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Dec 31, 2020

Our second Clara Bow episode pairs a couple of sharply contrasting films: a child star comedy, Helen's Babies (1924), directed by William A. Seiter, and a didactic melodrama, Capital Punishment (1925), directed by James P. Hogan, with a story by producer B. P. Schulberg. Bow has supporting roles in both; but has occasion to display her lack of inhibition as a comedian in both and her emotive skills as an actress in the second. The Schulberg film, whose premise may have influenced Fritz Lang's Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956), surprises with its pre-Depression concern for the plight of the urban poor, while the presentation of two impish tomboy girl-children in Helen's Babies, based on a popular Victorian novel about two little boys, chimes neatly with certain aspects of Bow's own persona, even if her place is taken in this one by Baby Peggy.  

Time Codes:

0h 01m 00s:            Helen’s Babies (1924) [dir: William A. Seiter]

0h 22m 10s:            Capital Punishment (1925) [dir: James P. Hogan]


* Check out our Complete Upcoming Schedule (to the Autumn of 2024 and the end of our projected Lilli Palmer series) 

* Find Elise’s latest film piece on Billy Wilder and 1930s Romantic Comedy

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