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Monday, May 26, 2008

NIGHT AFTER NIGHT (1932)


Mae West waits half the pic before showing up for her film debut; you should, too. Beautifully restored on the current DVD Mae West ‘Glamour’ set, this is actually a George Raft/Constance Cummings/Wynne Gibson love triangle story. He’s a mug whose speakeasy was Cummings’ former manse. Raft is in the midst of dumping Gibson and taking lessons in etiquette from Alison Skipworth when he’s pressured to sell his club to a rival mobster. And that’s pretty much the whole plot of this tepid Paramount release. Warners regular Archie Mayo gets things off to a nice start as character actor Roscoe Karns dashes around the mansion/nightclub, but that’s about it until Mae appears, looking remarkably unmannered and natural at 40 (what an age to hit Hollywood!). She immediately takes charge of all her scenes, her sexual/comedic appeal obvious and remarkably unchanged or in need of updating.

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