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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 1,660 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 13 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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Title: My Little Chickadee (1940)

My Little Chickadee (1940) on IMDb 7/10

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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')
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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:

It's the lafftime of a lifetime ! . . as "Wild Bill" Fields tries to tame the West! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lady and the Bandit  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

On the train out of town, after Cuthbert gives Flowerbelle the heart shaped charm, his hat starts on his head, but then suddenly its magically in his left hand (so he can use his right hand to hold onto the railing.) See more »

Quotes

[to the hotel porter]
Cuthbert J. Twillie: By the way, my ski shoes and hockey mask will be up on the next train along with the polo pony. I understand the countryside abounds here with wild game: flamingoes... wine wombats... Indian civets.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeremy (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Willie of the Valley
Lyrics by Milton Drake
Music by Ben Oakland
Performed by Mae West
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User Reviews

 
It's A Tie
16 June 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although My Little Chickadee did not turn out to be the comedy smash of all time, both W.C. Fields and Mae West got in enough of their own shtick to make it worthwhile to see. What I can't figure out is when both were under contract at Paramount earlier in the decade why Adolph Zukor never thought of teaming them.

Probably because both of them were highly individualized and highly specialized performers. Both wrote their own material, but Mae believed her words were golden as she wrote them and Bill Fields was notorious with the ad-libs, even with a script he wrote.

Like Dallas in Stagecoach, Mae West as Flower Belle gets kicked out of one town and heads for another town accompanied by one of the Lady's League in the person of Margaret Hamilton. She's been spotted by Hamilton entertaining the mysterious masked bandit as only Mae entertains.

On the train she meets up with small time con man Cuthbert J. Twillie, a Fields pseudonym if there ever was one. She's convinced she's got a bankroll and she needs a husband to maintain a respectable front. Her gambler friend Donald Meek who looks like a clergyman and remember in Stagecoach Thomas Mitchell originally thought he was one, marries them on the train.

As a husband Fields is as ardent as Bob Hope was in The Paleface with Jane Russell who also needed to get married out of necessity to a stooge. He's sure willing enough, but Mae's to smart for him as she's got town editor Dick Foran and saloon owner Joseph Calleia panting hot and heavy for her as well.

My favorite moment is when Mae slips a goat into her bed and Fields gets a big surprise when he thinks he's finally going to score.

I'd have to say the film's a tie in terms of these two icons trying to top the other. There's plenty enough here to satisfy fans of both Mae and Bill and the many like myself who love both of them.


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