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Dangerous Nan McGrew is a fictional character who was first played by Helen Kane in the "Boop-Boop-a-Doop" persona. The film was released in 1930. Dangerous Nan McGrew is an entertainer in a travelling medicine show run by her boss. Muldoon one of the members of the medicine show is a fugitive who is on the run from a murder charge. Betty Boop plays Dangerous Nan McGrew in The Bum Bandit which was released in 1931, a year after Helen Kane starred as the character.


Betty Boop was a caricature of Helen Kane and appeared in the Talkartoon, which was a parody of the the film. In the short, Betty was portrayed by Harriet Lee. The only difference between the two was that Betty did not speak in her usual baby-talk and spoke in a deeper, rough-sounding voice to match the original persona of Nan McGrew.


In The Bum Bandit, Betty appears as bandit Nan McGrew, where she holds up a train and forces Bimbo to come home and take care of their 17 kids.

Dangerous Nan McGrew (1919)

Dangerous Nan McGrew 1919.png

Dangerous Nan McGrew is the title of Christie Special Comedy in which Fay Tincher is featured as "the lady McGrew of Dead Dog, Wyoming." Dangerous Nan McGrew is the fourth of the Christie Specials in which Fay Tincher is featured and is a role created to her liking for "rough stuff" and western flavor. Christie produced the picture on quite an extensive scale, with an entire western town, through which stage coaches, cow punchers,dance hall girls and hundreds of other rollick with care-free abandon. In the cast of Dangerous Nan McGrew, in addition to Fay Tincher, Earle Rodney and Eddie Barry, are Tom Ricketts, who plays the mayor of the town. Jack Henderson, the minister, George George, the bar tender, Bob Kortman, the very bad man, and a number of Christie Follies who for the time being had to make themselves un-beautiful in chaps and spurs. Nan McGrew was created specially for Fay Tincher, before playing Nan McGrew in the same year Tincher had played another cowgirl called Rowdy Ann. 11 years later the film was remade by Paramount Pictures and starred Helen Kane in the leading role, with the added "Boop-Oop-a-Doop" persona.




Helen Kane - Dangerous Nan McGrew (1930)

Helen Kane as Dangerous Nan McGrew (1930)


Betty Boop Dangerous Nan Mcgrew 1931

Betty Boop as Dangerous Nan McGrew (1931)


  • The first Dangerous Nan Mcgrew film, was made in 1919 and starred Fay Tincher as Nan McGrew, which would have been classed as a silent film, it is also classed as a lost film.
  • The newspaper advert for the 1919 film released stated; "They like Rowdy Ann they'll like this one better."
  • Dangerous Nan McGrew is the sister of Dan McGrew who appears in two films is based on the poem The Shooting of Dan McGrew 1915 which was remade in 1924, which originated from a poem.
  • Kane was the last person to play the character Nan McGrew, the character is the Annie Oakley type, who sports two guns.
  • Dangerous Nan McGrew was referenced in the $250,000 Infringement Lawsuit.
  • Betty Boop sings an alternative version of the title song titled "I'm Dangerous Nan McGrew", and also performs "The Hold Up Rag" at the beginning of the cartoon.
  • The fictional character's name is not to be confused with McGraw it is McGrew.
  • For Mae Questel's late 1930s live performances, she renamed the song "I'm Dangerous Betty Boop". 
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