She Done Him Wrong Film Details
Overview: In the Gay Nineties, a seductive nightclub singer contends with several suitors, including a jealous escaped convict and a handsome temperance league member.
Tagline: Mae West gives a ‘Hot Time’ to the nation!
Review: SHE DONE HIM WRONG (Paramount, 1933), directed by Lowell Sherman, offers Mae West her first starring feature role following a minor supporting presence in her debut film, NIGHT AFTER NIGHT (1932) starring George Raft and Constance Cummings. In what became something of a screen test for her, West obviously shined with her scenes, but now the question was, could she carry an entire movie on her own merits? Sources say that SHE DONE HIM WRONG did just that. Aside from elevating Mae West to star status, and becoming the motion picture reportedly responsible in saving Paramount from bankruptcy, it became the one and only Mae West movie to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Aside from Mae West, there’s the presence of a very young Cary Grant, early in his career and quickly on the rise. His name alone on the marque would be more the reason to see this film today, but back then, Mae West was all that was needed for theaters to sell tickets and guaranteeing instant success. Following the opening cast and credits with the underscoring to a popular old-time hit, “Frankie and Johnny,” the introduction sets the pattern to the time frame to the story which reads: “The Gay Nineties: When they did such things on the Bowery. A lusty, brawling, florid decade when there were handlebars on lip and wheel – and legs were confidential.” Based on the 1928 play, “Diamond Lil,” written and starring West herself, this reproduction from stage to screen of course had its alterations, but beautifully captures the flavor of the Gay Nineties, from background sets to authentic hair styles and costumes (the latter compliments of designer Edith Head). As with many stage plays, the opening devotes itself to supporting players and plot development before West as Lady Lou makes her star introduction scene riding a horse and buggy, snubbing the women who look down at her but greeting the men who look up to her as she passes by. After she’s greeted by a woman telling her what a fine woman she is, Lou quips, “I’m the finest woman who ever walked the streets.” This alone sets the pace to Lady Lou’s personality, popular with men, regardless of age and background, and one who not only has been around but still gets around. As the plot, which is slight, Lady Lou is employed at Gus Jordan’s (Noah Beery) café. Chick Clark (Owen Moore), a man who is crazy about her, is serving time in prison, thanks to villain Dan Flynn (David Landau), who had framed him for a crime so to have Lou for himself. In spite of having so many gentlemen friends, her true love happens to be expensive jewelry, especially diamonds, usually supplied by her various casual acquaintances. Lou meets Serge Steinieff (Gilbert Roland), a protégé of Russian Rita (Rafaela Ottiano), but of course allows him to get familiar, with her especially. Next door to Jordan’s Cafe is a mission house run by Captain Cummings (Cary Grant), whom Lou takes an interest in, but cannot get him to resist her advances. After Chick escapes prison, he comes for Lou only to find that she not only is carrying on with other men, but cares nothing for him. Learning an undercover investigator called “The Hawk,” whose identity is unknown, is after Gus Jordan’s counterfeit racket, Lou plots on getting rid of Chick by placing him in a trap so he would get caught and arrested, leading to a couple of murders in the process. The shortest of all Mae West movies, SHE DONE HIM WRONG moves at a swift pace. Musical interludes with tunes from the Gay Nineties era are, as with the film itself, short and hot. Songs featured include: “Silver Threads Among the Gold” (male vocalist unknown) “Daisy” and “Lady Lou is Here” (sung by female chorus); “I Wonder Where My Easy Rider’s Gone,” “I Like a Guy What Takes His Time” (new score by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger) and “Frankie and Johnny” (the final three sung by Mae West). Others in supporting cast include: Dewey Robinson, Fuzzy Knight, Grace LaRue, Tom Kennedy, Arthur Housman and Robert E. Homans. Aside from some snappy dialog recited by West herself (About the nude painting hanging in the saloon, “Yeah, I gotta admit that is a flash, but I do wish Gus hadn’t hung it over the free lunch,” “When women go wrong, men go right after them,” she tells a troubled girl (Rochelle Hudson); when asked if she’d ever met a man who made her happy, she says, “Sure. Lots of times”; or asking Cummings (Grant) to come up and see her, instead of the misquote of “Come up and see me some time”), there’s enough ingredients to make this more of a verbal comedy than anything else. With drama being more dominant, West goes through her usual channels with some memorable scenes, particularly her fight to the finish with Russian Rita (Rafaela Ottiano). Cary Grant, who is not present at great length, shines with his memorable scene: Grant: “You bad girl.” West: “You’ll find out.” SHE DONE HIM WRONG became the first of the Mae West/Paramount features to be distributed on video cassette. Because of its reputation as Mae West’s personal favorite favorites, it was voted by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 greatest screen comedies. Other than being frequently broadcast on commercial television decades ago, SHE DONE HIM WRONG turned up on various cable stations, including the Movie Channel (1991) and Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: May 24, 2001). However it stands today, SHE DONE HIM WRONG remains a classic little film that succeeds solely on Mae West herself and by those who best appreciate her style of humor which pokes fun of sex and herself without being on the offensive. (**1/2)
Country: United States
Duration: 66 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama, History
Also known as: Lady Lou,Ella lo engañó,Она обошлась с ним нечестно,She Done Him Wrong,Diamonds,Nació para pecar,Diamond Lady,Oikeutettu vääryys,Vaarallinen kaunotar,Watashi wa betsu yo,Uma Loira para Três,Sie tat ihm unrecht,Diamond Lil,Lady Lou – La donna fatale,Ruby Red,A nő okozta vesztét,あたしは別よ