Legendary actress Mae West is celebrated in nine new releases from Kino Lorber that showcase her work at the height of her popularity in the 1930s and ’40s. Available on June 29th, these titles are:
Night After Night (1932)
Retired pug Joe Anton (George Raft) had finally opened his own nightclub, and was itching to show that he had developed class…especially to gorgeous debutante Jerry Healy (Constance Cummings). He hires proper matron Mabel Jellyman (Alison Skipworth) for coaching in how to be a gentleman, but his old crowd–like brassy Maudie Triplett (Mae West, in her film debut)–won’t make the transformation easy! Wynne Gibson, Louis Calhern co-star.
I’m No Angel (1933)
Hilarious, naughty pre-Production Code farce featuring Mae West as Tira, an unscrupulous carnival entertainer who takes a turn as a lion-tamer in order to get her boyfriend and fellow con artist out of a jam. Along the way Tira also falls for a suave millionaire (Cary Grant), the cousin of an admiring playboy. Songs include “I Want You, I Need You” and “They Call Me Sister Honky Tonk.” With Edward Arnold, Gregory Ratoff.
She Done Him Wrong (1933)
For her second film, Mae West adapted her 1928 Broadway play “Diamond Lil” and starred as Lady Lou, a bawdy Bowery saloon keeper and stage singer who invites religious mission officer Capt. Cummings (Cary Grant)–in reality an undercover federal agent–to “come up sometime and see me.” Along the way West tosses out some classic one-liners and also sings “Frankie and Johnny” and “Easy Rider.” Noah Beery, Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland co-star.
Belle of the Nineties (1934)
New Orleans singer Mae West heats up “The Big Easy” as Ruby Carter, “the most talked about woman in America,” who juggles romances with boxer “the Tiger Kid” (Roger Pryor) and millionaire Ace Lamont (John Miljan), while dodging the flirtations of every hot-blooded male along the Mississippi. There’s lots of wild West one-liners and music by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, including the jazz standard “My Old Flame.” With Johnny Mack Brown, Katherine DeMille.
Goin’ to Town (1935)
Saloon singer Cleo Borden (Mae West) suddenly finds herself one very wealthy lady when her oilman swain loses a shoot-out–and she’s his only beneficiary. Though she takes a shine to Edward Carrington (Paul Cavanagh), the administrator appointed to handle her fortune, he’s not as impressed–and she takes a crash course in how to be a real lady. Fun West vehicle co-stars Gilbert Emery, Monroe Owsley.
Klondike Annie (1936)
After killing her lover in self-defense, Barbary Coast madam Rose Carlton (Mae West) hops an Alaska-bound freighter and soon winds up impersonating an evangelist, Sister Annie, in order to elude the law. Offbeat West entry, based on her own 1921 unproduced play, mixes comedy, drama, and music; songs include “It’s Better to Give Than to Receive” and “I’m an Occidental Woman in an Oriental Mood for Love.” With Victor McLaglen, Phillip Reed; directed by Raoul Walsh.
Every Day’s a Holiday (1937)
Mae West is at her best as Peaches O’Day, a con woman in 1890s New York who poses as sultry French singer Mademoiselle Fifi in order to elude the law. Her ruse eventually leads to the downfall of crooked mayoral candidate John Quade (Lloyd Nolan) and the election of a reform mayor (Edmund Lowe) into office. Period comedy, scripted by West, co-stars Charles Butterworth, Charles Winninger, with a special appearance by Louis Armstrong.
My Little Chickadee (1940)
If you thought the American Wild West couldn’t get any wilder, wait till you see what happens when W.C. Fields and Mae West team up for this comedy-western classic, co-written by the leads. W.C. is Cuthbert Twillie, con man and “notions seller,” and Mae is Flowerbelle Lee, the shame of her Chicago community. Together they clean up a lawless town, capture the notorious Kissing Bandit, and shoot off the fastest array of one-liners you ever heard. With Joseph Calleia, Dick Foran, Margaret Hamilton.
All of the above titles are available here, so come up and see them sometime!