EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|GOIN' TO TOWN (director: Alexander Hall; screenwriters: Mae West/story by Marion Morgan and George B. Dowel; cinematographer: Karl Struss; editor: LeRoy Stone; music: Tom Satterfield; cast: Mae West (Cleo Borden), Paul Cavanagh (Edward Carrington), Gilbert Emery (Winslow), Tito Coral (Taho), Marjorie Gateson (Mrs. Crane Brittony), Fred Kohler (Buck Gonzales), Ivan Lebedeff (Ivan Valadov), Francis Ford (Sheriff), Paul Harvey (Donovan, cop), Monroe Owsley (Fletcher Colton), Joe frye (Laughing Eagle, jockey); Runtime: 74; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: William LeBaron; Universal; 1935)|
|"It ought to be amusing, but
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This comedy suffers because it came out during the Production Code and censorhip did
a number on her double-entendres. It ought to be amusing, but wasn't.
Alexander Hall ("Here Comes Mr. Jordan"/"My Sister
Eileen"/"Little Miss Marker") sloppily
directs this Mae West
star vehicle and seems to just aim the camera and shoot. It's based on
the story by Marion Morgan
and George B. Dowel, with Mae West
writing the script.
Out West, bawdy saloon singer
Cleo Borden (Mae West) loses a crap game and as arranged must wed
wealthy cattle rancher Buck Gonzales (Fred Kohler). But he's killed by
the sheriff while rustling cattle. Cleo inherits his vast wealth. While
inspecting her oil wells she falls in love with an engineer, Edward
Carrington (Paul Cavanagh),
snobbish cultured British aristocrat. He rejects her as 'crude oil.' To win him
over, Cleo treks to Buenos Aires to race her horse Cactus and to find a
way to crash high society and to hook up at the race track with the
traveling engineer in order to win him over. Among the society folks, Mrs.
Crane Brittony (Marjorie Gateson) detests Cleo. She's running another horse
in the race and has made a large side bet with Cleo on the winner. To
ensure she wins, Lady Brittony gets her rodent-like aristocratic
gold-digging Russian boyfriend Ivan (Ivan Lebedeff) to
prevent Cactus from running. But Ivan is thwarted by Cleo's loyal horse
trainer Taho (Tito Coral). During the race, when Cleo
detects further cheating against her entry, she resorts to her own
dirty illegal tricks to win.
Cleo is helped getting around the Buenos Aires society circuit by her
gentleman lawyer, Winslow (Gilbert Emery). With Cleo's consent, Winslow arranges
for her to make a business-arrangement marriage with Fletcher Colton (Monroe Owsley)
whereby she pays off his gambling debts and supports him and she gets
his family's title. The film's highlight takes place in Southhampton, where Cleo throws a society
party and presents the opera Samson and Delilah, with Cleo singing the
Delilah aria of "My Heart at
Thy Still Voice." During the opera, Ivan robs Cleo's bedroom safe
and kills the drunken Colton when he tries to prevent him. Mrs.
Crane Brittony then tries to say Cleo is the murderer, but Taho
catches Ivan with the stolen money and he confesses to the police and
implicates Crane Brittony. The slimy Ivan says Brittony hired him to
try and compromise Cleo. With
hubby out of the way, Cleo marries the Earl of Stratton, Carrington,
and becomes Lady Stratton.
Mae also sings "Now I'm a Lady" and "He's a Bad Bad Man, But He's Good Enough for Me,"
REVIEWED ON 5/1/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