The Wild Party (1929)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
The Wild Party Photos
as Stella Ames
as James 'Gil' Gilmore
as Faith Morgan
as Helen Owens
as Eva Tutt
Critic Reviews for The Wild Party
The film's historical merits are greater than its artistic ones: It's Paramount first sound film, directed by Dorothy Arzner (the only women to have a sustained directing career at the time), and the star is "It" Girl, Clara Bow.
Audience Reviews for The Wild Party
Clara Bow falls back on silent era gestures occasionally, but for the most part she shows a great command of the role in her first talkie. As directed by Dorothy Arzner this is a nice time capsule of college life amongst girls in the jazz age. There is a scene in a bar when Stella (Bow) and her friends stop for a drink after a prank flops at a party that is still quite relevant today. Some drunks think that the girls' skimpy party outfits are an invitation to drive somewhere and fool around. The reactions of the various other men and women in the bar are interesting. Stella's studious roommate is clearly gorgeous by Hollywood standards, but here is an early example of full-coverage conservative clothes with glasses and traditional long hair rather than the flapper bob turning a face loved by the camera into a nerdy good-girl. Ultimately, Stella uses her somewhat wild reputation to do the right thing and save the reputation and academic career of her roommate. But through most of the picture the focus is on a love story between student and teacher. Stella falls hard for a new, young, and handsome professor played by Fredric March. Two years before March would win an Academy Award for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde he was just beginning to get featured film roles rather than parts as an extra. Here his character expresses some embarrassing racist and male chauvinist ideas, yet, in this decade, his white male civility only makes him more endearing to Miss Stella Ames.
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