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She Done Him Wrong Movie Review

Director: Lowell Sherman

Starring: Mae West, Cary Grant, Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland, Noah Beery Sr., David Landau, Rafaela Ottiano, Dewey Robinson, Rochelle Hudson, Tammany Young, Fuzzy Knight, Grace La Rue, Robert Homans, Louise Beavers

Oscar Wins: No wins.

Other Nominations: Best Picture

“I’m the finest woman who walked the streets,” declares a diamond-clad Lady Lou (Mae West) at the beginning of She Done Him Wrong. With hips that don’t lie and a sassy attitude to boot, West packs this movie with double entendres and clever quips, including her best-known line, “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?”

Similar to The Marx Brothers or even The Three Stooges, the witty dialogue here is easily the best part of this film:

This scene literally made me laugh for like 5 minutes hahahahaha

Set in New York in the 1890s, She Done Him Wrong is a simple story: Lady Lou is a saloon singer who spends the entire movie fighting off a swarm of men who are literally throwing themselves at her. When she gets mixed up with one Captain Cummings, played by a very young Cary Grant, she finally meets a man not willing to shower her with money and diamonds. In Cummings, Lou finds a worthy opponent – and shenanigans ensue. Lou sings some, she showcases at least 10 amazing costumes (all of which she had to be sewn into) and flaunts enough jewelry to make her look like she got stuck in a chandelier.

She Done Him Wrong marked West’s first starring role and literally saved Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy. With a budget of $200,000, the movie grossed $2,000,000 in the US alone. It was only nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and, at a mere 66 minutes in length, was the shortest movie to ever be honored in that category.

As I watched She Done Him Wrong, I started to feel the appeal of Mae West. She was not a beautiful woman. She wasn’t a great actress and her singing was pretty average – but man did that woman have confidence. Decades ahead of her time in her views towards sex and seduction, West cast a spell in this film. The plot was dumb, but that didn’t matter. Audiences didn’t see this movie for the plot, and West certainly knew what the boys wanted:


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