Clara Bow’s Movies 2

Clara Bow’s third movie was Enemies of Women, produced in December 1922 through to January 1923. The movie was premiered in New York on March 31, 1923 and went on general release from September 2, 1923.

Enemies of Women was produced by William Randolph Hearst’s Cosmopolitan Pictures. A silent romantic drama, the movie starred Lionel Barrymore and Alma Rubens. Clara featured as an uncredited dancing girl.

This movie was made during a significant period in Clara’s life. Her mother, Sarah, had just been released from an asylum, although she was far from physically and mentally well. At home, Sarah lapsed into a catatonic state. On New Year’s Eve, she was readmitted to the asylum. She died there on January 5, 1923.

Later, Clara recalled that period of her life. “In the picture, I danced on a table. All the time I hadda be laughin’, rompin’, displayin’ joy of life. I’d cry my eyes out when I left my mama in the mornin’, then go dance on a table.”

The guilt of pursuing her dream while her mother lay dying remained with Clara for the rest of her life. That guilt added to her complex personality, and influenced the choices she later made. 

Sarah Bow was not a supportive mother – her poor mental health and negative attitude to the movies ensured that she did not guide her daughter along stardom’s treacherous path. Clara needed that guidance, but all too often she had to find her own way in the world. 

Clara was right to feel sad when Sarah died, but I think her guilt was misplaced.

Lobby card for Enemies of Women.

Clara Bow’s fourth movie was The Daring Years aka The Folly of Youth. The movie was produced in New York during the first half of 1923 and released on September 15, 1923.

The Daring Years was adapted from a photoplay by Richard Ellison. Clara was listed fourth on the bill, as ‘John’s Sweetheart, Mary’. Unfortunately, this movie is regarded as lost.

A silent melodrama, The Daring Years features a love triangle and a man wrongly accused of murder. The man, John Browning, is strapped into an electric chair when a lightning bolt (!) and Clara Bow save the day. 

The premise for The Daring Years, an accidental shooting, is sound, but maybe the movie could have done without the lightning bolt.

After the completion of The Daring Years, Clara embarked for Hollywood where she released a few lighting bolts of her own.

Advertisement for The Daring Years.

1920s – 1960s