Belle of the Nineties

Synopsis: Ruby Carter, the American Beauty queen of the night club-sporting world, shifts her operations from St. Louis to New Orleans (which kind of belies the Western genre designation), mostly to get away from prizefighter Tiger Kid. Installed as the prize attraction of "The Sensation Club", ran by Ace Lamont, she quickly becomes the toast of the town and also marked as personal property by Ace, arousing the fury of Ace's former flame, Molly Brant. The not-overly-bright Tiger comes to town and is set for a title match with the champ by Ace, while the latter also has him steal some of Ruby's jewels. Ruby, no dumb-belle, figuring Ace has the fix in on the fight, uses some of her other jewels to lay a trap for Ace. Tiger confesses, after the fight, to Ruby his role in the jewel robbery while she hints that Ace was the one who slipped him the knock-out drops. Tiger goes after Ace, who, for his own reasons, has Molly locked in a closet.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Leo McCarey
Production: Paramount Pictures
73 min

[Upbeat instrumental music]

[Cabaret music]

[Singing] Here we are

the beauties of the town

The suckers buy us wine

In cabarets we dine

We sit and chat, and what comes after that?

Pum diddly-a-um

Oh, you chick

Oh, you kid

Pum diddly-a-um

I've gone loony in my lid

You make me feel like such a brute

Goodness gracious, how I love

Here we are, the beauties of the town

- Can I go home with you?

- Oh, what a thing to do

I mean no harm

I love your girlish charm with its...

Pum diddly-a-um

Look, girls,

the Tiger Kid's back in town.

- Ain't he the handsome thing?

- He's certainly crazy about Ruby Carter.

- I wish he was crazy about me.

- Then he would be crazy!

- Is that so?

- Hey, cut it out.

You know, honey, when I did my act...

and had a figure like yours,

every man in town was at my feet.

At your feet?

I'd rather have them around my neck.

Got me hooked up? I feel a draught.

I've never known a woman

who had so many gentleman friends.

You certainly know the way to a man's heart.

Funny, too,

because I don't know how to cook.

[Music climaxes]


Ladies and gentlemen...

I am about to introduce

the attraction of the evening...

a lady who is the greatest sensation...

of our 19th century.

And tonight, ladies and gentlemen,

you are about to see her...

in the most beautiful act...

it has ever been my privilege to offer.

Miss Ruby Carter in My American Beauty.


Now listen, you guys,

no rowdy talk when she's on.

I'll respect her like me own sister.

The one in the reformatory?

[Sentimental instrumental music]

[Singing] Sometimes you are

like a gorgeous butterfly

Sturdy hearts are shattered as you flutter by

They say you're a vampire

playing at love's game

You may have too many beaus

But to me you're a beautiful rose

My American Beauty

Please don't be a thorn in my heart

I shall love you, dear

Until my life's breath shall ebb

You're the spider

I'm the fly that's caught in your web

My American Beauty

Let us grow a honeymoon for two

I'm attracted to you

Like a moth seeks a flame

North and South and East and West

The country proclaims you

My American Beauty

Sweetheart of

the red, white, and blue

I've been waiting for you, Tiger.

Up to your old tricks again?

You two think you're pretty smart.

Am I your manager or not?

I wish you'd manage to leave us alone.

- You ain't making a monkey of him.

- Who wants to? I like him the way he is.

She's a swell gal, but all she thinks

about is having a good time.

I don't only think about it.

- I ain't gonna argue with you.

- No, he won't argue.

The parties, late hours, this has got to stop.

Listen here, you, I don't like your attitude.

And remember, I'm a lady, you worm.

- You better go, Kirby.

- I will not, I'm gonna wait here for you.

Persistent, I'd call him.

Or just plain ignorant. Escort me, Tiger.

Remember, you're fighting Friday night.

Friday night? He'll be there.

Kirby's always butting in,

I'm sorry it happened, Ruby.

Makes me feel like I ain't doing you right.

Don't say that. You know how I feel about it.

Don't worry about Kirby,

he ain't so hard to forget.

- And I can always manage you, honey.

- Yeah.

[Sensual instrumental music]

What are you doing? Looking me over?

Yeah, these are swell, Ruby.

- That was when I was with The Bonton Girls.

- Yeah?

Hey, who's this guy?

That was before I knew you, dear.

My banker friend.

Yeah? What was his intentions?

He wanted to put me

on the Board of Directors.

Who's this guy?

Don't wear yourself out there. Sit down.

Here's to you, Ruby.

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Mae West

Mary Jane "Mae" West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades, known for her lighthearted bawdy double entendres and breezy sexual independence. West was active in vaudeville and on the stage in New York City before moving to Hollywood to become a comedian, actress and writer in the motion picture industry, as well as appearing on radio and television. The American Film Institute named her 15th among the greatest female stars of classic American cinema. Often using a husky contralto voice, West was one of the more controversial movie stars of her day and encountered many problems, especially censorship. She bucked the system, making comedy out of conventional mores, and the Depression-era audience admired her for it. When her cinematic career ended, she wrote books and plays and continued to perform in Las Vegas, in the United Kingdom, on radio and television and to record rock and roll albums. She was once asked about the various efforts to impede her career, to which she replied: "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Belle of the Nineties" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 26 Jan. 2021. <>.

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