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The Plastic Age


The Plastic Age is a 1925 black-and-white silent film, starring Clara Bow, Donald Keith, and Gilbert Roland. The film was based on a best-selling novel from 1924 of the same name, written by Percy Marks, a Brown University English instructor who chronicled the life of the fast-set of that university and used the fictitious Sanford College as a backdrop. The Plastic Age is known to most silent film fans as the very first hit of Clara Bow's career, and helped jumpstart her fast rise to stardom. Frederica Sagor Maas and Eve Unsell adapted the book for the screen.

Hugh Carver (Donald Keith) is an athletic star and a freshman at Prescott College. During a hazing initiation by his fraternity brothers, he meets Cynthia Day (Clara Bow), a popular girl who loves to party and have a good time. She introduces him to the pleasures of illicit drinking, dancing at illegal roadhouses, and getting nasty in the back seats of cars. A love-triangle develops between Day, Carver, and Carver's roommate, Carl Peters (Gilbert Roland), who also likes Day. Eventually, Peters gives up his crush on Day and reconciles his friendship with Carver.

Carver's grades, athletic performance and moral character begin to suffer as a result of his late nights and wild partying, and on a visit home, his strict father tosses him out of the house and tells him not to come back until he's 'made good'. After almost being arrested at a roadhouse raid, Day and Carver escape in her automobile, and Day realizes that her lifestyle is bad for Carver, so the two stop seeing each other.

Carver's school performance then improves greatly, and he leads his teammates to victory at the big football game at the end of the year. Peters tells Carver that Day still loves him, and that she has changed, becoming less wild and more mature. Day and Carver are reunited at the end.

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