Criterion Channel Features Mae West’s Best Films.

Criterion Channel Features Mae West’s Best Films.


The Best of Mae West

Queen of the risqué double entendre Mae West said it best herself: “When I’m good, I’m very good. But when I’m bad, I’m better.” The singular performer, playwright, sex symbol, and all-around star had brass and brilliance to burn in her ascent from vaudeville vamp to scandal-inciting Broadway sensation to Hollywood’s biggest box-office draw of the early 1930s, when she kept censors on their toes with her bawdy one-liners and liberated approach to sexuality. An icon of emancipated womanhood, West always more than held her own in a man’s world, both on- and offscreen—she wrote or cowrote every screenplay featured here.

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“Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?” West purrs in She Done Him Wrong, the breakout hit that announced her as a sensational new screen personality capable of pushing pre-Code innuendo to its limits. Immediately afterward, she reteamed with costar Cary Grant and upped the ante on eroticism and wit alike in I’m No Angel.

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