Monday, December 25, 2017

Goin' to Town

For Christmas I watched one of the movies off my Mae West box set: Goin' to Town.

The plot starts off looking as though Mae is going to be doing a comic western. She plays Cleo, a woman who is seeing one man in the upstairs part of a saloon, while Buck (Fred Kohler), a rancher accused of cattle rustling, comes in downstairs and wants her. Back and Cleo eventually play dice to determine whether she'll marry him, and he wins. But before the marriage, he's killed in another cattle rustling incident. Still, the agreement the two signed means that she inherits his spread.

And, there's oil on that spread. While inspecting that part of the ranch, Cleo sees engineer Edward (Paul Cavanagh) who is managing the first phase of the oil extraction, and immediately falls in love with him, although he doesn't like the way she shows it. So he's happy to take a job down in Buenos Aires. Cleo, undeterred, follows Edward to Argentina.

Cleo is looking for a place in society to go with that wealth, but nobody will accept her. That is, until she finds a man Colton (Monroe Owsley) with gambling debts who is willing to make a deal with Cleo: a portion of her money in exchange for his good name. His aunt (Marjorie Gateson) however, is decidedly unhappy with this, and vows to get Cleo thrown out of high society. Further complications ensue....

Goin' to Town is probably the least satisfying of the Mae West movies I've seen to this point, mostly because the movie veers wildly from one part of the plot to the next. The western scenes seem as though they should be from around the turn of the century, but the car Cleo drives up to the ranch and the last two-thirds of the movie seem clearly in the present (well, 1935 when the movie was made). And the plot goes from one man to another to another to another at the drop of a hat along with switching locations. Plus, the part of the plot about Marjorie Gateson's character trying to drive Cleo out of the Hamptons is rather rushed in its resolution. Still, Mae gets to deliver some good lines (which of course she wrote herself) such as "I'm a good woman for a bad man."

Although Goin' to Town is one of Mae West's lesser efforts, it's not that bad, and since it was on a cheap box set, it's still worth getting the box set.

No comments: