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.

The Apartment (1960)

The last movie to win Oscar Best Picture in Black ‘n’ White was this movie. Of course, it was before Schindler’s list (1993). The Apartment made in 1960 was classic with reputed performers like Jack Lemmon (I can’t stop ravishing about him), Shirley Maclaine, aptly directed by Billy Wilder. This was a follow up from his previous smash hit comedy ‘Some Like it Hot.’

I was in tears because I was touched by Jack Lemmon’s simplicity, suppressing his feelings. The feelings when his boss, played by Fred McMurray, out of his marriage has an affair with Shirley Maclaine, and he can stand and do nothing about it.

The Apartment is in demand for few employees working at an insurance company in New York. The Apartment belongs to Mr. C.C Baxter, played by Jack Lemmon. To climb up the corporate ladder, he lends his Apartment to his fellow selected higher officials to spend time with their muses outside the house. The four managers keep their promise by paying positive appraisals to the personnel director, Mr. Sheldrake, played by Fred McMurray.

C.C Baxter is attracted to the elevator operator Miss Fran Kubelik played by Shirley Maclaine. It turns out, Mr. Sheldrake had sights on Miss Kubelik, and they were involved in a relationship, which ceases to have an identity.

Miss Kubelik cannot tolerate the mystery of their relationship in adverse circumstances, contemplating suicide and consuming sleeping pills at the Apartment.

C.C Baxter, to his shock, finds Miss Kubelik in a state of horror. Next few days, he consoles Miss Kubelik and even tries to bring a smile.

While his heroics of saving Mr. Sheldrake gave him a chance to become Asst. Director. He always dreamt of this position; now, he stalls himself to enjoy the newfound role.

Fast forward 37 years, Bollywood had its movie in Yes Boss, loosely inspired by the theme where Shahrukh Khan helped his boss Aditya Pancholi get Juhi Chawla in return for a better corporate future.

And in 2006, another Bollywood movie, ‘Life in a Metro’ finds a sub-plot similar to the screenplay of ‘The Apartment.’ Sharman Joshi does justice to his role identical to Jack Lemmon, while Kangana Ranaut and Kay Kay Menon play Shirley Maclaine and Fred McMurray to perfection.

However, according to director Billy Wilder, The Apartment was inspired when he had seen the movie ‘Brief encounter’ in 1945.

I like the ending scene.

It’s about the time when C.C Baxter and Miss Kubelik are about to start a game of cards.

C.C. Baxter: You hear what I said, Miss Kubelik? I absolutely adore you.

Fran Kubelik: Shut up and deal.