Maytime (1923) Available to Watch on the NFPF Website!

Clara as Alice Tremaine. Don't you just love her dark-laced gloves?

Clara as Alice Tremaine. Don’t you just love her dark-laced gloves?

Well, looks like Clara’s 1923 film Maytime is on the National Film Preservation Website!

Watch Maytime!

Maytime was discovered in 2009 at the New Zealand Film Archive (among about 75 other silent films). The film was preserved at the Colorlab Corporation, supervised by the Library of Congress and funded by David Stenn.

Clara plays the supporting role of Alice Tremaine, a friend of Ottilie van Zandt (Ethel Shannon) who sports fashionable dark-laced gloves. Maytime was one of Clara’s earliest roles (her fifth film, in fact), and her first film for Schulberg. The final reels are missing, alas, but at least we get to see nearly an hour of one of Clara’s previously lost films! Also, keep an eye out for Martha Mattox as Mathilda – you might recognize her from 1927’s The Cat and the Canary!

Clara Bow says to Clara Bow: Photoplay

20120629_149 copy

Says Clara Bow to Clara Bow

Our busy camera catches the two separate and distinct Clara Bows that make the Brooklyn ball of fire such a complex and interesting gal. The Clara to the left is the carefree madcap of her frothier films – the Bow above is the somber, meditative girl who stops to wonder, now and then, whether the buggy ride called Life is worth all the wear and tear. Says the lower Bow to the upper Bow – “Wake up and live, kid! Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you’ll be fat, feeble and fifty!” Says the upper Bow – “Pipe down! Life isn’t so sweet and easy. You’ll have a headache in the morning!”

Photoplay. Photographs by Eugene Robert Richee.

That Awful “It”!: Photoplay (July 1930)

That Awful “It”!

Clara Bow detests the little word that made her famous

Clara Bow’s hair is red and so are her fingernails. Neither hue is nature’s. The hair was a sort of red to begin with, but Clara had varying ideas on the matter from time to time. So it’s been everything from blonde to brunette. Now it’s such a red that even Katherine Albert, with all her wizardry of words, couldn’t call it anything but “red red” when she tried to describe it, As for her fingernails, Clara used to polish ’em pink, but since Paris has gone in for real color, “pink” isn’t the adequate word. “Red” is nearer.

Clara gestures with her eyebrows, yet she hasn’t got any. That’s just one of a thousand-and-one paradoxes that make up the Bow. Her eyebrows are either shaved or plucked to a virtual nothingness. Where they once were, she wears heavy makeup – almost as heavy for street wear as for the camera. When she talks, she emphasizes her ideas with eyebrow-movings that go even Adolphe Menjou one better, rather than gesturing with her hands.

Time and clocks are just one of the many things that make life so complicated for her. She’s never on time at the studio. But when she gets to work, she’s a hound for keeping at it! It’s more of a job stopping her than starting her. Same way with portrait gallery appointments. She dodges them to the utmost, but once she’s in for a sitting, she works hours at a stretch, and is the photographer’s delight, because she can take and make poses easier and faster than any other camera-subject in or out of the movies.

Appointments are precarious affairs, for quite often she simply doesn’t keep them. That’s made more interviewers mad! Her idea of Heaven is a place where she wouldn’t have to go to work until about one P.M. She hates mornings. Except for sleeping. Noon’s the time for breakfast, not lunch she says. She’s a great traveler – on paper or imagination. She was seventeen before she took her first train ride, and now she spends much of her time planning trips she never takes. The favorite places she intends to go, but never does, are Texas, the Dakota black Hills and Europe.

She simply adores Texas and people that come from that state but if you ask her why, she tells you she hasn’t the slightest idea. She insists she’s going to Europe in a few months, but she’s been insisting that for a long time now. She doesn’t care for airplane riding yet when she did go up – once, at Catalina in a seaplane, with Harry Richman, she got as much kick out of it as a kid with a beanshooter. But she’s not hot about going up again. She has two automobiles – a limousine and a sports touring car – and (at this writing) no chauffeur. Yet she doesn’t like to drive on her own. But when she does, she goes like a bad word.

And she loves boats. Sailors, too. She’s never happier than when she’s working on a picture about the navy, with lots of sailors in it, In Paramount on Parade, she sings “True to the Navy.” She’s a good sailor herself and doesn’t get seasick even in rough weather. Maybe it’s this affinity for things nautical that makes her Malibu beach cottage her favorite place. She spends most of her spare time there, enjoying the ocean and such friends as she invites.Who they are doesn’t read like “Who’s Who in Pictures.” She doesn’t pal around much with the stars. Her closest acquaintances are likely to be extra girls and prop-boys and ordinary folk like that. Strange, but Clara, who’s one of the most popular girls in the history of the screen, is one of the loneliest in Hollywood.

