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I'm No Angel

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I'm No Angel 1933 is Mae West's third motion picture West received sole story and screenplay credit A young Cary Grant plays her leading man for the second time, following She Done Him Wrong Made pre-Code, this was one of the few Mae West movies that were not subjected to heavy censorship The film was directed by Wesley Ruggles


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Context
  • 3 Cast
  • 4 Signature Mae West lines
  • 5 Soundtrack
  • 6 Accolades
  • 7 References
  • 8 Bibliography
  • 9 External links


Screenshot of Mae West performing her burlesque dance in front of men

Tira Mae West shimmies and sings in the sideshow of Big Bill Barton's Wonder Show, while her current boyfriend, pickpocket "Slick" Ralf Harolde, relieves her distracted audience of their valuables for Big Bill Edward Arnold One of the rich customers arranges a private rendezvous, during which Slick barges in and attempts to run a badger game on the customer The customer threatens to call the cops, so Slick whacks him over the head with a bottle Mistakenly thinking he has killed the man, Slick flees, but is caught and jailed

Fearing that Slick will implicate her, Tira asks Big Bill for a loan to retain her lawyer, Bennie Pinkowitz Gregory Ratoff He agrees on condition that she does her lion taming act, which includes putting her head into the mouth of one of the beasts, promising her that it will get her and him to the "Big Show" It does West did some of her own stunts, including riding an elephant into the ringcitation needed

Tira's fame takes her to New York City, where wealthy Kirk Lawrence Kent Taylor is smitten, despite being engaged to snobbish socialite Alicia Hatton Gertrude Michael He showers her with expensive gifts Kirk's friend and even richer cousin, Jack Clayton Cary Grant, goes to see Tira to ask her to leave Kirk and his fiancée alone He ends up falling for her himself Tira and Jack’s romance leads to a wedding engagement

Tira tells Big Bill she is quitting to get married Unwilling to lose his prize act, he has Slick, recently released from prison, sneak into Tira's penthouse suite, where Jack finds him in his robe As a result, Jack breaks off the engagement Tira sues Jack for breach of promise The defense tries to use her past relationships to discredit her, but the judge allows her to cross examine the witnesses herself and in doing so she wins over not only the judge and jury, but also Jack Jack agrees to give her a big settlement check When he goes to see her, Tira tears up the check, and the two reconcile


I'm No Angel was released immediately after She Done Him Wrong, when Mae West was the nation's biggest box office attraction and its most controversial star In the early 1930s, West's films saved Paramount Pictures from bankruptcycitation needed Depression era audiences responded to the fantasy rise of a woman from the wrong side of the tracks It was the most popular movie in the US in 19333

Cary Grant and Mae West in I'm No Angel 1932, their 2nd film together

Cary Grant starred opposite her for the second and final time; their first film together had been She Done Him Wrong Grant remained annoyed for decades that West often took credit for his career despite the fact that he had made major films before The smash hit Blonde Venus, starring Marlene Dietrich and Cary Grant, predates She Done Him Wrong by a year even though Mae West always claimed to have discovered Grant for her film, amusingly elaborating that up until then he had only made "some tests with starlets" She would frequently claim to various reporters through the years that she spotted him as an unknown walking across a parking lot, asked who he was nobody knew according to her story and stated that, "If he can talk, I'll use him in my next picture" This tale remains routinely incorporated into most magazine articles about either West or Grant to this daycitation needed

West's ribald satire outraged moralists Film historians cite her as one of the factors for the strict Hollywood production code that soon followedcitation needed The Hays Office forced a few changes, including the title of the song "No One Does It Like a Dallas Man", altered to "No One Loves Me Like a Dallas Man"citation needed David Niven claims, in an interview on Michael Parkinsons show, that the Hays Office changed the title, from "It ain't no Sin"


  • Mae West as Tira
  • Cary Grant as Jack Clayton
  • Gregory Ratoff as Benny Pinkowitz
  • Edward Arnold as "Big Bill" Barton
  • Ralf Harolde as "Slick" Wiley
  • Kent Taylor as Kirk Lawrence
  • Gertrude Michael as Alicia Hatton
  • Russell Hopton as "Flea" Madigan
  • Dorothy Peterson as Thelma
  • William B Davidson as Ernest Brown as Wm B Davidson
  • Gertrude Howard as Beulah Thorndyke, Tira's main maid
  • Libby Taylor as Libby, Tira's hairdressing maid
  • Hattie McDaniel as Tira's manicurist uncredited

Signature Mae West linesedit

  • Oh, Beulah, peel me a grape!
  • It's not the men in your life that count, it's the life in your men
  • When I'm good I'm very good But when I'm bad I'm better


  • "They Call Me Sister Honky-Tonk" 1933 uncredited
    • Music by Harvey Oliver Brooks
    • Lyrics by Gladys DuBois and Ben Ellison
    • Sung by Mae West
  • "That Dallas Man" 1933 uncredited
    • Music by Harvey Oliver Brooks
    • Lyrics by Gladys DuBois and Ben Ellison
    • Played on a record on which Mae West sings
  • "I Found a New Way to Go to Town" 1933 uncredited
    • Music by Harvey Oliver Brooks
    • Lyrics by Gladys DuBois and Ben Ellison
    • Sung by Mae West
  • "I Want You, I Need You" 1933 uncredited
    • Music by Harvey Oliver Brooks
    • Lyrics by Ben Ellison
    • Played on a piano and sung by Mae West
  • "I'm No Angel" 1933 uncredited
    • Music by Harvey Oliver Brooks
    • Lyrics by Gladys DuBois and Ben Ellison
    • Sung by Mae West at the end and during the closing credits


The film was nominated for the American Film Institute's 2005 list AFI's 100 Years100 Movie Quotes:

  • Tira: "Well, it's not the men in your life that counts, it's the life in your men"4


  1. ^ http://wwwtcmcom/tcmdb/title/79021/I-m-No-Angel/
  2. ^ a b "Box office / business for I'm No Angel" IMDb Retrieved 2009-06-20 
  3. ^ 'Actual Receipts at the Wickets Now Decide "Box-Office Champions of 1933": Seven Ratings Entail Listing Thirteen Films Vary From Ten Voted Best; Robson Vice Barrymore; About Showshops' The Washington Post 1923-1954 Washington, DC 06 Feb 1934: 14
  4. ^ "AFI's 100 Years100 Movie Quotes Nominees" PDF Retrieved 2016-07-30 


  • When I'm Bad, I'm Better: Mae West, Sex, and American Entertainment, by Marybeth Hamilton Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997 ISBN 0-520-21094-8
  • Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It, by Mae West Avon: 1959 ASIN B0007HCX2O
  • Mae West: A Bio-Bibliography, by Carol M Ward New York: Greenwood Press, 1989 ISBN 0-313-24716-1
  • The Complete Films of Mae West, by Jon Tuska Secaucus, NJ: Carol Pub Group, 1992 ISBN 0-8065-1359-4

External linksedit

  • I'm No Angel on Internet Movie Database
  • I'm No Angel at AllMovie
  • I'm No Angel at the TCM Movie Database
  • I'm No Angel at the American Film Institute Catalog
  • Reel Classics
  • The New York Times
  • Cary Grantnet republished original Variety and New York Times reviews
  • Filmsiteorg review

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