Go West, Young Man

Go West, Young Man is a 1936 American comedy film directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Mae West, Warren William, and Randolph Scott.[2] Released by Paramount Pictures and based on the 1934 play Personal Appearance by Lawrence Riley, the film is about a movie star who gets stranded out in the country and trifles with a young man's affections. The phrase "Go West, Young Man" is often attributed to New York Tribune founder Horace Greeley, and often misattributed to Indiana journalist John B. L. Soule, but the latest research shows it to be a paraphrase.[3]

Mavis Arden (Mae West), is a movie star who gets romantically involved with a politician. She makes plans to meet him at her next tour stop but her Rolls Royce breaks down and she is left stranded in the middle of a rural town. Her manager arranges for her to stay at a local boarding house. She immediately set her eyes on the young mechanic, fixing her car, Bud Norton, played by Randolph Scott. West sings the Arthur Johnston/John Burke song, I Was Saying to the Moon as she is trying to seduce Scott.[4]

The New York Times wrote that the film had "lost little" from the play and called the supporting cast "uniformly excellent."[6] Variety wrote that "Miss West, in her own way, is excellent" even though her persona "tires a bit and no longer is quite the novelty it once was."[7] "Excellent Mae West vehicle filled with laughs", reported Film Daily.[8] Motion Picture Daily wrote that "the film is basically farce comedy and, while noticeably different from previous West features, it does not fail to deliver all that is expected."[9] "The play was funny and tough; and the movie is funny, and perhaps tough too", wrote John Mosher in The New Yorker. "We mustn't, of course, ever allow anything to curb Mae West, so it is with relief that we find her in this film no more shy than before."[10] Writing for The Spectator, Graham Greene gave the film a poor review, characterizing it as "quite incredibly tedious", and "as slow and wobbling in its pace as Miss West's famous walk".[11]