Clara Bow

Not every day do silent film stars of yesteryear find their way back into the limelight. The namesake of the final title track on Taylor Swift’s upcoming album Tortured Poets’ Society, Clara Bow lies on the brink of such a rare moment in the modern mainstream media. Today’s world’s most popular performer is about to expose millions more to the world’s biggest star of nearly a century ago.

I suspect the following days and weeks will see tons of tired rumors resurface about Clara Bow’s personal life from well-meaning people unfamiliar with her and early Hollywood. I’ve already seen plenty of popular sites mess up on simple things like the release dates of her films!

To prepare both Swifites and non-Swifties alike for Clara Bow’s increased visibility, I’ve turned a recent presentation I gave on Bow’s life and career into a twenty-minute YouTube video. Filled with a plethora of pictures and facts from her onscreen and offscreen life, my video presentation will give anyone a rundown of Clara Bow’s childhood, career highlights, personal life, and legacy.

It’s not often in my interest in silent movies lends itself to comment on current popular culture so I plan on reveling in it while it all lasts. Luckily as a big fan of hers, I have read Bow’s biography and seen her in numerous silent and sound films over the years. Fingers crossed the added publicity will convince more labels to release many of Clara’s films too many of which remain collecting dust in archives or floating around in crappy public domain versions online.

Alongside watching my video, check out my book review of the definite Clara Bow biography—David’s Stenn’s Runnin’ Wild— and my complete list of surviving Clara Bow silent and sound films on Letterboxd. Enjoy discovering or re-discovering the wonderful star Clara Bow!

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