Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1933. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Harvey F. Thew, John Bright, based on the play Diamond Lil by Mae West. Cinematography by Charles Lang. Produced by William LeBaron. Music by John Leipold. Production Design by Robert Usher. Costume Design by Edith Head. Film Editing by Alexander Hall. Academy Awards 1932/33.
Mae West made a terrific splash into the world of cinema with her first starring role. Based on her own play Diamond Lil, it tells of a sexy saloon gal who is known for her voluptuous frame, acid-tongued wit and the fact that she drives men wild. Living a life that affords her all the sparkling diamonds her heart desires, she thinks all is grand until trouble enters the picture, primarily in two forces. The first is her ex-boyfriend, who has just broken out of jail and plans on finding out if she’s been faithful to him or not (guess which is the answer); the second is an undercover policeman who has been investigating her saloon in order to break up a slavery ring that has been going on under her nose without her being the least bit aware of it. Cary Grant has some great moments with West as a mild-mannered preacher from the mission next door who captures her fancy; it is to him that she utters her most famous line “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?” Lots of hilarity and terrific dialogue, featuring quite a bit of story for something that only takes up sixty-odd minutes of your time.