Cinefest 2012 GET YOUR MAN (Paramount –Famous Lasky Corp., 1927)

Directed by Dorothy Arzner.  With: Clara Bow (Nancy Worthington), Charles “Buddy” Rogers (Robert De Bellecontre), Josef Swickard (Duc de Bellecontre), Josephine Dunn (Simone de Villeneuve), Harvey Clarke (Marquis de Villeneuve), Frances Raymond (Mrs. Worthington)


“Clara Bow and Charles Buddy Rogers in a light romance made especially for Young America” is how Photoplay Magazine described the re-pairing of Clara Bow and Charles “Buddy” Rogers after their blockbuster hit, WINGS, made earlier that year. Based upon the play, “Tu m’epouseras” (1922) by Louis Verneuil, GET YOUR MAN is a formula Clara Bow feature in which an amorous American tourist, Clara, discovers and falls for Buddy, an already betrothed Frenchman. She crashes her automobile outside of his chateau and eventually wins over both “her man” and his family. It contained all of the elements of what had become a Bow feature film: slightly naughty situations (such as the couple being locked together overnight in a wax museum), fast cars, superb camerawork by Alfred Gilks, snappy title cards by George Marion, great clothes by Edith Head and —even more important — getting Clara out of her clothes.


There is admirable direction by Dorothy Arzner who had heard rumors that men populated a Bow stage, so the director set her ground rules: “I told her, I don’t want a lot of men around here, and I don’t want a lot of nonsense going on.” Arzner was astonished on how well Clara complied with her request and noted, “She was just automatically a natural. A marvelous actress, full of animation and projection of her thoughts and emotions… she understood the emotional content of every scene. Whatever way she did it was so right, so alive. It was like a dancing flame on the screen.” Their collaboration jelled so well that Ms. Arzner brought the film in for $200,000, which was 15% less than either of Clara Bow’s previous opuses, HULA or ROUGH HOUSE ROSIE.


It is sad to relate that, due to studio negligence, a reel of the photoplay has been allowed to be lost, but it really doesn’t affect the continuity of the story as it occurs during the extended overnight stay in the wax museum, while gazing at the famous lovers of the past.


Joseph Yranski