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Klondike Annie (1936)

 |  Comedy  |  21 February 1936 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 329 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 12 critic

Mae West plays Rose Carlton, the kept woman of Chan Lo (Harold Huber), who takes her from walking the streets to pacing the floors of her high rent apartment... See full synopsis »

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Title: Klondike Annie (1936)

Klondike Annie (1936) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
The Frisco Doll / Rose Carlton / Sister Annie Alden
...
Bull Brackett
Phillip Reed ...
Insp. Jack Forrest
...
Sister Annie Alden
Harry Beresford ...
Brother Bowser
Harold Huber ...
Chan Lo
Lucile Gleason ...
Big Tess (as Lucille Webster Gleason)
Conway Tearle ...
Vance Palmer
Esther Howard ...
Fanny Radler
Soo Yong ...
Fah Wong, Rose's Maid
John Rogers ...
Buddie
Ted Oliver ...
Grigsby
...
Sir Gilbert
Gene Austin ...
Organist
Vladimar Bykoff ...
Marinoff
Edit

Storyline

Mae West plays Rose Carlton, the kept woman of Chan Lo (Harold Huber), who takes her from walking the streets to pacing the floors of her high rent apartment... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She Made the Frozen North... Red Hot!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frisco Kate  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eight minutes were deleted from the finished print: the first depicted the killing of the evil Chan Lo and the second showed Rose switching places with Annie, putting makeup on her face. The Legion of Decency refused to allow the film to be released with this second scene uncut, due to Sister Annie's association with the Salvation Army. See more »

Quotes

The Frisco Doll: [singing] I'm an Occidental woman in an Oriental mood for love...
See more »


Soundtracks

Cheer Up, Little Sister
Written by Gene Austin
Performed by Mae West
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"A hot time in the old town"
8 October 2010 | by (Ruritania) – See all my reviews

The period of strict enforcement of the production code, beginning in 1934, was to Mae West what the end of prohibition was to bootleggers. West was a star whose self-penned stories made an art of promiscuity, and whose overt sex appeal made even the subtlest of innuendoes as see-through as a chiffon stocking. She is sometimes pinpointed as the main reason the code-enforcing Hayes Office was established, although it wasn't so much that her pictures were the most risqué out there (something like Baby Face is a far more flagrant flaunting of the code than I'm No Angel and She Done Him Wrong). It was the fact that she was also a box office sensation – and thus a much more potent influence – that made the Legion of Decency moralists take notice.

In this light, Klondike Annie seems to be not so much a watering down of pre-code Mae, but an apology and atonement for her past misdemeanours. While it begins with some of West's familiar man-hopping sass (albeit without so much of her sly wit), half-an-hour or so in the plot is suddenly hijacked by a Christian missionary, from whereon Mae is a reformed woman, as if in direct response to the proclamation of I'm No Angel. This was in a way self-censorship on her part, because as with her earlier pictures West wrote the screenplay, and despite her antics both on and off screen was truly a devout Christian. Luckily this means Ms West still appears in control and enough of her personality has survived intact, even when she's dressed in black and preaching a sermon. It's a testament to her credible acting skills that she manages to pull this off, making Rose Carlton's redemption and unconventional adoption of the moral crusader role a believable one, tweaking her ability to command attention and work a crowd into a slightly new direction.

West also has a very flattering and focused director in Raoul Walsh. Walsh makes his camera placement a slave to Mae, keeping her almost constantly foregrounded, staring hypnotically out at the audience. Take for example the scene where Victor McLaglen prepares breakfast for her, in which we see the table in a fairly standard sideways-on set-up. When Mae comes in Walsh switches to a sharply different angle, purely so that she can enter bearing down upon the camera. Walsh is also blunt in bringing out plot points, making for example Sister Annie's first address to Mae a close-up straight into the camera (a Walsh speciality), to let us know that this is a key moment in the story.

Another odd side-effect here is that without all the usual sexual politics and bed-hopping Klondike Annie actually has a far clearer and more substantial plot than the earliest Mae West pictures, even transitional ones like Belle of the Nineties, which took out the sex but left in the battle-of-the-sexes. But to what purpose this clarity? Klondike Annie may be technically one of the better Mae West pictures, but without her free-spiritedness and playful man-conquering exploits the very heart of the Mae West formula has gone. While the picture served to keep her in work for a few years, it has little of value for those of us in the audience. The production code had not only put a cramp West's style, it had wiped out her box-office appeal in the process.


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