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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

My Little Chickadee (1940)



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The pairing of Mae West and W. C. Fields was avidly anticipated back in 1940, and the film, My Little Chickadee remains one of the most notorious double bills in film history. In addition to starring, West and Fields wrote the screenplay.

The film may have been too anticipated for its own good. Although the most famous in either's filmography today, each did better work on their own. As a result, My Little Chickadee has received both lavish praise and harsh criticism, neither of which are deserved. The truth is that the film, while not a masterpiece, is a fine comic gem, showcasing the talent and comedy of both stars. Three scenes stand out. The meeting of the West and Fields characters aboard a train in the beginning, Fields playing a "cut the deck" game around the middle, and West teaching a class of unruly schoolkids toward the end.