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The Heat's On

USA 1943
produced by
directed by Gregory Ratoff
starring Mae West, Victor Moore, William Glaxton, Leter Allen, Alan Dinehart, Mary Roche, Lloyd Bridges, Almira Sessions, Sam Ash, David Lichine, Leonard Sues, Jack Owen, Joan Thorsen, Hazel Scott, Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra, Harry Harvey, Leon Belasco, Leo Mostovoy, Lina Romay (II), Harry Shannon, John Sheehan, Boyd Irwin
written by Fitzroy Davis, George S.George, Fred Schiller, music by John Leipold

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Broadway producer Ferris' (William Gaxton) latest show bombs, and on top of that, his star leading lady Fay Lawrence (Mae West) announces she will leave him for another producer, Stanton (Alan Dinehart) now if this isn't a time for desperate measures, what is ?

So Ferris hooks up with Hubert Bainbridge (Victor Moore), the mild mannered vice president of a censorship committee, who is left in charge of production as long as his sister Hannah (Almira Sessions) is out of town, who desperately wants to make his niece Janey (Mary Roche) a musical star, and who is nothing if not a pushover.

So first, Ferris has Bainbridge shut down his show on grounds of indecency just to get publicity, then he has him tell Stanton that Fay is on the committee's blacklist so Stanton sells Ferris his production, and in the very end, he persuades Ferris to have his committee co-produce the show that is to star his niece and Fay Lawrence.

When Fay learns she has been tricked or is about to be tricked by Ferris, she also uses pushover Hubert and persuades him to set things straight with Stanton (by telling him there is no blacklist) - and Stanton in turn phones Hannah, who comes to the Broadway fuming, realizing her whole committee has just been used by a sneaky Broadway producer, and she threatens to create an uproar ... thus it's once again up to Fay to calm her down and set everything right ...


The Heat's On was Mae West's last film for 27 years (until Myra Breckinridge), and even though it's one of the few films not written by her, it might be closer to her actual bio than all her previous films combined, as she also had run-ins with various censor boards in real life, even during her theatre-career in the 1920's. However, despite being top-billed in The Heat's On her character has hardly more than supporting role status, and the film - at least the scenes she isn't in - belongs to William Gaxton and Victor Moore.

As a whole, The Heat's On is nothing special, but a nice comedy about the shortcomings of self-appointed censor boards - maybe a tad too nice. But still, one has to give a film poking fun at censorship boards at least some credit ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD