From carny caravan to luxury apartment. Tira starts out as a sideshow performer on the carnival circuit and develops a stellar career as lion tamer. Among her many admirers in New York is wealthy Kirk Lawrence, who is, however, already engaged to be married. Tira doesn’t give up on grabbing him until his business partner and friend Jack Clayton asks nicely – and the two fall in love. But when Tira’s past raises its ugly head in the form of pickpocket and former boyfriend Slick Wiley, who pretends to be her lover, Clayton calls off the wedding. Tira takes Jack to court to defend her honour … “Come up and see me sometime”, a much-misquoted line that West actually utters here, while talking to a member of the (all male) jury. In the courtroom scenes, where Tira defends herself, Mae West takes a bit of a detour as she approaches the witness box, providing her a chance to show off her peerless sashay to the jury. And she is not above doing the same for film audiences. All of her dialogue and moves seem directed at the movie public. As an actress, Mae West was not least of all unique and unrivalled in her ability to break the fourth wall.
by Wesley Ruggles
with Mae West, Cary Grant, Gregory Ratoff, Edward Arnold, Ralf Harolde, Kent Taylor, Gertrude Michael, Russell Hopton, Dorothy Peterson, Wm. B. Davidson
USA 1933 English 84’ Black/White

With

  • Mae West
  • Cary Grant
  • Gregory Ratoff
  • Edward Arnold
  • Ralf Harolde
  • Kent Taylor
  • Gertrude Michael
  • Russell Hopton
  • Dorothy Peterson
  • Wm. B. Davidson

Crew

DirectorWesley Ruggles
ScreenplayMae West
DialogueMae West
CinematographyLeo Tover
EditingOtho Lovering
SongsHarvey Brooks, Gladys duBois, Ben Ellison
SoundPhilip Wisdom, F. E. Dine
Art DirectorHans Dreier, Bernard Herzbrun
ProducerWilliam LeBaron

Produced by

Paramount Productions, Inc.