Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 1978. Briggs and Sullivan. Screenplay by Herbert Baker, based on the play by Mae West. Cinematography by James Crabe. Produced by Daniel Briggs, Robert Sullivan. Music by Artie Butler. Production Design by Thad Prescott. Costume Design by Edith Head. Film Editing by Argyle Nelson Jr.. Podcast: Bad Gay Movies.
Always the one to make a lasting impression, Mae West made one final film as writer and star before her death two years later. In her usual tongue in cheek style, she plays the boy-crazy centre of attention who has just married luscious young Timothy Dalton and can’t wait to get him into the honeymoon suite. All manner of complications keep preventing their consummation, including issues with ex lovers and politicians, with West in a position to solve a major political problem with her one liners and healthy attitude toward sex. A few stiff moments don’t dampen proof that she has all the delightful energy she had when she was young, but the direction is cheap and there’s far more campiness here than she deserves to be surrounded by; beefcake boys is one thing but Dom DeLuise is another. That said, the real let down with this one is the fact that many of her zingers have only nostalgic appeal, not quite cutting as deep as they did in her day and surrounded by a society that has already grown accustomed to so much worse. Watch it if you’re curious or if you just love her so much.