Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Battle of the Blondes: Carole Lombard VS Mae West.

Carole Lombard and Mae West, were both wonderful comedians and both well known for their witty dialogs, in their classic movies.

Carole Lombard (October 6, 1908 – January 16, 1942). Was best known for her comedic roles of the 1930s. A couple of her better known films were: Nothing Sacred(1937). A comedy about a newspaper reporter Wally Cook, who tries to pass off an African-American as an African nobleman during a charity event. Cook is then demoted to writing obituaries.

Wally, is sent out of town to interview Hazel Flagg, a woman who thinks that she is dying of radium poisoning.

They hold a parade in her honor and the key to the city and when it is finally discovered that Hazel is not really dying, what will city officials decide to do.

Maybe, one of the funniest movies from the 30's. Full of humor and very easy to watch from start to finish.

To Be Or Not To Be(1942). Comedy about a troupe of actors in Nazi-occupied Warsaw who use their talents to fool the occupying troops. The dialogue is so quick and witty that you may want to watch it for a second time, to make sure you hear all of the lines.

Mae West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980). Known for her double innuendos. West, made a name for herself in Vaudeville and on the stage in New York before moving to Hollywood to become a comedienne, actress and writer. A couple of films she is well known for are:

She Done Him Wrong(1933). Comedy/romance film set in New York in the 1890s, where Lady Lou, sings in the Bowery barroom saloon of, Gus Jordan, who drapes her in diamonds. But Lou, is not a one man woman.

What she does not know is that Gus runs prostitution and counterfeiting ring, who also works with Russian Rita and Serge Stanieff. Dan Flynn, drops hints to Lou that Gus is up to no good and promises to take care of her once Gus is in jail.

She becomes attracted to, Captain Cummings, who really is an undercover Federal agent working to expose the illegal activities in the bar.

She goes to the prison to reassure Chick, but he threatens to kill her if she double-crosses him. She is lying when she says that she has been faithful to him.

Chick, escapes from jail and goes straight to Lou's dressing room and starts to strangle her, but can not bring himself to kill her.. Lou, promises that she will go with him when she finishes her next number.

After Sergei gives Lou a diamond pin belonging to Rita, the two get into a fight and Rita is accidentally killed. Lou has her bodyguard Spider, get rid of Rita's body. She then tells Spider to bring Chick, back to her dressing room.

Then, while performing on stage she gives a signal to Dan Flynn, to go to her room to wait for her, even though she knows Chick is in there with a gun. Chick kills Dan and the gunfire bring in the police. Cummings, reveals himself as "The Hawk," a well-known Federal agent, as he arrests Gus and Serge. Chick, still lurking in Lou's room, is about to kill Lou for double crossing him, will Cummings get there in time?

There is magic in the air when Grant and West get together that is for sure. Mae drips with diamonds, funny sayings and fabulous gowns.

I'm No Angel (1933) Is Mae West's third film. A young Cary Grant plays her leading man for the second time. Being Pre-Code, this was one of the few Mae West movies that was not subjected to heavy censorship.

Tira sings in the sideshow of Big Bill Barton's Wonder Show, while her boyfriend, pickpocket "Slick", works the audience. One of her customers meets with her later, Slick barges in and hits him over the head with a bottle. Mistakenly, thinking he has killed the man, is thrown in jail.

Thinking.. that Slick will put the blame on her, Tira asks Big Bill for a loan to hire lawyer. He agrees.. on condition that she does her lion taming act, promising her that it will get her to the "Big Show".

Tira's act takes her to New York City, where she catches the eye of wealthy Kirk Lawrence, even though he is engaged to socialite Alice Hatton. Kirk's cousin, Jack Clayton, with plans to ask Tira to break it off with Kirk, he ends up engaged to her, himself.

Not wanting to lose his best act, he has Slick, recently released from prison, sneak into Tira's penthouse suite, where he finds Jack. Not wanting any more trouble, Jack break off their engagement. Heartbroken, Tira sues Jack for breach of promise. In court the judge allows her to cross examine the witnesses and she wins over the judge and jury and Jack.

There are many wonderful comic complications, but.. Mae West always gets her man.
If you've never seen a Mae West movie but have always wondered what made her a great star, this is the film to see!


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