Skip to main content

The Vault: It (1927)


It's pretty entertaining, and an interesting view on what has and hasn't changed in society in the past 80ish years. Society is still pretty sexist and classist; the film makes some criticisms of these tendencies, but given the time it was made (1927), they aren't too sharp.

The film stars Clara Bow as the original and titular "It Girl."

The "It" that the film revolves around is the quality of being desirable without being self-conscious of the fact. The heroine exploits her it quality to wrap her rich boss all the way around her little finger, all while bending to his every whim. There's a bit of dissonance between who's actually pulling the strings in the relationship, but it's made clear that she wants to marry a rich man and live a life of leisure. So the film is not exactly civil rights movement material.

In fact, the whole production is reminiscent of the theory of the male gaze.

So there's enough going on in the film to get this socially conscious critic's non-existent back hairs to stand up, but it's still quite enjoyable. The film is buoyed by the charming performances of the lead actress and of the supporting cast.

It's also tremendously culturally significant, and fascinating inasmuch as you could take the exact same plot and transplant it into the 70s or 80s without changing a plot point and it would all fit. To demonstrate, it was pointed out to me that 16 Candles borrows heavily from It.

It is worth seeing, both as a light-hearted, if somewhat dated, comedy, and as a fascinating bit of cultural anthropology.

Popular posts from this blog

Hulk vs. The Incredible Hulk vs. The Avengers

There are two movies about the Hulk and one that features the green monster as a major player. One was made in 2003 by an auteur, starring a little-known Aussie. Five years later The Incredible Hulk came out to the same tepid reaction as Ang Lee's Hulk did. This weekend, The Avengers made the Hulk as popular as he has been in a long time. So it comes down to this: Hulk vs. Hulk vs. Hulk. Who will smash whom?

Round One: Acting
Edward Norton outshines Eric Bana as the dual persona of the meek Bruce Banner and the rage-induced Hulk. Eric Bana was given little to do but run and fight and often the audience was just waiting for him to transform. With the Incredible Hulk, Norton's Banner is fully fleshed-out and we are given a reason to care about him. Being allowed to go a little dark with Banner's scenes questioning what is left of his life provided emotional resonance to the character that Hulk lacked. Yet even with the capable performance that Norton gives there was something …

Review: The Salvation

Westerns have never recovered from the oversaturation that killed off viewer interest decades ago, but every now and then a gem pops up. Recent successes like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma and the Coen brothers adaptation of True Grit all did well because they tweaked the genre slightly, but director Kristian Levring goes with an old school approach. A faithful recreation of those revenge Westerns made so popular in the 1970s, The Salvation envelopes many elements of previous Clint Eastwood classics and wraps it into a tidy package.

The Salvation starts in on the central dilemma, joining Jon (Hannibal‘s Mad Mikkelsen) at the train station where he awaits the arrival of his wife and son. Jon and his brother, Peter (Mikael Persbrandt), have lived in the United States long enough to build a hospitable life for their family back in Denmark. This homecoming should be a sweet moment to establish the family important to Jon, but fate plays out…

Review: The Voices

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) spends his days working the nine-to-five shift at his new job at the Milton Bathtub Factory. Jerry is chipper to the point that he may turn some people off, but he never stops trying to make friends. Friends are something that Jerry could use because the only other conversation he has is with his dog Bosco and his cat Mr. Whiskers. Things are looking up though, Jerry has been tasked with planning the company picnic and he’s asked a girl (Gemma Arterton) out on a date. Jerry is so excited to share the news he rushes home to tell his pets about Fiona. Oddly enough, both Bosco and Mr. Whiskers start talking back.

No need to go back and re-read that last sentence, yes, Ryan Reynolds has pets who talk back to him. His dog, Bosco, is quite affable, however, his cat, Mr. Whiskers, would feel right at home curled in the lap of Blofeld. Unfortunately for everyone around him, it’s the advice of the evil cat that Jerry heeds more often than not. For all of Jerry’s pleasant…