I’m No Angel
A masterpiece with a fetching model who has always distracted critics from noticing (“it’s all West,” said Variety).
And at that, they make observations, rapt. “Much more amusing than offensive” (Time), “she is a remarkable wit, after her fashion” (Mordaunt Hall, New York Times).
What little criticism there is comes out rather cloudy. “Lacks shape overall” (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader), “sexism coupled with racism” (Time Out Film Guide).
Hall thought the scenes with Slick Wiley the circus pickpocket and badger artist were the “feeble parts” of the film, the bishop’s egg laid on the curate.
Tira leaves him behind and the Chump (a politician) and Kirk Lawrence the lavisher of attentions, marriage beckons with none other than Jack Clayton.
There you have not only an understanding of society but a critique of the cinema as well.
“John Grierson praised the emotional resiliency of a line like ‘Beulah, peel me a grape’ as a preferable example for young girls than Greta Garbo’s literally dying for love in Camille” (Andrew Sarris, The American Cinema).