Mae West Movies

west 11111Want to know the best Mae West movies?  How about the worst Mae West movies?  Curious about Mae West’s box office grosses or which Mae West movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Mae West movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which ones got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place…. because we have all of that information and much more.

Mae West (1893-1980) was an American actress, singer and writer.  On American Film Institute’s Top 50 Screen Legends list, Mae West is ranked as the 15th best actress.  Right behind #14 Ginger Rogers and right before #16 Vivien Leigh.  West’s peak was between 1932 and 1937 when she appeared in 8 movies and became a Top 10 box office star.  West only made 4 more movies from 1938 to 1978…for an average of one movie every ten years.

Her IMDb page shows 13 acting credits from 1932-1978. This page will rank 12 Mae West movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information.  Television appearances were not included in the rankings.

Mae West and Cary Grant in 1933's I'm No Angel

Mae West and Cary Grant in 1933’s I’m No Angel

Mae West Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Mae West movies by co-stars of her movies
  • Sort Mae West movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost.
  • Sort Mae West movies by how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations each Mae West movie received.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® wins each Mae West movie received.
  • Sort Mae West movies by Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score.  UMR puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the sort and search buttons to make this table very interactive.  For example…if you type in “Cary Grant” in the search box….the 2 West/Grant movies will pop right up.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Mae West Table

  1. Nine Mae West movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 75.00% of her movies listed. I’m No Angel (1933) was her biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Mae West movie grosses $116.90 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  8 of Mae West’s movies are rated as good movies…or 76.66% of her movies.  My Little Chickadee (1940) was her highest rated movie while Sextette (1978) was her lowest rated movie.
  4. Two Mae West movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 16.66% of her movies.
  5. Zero Mae West movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 0.00% of her movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score is 39.86.  8 Mae West movies scored higher that average….or 66.66% of her movies.  She Done Him Wrong (1933) got the the highest UMR Movie Score while Sextette (1978) got the lowest UMR Movie Score.
Mae West and W.C. Fields in 1940's My Little Chickadee

Mae West and W.C. Fields in 1940’s My Little Chickadee

Possibly Interesting Facts About Mae West

1. Mae West was born Mary Jane West was born in Brooklyn, New York.

2. Mae West’s road to stardom Cliff Notes style….She began her career as a child star in vaudeville.  When she got older she started writing and performing in successful plays.  Diamond Lil was her most successful play.  Paramount Pictures brought her to Hollywood for a supporting role in 1932’s Night After Night.  The response to her role in Night After Night was so positive that she became a leading actress. By the end of 1933 she was a Top Ten box office star.

3. Mae West was ranked as the 8th biggest star of 1933 and the 5th biggest star of 1934.

4. Mae West’s nicknames were “Queen of the World” and “The Statue of Libido”.

5. According to the American Film Institute, Mae West is the 15th greatest female star of all-time.

6. Mae West was married one time in her life.  She was married to Frank Wallace from 1911-1942.  They had no children.

7. Mae West was famous for her sexual innuendos.  Those innuendos drove movie censors crazy….but many of those one-liners are still famous today.   We have attached a short You Tube video that shows Mae West at her best.

8. Check out Mae West’s movie career compared to current and classic stars on our Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time page.

 

America Film Institutes’ Top 25 Screen Legend Actress and UMR’s Links That Rank All Of Their Movies.

12. Claudette Colbert
17. Lillian Gish
19. Rita Hayworth
20. Lauren Bacall
22. Jean Harlow
23. Carole Lombard
24. Mary Pickford
25. Ava Gardner
Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.  Golden Globes® are the registered trademark and service mark of the Hollywood Foreign Press.
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28 thoughts on “Mae West Movies

