Live Cinema accompanied by City oh Sigh. Jazz baby Clara Bow creates havoc in the boondocks in this classic Hollywood comedy of the 20s. This racy little number celebrates a liberated city gal and her right to flirt with any man she pleases, wedding ring be damned.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2012
Jazz baby Clara Bow creates havoc in the boondocks in this classic Hollywood comedy of the 20s. Flipping the disapproving tone of Sinclair Lewis’ original novel, this racy item celebrates a liberated city gal and her right to flirt with any man she pleases, wedding ring be damned. Though she primps her lovely bob and preens with a gay abandon that’s so 1926, Bow’s cheeky vitality is ageless. No Hollywood star flirted with such wicked delight or with such wholehearted promise of carnal pleasure until Marilyn Monroe melted screens 30 years later.
Bow plays Alvera, who impulsively marries much-older mountain man and good-hearted lunk, Ernest Torrence. When New York lawyer Percy Marmont, seeking refuge in the wild from all emasculating modern women, shows up on a camping trip, Alvera welcomes him like a new best friend. He recoils in trepidation, but when thrown together with her on a cross-country chase he doesn’t stand a chance. Directed by Victor Fleming (The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind), Mantrap exhibits the splendours of Hollywood Western location photography in the era before microphones brought the movies inside. It was shot by another Hollywood great, cinematographer James Wong Howe.
Preceded by The Better Man. This short Western from 1912, noted for upending the already prevailing stereotype of the shifty Mexican, was among the trove of long-lost early films recently located at the New Zealand Film Archive and preserved through a partnership with the National Film Preservation Foundation.
Musical accompaniment devised and performed by City Oh Sigh: Kate Uhe (cello), Catherine Henehan (guitar), Sarah Smythe (Rhodes piano) and Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa (drums and percussion).