I’m No Angel (1933)

There is a famous saying, “There is no business like show business.”

Mae West illustrates and depicts the role of a free-spirited ‘Tira’ in this 1933 movie, ‘I’m No Angel.’ Back then, she was already an established personality on screen, commanding immense respect among her peers in the industry.

Known for her witty one-liner and double entendres, Mae West stars in this movie in which she provides the story, screenplay, and dialogue.

To get out of a messy situation, Tira, in search of money, agrees to an offer to put her head into a lion’s mouth. The proposal was in New York and was a sell-out attraction. She attracted a lot of rich men.

A harbinger previously predicted her man of the future to be a rich guy with black hair. In search of this, she did socialise with men while explicitly going into the details specified by the fortune teller. Receiving presents through social gatherings from rich men was an everyday norm.

Jack Clayton, played by Cary Grant, tries to untie the infatuation of his friend with Tira. His friend was in a relationship, and to stop further embarrassment, Jack takes up convincing Tira to stop entertaining his friend. Along the way, Jack gets fascinated by Tira’s charm, and in turn, Tira feels she has found her man.

In her show business career, Tira made acquaintance with a lot of men; one such hopeless guy is Slick Wiley. He used to live on Tira’s money and never liked Tira getting close with rich men. When Jack and Tira decide to get married, Slick plays an evil trick on Jack’s claim that Tira was already married. The marriage is cancelled.

To get someone you love, one needs to fight certain circumstances. Tira acts as her attorney in court over a breach of promise suit. She questions the men from her past to prove her innocence. Misunderstanding is cleared, and finally, all hurdles are cleared.
Directed by Wesley Ruggles, this movie united Cary Grant and Mae West for the second and the last time together.

She Done Him Wrong (1933)

Mae West playing the role of Lady Lou is a nightclub owner in New York. One can imagine a lady of that stature to have many friends. She had more male friends than one can imagine.

The movie involves various scenes inside the night club and how few males try their luck to impress ‘Lady Lou.’

Although Captain Cummings is in no mood to embrace her, she does find his liking. One of Lady Lou’s lines – “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?” is one of the best lines considered by many film critics and been voted in the Top 100 lines in many movie sites.

This movie was more focussed on Mae West, who proved why she was one of the best in the business of ‘comical sexuality.’

After this movie, The Nation legion of Decency was formed in 1933, stating the film and Mae West be one of the prime reasons.

The movie showcases the pride of the character ‘Lady Lou’ who, endowed with jewels, hip swishing, proclaims to the public, ‘I am the finest woman who walked the streets.’

Captain Cummings, played by Cary Grant, warns her about the consequences because of her attitude, and it is he who helps her at the end of the movie.

This movie is based on Mae West’s play titled ‘Diamond Lil’ in the late 1920s.

In his early years of acting, Cary Grant plays second fiddle to the more renowned Mae West. Paramount Productions hired him, and this movie saved Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy, and they owe it to Mae West and her popularity at that time.

Released in 1933, She Done Him Wrong was directed by Lowell Sherman and was the shortest movie in duration (66 minutes) to receive a Best Picture Oscar. Besides, it is the only movie (at the time of writing this post) to be nominated Best Picture category without nominations in other categories.