She doesn’t go “out” much. Prefers to stay at home for her fun. Trouble is that every place she goes, she’s mobbed by fans. And she doesn’t like it. She usually resorts to disguises like dark sunglasses and wigs to dodge crowds. She doesn’t like the radio, but buys nearly every new dance record that’s put out for her phonographs. She has three of them – a combination radio-phonograph at her in-town home, another at her beach place, and a portable phonograph in her dressing room. She rarely turns on the radio, but the phonograph is rarely still. And she likes it loud! “I’ve never seen  Red Seal record on her phonograph,” says a friend who knows her well. Baritone recordings of popular songs seem to be her prime favorites. Lon Reisman’s orchestra is her current favorite dance band. Her greatest hero is still Charles Augustus Lindbergh, and Rudolph Valentino, in her estimation, was the greatest actor, bar none, that ever lived. Her living favorite actor is Laurence Tibbett.

Her favorite sports are roller-skating and football. She does the former up and down the driveway beside her house until the crowd of watchers gets too big. Then she goes in. When football season is on, she goes to every game she can get to – and every year, she entertains the whole University of Southern California team en masse at her home. Now and then, a few of them individually. Football coaches don’t approve.

She’s wild about dogs, but can’t keep them. They either run away, get stolen or die. She’s had about one hundred and fifty altogether at various times – all kinds. She has four now. No other pets, although she once owned one of those Australian honey-bears that feed on eucalyptus leaves. She got tired of it and didn’t know how to get rid of it. So she gave it to a maid she didn’t like and then fired the maid and made her take the honey-bear with her. Her income is up in the thousand a week, yet she lives in a house a $100-a-week wage earner could maintain. She has three servants – two maids and her secretary, Daisy Devoe. Sometimes she has a chauffeur. She doesn’t like many people about in her home, and rarely gives parties or attends them.

She has little or no taste in clothes, and she has a roomful of them. The room is fitted up like the interior of a women’s clothing store, with glass cases to hold all her dresses. Skirt, scarf, sweater, low-heeled sports shoes – that’s her favorite attire. She has no color likes or dislikes. She’s very fond of exotic perfumes, and has a great collection of them. She also has quite a collection of parlor games and likes to play them – things like throwing darts at a target, or rolling balls into holes, or shooting things from popguns at marks, or the sort of thing one plays on boards, like parcheesi and checkers. She doesn’t like bridge.

Her voice is low, and when she’s not excited she talks throatily and pleasingly. But let her get excited, and up goes her voice into the shrill register. She can croon songs like nobody’s business, but if she tries to sing them in an arty fashion, it’s not so hot. She’s shrill on the high notes, but she can break your heart with a low-moaned blues song. She never thought she could sing and dance until they talked her into doing a specialty for Paramount on Parade, and now she’s delighted to find she can. Her conversation is unusually rapid and – well, peppy.

She doesn’t go to pictures much. She doesn’t like to attend the premières of her own pictures; prefers to wait a month or so and then go incognito to watch them at a neighborhood movie house some place. When she does see a picture she likes, she sees it several times. In Hollywood, she hardly ever goes to the legitimate theater, but when she’s in New York, she goes often. She has no library to speak of at her home, yet she always seems to manage to have read the book that’s being currently talked about. Probably the reason she hasn’t a book collection is because she gives them away after reading them. She’s generous to a fault, but hates to be thanked or complimented for it. It embarrasses her, and she doesn’t know how to take it gracefully. She likes sincere praise, though, but thinks flatterers are saps.

She gets an annual case of sunburn. She doesn’t do anything to avoid it, because each year she figures: This year I’ll tan, not burn! She loves the sunlight, but dislikes bright electric lights. All the lights in her home are soft and shaded. Her likes and dislikes in food and drink are few. She likes chop suey. And she has tea for breakfast instead of coffee. She dislikes personal appearances and interviewers, and would rather be a featured player than a star, because she thinks featured players can win praise by good performances, whereas a star is only talked about when she flops. She’s always very nervous when starting a new production, and then draws heavily on he stock of sedatives that are always by her bedside.

