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Clara Bow (1905 - 1965)


Clara Bow (July 29, 1905 - September 27, 1965) was an American actress and sex symbol, best known for her film work in the 1920s and early 1930s. To some, Bow was the era's archetype of the flapper. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Bow [Oct 2004]

Sex on the silver screen [...]

Clara Bow invented the notion of sex on the silver screen. She was the first actress who visibly flaunted her sex appeal and, in turn, became the most talked-about resident of Hollywood. Idolized by Louise Brooks in the 20s, Marilyn Monroe in the 50s, and Madonna in the 80s, Clara was an icon of sexual freedom for women everywhere. But beneath Clara's radiant, carefree laughter hid a pain that she couldn't ignore forever. --http://www.clarabow.net/biography/biography.html

Elinor Glyn (1864 - 1943)

Elinor Glyn (October 17, 1864 - September 23, 1943), born Nellie Sutherland in Jersey, was the author of It, Three Weeks, Beyond the Rocks, and other novels in a similarly softcore vein. She was also the sister of Titanic survivor and fashion designer Lady Lucy Duff Gordon.

Although her writing would not be considered scandalous by 21st century standards, she pioneered mass-market women's erotic fiction. She coined the use of It as a euphemism for sexuality, or sex appeal.

On the back of the popularity and notoriety of her books, she moved to Hollywood where she promoted the concept of the vamp, helping to make a star of actress Clara Bow (the It Girl).

A scriptwriter for the early movie industry, she also had a brief career as one of the earliest female directors. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elinor_Glyn [Apr 2005]

See also: It

It (1927) - Josef von Sternberg, Clarence G. Badger

It (1927) - Josef von Sternberg, Clarence G. Badger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

It is famous for turning cutie-pie Clara Bow into, as critic David Thomson described her, "the first mass-market sex symbol." Somewhat overshadowed by this phenomenon is the fact that It is also a terrifically entertaining picture, an effortless cruise through the manners and morals of the flapper era. Bow plays a shopgirl who sets her saucer eyes on her boss (Antonio Moreno); it isn't terribly hard to land him, since she possesses dazzle, charm, spunk... in a word, "It." And if we're still not sure what "It" is, there's a moment of high camp hilarity when matronly author Elinor Glyn, who penned the original definition of "It," strides through the movie and delivers herself of its meaning. Actually, Bow's delightful performance does more to define "It" than anything else, and her unabashed sexiness (which didn't play well after sound came in) clearly sets the future course for Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. --Robert Horton, Amazon.com

From the Back Cover
Clara Bow was the brightest star of the Jazz Age and its hottest sex symbol; after this movie, fans had a new name for her: the "It Girl." Bow portrays Betty Lou Spence, a beautiful, sassy, self-confident sales girl at the Waltham Department Store, where she eyes Cyrus, the handsome son of the store's owner. It's love at first sight and the chase is on in one of the greatest romantic comedies of the silent era! Misunderstandings, love, sex, and a ukelele all come together in the film's hilarious...

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