Although My Little Chickadee did not turn out to be the comedy smash of all time, both W.C. Fields and Mae West got in enough of their own shtick to make it worthwhile to see. What I can't figure out is when both were under contract at Paramount earlier in the decade why Adolph Zukor never thought of teaming them.
Probably because both of them were highly individualized and highly specialized performers. Both wrote their own material, but Mae believed her words were golden as she wrote them and Bill Fields was notorious with the ad-libs, even with a script he wrote.
Like Dallas in Stagecoach, Mae West as Flower Belle gets kicked out of one town and heads for another town accompanied by one of the Lady's League in the person of Margaret Hamilton. She's been spotted by Hamilton entertaining the mysterious masked bandit as only Mae entertains.
On the train she meets up with small time con man Cuthbert J. Twillie, a Fields pseudonym if there ever was one. She's convinced she's got a bankroll and she needs a husband to maintain a respectable front. Her gambler friend Donald Meek who looks like a clergyman and remember in Stagecoach Thomas Mitchell originally thought he was one, marries them on the train.
As a husband Fields is as ardent as Bob Hope was in The Paleface with Jane Russell who also needed to get married out of necessity to a stooge. He's sure willing enough, but Mae's to smart for him as she's got town editor Dick Foran and saloon owner Joseph Calleia panting hot and heavy for her as well.
My favorite moment is when Mae slips a goat into her bed and Fields gets a big surprise when he thinks he's finally going to score.
I'd have to say the film's a tie in terms of these two icons trying to top the other. There's plenty enough here to satisfy fans of both Mae and Bill and the many like myself who love both of them.