She is heartily sick of the word “IT” and wishes people would quit asking her what “IT” is, because she doesn’t know, herself. She gets thousands of fan letters a week and rarely answers any of them. Nevertheless, she attaches great importance to the sentiments and opinions therein. She hates artificiality and poseurs, and is herself one of the most unaffected persons on pictures. She dislikes gossip and is unquestionably one of the most gossiped-about women in Hollywood. She admits having been madly in love with four men – Gilbert Roland, Victor Fleming, Gary Cooper and Harry Richman. And as this is being written she still insists she’s going to marry Richman.

P.S. – But since it was written Rex Bell seems to be the heavy boy friend. Oh, the bow and the weather!


  1. If there’s one thing Clara Bow likes more than another, it’s roller-skating up and down the concrete driveway outside her modest home. But when the crowd gets too thick she just retires
  2. Clara gets seasick – but she loves the Navy!
  3. La Bow is crazy for perfumes and parlor games

Photoplay, July of 1930. Written by Michael Woodward. Illustrated by Arthur Crouch.

10 Steps in the Making of a Movie: Photoplay (March 1928) Part 3

Ten Steps in the Making of a Movie

  1. Not a camera has ground yet. Nor can any real filming begin until Van Nest Polglanze completes the designs for the settings
  2. The carpenters, under the supervision of Harry Strite, play the overture of the film with hammers and saws
  3. Tay Malarky, in the cutting room, separates the good shots from the bad and assembles the film to be first shown in the projection room before the staff, so that any necessary changes, revisions or re-takes may be made
  4. And here is the whole gang, from prop boy to director, hard at it, while directly opposite is what they are shooting at and what you will see in the film

Photoplay, March of 1928.

10 Steps in the Making of a Movie: Photoplay (March 1928) Part 2

Ten Steps in the Making of a Movie

Do you know how motion pictures really are made? Study the photographs and find out

  1. The gods in Valhalla – supervisors and department heads – tear the script to pieces and put it together again. The smoke arises not from conference cigars, but from the situations in the Glyn opus
  2. The newcomer, to the left, is Percy Heath, called in to prepare the continuity
  3. Re-enter Clara Bow, to have her costumes designed by Travis Banton of the wardrobe department

Photoplay, March of 1928.

10 Steps in the Making of a Movie: Photoplay (March 1928) Part 1

Ten Steps in the Making of a Movie

Showing the actual progress of the filming of “Red Hair”

  1. Like all good ideas, it has a casual beginning. Elinor Glyn goes on a yachting trip with Clara Bow and as the sea breezes romp through Clara’s flaming hair, Mme. Glyn gets the idea for the story
  2. Elinor Glyn sells the story to B. P. Schulberg. The producer calls in Clarence Badger, director, and Lloyd Corrigan, scenario writer. They are delegated to act as foster-fathers to Elinor’s brain child
  3. “This idea,” says Corrigan, as he works on the script,”rose, like Venus, from the waves.” And so he does his writing in the bathtub, thereby insuring a clean picture

Photoplay, March of 1928.

Clara Bow’s Secret: Photoplay (Oct 1929)

“Clara Bow’s Secret”

“You either love her or you hate her,” men all say – and then fall in love with her.

The secret’s out – Clara Bow’s secret – the secret something that brought her up from obscurity to stardom in a few short months, and kept her there. For Clara Bow does have something. It’s just as real off the screen as on it, and it’s the big reason why Hollywood herself has taken Miss Bow into her arms.

Elinor Glyn calls that something “IT”. Others call it personality. Clara Bow, in the October issue of Screen Book Magazine, defines “IT”, classifies “IT”, and even tells you how to get it! It wasn’t easy to get Miss Bow to write her story. For after all, :IT: is an intimate part of her being. She knew she’d have to boldly confess a good deal of her intimate and private life that screen stars don’t usually talk about.

But she knew the secret, and she knew it wasn’t fair to keep it. For her simple, clear explanation of hoe and why she has “IT” and how others can obtain “IT” – is something everyone should know and profit by. It was on this argument that we finally prevailed upon Miss Bow to write this story. Read “Clara Bow’s Secret” in the October issue of Screen Book Magazine. It’s on the newsstands everywhere for only 25c. For the woman who knows she’s lacking – for the wise woman who wants to improve and develop “IT”, Clara Bow’s story is bound to be of great help.

Screen Book is the newest idea in movie magazines. Everything every movie lover demands in a motion picture magazine is in Screen Book – and more! Each issue of Screen Book, in addition to Studio Gossip; News; Movie Reviews; Full-Size Gravure Portraits of the Stars; and personal stories written by the stars themselves, contains the equivalent of a $2 book-length novel complete in each issue. The October number of Screen Book contains the complete, fully illustrated novel “Madame X”, the movie of which is now sweeping the country by storm.

