Saturday, March 3, 2012


NEVER KICK A WOMAN is a Popeye cartoon made in 1936 by the Fleischer studio and distributed by Paramount. Along with Olive Oyl, the story features another girl who tries to take Popeye away from Olive, which is a variation on the usual formula where Bluto tries to take Olive away from Popeye. This character is frequently called a "Mae West type", and that she is, but because Olive Oyl is supposed to be like Zasu Pitts and Zasu Pitts used to be teamed with Thelma Todd I wondered if Thelma Todd might also have been an influence.

The story is that Olive Oyl is supposed to be learning the art of self-defense. There is a song about learning the art of self-defense that is sung first by Popeye, and later by Olive Oyl.

Popeye: "Nice equiptment they got here."

They watch the blonde bomber boxing.

Popeye: "That's not so bad for the weaker sex."

Olive: "Mm--hm. She doesn't look so weak to me."

He has an eye for blondes, but it might get brunetted if he doesn't watch out.

Popeye tries his hand.


Olive isn't really motivated. Not yet.

She thinks Popeye's a "fascinating monster".

 "Why don't you come up and see me sometime?" she asks.

"I'm practically there now!," answers Popeye.

Olive isn't any too keen about the goings-on that are going on.

"My fist is gonna come up and see you sometime!"

"Like right now!"


Olive has a secret weppin'!

And the blonde gets her comeuppance!


Popeye, too!

She's strong to the finish, 'cause she eats her spinach!

Watch this cartoon on the internet.

Thelma Todd and Zasu Pitts in 1932's RED NOSES, which had part of the story set in a gymnasium. The cartoon girl was wearing a skirt instead of shorts, but the sweater is similar.

Thelma Todd and Zasu Pitts do not fight each other in this film, but there is some slapstick violence as they struggle with the attendants. The big one is Blanche Payson, who was a cavegirl in Buster Keaton's THE THREE AGES and had been New York City's first policewoman before she went into the movies..

There are some similarities between the live-action film and the cartoon, but any resemblances could be coincidental. Sometimes it's like that.


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