Teatro Auditorium Manzoni > 14:30


Wesley Ruggles


Wednesday 26/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Mae West was too hot to be roped in by any code in 1933. [After She Done Him Wrong] the studio rushed another West vehicle, I’m No Angel, into production to satisfy her millions of fans. […] Playing on her bad-girl image, I’m No Angel – which everyone already knew about West – hit American screens in the fall of 1933. The setting this time was the big top. West is a carnival performer, Tira, a midway dancer/ entertainer in Big Bill Barton’s sleazy little traveling sideshow. As a sideline she and her John set up and rob male suckers who cannot resist Tira’s charms […]. The romantic angle is provided by Jack Clayton (Cary Grant), a young, debonair millionaire who falls in love with Tira. The double entendres fly hot and heavy: “When I’m good, I’m very good. But, when I’m bad, I’m better”, she brags. When Tira is accused of ‘knowing’ lots of men, she does not protest the implication, but rather retorts, “It’s not the men in my life, but the life in my men”. And so on. It was pure West, uncensored, raw by the standards of the times, but always good, if not totally clean, fun. Audiences loved it. […] An article by Jack Moffitt commented on the West phenomenon: “Women are more tickled at Mae West than men are, because it is the picture of woman triumphant, ruthlessly and unscrupulously triumphant, over poor, blundering simple-minded men. And perfectly respectable matrons, who would rebel at any other kind of vampire, accept the vulgar, funny, and happy type represented by Mae West, are all of them delighted by her. Very few of these respectable matrons would pursue her tactics, but they like to see it done”. By the end of 1933 more than forty-six million movie fans – including, no doubt, a great many of the matrons Jack Moffitt describe – had seen the two films, and West was ranked eighth in 1933 as a Hollywood box-office attraction. […] Yet within seven months, both She Done Him Wrong and I’m No Angel would be removed from circulation. Despite her tremendous popularity, or perhaps because of it, West became one of the central casualties in the effort to force the studios to a strict adherence to the Hays code.

Gregory D. Black, Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1996

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Mae West. F.: Leo Tover. M.: Otho Lovering. Scgf.: Hans Dreier, Bernard Herzbrun. Int.: Mae West (Tira), Cary Grant (Jack Clayton), Gregory Ratoff (Benny Pinkowitz), Edward Arnold (Big Bill Barton), Ralf Harolde (Slick Wiley), Kent Taylor (Kirk Lawrence), Gertrude Michael (Alicia Hatton), Russell Hopton (‘Flea’ Madigan), Dorothy Peterson (Thelma), Wm. B. Davidson (Ernest Brown). Prod.: William LeBaron per Paramount Productions, Inc. DCP. Bn.