7.4/10
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62 user 21 critic

It (1927)

A salesgirl with plenty of "it" (sex appeal) pursues a handsome playboy.

Directors:

Clarence G. Badger (as Clarence Badger), Josef von Sternberg (uncredited)

Writers:

Elinor Glyn (story and adaptation), Hope Loring (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clara Bow ... Betty Lou
Antonio Moreno ... Cyrus T. Waltham
William Austin ... 'Monty' Montgomery
Priscilla Bonner ... Molly
Jacqueline Gadsdon ... Adela Van Norman
Julia Swayne Gordon ... Mrs. Van Norman
Elinor Glyn ... Madame Elinor Glyn (as Madame Elinor Glyn)
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Storyline

Shopgirl Betty Lou has designs on Cyrus Waltham, the handsome owner of the department store where she works. Waltham, though, doesn't even know Betty Lou is around. In hopes of attracting Waltham's attention, she accepts a date with his best friend, Monty, under the condition that they dine at the Ritz, where Waltham also has a dinner date that evening. Her plan works and in no time at all she and Waltham are contemplating marriage. The romance cools when a newspaper reporter mistakenly writes a story depicting Betty Lou as an unwed mother. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

15 February 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das gewisse Etwas See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$411,891, 31 December 1927
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the David Stenn biography of Clara Bow that was published in 1988, actress Priscilla Bonner recalled that Elinor Glyn visited the set a couple of times, wearing several purple veils that, it was obvious, were meant to mask recent plastic surgery scars that has not yet healed. Bonner said she disliked Glyn right away, finding her to be pretentious and artificial. However, she said she loved working with Clara Bow. See more »

Goofs

On the yacht, after playing the banjolele, Betty runs out of the frame carrying the instrument but in the next scene, she is empty-handed. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Monty Montgomery: [consoling Adela Van Norman] We're just a couple of It-less "ITS"!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Golden Years (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

Modern Fluff
14 October 2001 | by jondarisSee all my reviews

Two years after "It" came out the silent picture would be a thing of the past. Still, the most striking thing about this movie, after the always beautiful Clara Bow, is how modern it looks. On the Kino DVD the picture is sharp and clear, with excellent contrast. It looks as good as black and white can.

The story itself is fluff. The It of the title, which translates roughly as sex appeal, is irrelevant to the plot. Salesgirl Betty Lou Spence (Bow) falls in love with owner of big department store Cyrus Waltham, Jr. (Antonio Moreno). She chases him, he chases her, misunderstanding separates them. Even though the plot is light, it fulfills its modest goals well, largely due to Bow's energy. William Austin, as Moreno's friend Monty, is also a high point. In one key scene he also shows himself to be a far more caring and sensitive person than Cyrus, and probably a better choice for Betty's affections. Sadly, that's not how this kind of movie works.

The camera work is pretty sophisticated for the time. The scenes of Betty and Cyrus's date at the beach, with quick cuts as the two laugh, play and fall in love, are now a cliche, although one that's still used. The use of panning, different angles during scenes and plenty of close-ups keep the movie moving, without the long shots before a stationary camera that characterized many indoor scenes during the silent era. Were it not for the lack of sound and the title cards, one could easily think this movie was made as late as the start of WWII.

"It" is not an important movie in the development of cinema, either in terms of technique or theme. Instead, it's an entertaining romantic comedy, largely due to Bow's electrifying screen presence and Austin's satisfying performance. Clara Bow was a huge star, who defined the female sex symbol during the 20s. Even today it's hard to imagine anyone watching her and being able to deny that she does indeed have It.


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