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It (1927): The Birth of a Nation

It (Clarence Badger, 1927)


photo credit: Rolling Blackout Pictures

The first It Girl.

The term “It Girl” has become a cultural artifact; you say it now and pretty much everyone in America knows what you’re talking about. However, Clarence Badger’s 1927 silent film It, which coined the term, has faded into obscurity. I got a chance to watch it recently and, to be kind, I understand why. Which is not to say it’s a bad film in any way, but it’s quite generic.

The plot is simple as can be: Betty Lou (the ravishing Clara Bow), the “It Girl” of the title, sets her sights on Cyrus Waltham (The Searchers‘ Antonio Moreno), the handsome, rich son of the owner of the department store where she works. Yep, that’s it, no pun intended; she spends an hour and twelve minutes trying to get her man. (And since it’s a comedy, you know how that’s gonna turn out, right?) Needless to say, if you’re a Clara Bow fan, it’s worth watching because you get to see her do her thing. And while I’m more of a Lillian Gish guy, you gotta admit, Clara Bow is hands down one of the sexiest women ever to appear on film. This isn’t seventy-two minutes you’re going to regret spending—though you’ll probably have forgotten pretty much everything about it except Ms. Bow after a couple of weeks. ***


Hot dogs that sizzle and satisfy!

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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