Review: ‘Klondike Annie’

This one is again Mae West with the usual formula of wisecracks. That is no longer enough. The basic idea of the story [from the play by West, from a story suggested by Marion Morgan and George B. Dowell] is absurd. Scene is the early 1890s, the time of the Klondike rush. West kills her Chinese paramour and flees to Alaska for safety. This projects her into the story as a prostie and a murderess.

This one is again Mae West with the usual formula of wisecracks. That is no longer enough. The basic idea of the story [from the play by West, from a story suggested by Marion Morgan and George B. Dowell] is absurd. Scene is the early 1890s, the time of the Klondike rush. West kills her Chinese paramour and flees to Alaska for safety. This projects her into the story as a prostie and a murderess.

West plays it always in the same key, so the Salvation Army mission scenes are merely the peg for some canting hypocrisy and a farcical development. There are a number of songs [by Gene Austin and Jimmie Johnson]. Most have been written to fit the script and lack general appeal.

West is handicapped by having to wear rather dowdy dresses in about half the footage. Victor McLaglen is clearly uncomfortable and under wraps here and Philip Reed is far too much the matinee type to suggest the marshal of a frontier town.

Klondike Annie

Production

Paramount. Director Raoul Walsh; Producer William LeBaron; Screenplay Mae West; Camera George Clemens; Editor Stuart Heisler; Music Sam Coslow; Art Director Hans Dreier, Bernard Herzbrun

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1936. Running time: 78 MIN.

With

Mae West Victor McLaglen Philip Reed Harold Huber Lucille Gleason Helen Jerome Eddy
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