Even today Mae West would be breaking all the rules. There she is in all her glory in 1933â€™s She Done Him Wrong: defiant, smart, curvy, and past forty, declaring herself â€œthe finest woman ever to walk the streetsâ€ and suggestively yowling her appreciation for â€œA Guy What Takes His Timeâ€ (â€œIâ€™m a fast moving girl that likes â€˜em slow,â€ she sings with cheerful vulgarity). I came to Mae West already knowing the persona â€“ having already gleaned the distinctive voice and the mannerisms, the outrageous diamond jewelry, and the immortal â€œCome up and see me sometimeâ€ from clips and impersonations â€“ but I still found her brassy presence galvanizing the first time I saw one of her films. In her own time West made a splash with her risquÃ© humor, but even now her brazen onscreen persona and off-screen chutzpah carry more weight than simply that. Sheâ€™s the anti-ingÃ©nue, tough and worldly and unapologetic. She made a career of playing women who took care of themselves, and was one of very few classic era actresses to wield a great deal of control over her own image.