UCLA Festival of Preservation
(Victor Fleming, USA, 1926, 35mm, 75 min)
Part of our Silent Starlet Double Feature!
Saturday, Nov 09 at 07:00PM
When two city slickers decide to get away for a relaxing camping trip in Mantrap, their plans are turned inside out by Alverna, a bored local housewife, who quickly awakens her husband's jealousy by flirting with the visitors. But when the men fighting for her begin to fight over her future, whoor whatwill Alverna finally choose?
Paramount Pictures paid $50,000 for Sinclair Lewis' long and justifiably forgotten novel, Mantrap, but happily, the female screenwriters turned Lewis' misogynistic tirade into a funny comedy romp that is light as a feather. The credit goes to Clara Bow who represents an erotic whirlwind in an otherwise womanless Western wilderness; an outrageous, good-time girl who leads at least two men by the nose, but nevertheless eventually honors her commitment--at least until the next interesting prospect comes along.
Bow, of course, perfectly embodied the Jazz Age, the first era in American history to celebrate women's sexuality as something other than a function of man's desire. Although Bow had at that point made over thirty films in four years, Mantrap was her breakthrough. Variety noted almost ecstatically in its review of the film: "Clara Bow! And how! What a 'mantrap' she is! And how the picture is going to make her!... Miss Bow just walks away with the picture from the moment she steps into camera range."
Preservation funding for Mantrap provided by David Stenn.
Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122