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The fabulous Roaring Twenties live again in these two films, which capture the glamour and excitement of the snazziest and most audacious era of the American experience. The nation was at peace, the economy was flush, and a whole new generation was swept up in a wave of good times. Gloria Swanson, legendary star of the silent screen, narrates The Age of Ballyhoo, which is enriched with her own colorful memories, film clips and photographs. Winner of two film festival Gold Medals, two Silver Medals, and three Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, this 1973 documentary is assembled from rare, authentic souvenirs of the period: songs, graphics, newsreels and movies. Among them are scenes of Swanson in Manhandled and The Loves of Sunya, the sound newsreel of Lindbergh's take-off for Paris, sound footage of the original 1927 production of Show Boat and of blues legend Bessie Smith! Cecil B. De Mille's 1926 production of The Clinging Vine is a recent rediscovery and perhaps the ultimate Twenties gender-bender. Leatrice Joy plays "The President's Assistant - known as A. B. - who hired, wired and fired men - but had never kissed one." Charmingly, the movie questions whether female professionalism is detrimental to femininity, romantic love, and by implication, the perpetuation of the human race. The eventual narrative solution is for A.B. to undergo an amazing but comedic transformation into a coy, clinging vine draped in flowing dresses. She wins the heart of Jimmy Bancroft, her employer's grandson, an impractical dreamer who has invented a giant eggbeater!

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Special Features * Commentary on The Clinging Vine by Heather Addison

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ID3047DS Clinging Vine/The Age of Ballyhoo DVD (1926/Gloria Swanson/Clara Bow) $24.99