The Heat's On
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
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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 ...