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|Index||61 reviews in total|
Clara Bow's fiesty energy shines through as the loveable "It" girl in this silent gem! Sweet story line touches on social issues of the times as well. This film is fun to watch and showcases a great star at her finest!
This is easily one of my favorite films from the silent era. The story itself is a fun, little, romantic tale. What's great about the movie, though, is watching Clara Bow's performance. She's fantastic to watch, and truly lights up the screen any time she's shown. Also fun to watch for is Gary Cooper in a very early cameo as a reporter. This movie looks great on the DVD, which also features the enjoyable documentary, "Clara Bow: Discovering the It Girl". Highly recommended.
Coupled with a knowledge of the material in the Clara Bow
mini-biography on IMDb, "It" reveals the very start of Hollywood's
exploiting of sexy actresses. Bow was an insomniac from the time her
mother tried to kill her for becoming an actress. She was also a
schizophrenic who acted out in sexually inappropriate behavior. The
revolution of "talkies" was the ending for Bow's career, which
thankfully came sooner than Hollywood's "It" girls who followed (for
example Marilyn Monroe).
"It" makes personal Bow's history of exploitation from the tabloid fan magazines. She had difficulty keeping herself out of social disasters. One can really sense what a lifeline it must have been in escaping to the Nipton Hotel and finally to a ranching life at Walking Box Ranch in southern Nevada. Alas, despite a marriage to actor Rex Bell - reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton - she could not keep it together in the quiet of their ranch retreat, either. It makes "It" no longer the romantic comedy movie it was at it's release, but rather a tragic-comedy of a actress paid to manically act out her schizophrenic driven sexuality.
Clara Bow is kind of a combination of Juliette Binoche, Ann-Margret, and Audrey Hepburn. In "It," she plays the 1920s flapper role to the hilt, radiating a pantomimic combination of coyness and seductiveness. It's a treat to see it covertly played out in pantomime, as opposed to the now common overt and in-your-face sexuality of modern films. The movie is historically important at showing the death of Victorian era social behaviors, to the point that the plot is driven by an article praising male and female seductiveness in a 1927 copy of the magazine "Cosmopolitian" - a modern symbol of a sexually liberated woman.
Regarding Bow's pantomime skills, one could put duck tape on Juliette Binoche's mouth and she could still act. Put Ann-Margret in a box and you could still hear her purr. But, put Bow is a bag and she could act her way out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you love silent pictures and you've never heard of Clara Bow, who was affectionately known as the "It" girl, then you're in for a treat. This is Clara Bow at her sweetest best, with her working at a department store, and admiring the new boss, Antonio Moreno. This has the usual comedic complications with her trying to meet him, entice him, and rope him in. But, it gets really great when she arrives unexpectedly on his yacht. The dialogue (cue cards) are really very funny and very witty. In fact, it's all a scream. Miss Bow was called the quintessence of the flapper, as she rolls all the elements together in her performance: the good girl who just wants to have fun, the tease who likes to flirt, the down-to-earth girl who lets it all hang out, the tough girl who won't let her friends go without or get stepped on, and the sophisticated lady with charm galore. She sets herself apart from many of her fellow sex symbols of her time and even those later on, including Jean Harlow, who comes closest to Clara's style. Watch "It" and discover Miss Clara Bow today.
I had the opportunity the see this Clara Bow movie on the big screen instead of my television set and WOW...what a difference. It was almost chilling to feel her energetic youthfulness come right at you. There probably isn't anything else that I can add that hasn't been positively said about this movie. Clara Bow definitely personifies Elinor Glyn's definition of IT! A 9 out of 10 for sure...
