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25-01-2008
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Clara Bow


Here is the link to her wiki page. And her filmography.

Quote:
Between 1922 and 1929, Clara Bow's vitality and sexiness defined the liberated woman of the 1920s. Clara Bow (1906-1965) became one of Hollywood's brightest lights during this time. Clara was known as 'The "It" Girl'. "It" symbolized the tremendous progress women were making in society, and leading the way was Clara Bow, the girl of the year, who had "It" in abundance. On the set she was full of charm and wit. She was also a thorough professional, and this was asserted by people who knew and worked with her, such as Colleen Moore, Diana Serra Cary ("Baby Peggy") and Louise Brooks.

Clara Bow was an actress of range and depth. Clara played a variety of roles including manicurists, waitresses and department store clerks. In The Plastic Age (Preferred Pictures, 1925), the audience was just warming up to her delicious revelry. It was in her first, bona fide mega-hit Mantrap (Paramount, 1926) that she absolutely enthralled the audience. They and the usually jaded critics behaved as if she had just arrived in a glorious burst of fireworks, even though she had paid her dues in quite a few earlier pictures. Variety, on July 14, 1926, exclaimed, "Clara Bow! And how! What a 'Mantrap' she is! And how this picture is going to make her! Miss Bow just walks away with the picture from the moment she steps into camera range." It (Paramount, 1927) was the pinnacle of her youthful career and forever made her a household Hollywood goddess.

The "It" Girl was so hot and bright. It was inevitable that she would burn out personally and professionally. It's shocking to think that her career was over in 1933 when she was all of 26 years old. This was after she had made millions for her studio, Paramount, and had risen to the stature of one of the most well-known stars in the world. We wonder how it happened and why.

David Stenn's book Clara Bow - Runnin' Wild (Doubleday, 1988), uncovers the terrible secrets and burdens that Clara bore from the time she was a tiny child through her career. As it turns out she was the daughter of a schizophrenic mother and a sexually abusive father. Mr. Stenn successfully dispells the cruel myths surrounding Clara. He has also argued that lies make better copy than truth. Clara's career, and her potential revival, have suffered due to two diverse but crucial issues. First, she was condemned unfairly by the Hollywood community for her questionable morality.

Secondly, most of her films have been lost. Her morality was thoroughly questioned by Budd Schulberg, son of powerful producer B.P. Schulberg. Budd knew Clara when she was under personal contract to B.P. Budd became closely acquainted with Clara beginning at age 10. In his book Moving Pictures: Memories of a Hollywood Prince (Stein and Day, 1981), he reveals:

" Hollywood was a cultural schizophrene: The anti-movie Old Guard with their chamber music and their religious pageants fighting a losing battle against the more dynamic culture of the Ad Schulbergs who flaunted the bohemianism of Edna St. Vincent Millay and the socialism of Upton Sinclair. But there was one subject on which staid old Hollywood establishment and the members of the new culture circle would agree: Clara Bow, no matter how great her popularity, was a low-life and a disgrace to the community."
Out of the 56 films (silent and sound) she made, only a possible 37 exist in their entirety or in bits and pieces. Only 16 titles, 11 of them silents, are available on video. The remaining films that survive are squirreled away in the Library of Congress or other archive.

These are Clara's films available on video:

Down to the Sea in Ships (1922)
Capital Punishment (1925)
The Primrose Path (1925)
Free to Love (1925)
The Plastic Age (1925)
My Lady of Whims (1926)
Dancing Mothers (1926)
Mantrap (1926)
Hula (1927)
It! (1927)
Wings (1927)
The Wild Party (1929) - (her first talkie)
Dangerous Curves (1929)
The Saturday Night Kid (1929)
True to the Navy (1930)
No Limit (1931]

Clara died in 1965. Sadly, her childhood of poverty, violence, and insanity, together with public scandals during her stardom left Clara mentally fragile and incapacitated for the later years of her life. She died in solitude.
ac.aup.fr . library.csi.cuny.edu

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25-01-2008
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26-01-2008
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Clara Bow "The It Girl" Silent Hollywood 1920s

http://youtube.com/watch?v=by22WrL5A54

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vaggi0NtrsA

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26-01-2008
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26-01-2008
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26-01-2008
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Quote:
The 1920's was an era of liberation and excess - no one personified this more than Clara Bow. Notorious for throwing wild parties and engaging in questionable activities, Clara was the symbol of the flapper era.

