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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Klondike Annie (1936)

After killing her Chinese "lover" (Harold Huber), a woman (Mae West) flees San Francisco for Alaska. But when the law goes after her, she assumes the identity of a dead woman (Helen Jerome Eddy), a missionary on her way to a settlement house in Alaska. Based on the play FRISCO KATE written by West who adapted it for the screen and directed by Raoul Walsh. As usual with West's post code films, the film was watered down somewhat by deleting scenes which were deemed inappropriate (like the actual killing of Huber by West) but the film was still banned in certain places like Georgia. Cleaned up it may have been but the film does contain one of West's most famous lines, "Between two evils, I take the one I've never tried before". I don't know if Walsh's direction had anything to do with it but West actually has some good acting moments that are outside her persona. Victor McLaglen and Phillip Reed provide the romantic interest with McLaglen and West having a nice easy going chemistry that makes their affair entirely believable. I have to wonder though if the moralistic ending was in West's original play or was for the benefit of the code. With Lucile Gleason and Harry Beresford.

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