She Done Him Wrong. 1933. USA. Directed by Lowell Sherman. Screenplay by John Bright, Harvey Thew, Mae West, based on West’s play Diamond Lil. With West, Cary Grant, Gilbert Roland. 35mm. 65 min.
In “A Short Table for a Study of the Gangster Film 1926–34” by Iris Barry and Jay Leyda, She Done Him Wrong is listed among key films of the genre for the year 1933. Mae West is a bawdy dancehall singer named Lady Lou who loves a gangster and a teetotaler with the same unabashed lustiness. While her stage persona is sometimes vulgar and extreme, she really does have a heart of gold. The pious Captain Cummings, played by Cary Grant, is a charming foil for West’s bluster.