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She Done Him Wrong

USA 1933
produced by
William LeBaron for Paramount
directed by Lowell Sherman
starring Mae West, Cary Grant, Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland, Noah Beery, David Landau, Rafaela Ottiano, Dewey Robinson, Rochelle Hudson, Louise Beavers, Tammany Young, Fuzzy Knight, Grace La Rue, Robert Homans, James Eagles, Tom Kennedy, Lee Kohlmar, Aggie Herring
screenplay by Harvey F.Thew, John Bright, based on the play Diamond Lil by Mae West, music by Ralph Raigner

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Bowery, the 1890's: Lady Lou (Mae West) is an openly promiscuous, diamond-collecting nightclub singer who works at Gus Jordan's (Noah Beery) Saloon, and the two are a couple ... but that doesn't keep her from looking for a bit of fun elsewhere, as currently she has designs on both Sergei (Gilbert Roland), the boyfriend of Gus' associate Rita (Rafaela Ottiano) and Cummings (Cary Grant), the harmless young man who runs the mission next door, evdn though he seems much too holier-than-thou to even notice her (to get him she even goes so far as to buy the building the mission is in when he runs into financial difficulties). 

Now this all sounds difficult enough as it is, but additional to this, a girl (Rochelle Hudson) who has last seen with Lou has disappeared and it seems Gus, Rita and Sergei have their hands in it, Lou's ex-boyfriend Chick (Owen Moore) has broken out of jail just to see her again - and take her back -, and Gus' competitor Dan Flynn (David Landau) seems to also have designs on her. Then Lou accidently kills Rita in a fight and indirectly causes Dan Flynn to be shot ...

And as if this still wasn't enough, there is an undercover policeman called the Hawk on the prowl, out to arrest anybody remotely associated with Gus.

In the end, the Hawk turns out to be mild-mannered Cummings, who really manages to arrest everybody in Gus' gang - unbeknowest to Lou, Gus had been a money forger and smuggler -, all but Lou herself, whom he proposes to ...

 

The plot of this comedy is as overconvoluted as it is thin ... but all this doesn't matter much because this film is actually little more than a showcase for Mae West, who - in her first movie as a lead - plays her bad-girl-role with such a panache in this (and many of her other films) and delivers her racy dialogue in such an unashamed manner that the rest of the film hardly matters. Even (pre-stardom) Cary Grant is no match for West in this one (though admittedly, his role is rather undemanding), and to this day, there has been no other actress who was as perfect in bad girl roles as West.

 

By the way, the film was so successful back int he day that it singlehandedly saved its production company Paramount from bankrupcy and being taken over by MGM ... a lesson that should be learned by production companies even nowadays that money can be made from bad girls, even if they don't have to redeem themselves in the end.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD