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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 <email@example.com>
Classic Early-Talkie Comedy Deserves Its Classic Status
One of the seeming paradoxes of film-making is that historical period pieces age much better than movies set in the present or the future. That certainly is true of this classic comedy. Co-written by its star as a play called "Diamond Lil" about a turn-of-the-century chanteuse with no shame and her own standards of personal morals, She Done Him Wrong seamlessly blends the backdrop of turn-of-the-century New York politics with fast wisecracking patter and plot-lines that blend seamlessly. To me, it packs twice the action and four times the wit of one of today's comedies into about half the screen time.
This was Mae West's second movie, and it established her as an immediate star. Although not pretty even by the standards of the day and much less so by today's standards, she commands every man's attention by her very presence. Cary Grant flashes star quality in each of his scenes as the ideal foil to West. Filled with clever double entendres and disarmingly bawdy situations, She Done Him Wrong is every thing a period comedy should aspire to be, and more. The title is a role reversal on the refrain from "Frankie and Johnnie", the turn-of-the-century ditty West sings to begin the movie's climactic wrap-up.
Any movie lover willing to value this classic by the standards of the day is in for a treat.
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