Friday, April 26, 2024

Clara Bow -- The Ideal Society Flapper -- April 26, 2024

New Britain Herald, 18-April-1924

Clara Bow's career was skyrocketing 100 years ago today, in April 1924. "On Road to Fame in Films?" If that referred to Clara, it would not have had a question mark. It referred to the stiff-looking guy she is posing with, Draper Daugherty. I have never heard of him, and I can't find anything about him in the Internet Movie Database. His father was Attorney General under Harding and Coolidge. The star of Helen's Babies was Baby Peggy, a popular child actress. 

Washington Evening Star, 18-April-1924

Visalia Daily Times, 09-April-1924

Clara's breakthrough role was in Black Oxen, a 1923 Frank Lloyd film. The female star was Corinne Griffith, but Clara as "the flapperish Janet" made a big impression. "Frank Lloyd failed to find his ideal society flapper until he made more than fifty screen tests of well known flapper types." 

Indianapolis Times, 03-April-1924

Maytime was another 1923 movie, which was based on the Sigmund Romberg musical. Clara was the top-billed actress. The Whipping Boss is an interesting title. A whipping boss was the one in charge of discipline for chain gangs and other convict labor applications. I have not yet figured out "The Sensational Talbert Case." 

Daily Kennebec Journal, 05-April-1924

The Daring Years was another 1923 film. It starred Mildred Harris, Charlie Chaplin's first wife. 

Ventnor News, 09-April-1924

Clara's films were so ubiquitous that two of her movies were showing at the same time in Ventnor City, New Jersey. 

I was happy to learn that Taylor Swift's just-released album The Tortured Poets Department (The apostrophe was omitted on purpose) includes "Clara Bow," a song about Clara and other women in show business. I look forward to hearing it. 

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