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My Little Chickadee (1940)

 -  Comedy | Western  -  15 March 1940 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,775 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 14 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Flower Belle Lee
...
Cuthbert J. Twillie
...
Jeff Badger
Dick Foran ...
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

Plot Keywords:

con man | masked bandit | bar | train | sheriff | See more »

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

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jeff Badger: I wonder what kind of a woman you really are.
Flower Belle Lee: Too bad, but I can't give out samples.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Persischer Marsch (Persian March), Op. 289
Composed by Johann Strauss II
[Played during Flower Belle's and Twillie's arrival at the hotel in Greasewood.]
See more »

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User Reviews

"My Little Peach Fuzz"
30 August 2009 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

An Old West comedy that doesn't make a lot of sense, "My Little Chickadee" is mostly a cinematic vehicle for the talents of its two stars: Mae West and W.C. Fields.

Mae, all decked out in flowery glad rags, does her usual shtick, as she rolls her eyes, smiles mischievously, and walks in the slinky, suggestive manner that she's known for. I love it. She doesn't "act" so much as she projects her own unique on-stage persona. In this film she sings only one song: "Willie Of The Valley". It's okay, but I could have wished for a song more suitable to her wonderfully bawdy public image.

Wearing a high top hat and white gloves, and with that big nose and eccentric way of speaking, W.C. Fields plays Cuthbert J. Twillie, a blustery, flamboyant older man who uses big words to impress, and devious tricks to hoodwink. He's not seriously criminal, just a good-natured, booze-loving flimflam man trying to get along in life as best he knows how. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes not. Fields is just as unique as Mae West. And his comedic routine is straight out of vaudeville.

The script's dialogue contains lines that highlight the humor of Fields, like when he tries to impress Flower Belle (Mae West): "The days of chivalry are not over. I've been worried about you my little peach fuzz. Have you been loitering somewhere? ... You are the epitome of erudition, the double superlative ...". His flowery metaphors sometimes get on Flower Belle's nerves, like when he says to her: "I climb the ladder of love to reach for the stars". She snaps back: "I'm in no mood for astronomy".

For all his bluster, Twillie is actually the weaker of the two characters. It's Flower Belle who uses a pistol to knock off villainous Indians, and Twillie whose use of a kid's slingshot backfires.

In this story, Margaret Hamilton, in her best witch voice, plays a histrionic busybody, in a support role.

This is a film that will appeal mostly to fans of Fields and/or West. I think the film probably showcases Fields' talents a little better than those of West. What hurt this film is the real-life villainous Production Code which tried to water down the bawdy dialogue. As a result, both the plot and some of the dialogue come across as flat. Had the self-righteous censors left the scriptwriters alone, "My Little Chickadee" could have really sizzled.


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