Read the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly coverage of the series.
Born in 1905 to a hardscrabble life in Brooklyn, New York, and rising to staggering fame as an American movie star, Clara Bow was filmdom’s supreme female embodiment of the Horatio Alger myth. In her public life, Bow was likewise the very personification of the Jazz Age flapper, a fast-living, carefree hedonist, whose private life, followed closely by the press, rivaled her actual work in films for public attention. But that onscreen legacy reveals a talent that merits serious appraisal. Early on, she distinguished herself by a lively immediacy more familiar and accessible than many actors who displayed continental glamour or Victorian bearing. One may posit the elusive quality of “it,” ascribed to Bow’s character in the film of the same name, but her remarkable qualities are not so hard to catalog, and won her admirers ranging from actress Louise Brooks to author Carl Sandburg. Commanding a broad emotional range, a quicksilver temperament and a refreshing physicality, winsome Bow was an eager and fun-loving figure in an America between the wars, which promised unlimited opportunity to like-minded adventurers. This series samples some of the highlights of Bow’s relatively brief, skylarking career, featuring rare and restored prints of films displaying her gifts and versatility.
Special thanks to: David Stenn, author of Clara Bow: Runnin’ Wild, and Dino Everett.