My Little Chickadee (Edward F. Cline, 1940, USA)

My Little Chickadee (1940) is a film that brought comedy stars Mae West and W.C. Fields together on the big screen for the first time. The film had a troubled production. Notably, W.C. Fields did not get along with the film's original director George Marshall (best known for his work with Laurel and Hardy). Fields had Edward F. Cline, with whom he had worked on previous occasions, replace Marshall. There is also the question of the credit of the film. Notably, the film also had a dispute over the screenplay. Mae West wrote the original screenplay, but the studio decided to give W.C. Fields credit as well. This incensed Mae West, who never ended up working with Fields again. 

West plays Miss Flower Belle Lee, a singer from Chicago, who is on her way out west. She falls in love with a masked bandit. On the way to another city, she ends up meeting a con-man played by W.C. Fields - Cuthbert J. Twillie. She ends up arranging a sham marriage with Cuthbert in order to maintain a sense of respectability. Meanwhile, Twillie is made sheriff of a town so that he won't be able to interfere with Badger's crimes. 


My Little Chickadee generally works and is a fun entry into the western-comedy genre. It is breezy at 80 minutes, and the film notably has an exchange of the two main characters' signature lines - Mae West says "my little chickadee," and W.C. Fields says "come up and see my some time." There is another funny moment in the film, in which W.C. Fields - thinking he is going to bed with Mae West - ends up going to bed with a goat. Overall, some of the other comedy has not aged so well. That being said, this film is worth a watch for fans of Fields or West. 


6/10

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