Smart, seductive and undeniably funny, Mae West is one of cinema?s most enduring comedy legends. Now this larger-than-life buxom beauty charms fans all over again in an amazing 5-movie collection of some of her most wildly... more » popular films. Revel in Mae?s breakout performance in Night After Night; join her as a bewitching lion (and man) tamer in I?m No Angel; lasso up some fun with the wealthy and the wicked in the rags-to-riches tale of Goin? To Town; delight in a comic country romance in Go West Young Man; and see how wild the West can really get in My Little Chickadee. It?s a must-own salute to one of Hollywood?s most outrageous and hilarious leading ladies.« less
Damon Devine | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/05/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"First.....it is NEVER a good idea to review ANY DVD title before it's released, as so many seem to have done for these latest Mae West titles. Unfortunately, they will have to eat most of their words, now that it has been released.
I am a HUGE Mae West devotee, with one of the biggest Mae West collections in the world (even have her tattooed on my arm!). That's why I was highly suspicious when five of her films were going to be released on DVD for such a small price. Why so cheap? And why re-release I'm No Angel and My Little Chickadee that are already out on DVD? And why not release one of her most loved films, 'She Done Him Wrong'?
Well, my fellow MW fans...what you might suspect, is true. These are NOT remastered by any stretch of the imagination, and are no clearer than the VHS versions. As well, they are on TWO DVD's and only a strange plastic divider separates them. You will always be worried you will accidentally scratch them. Only a few titles have the original trailers included, and the quality of them is GHASTLY. REALLY bad. There are also no extras. Wouldn't you have died for a glimpse at a few rare deleted scenes!? Or maybe some great newsreel footage?
What is good about this "boxed" set? Not much, other than it is Mae West, an American institution, who always delivers the goods. Also...it's nice to have these titles "preserved" on DVD, even if the quiality is far from remastered. It is clear that Universal wanted to make a quick buck and slapped together a semi-fancy outer package, housing less than high quality DVD's inside. Let's hope they get serious next time and release ALL of Mae West's Paramount titles, digitally remastered in a gorgeous boxed set. Mae West deserves that, and we as consumers (and fans) do too."
Please Don't Listen To The Complainers...
Travis T. Black | Los Angeles, California | 05/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased this set last week without having read any reviews previously. I only knew that I was a fan of Mae West and that I wanted a nice collection of her films. But before even putting in the first DVD I decided to read some reviews on Amazon just for the heck of it. One reviewer here claims that the sound is horrible, that the picture is garbage, and that Warner Bros. is putting out "trash" sets. Well first of all, this is not a Warner Home Video release, this entire set is from Universal, despite the fact that these are Paramount films... Anyways, expecting the worst,I popped in the first disc. The picture begins. The sound is clear. The picture is clear. It doesn't shake and there is very little grain on the image (only the usual specs here and there). The mono sound is very clear. After viewing all 5 films, the only one with any real noticeable grain or scratches was "Going To Town" but even then just barely, and only for a few seconds in certain scenes. However, the films are divided up rather strangely over the two disc. The division is as follows: Disc one Side A : Night After Night & I'm No Angel Side B: Going To Town Disc two: Side A: Go West Young Man & My Little Chick-a-dee Side B: Nothing I haven no idea why side B is completely empty when two films are crammed onto Side A. The only extras are trailers for three of the films and the menu designs are identical for each film. Sadly most catalog classic releases are treated as such. The Garbo DVDs released earlier last year had picture quality that was not only about the same, it was worse in some places. Those were apparently "digitally restored" (I'm talking about her talkies, not the silents which had more scratches on them than a cat post) and cost about $20 A PIECE. As for the films themselves, they are screen gems indeed. Mae West exhibits both a strong and amusing presence on film. She was an actress who was ahead of as well as one of the most controversial of her time. Each film shows off her perfectly timed comic abilities as well as her vocal talents which aren't too shabby either. After comparing the quality ans price of these DVDs to previous releases of older films that belong in this genre, I've decided that this is really an excellent deal. So please, don't pay attention to angry reviewers who are bitter about lack of extras, this set is certainly worth it!"
Wonderful But Incomplete
James Morris | Jackson Heights, NY United States | 01/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At last - 12 years after Universal released the entire Mae West collection on VHS to celebrate the 100th anniversary of her birth, they are finally putting out a boxed set of some of her classic films. I am particularly delighted that this set includes the often overlooked gem, Goin' To Town, one of Miss West's funniest comedies.
