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She Done Him Wrong

she done him wrong star, she done him wrong
She Done Him Wrong is a 1933 pre-Code American crime/comedy film produced by Paramount Pictures and starring Mae West and Cary Grant Its plot includes melodramatic and musical elements, with a supporting cast featuring Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland, Noah Beery, Sr, Rochelle Hudson, and Louise Beavers It was directed by Lowell Sherman and produced by William LeBaron The movie is famous for West's many double entendres and quips, including her best-known and frequently misquoted, "Why don't you come up sometime and see me"

The film was adapted from the successful Broadway play Diamond Lil by Mae West The Hays Code declared the play banned from the screen and repeatedly demanded changes to remove associations with or elements from the play, including suggested titles with the word "diamond" The adaption was finally allowed under the condition that the play not be referred to in publicity or advertising3

Blonde Venus with Marlene Dietrich and Madame Butterfly with Sylvia Sidney, both predate She Done Him Wrong but West always claimed to have discovered Grant for her film, claiming that until then Grant had only made "some tests with starlets"citation needed

The script was adapted by Harvey F Thew and John Bright Original music was composed by Ralph Rainger, John Leipold and Stephan Pasternacki Charles Lang was responsible for the cinematography, while the costumes were designed by Edith Head


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Reception
  • 4 Notes
  • 5 Notes
  • 6 External links


The story is set in New York City in the 1890s A bawdy singer, Lady Lou Mae West, works in the Bowery barroom saloon of her boss and benefactor, Gus Jordan Noah Beery, who has given her many diamonds But Lou is a lady with more men friends than anyone might imagine

What she does not know is that Gus trafficks in prostitution and runs a counterfeiting ring to help finance her expensive diamonds He also sends young women to San Francisco to be pickpockets Gus works with two other crooked entertainer-assistants, Russian Rita Rafaela Ottiano and Rita's lover, the suave Sergei Stanieff Gilbert Roland One of Gus's rivals and former "friend" of Lou's, named Dan Flynn David Landau, spends most of the movie dropping hints to Lou that Gus is up to no good, promising to look after her once Gus is in jail Lou leads him on, hinting at times that she will return to him, but eventually he loses patience and implies he'll see her jailed if she doesn't submit to him

A city mission a thinly disguised Salvation Army is located next door to the bar Its young director, Captain Cummings Cary Grant, is in reality an undercover Federal agent working to infiltrate and expose the illegal activities in the bar Gus suspects nothing; he worries only that Cummings will reform his bar and scare away his customers

Lou's former boyfriend, Chick Clark Owen Moore, is a vicious criminal who was convicted of robbery and sent to prison for trying to steal diamonds for her In his absence, she becomes attracted to the handsome young psalm-singing reformer

Warned that Chick thinks she's betrayed him, she goes to the prison to try to reassure him All the inmates greet her warmly and familiarly as she walks down the cellblock Chick becomes angry and threatens to kill her if she double-crosses or two-times him before he gets out She lies and claims she has been true to him Gus gives counterfeit money to Rita and Sergei to spend Chick escapes from jail, and police search for him in the bar He comes into Lou's room and starts to strangle her, breaking off only because he still loves her and cannot harm her Lou calms him down by promising that she will go with him when she finishes her next number

After Sergei gives Lou a diamond pin belonging to Rita, Rita starts a fight with Lou, who accidentally stabs her to death Lou calmly combs the dead woman's long hair to hide the fact Rita is dead while the police search the room for Chick Clark She has her bodyguard Spider Dewey Robinson, who "would do anything for you, Lou" dispose of Rita's body She then tells Spider to bring Chick, who's hiding in an alley, back to her room upstairs Then, while she sings "Frankie and Johnny", she silently signals to Dan Flynn that he should go to her room to wait for her, even though she knows Chick is in there with a gun Chick shoots Dan dead and the gunfire draws a police raid Cummings shows his badge and reveals himself as "The Hawk", a well-known Federal agent, as he arrests Gus and Sergei Chick, still lurking in Lou's room, is about to kill Lou for double-crossing him, when Cummings also apprehends him

