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One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its earliest documented telecasts took place in Seattle Tuesday 12 May 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), followed by Pittsburgh 14 October 1959 on KDKA (Channel 2). It was released on DVD as a single 17 June 1998 by Image Entertainment, and again 8 March 2016 as one of nine titles in Universal's Mae West: The Essential Collection. See more »
This is another middling Mae West vehicle: though there's something approximating a plot in its case (involving her taking up the guise of a missionary!), this has the unfortunate effect of producing unwarranted sentimentality consequently, the star's trademark sauciness gets downplayed which, frankly, doesn't suit her in the least or convince us for a second! At least, director Walsh vividly renders the turn-of-the-century atmosphere and changes of locale: we start in Chinatown, where Mae's the kept woman of an Oriental establishment owner, then spend a good deal of time aboard ship with rowdy captain Victor McLaglen during which the real (and elderly) Sister Annie perishes from a heart attack and, finally, settle in the titular gold-mining region where the heroine above all turns the head of a young Mountie (actually after West for the death of her Asian master that occurs off-screen!) even if he believes her to be a pious woman.
Needless to say, West's bubbly personality and smart business sense (acquired via her former capacity of world-renowned torch singer) turns around the mission's formerly pitiful fortunes which even come to threaten the takings at the local saloon (especially since she's recruited many of the performers there to liven up her own "joint")! I was under the impression that KLONDIKE ANNIE was something like 80 minutes long (the Leslie Halliwell Film Guide even gives the running-time as 83), so that I was surprised when it abruptly ended by having the star forsake the young career man for experienced lout McLaglen at a little over 73 minutes in PAL mode (with a bit of research, I was able to determine that Image's presumably long out-of-print R1 DVD actually only ran for 76 minutes).
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