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 »
Although Mae West receives first billing, she is not on screen long enough to make this misfire worth seeing. Even when she is on display and looking svelte and glamorous at 50, her lines lack the double-entendres and sly delivery of her best work. The silly goings on in this back-stage "comedy" revolve around financing a theatrical production with money from a blue-nose group whose goal is to suppress such shows. The plot is muddled at best, ridiculous at worst, and the cast lacks either a romantic lead such as Cary Grant or a comic like W.C. Fields for Miss West to play off. The production numbers for the most part are forgettable, even when Mae West delivers the songs. The one exception is the dazzling piano playing by Hazel Scott. Her number with two pianos is nothing short of astonishing and almost makes the dreck one has to endure before her appearance almost bearable. Unfortunately, Scott has only two numbers, but mercifully the film ends rather abruptly not long after she exits the screen. "The Heat's On" is certainly an ironically mis-titled film considering the heat that West generated in her early work, and the movie is only for die-hard West fans who are interested in seeing everything that she appeared in. Entertainment seekers and non-West fans beware.
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