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She Done Him Wrong (1933)

Paramount Pictures was $21 million in the red when George Raft convinced them to hire old friend Mae West to play a small role in Night After Night (1932). She completely stole the show, and soon exhibitors were clamoring for her to star in a picture. The Production Code refused to let her film her 1928 stage hit, Diamond Lil, so screenwriters John Bright and Harvey Thew changed the title and the characters’ names before the cameras rolled. West’s role as a wise-cracking, sexually independent woman working in a saloon next to a mission house headed by a young Cary Grant had audiences cheering and censors fuming. The film epitomizes Hollywood’s provocative charm in the days before strict Production Code enforcement. 

d. Lowell Sherman, 65m, 35mm