“Clara Bow’s Secret is only the first of a series of stories by prominent stars designed to help women improve their charms.In the November issue of Screen Book, Lupe Velez writes “How to Attract the Man,” and following issues all through the year bring you equally informative, intimate stories by other famous screen stars.

If your newsdealer is sold out of the October issue of Screen Book, take advantage of the big bargain offer described at the right.


24 Famous Screen Stars Teach You How to Make Love

French Stars show you French technique; Spanish Stars show you Spanish technique; American Stars show you American technique – all in Our Exclusive Private Collection of 12 Real Photographs showing 24 Famous Screen Stars in the Act of Making Love. These we will send you ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Among the 24 Stars who demonstrate their individual methods of kissing and embracing in this Exclusive Collection are GRETA GARBO, JOHN GILBERT, JOAN CRAWFORD, JOHN MACK BROWN, MARY DUNCAN, RAMON NAVARRO, BILLIE DOVE, CLIVE BROOK, ANITA PAGE and NILS ASTHER! The photographs are 8 by 10 inches in size and are excellent for framing.

All you have to do to get this Exclusive How-to-Make-Love Collection of Real Photographs is to send us your subscription for the next 5 issues of Screen Book at the special reduced  price of $1.

Simply pin a dollar bill or your check or money order for a dollar to the coupon below and mail it back to us. The October Screen Book with “Clara Bow’s Secret” and the Complete How-to-Make-Love Collection will be sent postpaid by return mail, and each month for the next four months an entirely new Screen Book will be forwarded postpaid. Simply Mail Coupon!

Photoplay, October of 1929.

Where Now, Clara?: Photoplay (Aug 1931) Part 2

Where Now, Clara?

Paramount sadly writes “finis” to the little Bow girl’s golden days. Can she come back – or is it curtains?

Nothing worked – not even the prayers, letters and boosting of as loyal a crowd of fans as any star ever had. The Bow pictures fell away, and those with their flapping ears to the Hollywood ground knew that it couldn’t be long. And it wasn’t! I’d feel happier about Clara’s chances now if I weren’t pretty darned sure that the day the microphone smote Hollywood was the day that she was slated inevitably for the discard.

For in the days of blessed silence she was all lure and life and sprightliness. She was blistering Youth incarnate. She was the cutest, peppiest girl in town. That rebellious hair, those outspoken eyes, that eloquent and admirable girlish figure – all spoke louder, to her fans, than any talkie apparatus yet devised. She was part and parcel of the silent screen. And when the silversheet went vocal, blooie went the illusion. The little wild-cat went self-conscious, and hence tame. She wasn’t geared for lines. That untrained and uninteresting voice came like a blow at the base of the skull. It became painfully evident that she lacked the essential equipment of an audible actress. – that the microphone had her stopped dead in her tracks.

And from that day to this she has never gotten up steam again! Without cultural background, Clara didn’t build a mental and spiritual present, as some of the greatest of our talkie stars have done. While others studied, perfected themselves and grew both as women and artists, Clara was having beaux and fun. Life was pretty much hoopla and hey-hey – punctuated by periods of black despair when she realizd that a bigger and finer parade was going by, and she wasn’t marching in it. The truth is, no doubt, that the Bow girl has never grown up in the fullest sense. In the great spiritual and mental essentials that turn a feather-brained girl into a smart and resourceful woman, Clara is still the bouncing child of “It”.

And now, for the incurable kiddishness that probably isn’t her fault at all, Clara pays. And here she is at twenty-six, with a new way to make it in the world. She’s had six years in the public heart and the big money, but it is probable she isn’t too well set financially. According to sound evidence in the public prints, appalling sums have slipped through her plump fingers. Without reticence, restraint, sound judgment, thorough training in voice and deportment – Clara’s in a tough spot, and we  can only pull hard for her and wish her the best. For not one of us forgets the pleasant and even exciting hours she gave us in the heydays not so long ago.

She’ll get more chances – plenty. For a once-great property is not going to be allowed to rust, not when it’s twenty-six years old, pretty, and sound in wind and limb. And the new chances will call for a brand new deal. What will it be? If you and I knew, we could make a million dollars for us – and for Clara Bow. The answer will be known soon. Meanwhile, Clara Bow is in exile! Is it Elba – or St. Helena?

Photoplay, August of 1931. Written by Leonard Hall.