Clara Bow, the saucy "It" girl of the silent screen, made her film farewell in the ragged musical drama Hoopla. Based on the stage play The Barker (previously filmed in 1927), the story takes place during the Chicago World's Fair of 1933. Bow plays Lou, a hootchy-kootchy dancer who is catapulted into stardom by fast-talking barker Nifty (Preston S. Foster). Hoping to escape her tawdry existence, Lou makes a play for handsome young naif Chris (Richard Cromwell), but by film's end she has bowed to the inevitable and returns to the sort of work she knows best. Despite excellent production values and a big-time promotional campaign, Hoopla was a bomb, convincing the ever-insecure Clara Bow to retire to private life as the wife of cowboy star and future Nevada politician Rex Bell. … More
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