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

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Advertisement
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

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.