This is a wonderful film which I have just seen for the third time. It is made glorious by the starring role of Clara Bow. This and WINGS (1927), made later in the same year, were the two memorable classics of her career. She was one of the most charming and irresistible female stars in the entire history of the cinema. Her infectious and mischievous enthusiasm and energy were unrivalled. She naturally made all the other female stars of her day nervous, because by comparison with Clara Bow they were all made to look like lazy lumps. Clara Bow's life story is extraordinarily harrowing and tragic. Her origins were so horrifying that it is a miracle she even survived, much less went on to have a glittering career as a film star. The Hollywood Establishment was always against her, because she was far too 'real' for them to cope with, and her very existence and success constituted an implied rebuke to the phoniness of so much of the Hollywood dream-factory. This film is named after a best-selling novel written by the notorious Elinor Glyn, called 'IT'. The novel's story is not the story of the film, however, but is the story which many of the characters in the film are reading. The real life Elinor Glyn was the co-producer of this film and she actually makes an appearance in it, which is a fascinating filmed record of what she was really like. She appears as herself, not as a character. The film therefore has several amusing layers to it, blurring the distinctions between fiction and reality in an intentional way. I tend to know rather more about Elinor Glyn than most people, due to the fact that her great-granddaughter Caroline Glyn was my intimate friend and girlfriend when I was young. Caroline published her own first novel, a best-seller, at the age of 14 and published many thereafter. She died tragically young of a congenital heart defect which was probably caused by the fact that her parents were first cousins. The story of Caroline's brief life is in my opinion more interesting than the story of Elinor's long one. Caroline used to love to tell me the jingle about her great-grandmother, which she thought was so funny: 'Would you like to sin with Glyn on a tiger skin? Or would you prefer to err with her on another fur?' But enough of melancholy memories, and back to the film. The story is an amusing and entertaining one, but the film would have been mediocre without the presence of Clara Bow, who brings it alive with superhuman amounts of 'zing'. You have to see it to understand what I mean. The film was made in the penultimate year of the silent film era, and will always be one of the 'great silents' of film history. It is very well directed, apparently by Clarence Badger if you believe the credits, but it was actually completed by the great Josef von Sternberg, who was uncredited for it. The film was restored in the 1990s as part of the Thames Television series of restored silents done in association with the British Film Institute, and with an orchestral score composed by Carl Davis. The producers of this effort were David Gill and the famous film historian Kevin Brownlow, an old friend of mine from yesteryear. Although he is not credited, I expect another old friend, the film historian Dave Shepard, must have been connected with this project as well in some way. Those of us who love the great silent films can only regret the passing of the company Thames Television, which lost its ITV franchise in Britain long ago, so that their series of magnificent silent film restorations which were guaranteed television airings came to an end. We now live in an era where barely anyone under the age of 40 has ever seen a silent film, and an entire genre of creative human achievement is threatened with becoming as extinct in human consciousness as the dodo. Soon all the joys of silent film will become as evanescent as the grin of the Cheshire Cat, and no one will be left alive who knows or cares anything about them. This is all part of the Decline of Western Civilisation, which is well underway. It is also called Decadence, which always accompanies and indeed causes terminal cultural decline. As the West loses its cultural nerve and collapses from within, let us hope that the barbarians who will gnaw on our remains preserve one or two great classics of the silent cinema just out of a sense of whimsy, and in some long-distant future, two or three may emerge, just as a few of the Greek tragedies were preserved by the Byzantines for linguistic purposes. In this film, the young Gary Cooper goes unnoticed and uncredited as a reporter, though in WINGS a few months later he plays Cadet White and gets proper attention. As for Elinor Glyn's invention of the word 'it' to refer to sex appeal, 'it' was a hot topic with the public at the time, when sex was not meant to be mentioned in public. So 'it' was certainly one of the world's most famous euphemisms. The fact that this film was made with Clara Bow, who had more 'it' than all her competitors combined, helped hype up the euphemism, Elinor Glyn, her novels, the subjects of sex and sex appeal, and all that goes with it, such as why were people so coy about even mentioning the very existence of these fundamentals of human existence. Could this be anything to do with the hypocrisies of human societies? This film therefore had a galvanizing effect upon social developments, manners and mores. It probably had as much social impact as any other film ever did in its time. And it is still a wonderful film to watch, for Clara Bow's charm has something of eternity about it.
To be swept away by 'It' you must firstly agree with the premise - that
some people possess a mysterious quality of attraction others lack -
and secondly agree with their casting choices of those who posses it -
Clara Bow and Antonio Moreno.