  1. Before commenting on this page, I read some of the comments, and it seems contributors doubt Miss West’s ability to act- I’m afraid we’ll never know, because Miss West imo never gave an acting performance…but she always gave a good account of herself. When challenged to act, she refused (Sunset Boulevard), when she agreed to perform in somebody elses screenplay, (Go West, young man) she rewrote it to fit her public persona. In short, Mae West was not an actress, Mae West was the eternally youthful, independent, american institution for sexual freedom- at least in her own concept of herself. Yet, I think her influence on popular culture can’t be overrated, She was 40 years old when she entered the movies as a sex symbol, she was so frank in her movements and innuendos that the Hays Office must have gone berserk. Her movies did pretty well at the box for a while, until censorship, her scandalous radioappearance on the Bergen/McCarthy Show and her own inability to adapt to that new situation slowly killed her movie career- but never her career of being Mae West, a brand name still known almost 80 years after her debut.
    It was not easy to get access to Mae’s movies in Germany- her films are hard to dubb without loosing their essence.Subtiltled films are not shown on the major networks. So I saw my first movie relatively late in life, but I found them all by now, since even the worst (Myra and Sextett) are available on DVD. Can’t name a fav, apart from Everyday’s a Holiday and Myra Breckenridge I enjoyed them all…yes, even Sextett in its monstrous stupidity, with octogenarian West making passes on every young man she meets during the proceedings- and getting away with it, not because she really still is sexually attractive, but because she is Mae West- and all you ever expected of Mae West was to deny her age and do what she’s been doing all of her life.

    1. I suppose we all see things differently. For me West was a tiresome one trick pony who bordered on the ridiculous and whose movies I have always found unwatchable even with Cary Grant in two of them.

      1. Hey Bob…beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As for me I like some of her movies. I find her one liners pretty entertaining. I recently watched my Little Chickadee….and I liked it. But I can see why you and others might not like her movies. That is the beauty of movies…we all see different things we like and do not like. Thanks for the feedback.

      2. Hello Bob,
        thanks for commenting on my post. Although I disagree with you on this, I think I know exactly what you mean. I feel the same about Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope, although I love old comedies, I find it almost impossible to sit through one of their movies…the same character in an endless row of films, with only slight variations in their respective stories 🙂
        Still, West for me stands out despite the same routine, because this “one trick pony” did have a trick up her sleeve that nobody else had. And yes, she was boarding on the ridiculous, but to me she always did it with a certain touch of self-mockery, like she was her own greatest imitator.

    2. Hey Lupino
      1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Mae West.
      2. Without the lady was a legend. Her inclusion on the AFI Top 25 is proof enough of that.
      3. Her entertainment career was very long….but her movie career was pretty short…she had her burst of movies in the 1930s…but the rest of her life she only made a few more movies….yet her legacy grows…even today.
      4. Good points about her being an entertainer versus an actress….but she had screen presence for sure.
      5. She single handily got the Hays Office to change their ways….and yet she seemed always to find a way around them…I bet they did not like her at all….lol.
      6. I can see her movies being hard to find in Germany…they are not too easy to find here in the States.
      7. I have only seen a few of her movies….but disagree with you on Sextette….that is a brutal watch…it is like driving by a horrible train wreck….it is horrible…yet you can not look away.
      8. Good comment….it was fun to read…:)

      1. Hello Bruce,

        7. I don’t think we are too far apart in our “appreciation” of Sextett. It must be one of the worst movies ever, right up there with the best of Ed Wood. Yet, it simply fascinates me how a 80 plus year old woman really believes she can pull of the part of the world’s most famous sex symbol…and how she actually could have convinced people to finance this ego-trip!
        8. Thanks for the compliment 😉

        1. You make a good point…not many 80 year old women would even attempt to play that role…so kudos to her. Plus she got Tony Curtis, Ringo Starr, Timothy Dalton and many other much younger men to play her lovers and former lovers.

  2. 1 When I first saw Greta Garbo’s Cogerson page I didn’t think that any other actress who was supposed to be a great star would have such an abysmal box office record but then Mae West’s page appeared and even with revision shows an overall adjusted domestic gross of just $1.4 billion, her entire US movie output not even equalling that of the domestic total of Star Wars 1977.

    2 Indeed in terms of vertiginous individual box office hits the two Cary Grant films are all there is. Everything else is well below the $200 million. As she is an AFI legend one can only assume that she is another of those celebrities who appear from time to time, don’t do a lot but become ‘famous for being famous’. Certainly her AFI ranking seems to suggest that the Institute all but ignored box office performance in choosing its selections.

    3 She apparently went about saying that she ‘made’ Grant and when that was put to Cary in an interview he got annoyed. No wonder because in terms of box office he was the real deal and a true Legend. Still a ‘collector’ movie buff like me cannot ignore West in view of her standing with historians for whatever reason so I welcome the update – short but sweet !

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