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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Belle Of The Nineties (1934)

A nightclub entertainer (Mae West) leaves St. Louis for New Orleans after her boxer boyfriend (Roger Pryor) is tricked into believing she was unfaithful by his manager (James Conlan). But their paths will cross again but this time, she wants revenge! Directed by Leo McCarey (THE AWFUL TRUTH) from the story IT AIN'T NO SIN which was written by West. Until the rushed ending in which everything is quickly tied up in a matter of seconds, this is one of West's best films. She gets to do more than just drop double entendres and quips although there are enough West zingers to satisfy. Example: when her maid asks her, "What kind of husband do you think I should I get?", West responds, "Why don't you try a single man and leave the husbands alone". The songs West is given to sing are a strong lot too and she's accompanied by the great Duke Ellington and his orchestra on most of them. My favorites were the raunchy When A St. Louis Woman Goes Down To New Orleans and Troubled Waters which she sings from a balcony while intercut with a black revival meeting gospel version of the song. With Johnny Mack Brown, John Miljan, Katherine DeMille and Edward Gargan.

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