The Law of Contact

The Wild Party (April 6, 1929)

The Wild Party

Released April 6, 1929: Clara Bow is a 'wild party girl' who parties too hard at an all girls school, and gets into lots of trouble. It takes a young Frederic March as Professor Gilmore to help her, and fall in love with her.

Directed by Dorothy Arzner

The Actors: Clara Bow (Stella Ames), Fredric March (Professor James 'Gil' Gilmore), Marceline Day (Faith Morgan), Shirley O'Hara (Helen Owens), Adrienne Dore (Babs), Joyce Compton (Eva 'Evie' Tutt), Jack Oakie (Al), Jack Luden (George), Phillips Holmes (Phil), Alice Adair (Mazie), Kay Bryant (Thelma), Marguerite Cramer (Gwen), Ben Hendricks Jr. (Ed), Amo Ingraham (Jean), Jean Lorraine (Ann), Jack Raymond (Baolam), Lincoln Stedman (party guest), Virginia Thomas (Tess), Renee Whitney (Janice Allen).


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This is silent film star Clara Bow's first 'talkie,' and it features a very young Frederic March as a new college professor at an all girl's school. Stella Ames is the most popular girl at Winston Class of 1930, and she is much more interested in having fun and flirting than in studying. Along with her three friends, they party their way through the semester, enjoying the new handsome Professor Gilmore, who has already met Stella on the train trip to the college.

At the end of the semester the college holds a costume party dance, and the four party girls dress in very revealing costumes, and are kicked out of the party. The go up the street to a local pub, where some drunk men heckle them, and when one tries to grab them and keep them from leaving, a fight breaks out. Stella diverts the atttention of the main mauler long enough for the other three girls to get away, but Stella is held and forced into a car with three drunks and driven away. Fortunately she spots Professor Gilmore walking down the road, and he helps her get away from the drunks, and in the process plants a sensuous kiss on her, and the two are in love.

Later in the classroom, the Professor is pretty rough on Stella, and she runs from the room in tears. She decides to forget about Gil and start partying again with any man that will have her, and lives fast and hard on the party circuit. While at a wild party one night, she shows concern for Helen, a naive girl that gets grabbed by a drunk masher, eventually pulling him away from the innocent girl and getting her friends to show him 'the dizzy.' Later at the same party, she discovers that Professor Gilmore has been shot, possibly by the men that he fought off for Stells earlier in the film. At that instant, she discovers that she is still in love with Gil, and stops her partying.

When Gil returns to college a month later, Stella visits him, and Gil shows his dispise for her, telling her that he hates her for what she is, but loves her for what she could be. They kiss passionately, and enjoy a lovely evening together, but they are seen by Eva, who threatens to tell the college about her tryst with the Professor. Eva also catches Helen writing a letter to her boyfriend, and as this is forbidden at the all girls school, Eva is in for it. To save Helen, Stella convinces the powers that be that it was she, not Helen, that wrote the letter.

Disgraced and kicked out of school, Stella boards the train for home, and finds that Professor Gilmore has resigned from the school and is on the same train. They profess their love for each other, and 'live happily ever after.'