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Go West Young Man (1936)

Passed | | Comedy | 18 November 1936 (USA)
A movie star, stranded in the country, trifles with a young man's affections.


Henry Hathaway


Lawrence Riley (play), Mae West (screenplay)


Cast overview, first billed only:
Mae West ... Mavis Arden
Warren William ... Morgan
Randolph Scott ... Bud Norton
Alice Brady ... Mrs. Struthers
Elizabeth Patterson ... Aunt Kate Barnaby
Lyle Talbot ... Francis X. Harrigan
Isabel Jewell ... Gladys
Margaret Perry ... Joyce Struthers
Etienne Girardot ... Prof. Herbert Rigby
Maynard Holmes ... Clyde
John Indrisano ... Chauffeur
Alyce Ardell ... Jeanette (French maid)
Nick Stewart Nick Stewart ... Nicodemus (as Nicodemus Stewart)
Charles Irwin ... Master of Ceremonies
Walter Walker Walter Walker ... Andy Kelton
Learn more

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Movie star Mavis Arden, as amorous in private as she is pure in public, gets involved with a politician despite her watchdog publicist Morgan. Planning to meet her beau again at the next stop on her personal appearance tour, Mavis is stranded at a remote rural boarding house, with a pretentious landlady, sensible old maid, rabid film fan waitress...and strapping young mechanic Bud Norton, whom to Mavis is just the plaything of an idle hour... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of the touring movie star...and the country boy!




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its earliest documented telecast took place in Seattle Thursday 30 April 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7). It was released on DVD 4 April 2006 as one of five titles in Universal's Mae West: The Glamour Collection, and again 8 March 2016 as one of nine titles in Universal's Mae West: The Essential Collection. See more »


Story is set in mid-Thirties but at premiere of Mavis Arden's latest movie, stock footage of audiences watching the film are people dressed in fashions and hairstyles of some ten years earlier. See more »


Mavis Arden: A millionaire planter and an Embassy officer. Zara, you're doin' pretty good for yourself.
See more »


Featured in Rapture (1979) See more »


Written by Arthur Johnston
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
(used instrumentally)
See more »

User Reviews

Portly Sex Goddess Outmatches Herself In Bonkers Boarding House
21 June 2011 | by oldblackandwhiteSee all my reviews

Go West, Young Man is a delightful screwball comedy featuring an unlikely but happily cast trio of Mae West, Warren William, and Randolph Scott. Mae is a glamorous movie star, the idol of millions, stranded in a hick boarding house when her limo breaks down in the sticks. She passes time by putting her fleshy moves on the handsome mechanic, played by Scott, who in 1936 was still very young looking and not yet principally identified as a western star. But the hayseed mechanic is more interested in tinkering with electronic inventions than in either the sultry Mae or his forlorn fiancé (Margaret Perry), while Mae's manipulative and protective press agent William and the fiancé's old maid aunt (Elizabeth Patterson) do all in their considerable conniving powers to put the romance on the skids. They get a lot of help from a herd of wacky local yokels, all ga-ga over glamor queen and all harboring their own ridiculous dreams of getting into the movies.

While Screwball comedy is a genre of elusive definition, Go West, Young Man embodies most of the common elements -- romance all out of whack, a collection of goofy but likable characters, frenetic, sometimes slap-stick action, class satire, and witty, fast-delivery dialog -- all breaking off in unexpected directions, like the baseball pitch the genre is named after. This movie also features a couple of other devices often seen in other screw-ballers -- the hoity-toity dame stranded in the boonies, and the cops being called, usually by mistake, and coming in like gangbusters. Henry Hathaway, a director better known for his outdoor action pictures, brings it all together with style and good humor.

The Mae West phenomenon seems to be rather poorly understood by the modern generation. They just can't fathom how so much fuss could have been made over a plump, middle-aged dame with no class except for low class, and not even very pretty, except in an incredibly cheap way (which, unfortunately, appeals enormously to most of us guys). How could all those men throw themselves at her feet? Well, that's pretty funny. So is sex in general. And that was her whole point! She was a grotesque parody of the sex goddess. Mae wrote most of her own material including the screen play for Go West, Young Man. She satirized everyone, playboys, politicians, country bumpkins, and most of all herself! She does it better than ever in Go West, Young Man, but in this movie it is even funnier than most of her others, because the satire is more gentle. The rubes are made to seem ridiculously funny, yet also very human and likable. And Mae, herself, gets the sharpest barbs. If for no other reason, this movie is worth watching for the hilarious scene of the sullen, portly sex goddess sauntering toward the boarding house steps escorted by a throng of adoring hayseeds and their pigs! That, as with many of the other gags, gives me a chuckle again every time I think of it. Which is the true test of whether a comedy is funny!

Code or no code, Go West, Young Man is still a Mae West movie, but it manages to be good, (almost) clean fun. Top notch Old Hollywood entertainment.

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Release Date:

18 November 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Personal Appearance See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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