In New York amid rousing New Year’s Eve celebrations to ring in 1900, police captain Jim McCarey tells con artist Peaches O’Day that she should leave town, because the chief of police wants her arrested. But with the help of a wealthy well-wisher, she’s soon back. Taking to the cabaret stage disguised as “Mademoiselle Fifi”, she catches the amorous eye of police chief John Quade. When she rebuffs his advances, he orders McCarey to shut down the show and, when McCarey defies the order, Quade takes his badge. Peaches manages to get hold of files compromising the corrupt chief and urges McCarey to run against him for the office of mayor ... “He’s the kind of a man I want, I mean for mayor!” In her final film for Paramount Studios, Mae West played it remarkably chaste. Her innate sensuality, usually expressed in verbal innuendo, is here accentuated by the 17 extravagant gowns designed by fashion star Elsa Schiaparelli. The couturier, in turn, contributed to the fetishization of West’s body by designing the bottle for her perfume Shocking to resemble the film star’s figure.
by A. Edward Sutherland
with Mae West, Edmund Lowe, Charles Butterworth, Charles Winninger, Walter Catlett, Lloyd Nolan, Roger Imhof, Herman Bing, Lucien Prival, Adrian Morris, Louis Armstrong, Chester Conklin
USA 1938 English 79’ Black/White


  • Mae West
  • Edmund Lowe
  • Charles Butterworth
  • Charles Winninger
  • Walter Catlett
  • Lloyd Nolan
  • Roger Imhof
  • Herman Bing
  • Lucien Prival
  • Adrian Morris
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Chester Conklin


Director A. Edward Sutherland
Screenplay Mae West
Story Jo Swerling, Mae West
Cinematography Karl Struss
Editing Ray Curtiss
Visual Effects Gordon Jennings
Music Leo Shuken
Sound Hugo Grenzbach
Choreography LeRoy Prinz
Art Director Wiard B. Ihnen
Costumes Elsa Schiaparelli
Producer Emanuel Cohen

Produced by

Major Pictures Corp. (An Emanuel Cohen Production)

Additional information

Print: WDR Filmarchiv

A. Edward Sutherland


Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022