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 »
Ruby Carter, the American Beauty queen of the night club-sporting world, shifts her operations from St. Louis to New Orleans (which kind of belies the Western genre designation), mostly to ... See full summary »
Set in New York City, Mae West is Peaches O'Day, a con artist who befriends Captain Jim McCarey (Edmund Lowe), a cop who must turn her in unless she leaves town. The clever Peaches returns ... See full summary »
The evil vampire villain Radu returns to his hometown Prejnar, after spending years in exile. He steals the precious blood stone which is said to be bleeding from all saints, from his ... See full summary »
Sadistic no-count killer Nanni Vitali and three other equally brutish hoodlums escape from prison. The foul foursome embark on a savage rape, murder, and robbery spree. Vitali even abducts ... See full summary »
The song "Louise," written by Richard Whiting (music) and Leo Robin (lyrics) for Maurice Chevalier's U.S. film debut, "Innocents of Paris" (1929), is heard in the trailer for "Night After Night" but not in the actual film. See more »
A shadow of the boom microphone is visible to the upper left of the front door of the speakeasy when Maudie first arrives. See more »
If I was a pirate and I had you on my ship, I wouldn't throw you to the crew.
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While I enjoyed “The Mae West Glamour Collection” more than I expected to, I decided to leave her debut film for last, knowing that it wouldn’t be a typical vehicle of hers since she wasn’t the lead; I also figured it would be, as Leonard Maltin bluntly puts it, “a crashing bore”. However, I was quite surprised by how engaging and entertaining it all was – if, by no means, a classic. The film, in fact, is an agreeable blend of two styles that were en vogue during the early Talkie era: the sophisticated comedy-drama and the gangster picture, apart from also being adapted from a stage play (as were a good many movies back then).
The lead proper of the film is George Raft, who had just shot to stardom following his memorable supporting role in Howard Hawks’ SCARFACE (1932); of the stars associated with the heyday of the Gangster movie, Raft always seemed to me the most limited in range – but he does well enough here, flanked by his butler-cum-henchman Roscoe Karns (a mainstay of 1930s comedies). Watching this flick 75 years after it was made, I couldn’t help but wonder about all the gay subtexts today’s audiences would erroneously interpret in their “relationship” here!
Raft is the owner of a speakeasy who wants to improve himself for the sake of ‘mysterious’ socialite Constance Cummings (who, as it turns out, used to own the building) – despite being involved with at least two other women of lower standards (Wynne Gibson and Mae West); to do so, he engages the services of elderly teacher Alison Skipworth. Cummings (who’s adorable throughout – as had also been that same year in Harold Lloyd’s MOVIE CRAZY) incurs the wrath of jealous Gibson, who confronts her and Raft with a gun – a situation which Cummings finds exciting, drawing her nearer to Raft than she intended and deluding him into thinking that she has affections for him; of course, when he finds out that she had counted on marrying wealthy Louis Calhern all along, he gives up his cultured airs and withdraws his promise of selling the club to a rival! But during the ensuing mob fracas at Raft’s joint, Cummings realizes that she loves him after all...
As I said, I found the film to be fairly interesting for several reasons: Mae West’s own role isn’t central to the main plot (in fact, she not only appears exactly at the midway point of the film but shares more scenes – and even a bed! – with Skipworth than she does with Raft himself), but her presence certainly boosts proceedings; already, she’s got her way with dialogue (and not just the famous “Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie” line) but it also feels like she’s playing a real character in this case rather than just being her in-your-face ‘naughty’ self…and West’s figure is perhaps at its sexiest here with as racy a costume as Pre-Code Hollywood liberalism ever got!
It’s amusing to watch the accompanying trailer today – hyping Raft’s rising star power (even mentioning a couple of earlier films apart from SCARFACE, both of which are now completely forgotten), and how this was achieved largely through the clamor of the movie-going public, when NIGHT AFTER NIGHT’s greatest (single?) claim to fame nowadays is for having introduced Mae West to the silver screen!
Finally, I wonder whether Universal is planning to release a second set of her films (they own four of her remaining titles); THE HEAT’S ON (1943) is a Columbia picture but it has already been released by Universal on R2 as part of a 6-Disc Mae West Set which also includes the bulk of the as-yet-unavailable titles on R1 (plus a couple of overlaps)!
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