Clara Bow filmography 1926 – 1933

A continuation of the full Clara Bow filmography. Read part one of the Clara Bow filmography 1922 – 1925 here.

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Clara Bow (1905-1965)

 

 

Dancing Mothers (1926)

16mm print available – incomplete – at UCLA
available on DVD
available on VHS


Clara Bow returns to New York to co-star in the drama Dancing Mothers, as an upper-class young flapper who is not treating her mother that well. Mother gets revenge when they fall for the same man. This is Clara’s first production for Paramount Studios.

 


 

The Shadow of the Law (1926)

lost film

In this film Clara is an innocent woman sent to prison. Upon her release, the man who framed her forces her into a life of crime. Directed by Wallace Worsley for Paramount Pictures.

 


 

Two Can Play (1926)

lost film
trailer clip may exist

Clara plays the daughter of a wealthy man. Her father disapproves of her relationship and tries to intervene.

 


 

My Lady of Whims (1926)

preserved 16mm print available only – at UCLA
some 32mm material exists.
available on DVD

Filmed for Arrow Productions. The strict father of flapper Prudence Severn (Bow) tries in vain to keep his daughter out of trouble. She ends up moving into a Greenwich Village apartment with a girlfriend and choosing between two men.

 


 

Fascinating Youth (1926)

lost film
a trailer may exist

Clara Bow has a small appearance in the film as one of Paramount’s Junior Stars of 1926 who were showcased in the film, playing themselves. This is Clara’s second film for Paramount Pictures.

 


 

The Runaway (1926)

lost film

Clara Bow stars with William Powell as a woman convinced that she has killed her husband. She escapes to the mountains where she falls in love with another man. Directed by William C. DeMille.

 


 

Mantrap (1926)

restored 35mm print available at Library of Congress
DVD available

Directed by Victor Fleming location shots were at Lake Arrowhead in California.

Alverna the flirty manicurist (Clara Bow) has moved to the wilderness of central Canada. Mantrap is a story about modern urbanites coping in the backwoods. Clara was paid $750 a week. Clara said (in a letter to her son) it was the best silent picture she ever made. This was considered Clara’s breakthrough film where she really made a name for herself as a movie star.

 

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Mantrap, 1926

 


 

Kid Boots (1926)

35mm print available
DVD available

Directed by Frank Tuttle. Location shots took place at El Caballero Country Club in Beverley Hills. Eddie Cantor’s classic comedy which also reunited Clara Bow with Billie Dove. The story of a salesman (Cantor) who helps a rich playboy divorce his wife and falls for swimming instructor (Clara Bow).

 


 

It (1927)

35mm print available
DVD available

Comedy written by romantic novelist Elinor Glyn shot on location at Catalina Island in California.
Directed by Josef von Sternberg (uncredited)/Clarence G. Badger for Paramount Pictures.

This is how Clara Bow got her nickname as the It Girl. Clara plays shopgirl Betty Lou Spence who charms her boss with “it”. But what is this elusive”it”? Watch the film and you will know. A case of mistaken identity ensures that the romance gets complicated. In one scene Clara takes a pair of scissors to her dress to make it look a little more daring.

 

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Clara Bow (1905-1965)

 


 

Children of Divorce (1927)

restored 35mm print available from Library of Congress

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Children of Divorce, Clara Bow, Esthe…

 

Shot on location in Del Monte and Pasadena in California. Directors Josef von Sternberg (uncredited)/Frank Lloyd. Clara had top billing with Esther Ralston. Gary Cooper stars in his first credited role. He was spotted, whilst a stuntman, by Clara Bow who insisted he play the part. They had a relationship whilst making the film. Gary Cooper plays a wealthy playboy, who befriends Kitty (Clara Bow) and her friend (Esther Ralston).

 


 

Rough House Rosie (1927)

lost film
restored trailer print still exists at UCLA

This film is about a poor working girl who tries to better herself. It also features Clara Bow in a boxing scene as she helps her lover win his boxing match.
A print of the film was available in the 1960s but Paramount would not give permission to preserve it and now it is disintegrated. One important film historian and collector begged the studio for permission to get it preserved. The unsympathetic Paramount studio chiefs did not want to bother with a project that could not make profits for them. This film is now lost.

 

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Rough House Rosie, Clara …

 


 

Hula (1927)

35mm print available
DVD available

Directed by Victor Fleming. This was in the top ten of box office hits of 1927. Wild child Hula Calhoun (Bow), brought up in Hawaii, falls for a married British engineer based on the island. And then his wife turns up.

 

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Hula, 1927

 


 

Get Your Man (1927)

35mm print available – incomplete – at Library of Congress

Directed by Dorothy Arzner. Clara Bow plays a woman in Paris who falls for a handsome nobleman. Chaos ensues in this romantic comedy.

