Bawdy saloon singer Cleo Borden contracts to marry a cattle rustler if he deeds her his oil-rich land. When he is suddenly killed, Cleo inherits his oilfields and fortune. But no amount of wealth can help her win the affections of gentlemanly land surveyor Edward Carrington. When he travels to Buenos Aires for race season, Cleo follows. She manages to increase her fortune when a horse she owns wins a race, but remains shut out of Carrington’s world of moneyed aristocracy. She enters into a marriage of convenience with the bankrupt son of a Lady. Her mother-in-law is determined to wreck the marriage and joins forces with a Russian gigolo to try to ruin Cleo’s reputation … “I’m a good woman for a bad man.” Cleo’s rise in the social ranks is represented by her transformation from saloon to opera singer, as she strives to impress high society. An aria from Samson and Delilah is the perfect choice, showing off Mae West’s penchant to fully inhabit characters whose aim is to send even the strongest men into a swoon. But West indicates how unimpressed she herself was with the cultural capital that Cleo amasses, as she serves up a pure camp portrayal.
by Alexander Hall
with Mae West, Paul Cavanagh, Gilbert Emery, Marjorie Gateson, Tito Coral, Ivan Lebedeff, Fred Kohler, Monroe Owsley, Grant Withers, Vladimar Bykoff
USA 1935 English 71’ Black/White

With

  • Mae West
  • Paul Cavanagh
  • Gilbert Emery
  • Marjorie Gateson
  • Tito Coral
  • Ivan Lebedeff
  • Fred Kohler
  • Monroe Owsley
  • Grant Withers
  • Vladimar Bykoff

Crew

DirectorAlexander Hall
ScreenplayMae West, based on a story by Marion Morgan, George B. Dowell
DialogueMae West
CinematographyKarl Struss
EditingLeRoy Stone
SongsSam Coslow, Sammy Fain, Irving Kahal
SoundM. M. Paggi
Art DirectorHans Dreier, Robert Usher
CostumesTravis Banton
ProducerWilliam LeBaron

Produced by

Paramount Productions, Inc.