Born in 1905 in the slums of the Bronx to abusive parents, Clara rose above her impoverished background to become an icon of the silver screen. As a child, she would go to see cheap movies and then mimic the stars for hours in front of her mirror, dreaming of becoming a film actress. In 1921, when she was fourteen, she entered a Fame and Fortune contest sponsored by movie fan magazines. She won the prize of a silver trophy, an evening gown, and a part in a motion picture.

Clara's mother was not pleased with her daughter's acting ambitions: one night, Clara woke to find her mother standing over her bed with a knife. She said, "I'm going to kill you, Clara - it'll be better." Her mother was later sent to a mental institution, where she died a few years later. A traumatized Clara would have trouble sleeping for the rest of her life.

The movie role that she won was in a film called Beyond the Rainbow. Clara's part ended up on the cutting room floor, but she soon landed a part in another picture called Down to the Sea in Ships. Her performance received good reviews and she was sent to see B.P. Schulberg of Preferred Pictures to audition for a three-month contract at $50 a week.

Schulberg was not impressed when Clara showed up, but her agent convinced him to give her a direct test. Schulberg looked at her and demanded, "Laugh." She did so convincingly. Then he suddenly said, "Stop laughing. Cry!" Immediately, tears began flowing down her cheeks. Her agent, Maxine Alton, later referred to her as "an emotional machine." Schulberg threw up his hands, turned to Alton, and said, "You win."

In her films for Preferred Pictures, Clara portrayed the quintessential flapper - wild and free, dancing and happy, surrounded by men. She was also one of the first women to play strong characters in Hollywood - nobody messed with Clara and it was obvious that she would not stand meekly by and let a man run her life. She was fast becoming the role model of flappers across the country. In 1925, author Elinor Glyn was placed under contract at Paramount Pictures to write, develop and supervise productions. She was writing a short novel titled "IT" which was published a year later. In the novel, Glyn described "IT" as "that strange magnetism which attracts both sexes. 'It' is a purely virile quality, belonging to a strong character. (The possessor of It) must be entirely unself-conscious and full of self-confidence, indifferent to the effect he or she is producing, and uninfluenced by others. There must be physical attraction, but beauty is unnecessary. Conceit or self-consciousness destroys 'It' immediately."
suite101.com

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26-01-2008
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Quote:
wild enough to enjoy herself
smart enough to get out before it destroyed her

In 1968, silent film legend Louise Brooks wrote a scathing letter to historian Kevin Brownlow, who had just published his seminal work on silent film, The Parade's Gone By. In typical outspoken Brooksian fashion, Lulu railed at Brownlow for focusing on "some old f*cks and not even mentioning Clara Bow's name."

Unfortunately, Brownlow's oversight, whether intentional or not, was not atypical. The "It" Girl, one of Hollywood's first sex symbols, whose combination of spunk and seduction paved the way for the likes of Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe and all succeeding generations of dream girls, had outlived the gaudy era that made her a star. By the time Brownlow's book came out, she was mostly forgotten - a tattered John Held Jr. flapper caricature, a shopworn Kewpie doll relegated to the remnants bin of film history.

But from the middle 1920s to the early '30s, Clara Bow was a force to be reckoned with - a natural force, like a hurricane or tidal wave. She made 57 films in eleven years, forging a definitive flapper persona that generated millions of dollars for Paramount. By 1928, the she had received more than 33,000 fan letters, some simply marked "It Girl, Hollywood, U.S.A." Along the way, she influenced a generation of young women who related to her style, sass and liberated sexuality; she appealed to men for pretty much the same reasons. With an irresistible combination of earthiness, humor and sensuality, Clara Bow singlehandedly changed the way America looked at sex.



But Clara's frantic flapper act, both on and offscreen, was fueled by tragedy and a life whose melodrama rivaled any fiction. Her love affairs were legion - from Gary Cooper and Victor Fleming to Bela Lugosi and, apocryphally, the entire USC Trojans football squad. Most ended unhappily. B.P. Schulberg, head of Paramount who she looked up to as a mentor, exploited her financially and emotionally, paying her a paltry $2,800 a week in 1928, compared with Pola Negri's $6,000 per week, and Colleen Moore's $125,000 per picture. Her constant parade of broken engagements, extramarital affairs and lawsuits made headlines, further enhancing the "It" girl mythos. If Clara Bow hadn't existed, '20s Hollywood would have had to invent her.



