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 »
Marlo Manners is enjoying her honeymoon with Sir Michael Barrington, husband number 6. As luck would have it, an international conference is taking place in the same hotel and the Russian ... See full summary »
Sam Gallagher (Pat O'Brien), a former foreign correspondent and now a United States Government agent, gets a job through his brother Jeff (Chester Morris), whom he has not seen in seven ... See full summary »
Kiki, a poor young woman who sells newspapers on the street corners of Paris, is able to land a job singing and dancing at a nearby theater. While she is there, she invites herself into the... See full summary »
Boy crusader Matt works for the Daily News and always breaks the big story. The only trouble is that he usually has the wrong information and the paper must print a retraction. But this ... See full summary »
A burglar is recruited to aid the police in finding his kidnapped girlfriend, a lovely but impoverished flower girl. Meanwhile, a deranged Russian emigre has been claiming that his ward is ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
On lunch break one day, W.C. Fields went to his dressing room to start on a new bottle of whiskey he had saved for that purpose. Apparently someone beat him to it, as the bottle had been opened and about half of it had been drunk. Fields immediately ran outside and roared to the crew, "Who took the cork out of my lunch?" See more »
When the 'train' stops to pick up the Fields character it consists of the locomotive only. The carriages then reappear in the next scene. See more »
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!
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I believe that, some time in the 1970's, more than thirty years after MY LITTLE CHICKADEE was made, the term "high concept" was coined. So, starting in the seventies, a lot of movies with sure-fire ideas became the trend. ("What?", someone, circa 1990 might say, "Arnold Schwarzenegger is being teamed with Danny DeVito? Why, that must be hilarious!") So, clearly, somebody thought the idea of W.C. Fields and Mae West sharing the silver screen would work, and MY LITTLE CHICKADEE remains the ultimate example of both the pitfalls and the merits of High Concept movie-making. Fields and West, both iconic figures, were actually so similar that the audience's loyalties are torn. We watch a West picture to observe Mae West turn the tables on men and we watch a Fields picture to watch Fields flout authority. When Fields and West meet and appear to like each other (he wanting sex and she wanting money) we love them both. Fields gets off one of his most memorable lines as he holds her fingers up to his lips and says, "What symmetrical digits.") She, in turn, throws her false submission at him, letting us know between the lines that she's a woman of steel. So far, so good. Their romance is viewed suspiciously by a character actress who is the perfect foil for both of them: Margaret Hamilton, who, of course, played the Wicked Witch of the West the year before in THE WIZARD OF OZ. Fields and West are married aboard the train by West's con-man friend -- hence, they are not really being married -- and this actor is also the sort of figure who belongs in a movie with either Fields or West. But let's cut to the chase. Both Fields and West have separate moments for the rest of the movie and each of these moments is somewhat minimal. West's scene teaching a classroom of overgrown adolescents seems to be a whitewashing of a bawdy routine from her stage days. It almost makes it. Fields's various encounters with gamblers and a female drunk (who HAS to be Celeste Holm, uncredited, as someone else on this board has noted) are promising, but somehow never really engaging. Thinking about this movie, nevertheless, brings a smile to the face. There are so many little things which, popping into the memory, are funny, that it has to be acknowledged that MY LITTLE CHICKADEE achieved its goal: driving into our minds the idea of the harmony of two comics who'd made audiences howl with laughter in live performance twenty years earlier. It should also be said that the ideal audience for MY LITTLE CHICKADEE is an audience in a darkened movie theatre. Ideally, the year should be the year it was made and the audience should be made up of people who've been anticipating this pairing and would be more than willing to hoot throughout. Has anybody got a time machine?
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