Another actress first for me... Mae West! I've seen clips of her all my life, but never watched a complete film. She's so instantly recognizable, so cariactured she's almost a cartoon figure, and yet there's a whole lot more to her in a full movie. She's pretty, fun and saucy, smart, and actually rather stand-offish with her men. More flirt and talk than action. And despite the patented way of talking, she's unexpectedly genuine. I liked her a lot!
I watched two films, Night After Night (1932) and I'm No Angel (1933), off disc 1 of the "Mae West: The Glamour Collection" dvds. I netflixed the disc for Night After Night, which is a George Raft movie, and was actually going to skip the second film. Mostly because Cary Grant is in it, and while I like older Cary Grant, he just bugs me when he's really young. So, I put it on only to see how it started and then saw the following credit:
Well, then I had to leave it on. Story, screenplay, and dialogue by Mae West? That I wanted to see! I'm not sure how many "Suggestions" there were from Lowell Brentano, but it was a quite amusing film, with a witty script, full of snappy one-liners and trouble and love. It suited her perfectly and I'd like to think most of it was hers. I particularly like her character's knick knack shelf, where she keeps pictures of her various suitors next to animal figurines that match their personality: skunks, snakes, etc. Hee. The courtroom scene is unorthodox but note perfect for Mae West and a highlight of the film.
Night After Night was also amusing, but not as good, mostly because I really disliked the Park Avenue broad slumming around George's speakeasy, looking for a "pirate." Of course, he ends up falling for her. Gah! No no no. She needed to go. She was annoying and full of all the wrong kind of airs. George was way too smart and interesting and funny to fall for a dumb dame like her. But the best parts of the film had nothing to do with her, cuz the best parts of the film belong to Alison Skipworth. She played Miss Jellyman, a matronly school teacher George hires to teach him how to be an educated gentleman. Their scenes are hilarious, and even better... her scenes with Mae West. Boy, those two together are priceless. Alison Skipworth definitely steals the movie. I love her! According to IMDb, she was 69 when she made this movie, but I would have guessed her younger.