 

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Get Your Man, 1927

 


 

Red Hair (1928)

lost film
short clip has been restored

Shot on location at Ocean Park, Catalina Island in California.This film featured a Technicolor segment featuring Clara’s famous red hair. Clara Bow plays Bubbles McCoy, a manicurist criticised for accepting expensive gifts from men. Directed by Clarence G. Badger.

 

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Red Hair, 1928

 


 

Ladies of the Mob (1928)

lost film

This crime drama was directed by William A. Wellman who also directed Clara Bow in Wings.

The daughter of a gangster criminal tries to reform the man she has fallen in love with. Costumes were designed by both Travis Banton and Edith Head.

 


 

The Fleet’s In (1928)

lost film

Location shots took place at San Pedro and San Francisco in California.
Dancer Peaches Deane helps to welcome sailors on shore leave from the Pacific Fleet.

 


 

Three Weekends (1928)

lost film
restored fragments only

This film was based on a story by Elinor Glyn, “It” girl author. Also directed by Clarence G. Badger. Clara Bow plays a nightclub singer who sets out to bag herself a millionaire playboy

 

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Three Weekends, 1929

 


 

Wings (made and shown in 1927 – general release 1929)

35mm print available
DVD available

Shot on location in San Antonio, Texas.
This epic war film won the first ever Academy Award for best picture. directed by William A. Wellman. A tale of two small-town rivals who become WWI combat pilots.

Clara Bow portrays the young woman who joins the war efforts in order to follow one of the pilots.

 


 

The Wild Party (1929)

Clara Bow’s first talkie
35mm print available

Directed by Dorothy Arzner. It’s Clara’s first talkie. In order to keep up with the new medium that other studios were trying, it was decided to make this one a talkie. Clara was given just two weeks to prepare. Clara’s voice holds up well especially when we know how terrified she was of the microphone. She plays wild college girl Stella who has to ignore rumours about her and win the respect of her college professor.

 

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The Wild Party, Clara Bow…

 


 

Dangerous Curves (1929)

35mm print available
video available

Clara plays a circus performer in love with a trapeze artist but things get complicated. It’s a strangely familiar circus melodrama.

 

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Dangerous Curves, Clara B…

 


 

The Saturday Night Kid (1929)

restored 35mm print available
DVD available

Clara Bow tries to handle her dishonest little sister whilst her boyfriend tries to get her back in this romantic comedy. This is also the first appearance of Jean Harlow and co-stars Jean Arthur.

 


 

Paramount on Parade (1930)

35mm print available – incomplete at UCLA
DVD available

Clara sings! A musical all-star review that unites Paramount Pictures movie stars in one film. The film is in 20 segments and has some colour sequences. Clara sings ‘True to the Navy’ surrounded by the Navy.

 


 

True to the Navy (1930)

preserved 35mm print available

Clara sings again! In this film Clara acts alongside her future husband Rex Bell. She plays a girl with many sailor boyfriends yet has fallen for one man who does not want to be tied down. Directed by Frank Tuttle.

 

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True to the Navy, 1930

 


 

Love Among the Millionaires (1930)

restored 35mm print available

Waitress falls for a rich man without the approval of his father in this romantic musical comedy.

 

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Love Among the Millionair…

 


 

Her Wedding Night (1930)

35mm print available

Directed by Frank Tuttle. US movie star marries the wrong guy in a case of mistaken identity.

 

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Her Wedding Night, Clara …

 


 

No Limit (1931)

35mm print available


This was a box-office flop.
Now owned by Universal, it remains somewhat deteriorated. In fact, most of Clara’s
talkies are in need of some sort of restoration work. Directed by Frank Tuttle and some great Art Deco sets. Clara plays a theatre usher who gets involved with a gambling den.

 


 

Kick In (1931)

restored 35mm print available

A couple gets involved in a serious crime.

 


 

Call Her Savage (1932)

restored 35mm print available at MoMa
DVD available

Made for Fox Film Corporation, Clara signed a $250,000 contract for two movies. She was also given the freedom of more creative control. Not a box office smash at all but praised by the critics as a great return for Clara Bow.

Clara plays a wild woman rebelling against her father and doing exactly as she pleases. Includes an interesting pre-Code scene in a gay bar and themes of prostitution and adultery. It is quite an interesting film in terms of some of its racy scenes.

 


 

Hoop-La (1933)

restored 35mm print available at MoMa

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Hoopla, 1933

 

Directed by Frank Lloyd. Clara plays a circus belly dancer seductress with a heart of gold. Bow was knocked out during the brawl sequence. Harry Wood, an extra, admitted that he accidentally hit her after suspicion fell on Harvey Perry, who, the rushes showed, had the previous day been kicked in the face by Bow, which caused his nose to spurt blood.
Clara Bow’s final scene in her final film is a belly dance, acted emotionally with no words. A fitting and poignant way to end a silent film icon’s career.


Read Clara Bow’s biography here at V is for Vintage. Or why not recreate the 1920s flapper look here?

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