Miss Ann Jillian is a fine actress and comes off quite well in her portrayal of the legendary Mae West. She looks great in the gowns, feathers and furs, and gives enough of a well crafted impression of the character to keep her performance from being a parody.
All the cast does a fine job here. I do feel however that fault lies with shortcomings in the writing department. Fact is most often more entertaining than fiction. One case in point is 'The Mighty Barnum' which came out in the 1930's. The most interesting person of his day was so poorly portrayed by the script men that it is almost painful to watch! This is unfortunately the fate of many a Hollywood biographical film.
This film does have what it takes to stand on it's own but misses the mark because the writers left out some of the very best of what made Mae West so interesting as a performer and as a truly fascinating person in her private off screen life. There was just so much more to Mae West than was depicted here. Miss West was a shrewd woman and a true professional. She usually got what she wanted in life by whatever means whether fair or as it was sometimes, foul! She kept gangsters as friends and could wrap the studio big shots around her bejeweled little pinkie!
James Brolin is a Hollywood hunk and a fine actor also.Unfortunately, as James Timony he is sorely miscast. Mr. Timony was an overweight round faced man who in the early years was perhaps a passing romantic interest but the truth is he was more Miss West's manager and business partner than anything else. It would have been great stuff to see what really went on. Miss West would see to it that the jealous Mr. Timony was kept occupied with some sort of business doings while on the sly she dropped her room key into the pocket of one of the muscle boys in her nightclub act! A good writer could have had a hayday with that! And most of all, it was true!
Some films of this sort, and I feel this is one, are so often flawed from the point of historical accuracy. But....with all the efforts of a fine cast it is ....Entertaining? Yes! Worth seeing? Indeed!
Perhaps only the true West fans will pick out the errors in an otherwise well done television movie. If you haven't seen it, watch for it. And if like me, a true devote' of the great Mae West, you've just got to not miss seeing it.
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