But I am of mixed emotions concerning this release, since it only includes five of Mae West's classics. I've waited a long time for these to be released on DVD, and what does Universal do? They put out only five of the ten films they have the rights to. Two of the films in this collection were already released on DVD - I'm No Angel was released several years ago, and My Little Chickadee was released last year as part of the W. C. Fields collection. So only three of the five films are new to DVD.
Worse, the set does not include She Done Him Wrong, Mae West's personal favorite among all her films, which was based on her stage hit, Diamond Lil. The inclusion of Go West Young Man (considered by many fans to be her weakest effort) is puzzling over She Done Him Wrong, but I suppose that just makes it more likely that they will do the right thing and release the rest shortly.
The box set released in the UK three months ago contains a whole different set of six films - including Klondike Annie (one of her few dramas, and one of her best films) and the seldom seen The Heat's On, a silly musical done at Columbia studios in 1943, which was the great lady's last screen appearance until Myra Breckinridge, 27 years later.
Universal saw fit to release virtually all of the Abbott and Costello films in its vaults before it got to Mae West, Carole Lombard and Marlene Dietrich (the release of The Glamour Collection: Marlene Dietrich and The Glamour Collection: Carole Lombard were both announced concurrently with the Mae West set). So hop to it, Universal! Fans of all three of these ladies are anxiously awaiting more. "
It's better to be looked over than overlooked
Lanyon | London, England | 02/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's great that Universal have released five of Mae West's movies in this good value DVD set. Mae West first made it to Hollywood in 1932 when she was nearly 40. Paramount Pictures had offered her a supporting role in a George Raft vehicle "Night After Night"(included here). Mae insisted on writing her own dialogue and, although she appears for only fifteen minutes towards the end, she was the hit of the movie. Sashaying in to Raft's nightclub Mae hands her wrap to the hatcheck girl. "Goodness what beautiful diamonds!" says the girl. "Goodness had nothing to do with it" says Mae.
Paramount were anxious to cash in and asked Mae to star in "She Done Him Wrong", a remake of her play "Diamond Lil". It was the biggest grossing film of 1933. Her co-star was Cary Grant who also appeared in Mae's second film "I'm No Angel" in which she plays Tira a circus lion tamer whose act hits the big time when she puts her head in the lion's mouth. This is a contemporary satire on social climbing ("It's not the men in my life that counts, it's the life in my men") and is, I think, her best film. "I wish I could trust you" says Cary. "You can" says Mae, "hundreds have". Cary: "Do you mind if I get personal?" Mae "Go right ahead, I don't mind if you get familiar". To another potential conquest Mae says "I like sophisticated men to take me out". He replies "Well, I'm not really sophisticated." Oh, says Mae "Well, you're not really out yet either".
After this the censors descended and Mae's next film in 1934 was changed from "It Ain't No Sin" to "Belle of the Nineties". Next came "Goin' To Town", where Mae inherits an oil well and heads off to Buenos Aires to lasso (literally) an English aristocrat. This film is often overlooked so it's great that it's on this DVD set, as it's a corker.
Next came "Klondike Annie" (1936) her most controversial film; Mae played a nightclub hostess, on the run from the police, who disguises herself as a preacher at a Mission in Alaska. Mae wasn't trying to mock religion although she does say "when I'm caught between two evils I generally pick the one I never tried before" but move away from her popular persona to try something with more depth and meaning. After this Paramount Pictures gave up supporting Mae in her attempts to out fox the censors and she only made two more films for them: "Go West Young Man" (1937) with Randolph Scott ("A thrill a day keeps the chill away") and "Every Day's a Holiday" (1938). She was approached by Universal studios in 1939 to co-star with W C Fields in a comedy western "My Little Chickadee". Mae wrote more great lines for herself: "when you've got nothing better to do and plenty of time to do it, come up" and "every man I meet wants to protect me, I can't figure out what from".
Five Films from Mae West's Hollywood Hey Day.
