Belle Of The Nineties (1934)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1934.  Screenplay by Mae West, based on her story It Ain’t No Sin.  Cinematography by Karl Struss.  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by Bernard Herzbrun.  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Mae West writes herself another fantastic vehicle in this enjoyable musical drama, one that highlights all of her best qualities. She throws off her witty one-liners (“Your mother should have thrown you out and kept the stork!”), indulges in sexual innuendo (someone mentions that she knows the way to a man’s heart and she replies “Funny too, cause I can’t cook!”) and performs some great numbers (her delivery of “Troubled Waters” is a standout).

The diverting plot centres around her as a night club singer of the late nineteenth century who shifts operations from St. Louis to New Orleans to get away from a mean, pugilist boyfriend. He shows up in town for another match, looks for her and they all get involved in a diamond-stealing operation. Great costumes and sets, but at the end of the day it’s Mae’s show all the way!


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