Ah, Mae West. Where does one begin with Mae West *cue Mae West-style double entendre*? If you know anything about her, you know she was an original, a trailblazer and a pioneer in many, many ways. And if you watch her films, you’ll realize why she was always the main attraction. When she’s on the screen, you know she’s going to be a riot and you know you’re going to have a good time.
Lowell Sherman’s She Done Him Wrong is only 65 minutes long (shortest film ever to be nominated for Best Picture) but boy is it frantic! So many things happen, from murder to attempted suicide to doomed romances, not to mention Mae West’s many, very famous one-liners. It goes a little something like this: Lady Lou (West) is the most famous woman in town and the main performer in a New York saloon. All the men want her and the feeling is mutual. However, she has an ex-boyfriend in prison who still wants her no matter what and who vows to take revenge on any man who gets in between them. One of those men is Captain Cummings (played by a very young Cary Grant), the officer at the receiving end of Lady Lou (West)’s ‘come up sometime and see me’ line. Mayhem, I tell you.
It’s a crazy ride of a film, and Mae West is a joy to watch. Full of confidence and wit, she had a ‘this is who I am, deal with it’ air about her that is just fascinating. She also had a very strange walk, that I have been trying to imitate for years. I can do the voice, so it’s safe to say I’m halfway there. Woohoo!