Cummings then takes Lou away in an open horse-drawn carriage instead of the paddywagon into which all the other criminals have been loaded He tells her she doesn't belong in jail and removes all her other rings and slips a diamond engagement ring onto her marriage finger


  • Mae West as Lady Lou
  • Cary Grant as Capt Cummings
  • Owen Moore as Chick Clark
  • Gilbert Roland as Sergei Stanieff
  • Noah Beery, Sr as Gus Jordan
  • David Landau as Dan Flynn
  • Rafaela Ottiano as Russian Rita
  • Dewey Robinson as Spider Kane
  • Rochelle Hudson as Sally
  • Tammany Young as Chuck Connors
  • Fuzzy Knight as Ragtime Kelly
  • Grace La Rue as Frances Kelly
  • Robert Homans as Doheney
  • Louise Beavers as Pearl Lou's maid


The film was a box-office success, grossing $2,000,000 domestically with a budget of $200,000 Variety's "Bige" gave She Done Him Wrong a negative review stating that Paramount was attempting to rush Mae West to stardom by giving her her own film and top billing, and that the film was not very good without known actors and an entertaining story4

She Done Him Wrong was nominated for an Academy Award for Outstanding Production, now known as Best Picture At 66 minutes, it is the shortest film ever to be so honored

In 1996, She Done Him Wrong was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

  • 1998: AFI's 100 Years100 Movies – Nominated5
  • 2000: AFI's 100 Years100 Laughs – #756
  • 2004: AFI's 100 Years100 Songs:
    • "Frankie and Johnny" – Nominated7
  • 2005: AFI's 100 Years100 Movie Quotes:
    • Lady Lou: "Why don't you come up sometime and see me" – #268
  • 2007: AFI's 100 Years100 Movies 10th Anniversary Edition – Nominated9


West's famous line to Cary Grant is "Why don't you come up some time and see me" in She Done Him Wrong She changed it to "Come up and see me sometime" in her next movie, I'm No Angel, which was released the same year and also co-starred Grant

She Done Him Wrong bears some resemblances to The Bowery, a Raoul Walsh film released later the same year by United Artists starring Noah Beery's brother Wallace The two films each include a saloon owner called Chuck Conners, as a main character played by Wallace Beery in "The Bowery", and a smaller role played by Tammany Young in "She Done Him Wrong"

Louise Beavers was the only African American actress to be brought aboard the film by West personally She wanted a black woman to appear opposite her; when she did stage and screen work, West made it a point to act with Black American actors and actresses, helping to break racial discrimination in entertainment West's stage shows resulted in her arrest for saucy material and her having black actors on stage was extremely controversial With this film, she and her Paramount bosses called the shots: black stars appeared in a few of her films after this one


  1. ^ "Box office/business for She Done Him Wrong" IMDbcom Retrieved 2009-06-20 
  2. ^ "WHICH CINEMA FILMS HAVE EARNED THE MOST MONEY SINCE 1914" The Argus Melbourne: National Library of Australia March 4, 1944 p 3 Supplement: The Argus Weekend magazine Retrieved August 6, 2012 
  3. ^ "She Done Him Wrong 1933 - Notes - TCMcom" Turner Classic Movies Retrieved 2016-03-25 
  4. ^ Review in Variety's February 14, 1933 issue, carygrantnet; accessed August 9, 2015
  5. ^ "AFI's 100 Years100 Movies Nominees" PDF Retrieved August 20, 2016 
  6. ^ "AFI's 100 Years100 Laughs" PDF American Film Institute Retrieved August 20, 2016 
  7. ^ "AFI's 100 Years100 Songs Nominees" PDF Retrieved August 20, 2016 
  8. ^ "AFI's 100 Years100 Movie Quotes" PDF American Film Institute Retrieved August 20, 2016 
  9. ^ "AFI's 100 Years100 Movies Nominees 10th Anniversary Edition" PDF Retrieved August 20, 2016 

External linksedit

  • She Done Him Wrong on Internet Movie Database
  • She Done Him Wrong at the TCM Movie Database
  • She Done Him Wrong at AllMovie
  • She Done Him Wrong at the American Film Institute Catalog
  • Reprints of historic reviews, photo gallery at CaryGrantnet
  • She Done Him Wrong at Virtual History

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She Done Him Wrong

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