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 04/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Mae West: The Glamour Collection" presents 5 of Mae West's films, made 1932-1940 at Paramount and Universal Studios. West made 10 movies during the prime of her film career, 1932-1943, so we are missing a few, most notably the Oscar-nominated "She Done Him Wrong". Viewing these films 70 years after they were made, Mae West still impresses as a woman who had no shortage of confidence, gall, or wit. Yet Mae West was almost 40 years old when she started in film, coming off of tremendous Broadway and vaudeville success. She unabashedly promoted herself as a sex symbol and irresistible temptress. She did this by sheer force of will. Competing with her own lavish wardrobe for the audience's attention was no small feat. West wears suggestive, slinky gowns, but has the thick waist and sagging bustline of middle age. She has a masculine gait, leading with her shoulders instead of her hips. I assume this exaggerated strut was developed for the stage. Not only were Mae West's characters not respectable, her onscreen persona is trashy, manipulative, self-absorbed, coarsely mannered, and generally freakish. These are not the sort of women that anyone would find alluring in real life. Yet Mae West made them desirable -even admirable- just by saying that they were. And audiences flocked to see them -and still do. That's why Mae West was a great star. Subtitles are available in English SDH, Spanish, and French.
DISC 1: "Night After Night" (1932)(1 hour 13 min) introduced audiences nationwide to Mae West's slinky gowns, quick wit, and sexy innuendo. West plays Maudie Triplett, fun-loving pal of Joe Anton (George Raft), the wealthy bachelor owner of New York's most fashionable nightclub and speakeasy. Joe employs prim and proper Miss Jellyman (Alison Skipworth) to teach him how to be a gentleman and overcome the coarse manners of his criminal background. And just in time, since Joe is infatuated with an aristocratic young woman (Constance Cummings) who frequents his club. Meanwhile, gangsters losing profits to his speakeasy are pressuring Joe to sell out or else. "I'm No Angel" (1933)(1 hour 27 min) was the movie that saved Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy. Story, screenplay, and all dialogue by Mae West. West plays Tira, a carnival burlesque dancer and torch singer with a long string of male admirers. Tira's motto is, "Find'em, fool'em, and forget'em." When a daring lion-taming act takes her to New York, a higher class string of admirers arrive at Tira's door, among them the aristocratic Kirk Lawrence (Kent Taylor). But Mr. Lawrence's handsome cousin Jack Clayton (Cary Grant) falls even harder for Tira, and the feeling might even be mutual. These prints are a little grainy, but basically good with good sound. Trailers (unrestored) for both films are included on the disc.
DISC 2: "Goin' To Town" (1935)(1 hour 11 min) was written for the screen by Mae West, based on a story by Marion Morgan and George Dowell. West plays Cleo Borden, a flirtatious, flamboyant performer in a Wild West saloon, engaged to marry a monied cowboy. When her fiance is killed rustling cattle the night before their wedding, Cleo inherits his oil-rich land. She proceeds to fall head over heels for an English gentleman employed to speculate for oil on her property, Mr. Carrington (Paul Cavanagh). But Carrington is put off by her coarse manners and low birth. So Cleo sets out to become a refined lady -or some approximation of one- using any means at her disposal, with the help of her accountant Mr. Winslow (Gilbert Emery). But not all ladies of high society are as ladylike as they seem. Lots of bejeweled gowns and fabulous furs. And we get a taste of West's sassy singing. The print of this film has white specks and lines in places. Not enough to interfere with my enjoyment, but it doesn't look good. Sound is ok. No trailer.
DISC 3: "Go West, Young Man" (1936)(1hour 20 min) is based on the play "Personal Appearance" by Lawrence Riley, screenplay by Mae West. West plays haughty movie star Mavis Arden, "reigning queen of the cinema". Mavis' contract states that she cannot marry for 5 years, and her press agent Mr. Morgan (Warren William) is committed to keeping her single and scandal-free. When Mavis' car breaks down in rural Pennsylvania, she and Morgan are forced to lodge at Mrs. Struthers' boarding house, where Mavis finds she has many fans, among them a hunky mechanic (Randolph Scott) who has invented a new sound technology for movies. "My Little Chickadee" (1940)(1 hour 23 min) pairs W. C. Fields and Mae West in a film they co-wrote. The two stars famously did not get along. In the 1880s, flirtatious young Flower Belle Lee strikes up a romance with the outlaw Masked Bandit but marries Cuthbert Twillie (W.C. Fields), an older lizard oil salesman, believing that he is wealthy. Cuthbert is made Sheriff of Greasewood City, a job that no one holds for long, where he is under pressure to capture the Masked Bandit and wrest power from the town's corrupt but charming saloon owner Jeff Badger (Joseph Galleia). The prints of these films are good, but not perfect. Sound is good. There is a trailer (unrestored) for "My Little Chickadee"."