A History of “It” Girls: The First



“Of all the lovely young ladies I’ve met in Hollywood,” proclaimed Madame Glyn, “Clara Bow has ‘It.’” Glyn was paid $50,000 by Bow’s studio, Paramount, for this single endorsement, and it was worth its weight in gold. Bow was a hellion, a young girl from Brooklyn whose mentally disturbed mother tried to kill her with a butcher knife to keep her out of movies; she was mercilessly exploited by Paramount, churning out programmer after programmer in her prime years, attaining stardom with Dancing Mothers and Mantrap (both 1926), and hitting her peak with It (1927), a film based on Glyn’s book that features Bow at her frisky best as a shopgirl in love with the son of her boss (Antonio Moreno, who also had “It,” according to Glyn, though the concept of “It” boys has never really caught on). Bow’s fame did not survive sound, or the sordid tales of her messy private life.

Previous Next

Did you like this article?
Give it a vote for a Golden Bowtie


Keyframe is always looking for contributors.

"Writer? Video Essayist? Movie Fan Extraordinaire?

Fandor is streaming on Amazon Prime

Love to discover new films? Browse our exceptional library of hand-picked cinema on the Fandor Amazon Prime Channel.