Prior to this movie my exposure was Mae West to was a series of what I thought were over the top imitations. However, after seeing She Done Him Wrong, I now realize they weren’t far off.
It seems pretty clear that this movie was a plot woven together to fit nicely around Ms West’s looks and personality. It’s a drama but the drama of the secondary characters seems to be downplayed to focus more on West and you don’t want her to be too sad so even her “down” moments barely crack the surface. But then of course it would show West in her best light, she wrote the screenplay. As was the case with most of her movies.
She Done Him Wrong is the story of Diamond Lil (Mae West) nightclub owner and headliner act. She juggles men’s affections with ease, until one of them, a her criminal boyfriend Chick Clark (Owen Moore) breaks out of prison to see her, and more importantly to make sure that he’s her only one. Meanwhile, Lil is finding herself very attracted to Capt. Cummings (Cary Grant) who runs the city mission next door. Also, she’s finding out that her boss Gus Jordan (Noah Beery ) is involved in a lot more than the nightclub and it’s not legal.
The musical numbers are nice and the dialogue and one-liners are fun. You either like the character that is Mae West or you don’t. I can take it in doses. But if you have never seen her in action this is a great movie to see what all the imitation is about.