Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hoop-La (1933)

The plot is simple:  Lou (Clara Bow) is a cooch dancer who takes a bet: if she get the barker's naive and innocent son Chris (Richard Cromwell) to fall in love with her, she'll earn $100 from Carrie (Minna Gombel), a fellow performer furious at the barker (Preston Foster) for choosing said son's welfare over their relationship.  Along the way, Lou finds herself actually falling in love with Chris, and must deal with the resulting fury from his father, but she eventually proves herself worthy of his son's love.  (An interesting aside:  this is a remake of 1928's The Barker, which earned Betty Compson an Oscar nomination.)

A predictable yet fun film, with affable characters (if not a little one-dimensional - Cromwell gives off the impression that he had a head injury as a kid); but its highlight was the new, hard-boiled Clara.  I could see her fitting in beautifully with the fast-paced gangster films of the 1930s.  Closeups reveal her to be as lovely as ever, and that she still had the vivacious charm and heart-stopping gaze that made her such a success in silents.   The extra half in my review is purely for her performance.

I give this one: 

I must thank the generous Bill Cramer of The Clara Bow Page for providing me with a copy of this picture.  If you click the link, you can read his reviews of both "Hoop-La" and "Call Her Savage".


Artman2112 said...

i finally got to see this film a few months ago and really enjoyed it even though it is, as you say, quite predicatable. Clara was basically the whole show and i too think she woulda done extremely well in the grittier pictures of the 30's. In fact WB offered her a long term contract before Fox made their offer but she turned it down not wanting to be tied up for 7 years. one can only imagine how Clara would have excelled in the hard boiled films from that studio directed by the likes of Wellman, Curtiz, LeRoy, Roy Del Ruth or Lloyd Bacon! My biggest complaint with most of Clara's films is they almost all lack a strong leading man but that sure wouldnt have been a problem at WB! imagine Clara paired with Cagney, Eddie G, or hell, even George Brent was stronger than most of the men she got paired up with at Paramount! Clara's look at Fox was harder edged, but still YOWZA! that woman could look sexy taking out the trash in a zebra striped moo moo!
Hoopla makes me a bit sad too because it was her last film and there should have been so much more...

btw how was the copy you saw? mine is crap!!!!

Avalon76 said...

Clara paired with Jimmy Cagney? The screen would've COMBUSTED!

God, she was gorgeous, wasn't she? Her early retirement is just such a shame, especially considering the reasons behind it, too.

The poor print with the French title card is the only one circulating, I think. But at least I could see and hear it. ;)