Archive for Clara Bow

Bound with Love

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2014 by dcairns


A bonus intertitle –and you’ll find another over at The Forgotten, where I delve into what may be the gayest  Hollywood silent film I’ve seen. In WINGS, it sometimes seems as if Clara Bow’s role is not so much romantic interest as diverter of suspicion, as the two male leads are so closely bound up emotionally, even sharing an impassioned kiss, that someone may have felt wedging a pert flapper between them to be in order. Well, in PARISIAN LOVE poor Clara is almost left out in the cold altogether. Now read on.

And — as if that weren’t enough — Dave Scout Tafoya continues our exploration of the ’68 Cannes Film Festival fiasco with a movie by one of the greats — a European master who was still living until this last dreadful weekend. Miklos Jancso.

The Sunday Intertitle: Uncle Harry

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2013 by dcairns


VIDEOBRARY? It is an ugly word.

HELEN’S BABIES stars a positively nubile Edward Everett Horton as a man who’s found fame as an author of a book on child-rearing, but who has no practical experience of the subject whatsoever. It’s a classic Hollywood situation, the man with book-learning but no life-skills — of course he gets landed with a couple of tiny terrors, one of whom is played by the marvelous Baby Peggy, an authentic prodigy. The movie’s situations may be somewhat hackneyed, but B.P.’s sparkle flashes through the decades and outshines even that of her co-star Clara Bow.


B.P. or Peggy-Jean Montgomery to use her birth name, is the subject of a fascinating documentary, BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, by Vera Iwerebor. The child star fondly and not-so-fondly relates the story of her cinematic career, providing a unique and moving insight into the silent era. Regular readers may also be interested to spot a brief appearance by the late F. Gwynplaine MacIntrye…

Iwerebor’s doc is just one  of the attractions screening at this year’s Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film in Bo’ness, which in just three years has become one of the key events in Scotland’s movie calendar, along with Glasgow and Edinburgh’s varied programmes.

This year I’m writing a piece for Bo’ness on Lubitsch’s THE OYSTER PRINCESS — in fact, I better stop writing this and start writing that. But if you’re in Scotland this month, consider the short schlep to this fair town, to see silent classics starring the likes of Laurel & Hardy, Buster Keaton and Gloria Swanson, with live musical accompaniment, projected in Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema. Check out the programme here.


Film Directors With Their Shirts Off: Monkeybitch Uncovered

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on December 12, 2012 by dcairns


Something for the ladies! The long-unawaited return of our highly irregular Film Directors With Their Shirts Off presents Joseph L. Mankiewicz, or as Louis B. Mayer not too affectionately called him, Joe Monkeybitch, on the set of CLEOPATRA.

Everyone averts their eyes in awe of their director’s magnificent bosoms.

I’m pleased to note that Liz Taylor will feature in a BBC4 series, The Screen Goddesses, which profiles several of the usual suspects (Monroe again…), but does include Clara Bow, which is practically neolithic by TV standards. It’s great that they’ve taken the trouble to look at someone most of their audience won’t have seen in action. The clips in the ad had all been cropped to 16:9 regardless of their original aspect ratio, but at least they weren’t all from speckly old trailers.

The other bit of news relating to this image is that Mr. Monkeybitch will soon feature in a festive edition of The Forgotten. Can you guess which picture?


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