Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Plastic Age

Last night I watched the cutest movie, The Plastic Age, starring Clara Bow. I adore these kind of silents. It had fun flappers, speakeasies, college life in the 1920s, and just focused on youth during the Roaring Twenties. There are a couple of interesting things I wanted to point out about this film, so when YOU have a chance to see it, you can look for yourself!

Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, and Janet Gaynor appear in the film as college students. Unfortunately, the only one I was able to spot was Clark. He is spotted up on a bridge having some one on one time with a female friend. He is also in the locker room scene. The ears give him away. I tried rewinding and pausing to try and spot Janet and Carole, but I couldn't find them.  I've seen Carole in an earlier silent, and she looks different than in her talkie years, so that wasn't helping. Let me know if you happen to spot them!

This film marked Gilbert Roland's first big role in a film. He was a mighty fine looking man, if I may say so. But, is it just me, or are Gilbert Roland and John Gilbert the same person?

Gilbert was of course one of Clara's many beaus, but they were pretty serious. At one point, he asked Clara's father for her hand in marriage, but SHE was the one who said no. She would frequently tell people, "Nobody's gonna own me!" Rex Bell apparently knocked down that independent, care free attitude.

There is one point in the film when the football team scores a touchdown, and the camera cuts to the team celebrating on the bench. There is this one moron who throws himself on the ground repeatedly to "celebrate." I was watching it just in complete WTF...

One kinda confusing part of the film was during the big dance and couples keep sneaking off into a secret room and coming out all loopy, and in one case, crying. We never get to peek behind the curtain though, we just have to gauge the people's faces coming out. Ummm, were they doing crack? They would only be in the room for a few minutes and come out acting goofy, and since you can't get immediately drunk...Who knows?! Like the song goes, ANYTHING GOES!

This was the movie that helped make Clara Bow famous. Of course, her biggest film was 1927's It, but this film put her right in the public's eye.

The film was based off the book of the same name by Percy Marks, a professor at Dartmouth.


  1. I just happened also to re-watch this a couple weeks ago. (See Ghosts of Presents Past: ) It is indeed a window to the 20s through which it is worth peering. I didn't spot Carole or Janet either. It's a curious thing that college movies preceded high school movies as a genre even though very few people went to college in the 1920s. Of course, most of the audience wasn't rich either, but had no trouble relating to rich characters, so I suppose imagining college wasn't that much of a stretch for them.

  2. Hey Richard! Thanks for stopping by! Glad to know my eyes were working fine and that Janet and Carole are just lost somewhere among the crowd. I like how you made the connection between the film and the rumors about Clara Bow and the USC football team. I mean, I know the girl was a partier, but a whole football team? That rumor needs to die!

    Good point too about college. It is funny to see college students all dressed up in their suits and walking around campus. If someone wore a suit on campus nowadays, people would wonder what they have going on. Usually they are like me, wear sweats to class! Going to college as a flapper though? Zowee!!

  3. I havent seen the plastic age completely yet, only a few clips but i definetly will. I love Clara bow, shes one of my favorites.

  4. Definitely check it out Suilyaniz!

  5. I will have to see this one! If nothing else the ad campaign compels me to do so!

  6. Any Clara Bow movie is great, Circe! Flappers and Clara...can't lose!

  7. We think Carole may have been one of the girls watching the fight scene at the log cabin. Time est. 45:24 . The blonde with wavy hair. (Not the blonde dancing with Carl)

    1. Now I am gonna have to go back and watch it again! Thank you, Ryan!