Movie Mirrors Index

I'm No Angel

(1933 b 87')

En: 8 Ed: 7

Mae West wrote the snappy dialog in this comedy about a lion tamer who juggles men until she finds the richest one she wants to marry.

In a sexy gown Tira (Mae West) saunters out and draws men into the circus, singing "Sister Honky Tonk." Tira tells Big Bill Barton (Edward Arnold) she won't work the lions that night, and Slick Wiley (Ralf Harolde) warns her about seeing other men. Tira has gifts from various men and believes in finding them, fooling them, and forgetting them. She entertains a chump from Dallas until Slick comes in and tries to shake him down for money, knocking him out with a bottle when he resists. Slick takes his diamond ring and is caught with it when the police arrest him. Tira calls her lawyer Benny Pinkowitz (Gregory Ratoff) and asks Barton for money. Tira tells him she will put her head in the lion's mouth, and he gives her $2,000. Tira enters on an elephant and commands the lions, putting her face in one's mouth. After the show she talks with society people, throws water on critical Alicia (Gertrude Michael), and agrees to go out with Kirk Lawrence (Kent Taylor), who sends her expensive gifts. Tira tells her maids she likes one man (at a time) and plans to put in a filing system to keep track of them.

Alicia tells Tira she is engaged to Kirk and asks her to leave him alone. When she offers money, Tira pushes her out. Slick returns from jail, and Tira helps him if he'll stop stealing. Jack Clayton (Cary Grant) asks Tira if she loves Kirk and tells her not to count on marriage. Tira consults her horoscope and gives the fascinating Jack her framed photo. She calls Jack, and they begin seeing each other. She says, "When I'm good, I'm very good; but when I'm bad, I'm better." Tira sings "I Want You" and then tells Barton she is quitting to marry Jack. Barton arranges for Jack to find Slick alone in Tira's apartment in his robe, saying he is back with her. Jack won't take calls and plans to leave town. Tira tries on a wedding gown, but she gets a note and learns Jack is gone. She tells Pinkowitz to sue him for breach of promise.

Tira testifies in court she has known many men, and her lawyer says the case is lost. However, she questions the chump to show it was just a social date, gets Kirk to admit his fiancée asked her to break it off, has her maid Beulah (Gertrude Howard) say how much Tira loves Jack, and reveals Slick was in jail and not living with her. Jack regrets he contested the case and offers to settle for the full amount. Jack calls on Tira and asks her if she loves him. She tears up his check, and he kisses her. Tira then sings "I'm No Angel."

The witty, charming, sassy, and sexy Tira shows how a woman can use her powers to get what she wants. She goes through men by giving little and getting plenty until she finds the man she wants, accepting marriage as a last resort.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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