Combustible Celluloid
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With: Clara Bow, Antonio Moreno, William Austin, Priscilla Bonner, Jacqueline Gadsden, Julia Swayne Gordon, Elinor Glyn
Written by: Hope Loring, Louis D. Lighton, George Marion Jr., based on the novel by Elinor Glyn
Directed by: Clarence G. Badger
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 72
Date: 02/15/1927

It (1927)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Silent Women

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The Milestone Collection has released two new films, both driven by powerful women and including commentary tracks by women. Ironically, from their titles alone (The Blot and It) they both sound like horror films, but one is a delightful romantic comedy and the other is a well-crafted drama.

A huge hit in its day, Clarence Badger's film It (1927) banked on the guess that star Clara Bow had "it," that certain something that caused her to be attractive and irresistible. And she did -- in spades. Based on a Cosmopolitan article by Elinor Glyn, the film tells of a department store worker, Betty Lou (Bow) who falls for the store's wealthy owner. But through a series of crossed signals and misunderstandings, they fail to get together until the very end. It's all very standard romantic-fantasy stuff, but it moves with the rhythm of a hot jazz tune, and Bow lights up every moment she's onscreen. She oozes darling personality and charm in addition to her marvelous good looks.

Note: According to the Internet Movie Database, Josef von Sternberg directed some scenes, without credit.

DVD Details: The disc comes with a delightful commentary track by Jeanine Basinger, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies at Wesleyan University. And director Badger's article on the making of the film is included in a DVD-Rom feature.

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