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My Little Chickadee (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Western | 15 March 1940 (USA)
Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "... See full summary »

Director:

Edward F. Cline

Writers:

Mae West (original screen play), W.C. Fields (original screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mae West ... Flower Belle Lee
W.C. Fields ... Cuthbert J. Twillie
Joseph Calleia ... Jeff Badger
Dick Foran ... Wayne Carter
Ruth Donnelly ... Aunt Lou
Margaret Hamilton ... Mrs. Gideon
Donald Meek ... Amos Budge
Fuzzy Knight ... Cousin Zeb
Willard Robertson ... Uncle John
George Moran George Moran ... Milton
Jackie Searl ... Boy (as Jack Searl)
Fay Adler Fay Adler ... Mrs. 'Pygmy' Allen
Gene Austin ... Saloon Musician
Russell Hall Russell Hall ... Candy (as 'Candy')
Otto Heimel Otto Heimel ... Coco (as 'Coco')
Edit

Storyline

Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "respectability." Arrived in Greasewood City with his unkissed bride, Twillie is named sheriff by town boss Jeff Badger...with an ulterior motive. Meanwhile, both stars inimitably display their specialties, as Twillie tends bar and plays cards, and Flower Belle tames the town's rowdy schoolboys... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the lafftime of a lifetime ! . . as "Wild Bill" Fields tries to tame the West! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lady and the Bandit See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The saloon is basically the same set used for "Destry Rides Again", which wrapped production in late October 1939, just before "My Little Chickadee" started shooting in November. See more »

Goofs

On the train out of town, after Cuthbert gives Flowerbelle the heart shaped charm, his hat starts on his head, but then suddenly its magically in his left hand (so he can use his right hand to hold onto the railing.) See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Stagecoach driver: [the masked bandit shoots a gun, forcing the stagecoach to stop] Whoa, hup! Whoa!
Masked Bandit: Drop those guns.
[the driver and his partner throw their guns to the ground and put their hands up]
Masked Bandit: Everybody get out.
[the passengers leave the stagecoach]
Masked Bandit: Do not try anything and nobody will get hurt.
Stagecoach driver: He said to come out, Miss Flower Belle.
Flower Belle Lee: Well, I got nothing he wants.
Masked Bandit: I will be the judge of that. Come out, or I will have to kill all these nice people.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title, 'The End', is superimposed over Mae West's gluteus maximus as she walks away from the camera. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Universal Story (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Persischer Marsch (Persian March), Op. 289
Music by Johann Strauss
[Played during Flower Belle's and Twillie's arrival at the hotel in Greasewood.]
See more »

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User Reviews

"My Little Peach Fuzz"
30 August 2009 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

An Old West comedy that doesn't make a lot of sense, "My Little Chickadee" is mostly a cinematic vehicle for the talents of its two stars: Mae West and W.C. Fields.

Mae, all decked out in flowery glad rags, does her usual shtick, as she rolls her eyes, smiles mischievously, and walks in the slinky, suggestive manner that she's known for. I love it. She doesn't "act" so much as she projects her own unique on-stage persona. In this film she sings only one song: "Willie Of The Valley". It's okay, but I could have wished for a song more suitable to her wonderfully bawdy public image.

Wearing a high top hat and white gloves, and with that big nose and eccentric way of speaking, W.C. Fields plays Cuthbert J. Twillie, a blustery, flamboyant older man who uses big words to impress, and devious tricks to hoodwink. He's not seriously criminal, just a good-natured, booze-loving flimflam man trying to get along in life as best he knows how. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes not. Fields is just as unique as Mae West. And his comedic routine is straight out of vaudeville.

The script's dialogue contains lines that highlight the humor of Fields, like when he tries to impress Flower Belle (Mae West): "The days of chivalry are not over. I've been worried about you my little peach fuzz. Have you been loitering somewhere? ... You are the epitome of erudition, the double superlative ...". His flowery metaphors sometimes get on Flower Belle's nerves, like when he says to her: "I climb the ladder of love to reach for the stars". She snaps back: "I'm in no mood for astronomy".

For all his bluster, Twillie is actually the weaker of the two characters. It's Flower Belle who uses a pistol to knock off villainous Indians, and Twillie whose use of a kid's slingshot backfires.

In this story, Margaret Hamilton, in her best witch voice, plays a histrionic busybody, in a support role.

This is a film that will appeal mostly to fans of Fields and/or West. I think the film probably showcases Fields' talents a little better than those of West. What hurt this film is the real-life villainous Production Code which tried to water down the bawdy dialogue. As a result, both the plot and some of the dialogue come across as flat. Had the self-righteous censors left the scriptwriters alone, "My Little Chickadee" could have really sizzled.


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