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New York singer and nightclub owner Lady Lou has more men friends than you can imagine, unfortunately one of them is a vicious criminal who's escaped and is on the way to see "his" girl, not realizing she hasn't exactly been faithful in his absence. Help is at hand in the form of young Captain Cummings, a local temperance league leader, though. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mae West was signed by Paramount in 1931 to make a film adaptation of her stage success 'Diamond Lil'. They then spent the next two years trying to figure out a way of getting the material past the censors. The battle over 'Diamond Lil' led to the head of the Production Board, James Wingate, quitting and being replaced by the much more hardline Joseph Breen who was prompted to set up a fairly stringent and moral Production Code. In the meantime, 'Diamond Lil' transformed into the slightly watered down "She Done Him Wrong" and was one of the last films to be made before the introduction of the Production Code. See more »
When Jacobson arrives and sits to talk with Lou, she sits up from a side-leaning position twice. See more »
Mae West had a Broadway smash when she penned the bawdy tale of DIAMOND LIL for herself--and with a few tweaks here and there the story came to the screen as SHE DONE HIM WRONG. The film was an immediate hit and the role of Lady Lou remains one of West's best remembered performances. The script is jam-packed with some of West's most famous lines, including the memorable "Come up'n see me sometime. I'm home every evenin'" and "You can be had." West throws her lines with style, aplomb, enough innuendo to make a censor cringe, and considerable humor--but, somewhat surprisingly, the movie is not really a comedy.
SHE DONE HIM WRONG is a hard-knocks tale of Bowery bruisers who dance attendance upon the 'Lady Lou' and often resort to crime to keep her dripping in the diamonds she prizes above all else. But although she has one lover already locked up in jail, another one mixed up in the white slavery rackets, and still a third waiting to step into the gap, the Lady Lou is more interested in seducing missionary Cary Grant... only to find him less interested in her body than her soul, a circumstance that prompts West to utter one of the most how-did-that-get-past-the-censors lines in 1930s cinema: "Maybe I ain't got no soul." This is a surprisingly tough little movie, and in addition to West's zinging lines and occasional musical numbers SHE DONE HIM WRONG also offers a glimpse at a very young (and still slightly wooden) Cary Grant; it also has an ensemble cast that plays in a very enjoyable grand manner, truly first rate production values all the way, and A surprisingly brisk running time. West did funnier films than this, but the mix of her sharp wit and the rough story is particularly memorable. This is where the fire started really started, and I recommend it very strongly.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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