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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>
It's really a privilege to be able to see an icon like Mae West on film. This early talkie is Mae at her best - precode, dripping in diamonds and one-liners. It's a shame that later in life, she became a parody of herself. She was an important figure not only in theater but in early film.
Mae was not only a talented performer, she was a gifted writer and knew how to showcase herself. Though "She Done Him Wrong" is light on plot, it's heavy on Mae, and frankly, who cares about anything else? She's Lady Lou, a bawdy singer, with her hourglass figure shown to great advantage in a variety of gowns. All men want her - and let's face it, many men have had her! When she visits her ex-boyfriend in jail, she knows ever other con in the place.
This is a fascinating movie on so many levels. Besides Mae and her precode innuendos, it has Cary Grant's star-making performance (though Grant always disliked West's claim that she discovered him). It's the film that saved Paramount from bankruptcy. It's one of the films that brought on the code. Most interesting to me is, the audiences loved it! These audiences would very soon (like the next year) be deprived of the sexual double entendre and morality found in this film. Rather than the early audiences being naive and unsophisticated, it was the banning of certain language and situations in film that gave rise to the idea of a false world: that once, there were no shades of gray, all unmarried women were virgins, the bad guy always lost, and no bad deed goes unpunished.
"She Done Him Wrong" is a great chance to see a very young and handsome Gilbert Roland and Noah Berry Sr. (whose son really resembled him) in early film roles.
An amazing artifact, some hilarious lines, and most of all - Mae.
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