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My Little Chickadee (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Western  |  15 March 1940 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,922 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 15 critic

Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "... See full summary »

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(original screen play), (original screen play)
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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Cuthbert J. Twillie
...
Jeff Badger
...
Wayne Carter
Ruth Donnelly ...
Aunt Lou
...
Mrs. Gideon
...
Amos Budge
Fuzzy Knight ...
Cousin Zeb
Willard Robertson ...
Uncle John
George Moran ...
Milton
Jackie Searl ...
Boy (as Jack Searl)
Fay Adler ...
Mrs. 'Pygmy' Allen
Gene Austin ...
Saloon Musician
Russell Hall ...
Candy (as 'Candy')
Otto Heimel ...
Coco (as 'Coco')
Edit

Storyline

Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "respectability." Arrived in Greasewood City with his unkissed bride, Twillie is named sheriff by town boss Jeff Badger...with an ulterior motive. Meanwhile, both stars inimitably display their specialties, as Twillie tends bar and plays cards, and Flower Belle tames the town's rowdy schoolboys... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE BELLE OF THE BADLANDS! HER ROOTIN'TOOTIN'ROMEO! And when they get together for the first time...it's your grandest time! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lady and the Bandit  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

W.C. Fields walked off the set over what director Edward F. Cline felt was a minor disagreement, but when it was clear after two weeks that he was not coming back to finish the film, nearly one-third was shot using a double. The double used is unknown. It could have been John Sinclair, who had doubled for him in Poppy (1936), or David Sharpe, who was his stunt double in later films. The double wore a plastic mask and most of the shots were long shots. See more »

Goofs

Near the end, Flower Belle is going up the stairs and her wedding ring is visible on her hand underneath her gloves. Then at the top of the stairs, she goes to give Cuthbert the ring back and it is in her purse. See more »

Quotes

Cuthbert J. Twillie: [Loudly protesting his being forcibly thrown out of Jeff's bar for cheating at cards] Unhand me! I'm an American citizen! Unhand me! I'm a taxpayer! I shall write the 'Times' about this. Call me a barrister! Unhand me! Unhand me, you uncouth larrikins! This is sabotage! A crime against liberty!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title, 'The End', is superimposed over Mae West's gluteus maximus as she walks away from the camera. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trading Partners (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Willie of the Valley
Lyrics by Milton Drake
Music by Ben Oakland
Performed by Mae West
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Some Definite Pear-Shaped Ideas"
27 November 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

My Little Chickadee is like a home movie W.C. Fields and Mae West just happened to make in their spare time, on the studio lot, back in 1940. The budget was not as ample as Miss West's er, well anyway, it's a pretty big picture but not that big. The dialogue is better than the film, which is frankly an amateurish mess. Both stars were past their prime when they made this western parody, and both seem a little tired, in general, and with one another, in their scenes together. They're much better when reciting the dialogue, which they worked on together (ah, to have been a fly on the wall during their script conferences). Maybe they spent all their energy on the writing. There certainly isn't much in their performing. For all its flaws, the movie has some hilarious moments, such as Fields' suggestion that he has "some definite pear-shaped ideas" he would like to discuss with Miss West.

Movie censorship was at its peak when this one was made. Fields and West had been two of the shining lights of early talkies, and the advent of the Production Code in the mid-thirties set them both back professionally, especially Miss West, who was the prime cause of it. Since they couldn't quite give this movie their all, due to the extreme censorship of the time, one has to continually read between the lines. There's a lot there, though not as much as I think they imagined there was. The film is an heroic effort none the less, if by today's standards rather quaint.


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