“She’s the mouse-bed heiress.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
(The Mann Act was more commonly known as the “White-Slave Traffic Act”, and was meant to “combat forced prostitution and ‘debauchery'” of white women, though that historical context is never made relevant.)
We quickly learn — in an elaborate visual “joke” — that Channing will marry wild-haired Nicholson instead of Beatty (who she’s obviously in love/lust with), but it’s never explained why flying to Los Angeles will help Beatty’s status as an already-married man, or how much he may actually like Channing apart from her wealth. Eventually, he and Nicholson collude to kill Channing, planning to split the proceeds 50/50 — but everything about this plan smells justifiably foul, and inevitably goes awry. There’s some fun to be had in watching Channing nimbly escaping from the bumbling duo’s feeble clutches, but the point of it all simply isn’t clear.
Note: The quote selected above alludes to Channing’s status as the heiress to a sanitary pad company; Nicholson shares a lame anecdote early on about being told these were “mouse beds” as a child, hence the continual wordplay.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: