Sunday, January 4, 2009
Classic Theater Hour: "My Little Chickadee"
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In reality, this movie is an hour and 23 minutes, but it is still a classic. The movie that paired W.C. Fields with Mae West is a hoot.
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.
Look for Margaret Hamilton who played The Wicked Witch Of The West in "The Wizard Of Oz", as Mrs. Gideon in this film.
West reportedly wrote the original screenplay, with Fields contributing one extended scene set in a bar. Universal decided to give the stars equal screenplay credit, perhaps to avoid the appearance of favoritism, but the move incensed West, who declined to re-team with Fields afterwards. The stars spoofed themselves and the Western genre, with West providing a series of her trademark double entendres.
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