Call Her Savage

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Call Her Savage
Directed by John Francis Dillon
Produced by Sam E. Rork
Written by Tiffany Thayer (novel)
Edwin J. Burke
Starring Clara Bow
Gilbert Roland
Music by Peter Brunelli
Arthur Lange
Cinematography Lee Garmes
Edited by Harold D. Schuster
Distributed by Fox Film Corporation
Release date
  • November 24, 1932 (1932-11-24)
Running time
82–92 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Call Her Savage (1932) is a pre-Code drama film directed by John Francis Dillon and starring Clara Bow.[1] The film was Bow's second-to-last film role. It is also one of the first portrayals of homosexuals on screen.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

A wild young woman, Nasa Springer (Clara Bow), born and raised in Texas by well-to-do parents, rebels against her father. She is sent to school in Chicago, where her disruptive behavior marks her as a troublemaker. She marries a rich playboy, who then declares the marriage a ploy and abandons her. She is renounced by her father, who tells her he never wishes to see her again. She discovers she is pregnant and bears a child. Reduced to poverty, she moves into a boardinghouse with her infant, and struggles to pay for the baby's basic needs. Unaware that her grandfather in Texas has died and left her a $100,000 fortune, a desperate Nasa dresses up as a prostitute and goes out in the neighborhood hoping to earn some quick cash to purchase medicine for her child. While she is out, a drunken lout at the boardinghouse drops a match and accidentally sets the building on fire. Nasa's infant is killed in the blaze.

Upon learning that her mother is dying, she hurries home to Texas. There she learns that she is a so-called "half-breed", half white and half Indian. The assertion is made that this explains why she had always been "untameable and wild." This knowledge of her lineage would supposedly allow her the possibility for happiness in the arms of a handsome young Indian, named Moonglow (Gilbert Roland), a longtime friend who has secretly loved her.


Preservation status[edit]

The film was restored in 2012 by the Museum of Modern Art and premiered at the third annual Turner Classic Movies Film Festival in Hollywood.[4]


  1. ^ Mordaunt Hall (1932-11-25). "Clara Bow as a Termagant in a Film of a Novel by Tiffany Thayer -- The Night Mayor". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  2. ^ Jeffrey Friedman; Rob Epstein; Sharon Wood (17 August 2012). The Art of Nonfiction Movie Making. ABC-CLIO. pp. 184–. ISBN 978-0-313-08453-9. 
  3. ^ Alan Gevinson, ed. (1997). American Film Institute Catalog. University of California Press. 
  4. ^ TCM

External links[edit]