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Monday, April 22, 2013

MAE WEST The Heat's On, She Done Him Wrong, Klondike Annie, Belle of the Nineties

She Done Him Wrong is a Pre-Code 1933 Paramount Pictures comedy romance starring Mae West and Cary Grant. Its plot includes melodramatic and musical elements. Others in the cast include Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland, Noah Beery, Sr., Louise Beavers and Rochelle Hudson.

The film was directed by Lowell Sherman and produced by William LeBaron. The script was adapted by Harvey F. Thew and John Bright from the successful Broadway play Diamond Lil by Mae West. Original music was composed by Ralph Rainger, John Leipold and Stephan Pasternacki. Charles Lang was responsible for the cinematography, while the costumes were designed by Edith Head.

The movie is famous for West's many double entendres and quips, including her seductive, "I always did like a man in a uniform. That one fits you grand. Why don't you come up sometime and see me? I'm home every evening."

Blonde Venus, starring Marlene Dietrich and Cary Grant, predates She Done Him Wrong by a year even though Mae West always claimed to have discovered Cary Grant for her film, elaborating that up until then Grant had only made "some tests with starlets."

Belle of the Nineties (1934) is Mae West's fourth motion picture, directed by Leo McCarey and released by Paramount Pictures. The film was based on West's original story It Ain't No Sin which was also to be the film's title until censors objected. Johnny Mack Brown, Duke Ellington, and Katherine DeMille are also in the cast.

Shooting commenced on March 19, 1934 and concluded in June. The film was released on September 21, 1934. It had a domestic (U.S.A.) gross of $2,000,000. As usual with West's films, some scenes were removed to be shown in different States. To be shown in New York, one of the biggest markets, they had to completely re-shoot the final scene. Mae West's character and the Tiger Kid were originally to complete their nuptials without a marriage ceremony, the ceremony had to be included.

A publicity stunt went awry when 50 parrots were trained to shout the original title of "it ain't no sin". The parrots were subsequently released in the jungles of South America still repeating "it ain't no sin" over and over again.

Klondike Annie is a 1936 black-and-white comedy film starring Mae West and Victor McLaglen. The film was co-written by West from her play "Frisco Kate", which she wrote in 1921. The film was directed by Raoul Walsh. Mae West portrays a kept woman by the name of Rose Carlton, "The Frisco Doll". She accidentally murders her keeper, Chan Lo, while he is trying to kill her and escapes on a steamer to Nome, Alaska. The Frisco Doll is now wanted for murder. En route she is given space in a cabin with a missionary woman, Sister Annie Alden. The woman is on her way to rescue a financially troubled mission in Nome. Sister Annie dies en route. The Frisco Doll, fearing apprehension by the Sheriff, assumes the identity of Sister Annie and dresses her up as a prostitute in a scene later deleted by the censors.

The Frisco Doll decides to keep Sister Annie's promise of rescuing the mission and raises the money through a soul-shaking sermon and song. Klondike Annie/Rose Carlton/The Frisco doll knows she needs to turn herself in and prove her innocence because it was self-defense. Steaming back to San Francisco she falls in love with the Captain of the boat, Bull Brackett. "Bull, ya ain't no oil paintin', but ya are a fascinatin' monster". This film caused a rift between West and William Randolph Hearst, who decided never to print West's name in any of his newspapers. The reason given was the racy material of the film and West's sexual persona in a religious setting. This may seem hypocritical due to his extramarital affair with actress Marion Davies. West was quoted as saying " I may have invited censorship into Hollywood, but I also saved the industry and Paramount."

The songs were composed by Gene Austin, who also appeared in the film.

Production began on September 16, 1935 and concluded in December of that year. Klondike Annie was released February 21, 1936 at a production cost of $1,000,000. As usual with West's films, scenes were deleted to make this film presentable in most markets. Eight minutes of the film were deleted. The footage is presumably lost forever. In this lost footage is the scene in which The Frisco Doll stabs Chan Lo when he was going to stab her instead. The other lost scene is when The Frisco Doll switched identities with Sister Annie and dressed Sister Annie up as a prostitute. The veiled connection of Sister Annie and The Salvation Army made this scene inappropriate to the censors but its deletion made the final print of the film appear choppy.

The State of Georgia went so far as to ban this film outright.

The Heat's On (1943) is a movie musical starring Mae West, William Gaxton, and Victor Moore, and released by Columbia Pictures.

Plot: Broadway star Fay Lawrence (West) is a temperamental diva who is reluctantly persuaded by a Broadway producer (Gaxton) to star in his latest production.

4 DVDs in DVD/CD sleeves, photo labels.
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4 DVDs in DVD/CD sleeve, photo label. Guaranteed, replaced with same title.