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Clara Bow: Hollywood's Lost Screen Goddess (2012)

A documentary looking at the life, films, and troubled times of America's first sex symbol, screen actress Clara Bow, featuring interviews and archive footage. It takes a look at why she is considered the 'Lost Screen Goddess'.

Director:

Tony Dimond
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clara Bow ... Herself / Various Characters (archive footage)
Haydn Gwynne ... Herself - Narrator (voice)
David Stenn ... Himself - Biographer
Leonard Maltin ... Himself - Critic
Kevin Brownlow Kevin Brownlow ... Himself - Film Historian
Baby Peggy ... Herself - Former Child Star (as Diana Serra Cary)
William Wellman Jr. ... Himself - Actor and Film Historian
Mark Bridges ... Himself - Costume Designer
Elinor Glyn ... Herself (archive footage)
Richard Arlen ... Himself (archive footage)
Louise Brooks ... Herself (archive footage)
Rex Bell ... Himself (archive footage)
Paula Garrett Paula Garrett ... Herself - Walking Box Ranch
Ralph Edwards ... Himself - Presenter Truth or Consequences (voice) (archive footage)
Jacob Kazanjian Jacob Kazanjian ... Himself - Former Psychiatric Aide
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Storyline

A documentary looking at the life, films, and troubled times of America's first sex symbol, screen actress Clara Bow, featuring interviews and archive footage. It takes a look at why she is considered the 'Lost Screen Goddess'.

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Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 December 2012 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Beyond the Rainbow (1922) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Straightforward Retelling of a Reclusive Star's Life
5 November 2015 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

Born into poverty in Brooklyn, Clara Bow had a troubled childhood with a schizophrenic mother and an alcoholic father who raped her when she was a teenager. Without any formal education or dramatic training, her real break came when she won a "search for a star" competition with the prize of a supporting role in a silent film. From then on she went from strength to strength; despite her lack of training, she had one of those photogenic faces that loved the camera, and by her mid- twenties she was attracting more mail than the entire population of an American small town.

Yet her meteoric rise had its downsides too. Never one to hide her personality under a bushel, Bow was quite open about her life, leading a hedonistic existence that involved several love-affairs as well as an over-indulgence in alcohol. During the "Flapper" era of the Twenties this was considered acceptable behavior, but after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the subsequent Depression, attitudes changes. Bow's lifestyle came under increasing critical scrutiny, culminating in a series of scurrilous articles making totally false allegations about her. She made her last film in 1933 at the age of only twenty-eight.

Thereafter she retired to become a recluse, at first living with her husband on a ranch near Las Vegas; and when he died of a heart- attack, moving to a modest bungalow in a suburb of Los Angeles. Her films were virtually forgotten; and it was only when she died in 1965 at the comparatively young age of 60 that people remembered her.

Tony Dimond's film told a traditional rags to riches to rags story, but suggested that Clara Bow did not really regret anything she had done. Perhaps the most telling reminiscences were contributed by former child star Diana Serra Cary (aka Baby Peggy), who talked about her generosity of spirit in front of the cameras and on the film-set, traits that were not always evident off-screen.


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