ONLINE EVENT - Clara Bow in MANTRAP (1926) - Live-Stream with Live Piano Accompaniment by Ben Model!


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A LIVE "Anything But Silent" Event!

Clara Bow in MANTRAP (1926)

featuring Live Piano Accompaniment by BEN MODEL from home!

Live Streaming on Tuesday, May 18th at 7:00 PM ET!

General Admission is Pay-What-You-Want! – Click "Buy Tickets" above for price options

Ralph Prescott, a New York divorce lawyer and his buddy, E. Wesson Woodbury, decide to get away from it all on a camping trip near Mantrap, Canada. However, the city slickers are a bit out of their depth in the North woods. After the two get into a tussle, Joe Easter, the local trading post owner, takes Prescott to Mantrap, where Prescott meets Joe’s new flirtatious wife, Alverna (Clara Bow). The sparks begin to fly…

Paramount Pictures paid $50,000 for Sinclair Lewis’ long and justifiably forgotten novel, "Mantrap," but happily, the female screenwriters turned Lewis’ misogynistic tirade into a funny comedy romp that is light as a feather. The credit goes to Clara Bow who represents an erotic whirlwind in an otherwise womanless Western wilderness; an outrageous, good-time girl who leads at least two men by the nose, but nevertheless eventually honors her commitment--at least until the next interesting prospect comes along. Bow, of course, perfectly embodied the Jazz Age, the first era in American history to celebrate women’s sexuality as something other than a function of man’s desire. Although Bow had at that point made over thirty films in four years, Mantrap was her breakthrough. Variety noted almost ecstatically in its review of the film: “Clara Bow! And how! What a ‘mantrap’ she is! And how the picture is going to make her!... Miss Bow just walks away with the picture from the moment she steps into camera range.” Ernest Torrence, who could play monsters such as the brutal operator of an orphanage in Sparrows (1926), opposite Mary Pickford, here plays an easy-going and somewhat gullible giant. Neither Easter nor Prescott have a clue how to control the in-your-face vitality of Alverna, who makes no apologies for her manipulation of anyone with pants on. The film was shot at Lake Arrowhead by Victor Fleming (The Wizard of Oz), who was not necessarily known as a comedy director, but does elicit comedy performances with impeccable timing, a feat he would accomplish again with Jean Harlow in Red Dust (1932). -Jan-Christopher Horak (USA, 1926, 86 min., NR | Dir. Victor Flemming)

Ben Model is one of America’s leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silent films at the New York MoMA since 1984 and the CAC since 2006. Since March 16th, 2020, Ben has been hosting a weekly live-streamed silent film show from his living room, “The Silent Comedy Watch Party.” Click here to visit Ben's YouTube page!

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