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Friday, May 2, 2014

Cinema Spotlight-Clara Bow in Parisian Love


Parisian Love, 1925, is a silent film starring legendary flapper actress Clara Bow.   Made before Clara's big hit, 1927's, It, it was never the less an important film in her career.    By the time she made Parisian Love, Clara already had a few hits under her belt with Down in The Sea of Ships and, Wine (1924) and Poisoned Paradise (1924).   At a time when most American's went to the movies several times a week Clara Bow was a major star gracing the cover of quite a few photo magazines.

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So audiences would have flocked to Parisian Love.  


In the film Clara plays a more serious role then she does in later comic pictures like It (1927) and Hula (1927).  Her character Marie a member of the Apaches, a Parisian street gang, 
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who is deeply in love with Armand, another gang member.  


 Armand and Marie participate in a robbery of the house of a famous scientist, Pierre, and during the course of the robbery Armand protects Pierre from being stabbed, who in turn shelters the injured Armand from the police.  Pierre begins to make over Armand, attempting to turn him into a member of polite society. 
 
 A jilted Marie vows revenge and hatches a plot to seduce Pierre and then break his heart, as hers' was broken. 

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The plot is very heavy on the melodrama and it doesn't endure the modern age as well as Clara Bow's comic films in my opinion.

The film does have some fantastic 1920s fashion though.   In the early part of the film when she is playing the role of street tough Clara smolders in beatnicky bohemian fashions with a masculine edge.

In the following clip she dances wildly in a smoke filled Parisian café.



When Clara later cleans herself up to charm Pierre she wears more glamorous flapper dresses:
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At the end of the film Clara wears an amazingly frothy wedding dress:

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That really captures the beauty of  1920s bridal style.

  I'd say this might not be the best silent film for beginners to the genre to start with.  The melodrama elements will seem strange to people unfamiliar with silent films and it is a little long with an imperfect print.  In general I think the silent comedies age better, but I still think this is a fascinating film particularly from a fashion perspective and I don't believe in ever missing a chance to see Clara Bow!

6 comments:

  1. My husband is a big silent movie buff. Love the old clips and movie posters!

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  2. I love seeing all the old photo's. I went through your blog the other night, showing Daddy all your pictures and your retro clothes. He loved it xxxoxxxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

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  3. I think the comedy is more physical and tends to carry the theme easier for a modern audience. Audiences of the time were used to the dramas without voice, but for modern audiences used to verbal communications, the silent dramas can be less absorbing.

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  4. She was a real icon of her time.
    Lynne x

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  5. We agree she was a real icon of her time and we loved seeing all the old clips and posters too. Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

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