It is a true silent film classic, and in this article guest blogger Venus presents an overview of some of the reviews that the picture received during its original theatrical exhibition :
As everyone who reads my blog knows, I LOVE Clara Bow! And, as everyone who reads my Clara Bow posts knows, I LOVE It! So, naturally, I needed to do a wonderful vintage review post on this holiest of films. So without further adieu, here ya go:
“At last Elinor Glyn has sidestepped her famous royal characters and has given us a story of the everyday working girl. And Clara Bow is the girl – so you know what to expect. Clara is just marvelous as the peppy little saleslady who has IT personified. From all appearances Clara is the only person who will fill the niche in Paramount stardom left vacant by Gloria Swanson. And Paramount feels the same way – just watch Clara from now on. Good stuff.” – Photoplay: March, 1927 .
“If you don’t know what ‘it’ is, it’s time you did! Read the story in Cosmo, then see Clara Demonstrate just what ‘it’ can do.” – Photoplay: Febuary, 1927 .
“It, Hell! She had Those!” – Dorothy Parker.
“A real treat” Chicago Reader.
“The script, smartly, stays out of her way. Bow is herself: the true and original ‘It-Girl,’ and Betty Lou, as scripted, is sharp and self-aware. We never believe that her quest for Cyrus is a quest for status; she laughs at the idea of a shop-girl on a yacht, never tries to blend with the rich folks she meets and (we suspect) would never want to. Her heart can be broken, but she will always be a clear-eyed person; complex, complete and so very, lovably, alive.” – Silent Volume.
“If ever a star was made by public demand, it was Clara Bow.” – Adela Rogers St. Johns
“(‘It’ is) Elinore Glyn’s idea of the flapper of the future, demonstrated by Clara Bow. The New Siren’s apeal will be purely intellectual, well, almost.” – Photoplay: April, 1927 .
And my personal favorite: “Ya know, I ain’t real sure” – Clara Bow’s answer to what “it” really is .
B.T.W. Also, I’d like to make the point that in 1927, Clara possessed four of the top ten spots at the box office. She was at #2 with Wings (which was only bested by The Jazz Singer), at #3 with It, at #6 with Children of Divorce (her first dramatic lead), and at #10 with Hula. No star before or since has held this many spots in the top ten; not Greta Garbo, not Charlie Chaplin, not Mary Pickford, not Rudolph Valentino, not Theda Bara, not anybody.
Venus is a classic film lover whose views on cinema can be found at They Had Faces!