Sunday, September 26, 2010

Book review - "Running Wild" by David Stenn

Excellent biography of Clara Bow, who typified the 20s more than any other star, with her gum chewing and lively personality. Few movie stars seem to have been more likeable - crews loved her, she had a natural gift for the screen, she backed her family even though they ripped her off. Few had a tougher upbringing - her mum went mad and tried to kill her, she was born into extreme poverty, people were constantly mean, her studio exploited her. Mind you, she still got to make a lot of money, have a great time and sleep with heaps of famous, good looking men (Gary Cooper, Victor Fleming, Rex Bell, etc). She married a really nice guy who seems perfect for her - but mental illness made life with him impossible. No happy endings. Stenn partly rehabilitates the reputation of Bow's secretary who sued her - but the secretary still comes across as a bitch. Superbly researched and written - very moving.

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