There has never been anyone close to the unique Mae West. She may have been a parody of herself in later years but to really appreciate her, movies like this are a must see. She wrote the story,screenplay and all the dialogue for this one.
Tira (Mae West) is a dancer in a carnival. She wows the crowd while Slick Wiley works them as a pickpocket. During her act she flirts with a man in the front row after seeing his big diamond pinkie ring.
She invites him up to her hotel room. After a bit Slick charges in. He hits him over the head and steals the ring. Slick and Tira think he’s dead and move the body. The man is very much alive. Tira tells show owner Big Bill Barton (Edward Arnold) she needs money for her lawyer Benny Pinkowitz. She promises she’ll work with the lions and even stick her head in a lions mouth. He gives her the money. Slick goes to jail and the show goes to New York.
Tira is a sensation and draws the attention of millionaire Kirk Lawrence (Kent Taylor). He and his friends go to her dressing room after the show. Kirk’s fiancee Alicia waits outside rather than socialize with Tira. Kirk on purpose leaves his cane behind so he can return later for it.
Kirk ends up buying Tira expensive clothes, jewelry and furs. His cousin Jack Clayton (Cary Grant) advises him to stay with Alicia and even visits Tira to get her to stop seeing Kirk. Alicia even tries to buy her off. Tira does give him up after falling for Jack. They get engaged.
Slick is now out of jail. She gives him a few bucks and tells him to go see Barton for some work. She gives Barton her two week notice. He doesn’t want her to go since her act bring in the big bucks. He cooks up a plan with Slick to stop the wedding.
Barton pays off Tira’s chauffeur to strand her so Slick can be at her penthouse when Jack comes over. Slick makes himself at home and gives Jack the impression he’s her boyfriend. Jack calls the engagement off and leaves town and isn’t available to talk to anyone including Tira.
Tira calls Benny and wants to sue Jack for breach of promise. Now comes one of the funniest trial sequences of the era especially when Tira asks the questions.
Any of her early movies are must sees for comedy fans and anyone who wants to see a legend at work. Towards the end she does say those immortal words, “Come up and see me sometime.”
Kent Taylor was TV’s “Boston Blackie” (1951-53) and Captain Jim Flagg in “The Rough Riders” (1958-59). His career ended with a series of cheap horror flicks.