EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|GO WEST YOUNG MAN (director: Henry Hathaway; screenwriters: from the play "Personal Appearance" by Lawrence Riley/Mae West; cinematographer: Karl Struss; editor: Ray Curtiss; music: Arthur JohnstonGeorge Stoll; cast: Mae West (Mavis Arden), Warren William (Morgan), Randolph Scott (Bud Norton), Lyle Talbot (Francis X. Harrigan), Margaret Perry (Joyce Struthers), Alice Brady (Mrs. Struthers), Walter Walker (Andy Kelton), Etienne Girardot (Prof. Rigby), Isabel Jewell (Gladys), Elizabeth Patterson (Aunt Kate Barnaby), Nicodemus Stewart (Black Garage Worker); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Emanuel Cohen; Universal; 1936)|
|"Censorship took away most reasons to see
this punch-less pic."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Production Code was no friend of Mae West, as censorship took away most
reasons to see this punch-less pic. This musical comedy is
based on the play "Personal
Appearance" by Lawrence Riley (it starred Gladys George on
Broadway during its successful run in 1934 and 1935) and is written by
Mae West. It becomes the first time West starred in a film that
was not written for her and thereby there are several other parts for
ladies in it that have some meat, unlike the lame roles they have in
her other films. Director Henry Hathaway ("True Grit"/"The Sons
Elder"/"Niagara") can't do
much with this turkey of a Hollywood spoof (watered down from the stage
version) but keep it from going completely off the farm.
Mavis Alden (Mae West) is a
glamorous, bawdy, pretentious and pampered movie star. Her studio sends
her on a nationwide
promotional tour of her latest picture Drifting Lady. On tour in Washington, D. C., Mavis dines with her
prominent politician old flame,
Francis X. Harrigan (Lyle Talbot). Thereby her zealous press agent Morgan (Warren William) notifies the press where
they are dining to get publicity for his client and break up their
romance with bad publicity that might possibly cause a scandal for the politician running for
Congress. There's a clause in Mavis'
with Superfine Pictures, Inc. that forbids her to marry for five
years, and it's the press agent's
job to be sure she is not
tempted (but for him it's more than a job, he has a crush on her). The
next stop on the tour is Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, but when Mavis' Rolls
Royce breaks down she's forced to stop in a hayseed farm town outside
of Harrisburg. The dame with
the high motor for men, turns her attention to the hunky but naive car
mechanic and inventor Bud Norton (Randolph Scott). He's engaged to
Perry), whose family owns the boardinghouse the actress is staying at.
The comedy turns to wisecracks
by Mavis and reaction shots of Mavis checking out Bud's butt and trying
to ward off Joyce's incensed family, and also trying to keep the
meddler Morgan from breaking up the possible romance with the square
It's slight on music,
narrative and laughs, but it's still a Mae West vehicle that has some
REVIEWED ON 5/1/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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