Mae's entrance as Tira in I'm No Angel is a masterpiece of character delineation. She saunters down the cheap carnival runway, cheerfully displaying the goods in a fabulous semi-sheer costume which covers the most sensational aspects of her anatomy with only a thin layer of shimmering sequins. She goads the panting crowd (of men, obviously) and sympathizes with them at the same time. "Get the idea, boys?" she purrs, with a hip-shimmy below camera level. "I know just how you feel, honey," she remarks in a friendly tone to a particularly fervent admirer. But her last remark on heading offstage is a sotto-voce "Suckers!"
The scene tells you so much about Tira; she'll do whatever it takes to get ahead, but she's never mean-spirited or resentful. She does it all with an air of self-confident enthusiasm; if she's going to be what used be called a "cooch dancer", she'll be the best one these poor deprived guys have ever seen.
And she wrote it all herself, she really did.