Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


GO WEST YOUNG MAN (1936). Director: Henry Hathaway.

"A thrill a day keeps the chill away!"

Film star Mavis Arden (Mae West) is on her way to a rendezvous in Washington D.C. when her limo breaks down and she must spend some time in a small-town boarding house. But there she sets her cap for a handsome gas station owner and inventor, Bud (Randolph Scott). However, things are complicated by the fact that Bud already has a girl, and that Mavis' press agent Morgan (Warren William) is paid to keep her away from men because her contract won't allow her to marry for five years. Then there are the other assorted townspeople and boarders and their varying reactions to Mavis. Well, this sure sound like it would make a hilarious movie, and while it's cute and easy to take for the most part, it certainly isn't a classic. Sort of given an actual role to play, West "acts" as if she's doing a sketch on television. When she approaches Bud in a black outfit to seduce him, she looks about as sexy as a dead skunk. [The really funny thing about West's movies -- which I doubt she would ever have admitted to -- was the idea that the chubby, not exactly beautiful West would be the object of desire for so many men.] Elizabeth Patterson nearly steals the picture as Aunt Kate. When asked by her grand-niece if they had "it" in her day, she replies: "They had 'it' all right. But they didn't photograph it and set it to music."

Verdict: Hardly what you're hoping it will be, but not exactly awful. **1/2.

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