But underneath the fun and games, Clara carried the emotional scars of a squalid, dysfunctional childhood that rivaled anything ever doled out by Charles Dickens. They were scars she would carry for the rest of her life.

Born in a Brooklyn tenement in 1905 to a schizophrenic mother and an absent father, Clara's only escape was going to the movies. In classic fashion, she escaped to Hollywood at age 16 after winning a "Fame and Fortune" contest. As a contract player for Preferred Pictures, she ground out dozens of low-budget potboilers, some cranked out in as little as two weeks. But it wasn't until 1926, when Paramount paid literary doyenne Elinor Glyn $50,000 to christen her the "It" girl to coincide with the release of It in 1927, that the real roller-coaster ride began.



It launched what would become a long line of Clara Bow formula films. With titles like Rough House Rosie (1927), Red Hair (1928), and Dangerous Curves (1929), the common elements of all these pictures was a feeble plot, a nondescript leading man, and Clara endlessly reprising her spunky flapper role.



But in spite of the interchangeability of these elements, Clara always managed to transcend her material. Coming to film totally untrained in the theatrical arts, Clara proved to be a natural match for the new technology of motion pictures. She was irrepressible, bounding around the sets, able to laugh and cry at the drop of a hat. Her lovely, expressive face could convey everything from mischief to sorrow with the arch of a tweezed eyebrow, the curl of a rouged lip.

And Clara was no prima donna. Tough, hardworking and big-hearted, she indiscriminately mingled with everyone, but was especially comfortable with the cameramen, technicians and grips, who considered her "one of the boys." Unlike many other silent stars, Clara managed to successfully make the transition to sound. Critical and financial hits like Call Her Savage (1932) and Hoopla (1933), both made for Fox at a lucrative deal for her, proved her broad Brooklyn accent to be perfectly suited for the tough-girl roles she played. With Clara branching out into more dramatic roles, the potential was there for the rebirth of her career, this time as a serious actress in the new talkie medium.



But Clara was exhausted. She married cowboy star Rex Bell in 1933, retired to a secluded ranch in Nevada, and had two sons, who she doted on. After years of frantic living, she was ready to lead a tranquil life as a wife and mother -- or so she hoped. Instead, Clara was wracked with insomnia, hypochondria, suicide attempts, and frequent institutionalization. She was diagnosed as schizophrenic in 1949, and underwent intensive psychotherapy, even shock treatments, in an attempt to root out the mental illness that had claimed her mother and aunts. She grew estranged from her husband and sons and eventually moved back to Los Angeles alone.

In her later years she found a semblance of the peace that had evaded her throughout her life - painting, reading voraciously, swimming. Re-release of her talkies to television in the late '50s - with Paramount typically denying her royalties - resulted in a flush of recognition for the former "It" girl, who avoided the spotlight as assiduously as she'd sought it in the '20s.

She died peacefully in 1965 at age 60 while watching a telecast of The Virginian -- starring Gary Cooper and directed by Victor Fleming, which must have made her smile.
francesfarmersrevenge.com


Last edited by SomethingElse; 26-01-2008 at 12:39 AM.
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17-02-2008
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from corbis.com



Odd I thought she had a thread here already
I guess i just assumed sinse she was the It girl


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17-02-2008
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Found this on youtube

Clara Bow, the It girl

Part 1



Part 2




Really lovely.

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18-02-2008
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Love her! She had a very hard, heartbreaking life, but never let anything break her spirit

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18-02-2008
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Oh what she could do with those eyes!

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18-02-2008
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02-03-2008
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A few more to add...24 at auction- rrauction.jpg

258691_1020_A.jpg

rough house rosie- movie poster book.jpg

3092443-rrauction.jpg

3125477-rrauction.jpg

3025115-rr.jpg

3088813-rrauction.jpg Sources: 1. rrauction.com (sold at auction for over $1,000 2.&3. Movie Posters The Paintings of Batiste Madalene- scanned by Me 4.-8. rrauction.com

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21-04-2008
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Clara had the sweetest expressions

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08-05-2008
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I agree. And that 2nd to last picture in the above post is SO gorgeous!

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