It

"Good"

It Review


The easiest comparison is to think of Clara Bow ("The 'It' Girl") as having been to her era what Madonna was to the 1980s: She was smart, vivacious, she showed a relatively generous amount of skin, and she was keyed into the trends of the moment -- those that she didn't herself pioneer -- with pinpoint accuracy. Bow's era was the '20s -- the Jazz Age -- and she was the literal poster child of that historical moment. She wore her brunette hair short, she favored abbreviated hemlines, and, like the Material Girl herself, she projected a make-do, underdog attitude that always won over the guy in the end.

She wasn't called the "It" Girl because it was hard to determine her sex. On the contrary. Rather, the sobriquet comes from the title of the 1927 vehicle that sealed her fame, a film called, in its entirety, It. Taken from a novel by Elinor Glyn, It tells the story of a department store clerk named Betty (Bow) who lures the handsome heir (Antonio Moreno) to the store away from his society girlfriend, thus overcoming the disadvantage of an impoverished, downtown, single girl life. Along the way there are the usual misunderstandings and scandalous goings-on that still fill in the blanks in romantic comedies to this day. (In this instance the dupe is a man named Monty (William Austin) who memorably addresses himself as "old fruit" and his best friend as "old thing.")

And just what is this "it"? As defined by Glyn (who also produced, and who makes an appearance in the film), "it" is that quality of attractiveness, unself-consciously wielded by its bearer, that renders the opposite sex helpless and agog. Bow, as you will have guessed, has "it," as does Moreno (a Spaniard who made a career of playing the Latin lover opposite such "it"-endowed actresses as Pola Negri and Greta Garbo); the unlucky girlfriend and Monty do not. In other words, "it" is still what "it" is today.

It was quite a hit in its day, and even at a remove of many decades it's easy to see why. The fact is that Bow does have "it"; she appears in nearly every frame of the picture and threatens to burst out of every one. Her presence is magnetic, and she exudes an energy so chaotic that she seems unable to hold still: She sways from side to side, bounces, dances in place, rolls her eyes. She embodies the franticness of a notoriously frantic era (the crash was still two years away) and watching her here you're sorry all over again that it had to come to an end. The movie is in her sway, but its appeal is apparent, too: It's fast, cleverly written, and it shines in comparison to its now-clunky, silent peers.

It is newly available from Milestone Films, a company with a fine track record of restoring important period films to the video shelves. Extras include an audio commentary from film historian Jeanine Basinger, a stills gallery, and a DVD-ROM feature with production notes from director Clarence Badger.

The It parade.



It

Facts and Figures

Run time: 192 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 18th November 1990

Distributed by: Warner Home Video

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Brian Setzer as vocals, guitar

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.