story of the full of life sales girl Betty Lou Spence, who has set her sights on her employer, Cyrus Waltham, Jr., the manager of and heir to the "world's largest store". As luck would have it they belong to different social classes and he is in love with socialite, Adela Van Norman .

Cyrus's friend Monty notices Betty and she uses him to get closer to Cyrus. When she finally gets Cyrus's attention, she convinces him to take her on a date to Coney Island, where he has a wonderful time riding roller coasters and eating hot dogs.

When, he tries to kiss her good-night Betty Lou slaps his face and rushes out of his car and into her apartment. She watches out her window as he leaves. Betty, claims that she is an unmarried mother to protect her sickly roommate Molly from having her baby taken away by a couple of welfare workers.

Monty, drops in at just the wrong moment, forcing Betty to continue with her lie. He informs Cyrus, who is in love with her and Cyrus offers her an "arrangement". Betty Lou, heartbroken, quits her job and decides to forget Cyrus once and for all.

When she learns from Monty about Cyrus's misunderstanding, she wants to teach him a lesson. When Cyrus hosts a yachting party, Betty Lou asks Monty take her to the party, so she can pretend to be "Miss Van Cortland". Cyrus, at first wants to kick her off the ship, but he cannot long resist Betty Lou's "it" personality proposes marriage to her, but.. she tells him that she'd "rather marry his office boy", which she really does not mean. Will he ever learn the truth about the baby and forgive Betty Lou?

 Video: She's got "IT".


Roster of other Blog Sites that are participating:

Movies Silently  Marion Davies
Comet Over Hollywood | Zasu Pitts
Crítica Retrô | Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday
The Movie Rat | Louise Fazenda
Girls Do Film | Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby
The Vintage Cameo | Carmen Miranda
Classic Movie Hub | Kathleen Howard
I Humbly Suggest… | Irene Dunne
She Blogged by Night | Margaret Dumont in Duck Soup
Portraits by Jenni | Claudette Colbert in The Palm Beach Story
Spoilers | Jean Arthur in The Public Menace
Frankly My Dear | Lucille Ball
Stardust | Una Merkel
The Kitty Packard Pictorial | Shirley MacLaine
Close Ups and Long Shots | Jean Harlow
Shadows and Satin | Isabel Jewell
Once Upon a Screen | Gracie Allen
Silver Scenes | Joan Davis
The Great Katharine Hepburn | A piece on the funny ladies of 1950′s television
Blame Mame | Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Noir and Chick Flicks | Clara Bow
Film Flare | Barbara Stanwyck
Caftan Woman | Judy Holliday
The Motion Pictures | Mary Tyler Moore
i luv cinema | Mae West
Cindy Bruchman | Maureen O’Hara
Family Friendly Reviews | Mary Pickford in My Best Girl
Destroy All Fanboys | Betty Hutton The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek
Naughty Librarian | Miriam Hopkins
Cinemalacrum | Marilyn Monroe
Movie Classics | Margaret Rutherford in Blithe Spirit
The Priscilla Lane Fan Club | Priscilla Lane
Let’s Go to the Movies | Carole Lombard


  1. Bom dia !
    Eu amo teu blog!
    Aqui faço uma viajem feliz pelo tempo da alegria ...glamour e simplicidade conjugada.


  2. Hi there! Thanks so much for the mini-reviews and information on Clara Bow! I think Mantrap is my favorite Clara Bow film and I really enjoyed your write-up. Great pictures too! :)


    1. Thank you and thank you for hosting the blogathon.

  3. There is something eternally appealing about Clara Bow, and you captured it in your post. Wonderful!

  4. Great post, Dawn. I just love Clara. She is still so fresh and modern.

    1. Thank you, I agree.. she was the first actress that popped into my head to feature in the funny lady blogathon..

  5. Dawn, really enjoyed this - Clara Bow has such a lively quality and you really get that here. I recently saw a great profile of her, shown as part of the Screen Goddesses series of documentaries on the BBC - it was very interesting and gave a flavour of many of her films that I haven't seen yet (a shame there are so many that are lost.) I think she is brilliant in 'It' and she also adds a lot of humour to a more serious film like 'Wings', one of my favourites - will hope to see Mantrap too.

    1. Thank you, Wings, is my favorite Clara Bow film I have seen so far, but.. I really did not think that it was a comedy.. although, I too did find a few scenes that were funny.

      I wished that I had seen the BBC documentaries on her. I will look to see if I can find it.

  6. I really need to see more films with Clara beyond It and Wings. Her vivacious quality is infectious. Thanks for remembering her as part of the blogathon!

    1. I have often wondered if she had a DVD box set collection of her hard to find films.

  7. I also love Clara Bow's energy - really peppy!

  8. While I am not entirely on board with Wings, I do think Bow's performance is a highlight in the film. As for It, I only caught up with it recently, but was blown away by its both for its timeless humor and again because of the magnificent show being put on by Bow. I would agree that it could serve as an "introduction" to silent films for anyone who is uncertain about their unique stylings. Great post about one of the best ladies in all of silent film.

    1. Thank you. I love the fighting action scenes and a young Gary Cooper, in the silent film Wings. But, I understand the film is not for everyone.

  9. Enjoyed your post on Clara Bow. Got to see It on TCM last year and enjoyed it immensely. Fun variation on the Boy meets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy gets Girl at the end.

    1. Thank you, I'm so glad that you were able to catch "it" on TCM.

  10. Mantrap certainly sounds fascinating. I think I will have to give this one the once over. Thanks for the tip!

  11. You are welcome and thank you for stopping by!!

  12. Hi, Dawn! As much as I admire Clara, I'm still a beginner in her filmography. But, girl, she really had IT: good looks, talent, charisma and a sense of humor! Thanks ofr the post, it was great!
    Don't forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! :)

  13. Thank you for stopping by. I'm also a new comer to silent films.

  14. Clara just had such a screen presence. It's amazing to think about how much can be conveyed without words.
    Your post has certainly inspired me to re-watch some of her films, thank you.


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