I keep forgetting that silent movies have the potential to be good, and because of that I've been avoiding
watching the silent movies that Scott has so kindly lent to me for research; however last night I finally sat my ass down with Alex to watch "It" starring Clara Bow (not a scary clown.) We started the film thinking "77 minutes! God damn that's long for a silent movie," and we ended the movie cheering at the TV "OH MY GOD! She knocked that bitch the fuck out! Clara Bow is amazing."
Before I had gotten the chance to watch these movies Scott had told me how surprised he was by Clara Bow's acting, and how natural it was for silent film, and I half-heartedly believed him, but after seeing it for myself I was completely blown away by her. It's no wonder that Bonnie was entranced by her, hell, I was entranced with her, and found myself in the mirror after the movie was over trying to mimic her sassy eyerolls and cockeyed
smiles. She was unabashedly herself and seemingly got everything she wanted. Bonnie being someone who had nothing and was beaten down by life before it had really even begun I can't see how she wouldn't idolize Clara Bow. It must have been excruciating sitting in a dark theatre in the middle of the Dust Bowl watching Clara be a fierce, confident woman who cruises around on a fucking yacht in her free time. With so much glamour and vivaciousness shoved down the throat of a have-not you'd probably either come to wholeheartedly resent that lifestyle or be enraptured by the dream that one day you'd have it, and I think we can guess where Bonnie Parker lay on that spectrum. I empathize with why Bonnie jumped aboard the Clyde bandwagon. She saw a way out and an adventure; which her marriage to Roy Thornton at the age of 15 failed to provide.
Side by side with Clara's picture
the emulation is obvious.
Watching this also gave some understanding as to why they got into knock down drag out fights. Bonnie
emulated Clara Bow's sassy confidence and take no shit attitude, and Clyde was raised in a bible thumpin' household where a woman was subordinate to her lord and master. With those two together it was only a matter of time before shit hit the fan.