In my case, I only partially agree with both. I do believe some people possess a mysterious quality of attraction, but the casting and scripting choices of the film don't suit my definition. The films definition is mostly concerned with sex appeal, whereas my definition would include not just beauty but character, and in that sense, I found myself more attracted to Jacqueline Gadsdon than Clara Bow, the scorned woman who at the end is described in a title card as 'It- less'. Where Bow is wild, she is reserved; and where Bow plays silly little games, she is modest and graceful. In my opinion she, as with most of the women who appear in this film, is also very beautiful, which means they all tick the first box in the law of attraction. Bow however, for mine, does not tick the second, so I find myself agreeing with the films premise that 'It' exists, but not believing I truly experienced it while watching the film. So annoying were they that I could have cared less whether Bow and Moreno ended up together or not, though I certainly felt sympathy for Gadsdon. Maybe if Gadsdon had cut off half her top to reveal her bra the way Bow did more people might think the way I do.
I can see most people in the comments are smitten with Bow however, and if that's so you'll likely enjoy this as much as them. In terms of its pacing, variety of shots and various camera moves, the film feels modern and is easy to watch. And while it feels like a light piece of trivial fluff, the shallowest of romantic comedies, it is actually quite poignant in highlighting how relationships can be based on such stuff: Once a physical attraction applies, reason and the need for depth can fly out the window. Unfortunately however the various twists and turns of the plot slowly become ridiculous, and it feels much more like a studio ploy for profit than anything worthy of the tag 'classic' as some have given it. The amusement park scenes were fun though and the highlight of the film for mine.
I will leave it to the female reviewers to decide whether Antonio Moreno also had 'It'. Given no one ever seems to comment on the male side of things, I can only imagine the appeal of this film rests solely on Clara Bow, meaning it is one for die hard fans of hers only.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Although the movie is silent I believe that Betty Lou (Clara Bow) is the reason why I liked this movie. She is a stunning talent and works amazingly with the plot of this film. She is extremely talented at having a personality despite not having any lines to say to the viewer. She is a very flirtatious young woman who seems to have "it". The film goes on to prove that not all people who are attractive have "it". I noticed that the editing seems a bit choppy and unpolished at times which occasionally would confuse me. I found that a few times during the movie the director used very good camera movement which seemed ahead of its time in the late 20's. Overall good movie, funny in many ways.
Probably the more recognizable movie with the title "It" is the
adaptation of Stephen King's novel about everything that you were ever
afraid of haunting a town in Maine. Well, this "It" is totally
different, in the best way possible. Clara Bow plays Betty Lou, a sassy
shopgirl who has the hots for her boss (Antonio Moreno). Unfortunately,
her boss is already in a relationship. However, the boss's friend Monty
(William Austin) is immediately smitten with Betty Lou, and she
realizes that this might be her ticket.
Half of the humor comes from Clara Bow's facial expressions. Seriously, her face practically does a lot of the acting. Of course, when Betty Lou introduces the patrician Monty to her working-class lifestyle, you just can't stop laughing!
The point is that "It" is what a romantic comedy should be: not mushy, but sassy. And above all, enjoyable in every way. As for the concept of whatever "it" is -- whether sex appeal or something different -- it definitely led to a classic piece of cinema. Perfect.
With my attempt to look at this movie from a person in the 1920's I say this is a pretty good film. I was able to get a feel of life in New York in the 1920's and how things were. Clara Bow did a great job acting and allowing connecting with the audience i.e me. I was able to get a feel of her personality and values by the end of the movie. I must say to though that she did have IT. The acting by the rest of the cast was equally as good and kept me into the movie for the most part. Unfortunately though it is a silent film and not only is it a silent film but also a which I would call drama film. My knock on the movie is that unlike comedic silent films which keep you laughing I found myself dosing off here and there as to the fact that no words made some scenes boring and the piano melody in the background was rather soothing. Overall to those who are fans of silent films I say you would enjoy it, but to those who aren't as open or are watching a silent film for the first time I say find one more entertaining with more humor in it. Overall the movie didn't quite have IT.
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