6.9/10
2,530
38 user 22 critic

My Little Chickadee (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Western | 15 March 1940 (USA)
After a scandal runs a gold-digger out of town, she meets a con artist and becomes embroiled in a string of petty deceits.

Director:

Edward F. Cline

Writers:

Mae West (original screen play), W.C. Fields (original screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mae West ... Flower Belle Lee
W.C. Fields ... Cuthbert J. Twillie
Joseph Calleia ... Jeff Badger
Dick Foran ... Wayne Carter
Ruth Donnelly ... Aunt Lou
Margaret Hamilton ... Mrs. Gideon
Donald Meek ... Amos Budge
Fuzzy Knight ... Cousin Zeb
Willard Robertson ... Uncle John
George Moran George Moran ... Milton
Jackie Searl ... Boy (as Jack Searl)
Fay Adler Fay Adler ... Mrs. 'Pygmy' Allen
Gene Austin ... Saloon Musician
Russell Hall Russell Hall ... Candy (as 'Candy')
Otto Heimel 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:

...THE BELLE OF THE BADLANDS and HER ROOTIN'-TOOTIN' ROMEO! (original print media ad - mostly caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The saloon is basically the same set used for "Destry Rides Again", which wrapped production in late October 1939, just before "My Little Chickadee" started shooting in November. 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

[first lines]
Stagecoach driver: [the masked bandit shoots a gun, forcing the stagecoach to stop] Whoa, hup! Whoa!
Masked Bandit: Drop those guns.
[the driver and his partner throw their guns to the ground and put their hands up]
Masked Bandit: Everybody get out.
[the passengers leave the stagecoach]
Masked Bandit: Do not try anything and nobody will get hurt.
Stagecoach driver: He said to come out, Miss Flower Belle.
Flower Belle Lee: Well, I got nothing he wants.
Masked Bandit: I will be the judge of that. Come out, or I will have to kill all these nice people.
[...]
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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 No 73: The Disagreement (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Persischer Marsch (Persian March), Op. 289
Music by Johann Strauss
[Played during Flower Belle's and Twillie's arrival at the hotel in Greasewood.]
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User Reviews

Two Movies in One
7 July 2014 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

No need to recap the plot.

I guess Universal figured that since West and Fields were so funny apart, they'd be even funnier together. Unfortunately, things didn't quite work out that way. Each gets off some funny lines, but rarely do they share the same frame. It's almost like two movies in one. But then neither comedian needs a second party to bounce jokes off of. Each was like a self- contained act on his or her own—West with her leering innuendos, Fields with his grouchy misanthropy. So trying to mix them is like trying to mix Jupiter with Mars. Good thing the great Margaret Hamilton is along to bridge the gap.

If West comes off a shade less prominently than Fields, it's probably because she's less of an actor. Basically, she's got one comedic posture, and as good as it is, her air of the sexually irresistible doesn't adapt well. Fields' style, on the other hand, goes through a number of emotions, exasperation never far behind. Then too, his fascination with words from the thesaurus is usually on dialog display. Here I really love "euphonious appellation" instead of the more down-to-earth "nice sounding name".

Anyway, each was a comedic genius in his or her own right. And I particularly salute West for her daring brand of comedy at a time when censors did their best to eliminate the fleshy side of life. Nonetheless, each is better viewed in solo starring roles, e.g. Fields in It's a Gift (1934), and West in I'm No Angel (1933).


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lady and the Bandit See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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