Friday, July 25, 2014

Mae West: Doggie Style

MAE WEST lived through many of those "dog days of summer" and now the hounds have a stylish tee to wear, cleverly embroidered with several of the Brooklyn bombshell's witty sayings.
• • Surely you would love to see your French bulldog wearing a pull-over that says "A hard man is good to find." Oooh-la-lah!
• • All eyes will be on you when you're walking a Maltese clad in a hoodie with "I used to be Snow White but I drifted."
• • Nothing will improve your Yorkshire terrier's glamour queen quotient than a T-shirt printed with "You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough!"
• • You can find more doggie fashions here: http://www.cafepress.com/+mae-west+pet-apparel
• • On Sunday, 25 July 1926 in NYC • •
• • On Sunday, 25 July 1926, Mae met Valentino at Tommy Guinan's speakeasy. Larger than the average ginmill, The Playground was on West 52nd Street (east of Broadway).  James R. Quirk, editor-publisher of Photoplay, hosted a Reception in honor of Valentino's new silent movie "Son of the Sheik" there.  Mae West and Texas Guinan were there to greet the Apulian heartthrob.
• • On Thursday, 25 July 1946 • •
• • The famous photo of Mae West with her hand on bodybuilder John Farbotnik's flexed upper arm was taken on Thursday, 25 July 1946 after the muscleman won the Mr. Chicago title.
• • Save the Date: Wednesday, August 13th • •
• • Wednesday, 13 August 2014 will be the next Mae West Tribute in Manhattan and the event will start at 6:30 pm at 425 Sixth Avenue. The theme will be: "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill."   
• • Details: August 13th event
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Even the mention of a new Mae West script gets the newly created film censors bureau hot under the collar.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I never try to be anything but myself at all times, publicly and privately, except on the stage and screen, for that's where acting belongs."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in a Singapore newspaper discussed Mae West
• • Mae West's next film will be "The Queen of Sheba" • •
• • "Close-Up" offered this tidbit to film fans on 25 July 1934: I understand that Mae West's next film will be "The Queen of Sheba." That is not a joke. My information is that "the production will not be burlesque, and the star will give a 'straight' characterisation." Clearly Miss West is ambitious; but her ambition may lead her into trouble.  . . . 
 • • "Close-Up" added: As the Queen of Sheba she would have to create a very different characterisation.  It remains lo be seen whether she can do that.  Cecil B. de Mille at once suggests himself as director.  He directed Betty Blythe in the original Queen of Sheba film.
• • Source: Article: "Notes on the Screen" printed in The Argus (Australia), on page 5; published on Wednesday, 25 July 1934
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2965th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

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• • Mae West dog sweaters for summer

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mae West: Animal Attraction

MAE WEST admired animal trainer Mabel Stark and vice versa.  If you loved the circus scenes in "I'm No Angel," then here's a book you might enjoy.   
• • "The final confession of Mabel Stark" by  Robert Hough • •
• • 'You can't mix tigers and husbands. And anyhow, I prefer the tigers.' Barely five feet tall, suicidally courageous, obsessed with tigers and sexually eccentric, Mabel Stark was the greatest female tiger trainer in history. Clad in her leather suits and married five times, she was the Mae West of tiger taming. In the 1910s and 1920s, when circus was the most popular entertainment in America Mabel Stark was the biggest attraction for the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus. This vibrant and moving fictional autobiography begins in 1968. Mabel is turning 80 and is about to lose her job.  ...
• • Was Stark "the Mae West of tiger taming"?  Find out. Available from Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd. [released in 2012]. 
• • On Friday, 24 July 1936 • •
• • Mae West looking thinner. She tells friends the loss is 11 pounds, noted a Associated Press columnist.
• • On Saturday, 24 July 1937 • •
• • On Saturday, 24 July 1937, Thomas Cavanagh Bogue [1896 — 1944] was voted "The Most Original Gent" in his costume as "film star Mae West" at the Carnamah Girls Club's Masquerade Ball at the Carnamah Hall in Australia on 24 July 1937. Bogue, who was 41 at the time of the party, clearly had a great sense of humor.
• • On Thursday, 24 July 1997 • •
• • The book "Three Plays by Mae West: Sex, The Drag, The Pleasure Man" was published on Thursday, 24 July 1997.  The book's editor was Lillian Schlissel.
• • Save the Date: Wednesday, August 13th • •
• • Wednesday, 13 August 2014 will be the next Mae West Tribute in Manhattan and the event will start at 6:30 pm at 425 Sixth Avenue. The theme will be: "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill."   
• • Details:  August 13th event
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West discovered a little eating place near San Fernando Valley. She liked it and went there often. Recently, the woman who operates the place was told to vacate, because of a non-payment of a mortgage. Mae found out, paid off what was left, and handed the deeds to the woman.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "'Why shouldn't I have paid off her mortgage? I wanted to keep on eating there, didn't I?"  
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in a Texas newspaper mentioned Mae West.
• • At the El Paso Theatre — "Belle of the Nineties,” Mae West, Roger Pryor.
• • Source: Item in El Paso Herald Post; published on Saturday, 27 May 1961
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2964th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

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• • Mae West event on August 13th

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mae West: Worst Book Ever

Give a roaring welcome to Leo the lion [July 23rd — August 22nd], the astrological sign MAE WEST was born under.
• • Borrowing details from her own life for the dialogue with Rajah the fortuneteller in "I'm No Angel" — — who says, "You were born under Leo!" — — Mae's character Tira, a novice lion tamer, replies, "Yeah, the king of beasts, huh?"
• • Perhaps the horoscope that Rajah hands Tira, often consulted in her 1933 motion picture comedy for Paramount Pictures, predicted that she would not be harmed when sticking her head in the jaws of a lion.  But surely the M-G-M lion was a tiny bit jealous.
• • The Worst Mae West Bio Ever Printed • •
• • Mae-mavens will note the deliberate use of the word "printed" — — not "written." Perhaps Julia McMahon turned out this perplexing publication by some bizarre combo of cut-and-paste in a foreign language, then she churned it through translation software.
• • Mae West chronicler Mark Desjardins kindly consented to analyze this turgid text.
• • "Mae West 169 Success Facts" [2014] by Julia McMahon • •
• • REVIEW by Mark Desjardins • •
• • The first hint that this volume may be a misstep is the cover photo which is clearly NOT of Mae West. A quick perusal of the chapter contents raises some hopes of redemption, but these are quickly dashed upon closer examination. I am not certain if the original publication of the material in this publication was translated into English, but the prose seems rather stilted and odd. 
• • For example, when McMahon examines the role of Canadian female impersonator, Craig Russell, as West's Fan Club President, she writes: "Born in Toronto, Russell grew to be leader of Mae West's fan association as an adolescent, and he momentarily operated and existed in Los Angeles as her assistant. He restored to Toronto wherever ....... he operated like a barber when following his vocation as a stage performing artist. While carrying out, he on every relevant occasion, talked and chanted in the vocals of the famous persons he was impersonating."
• • Passages like this are generously peppered throughout this odd publication.  Here is another strange entry, under the heading "Burlesque — American burlesque":
• • "The change as of Burlesque on the aged rules to Striptease was slow.  At foremost soubrettes presented off their numbers when crooning and dancing; a few remained fewer energetic however renumerated by materializing in complicated stage outfits."
• • As a somewhat  knowledgeable fan of Mae West and her humor, I found this book to be a struggle to plow through, and can only imagine the frustration of someone new to West's wit and wisdom trying to make any sense out of the hodge-podge of the "169 successful facts" alluded to, here in the title.
• • There are no other photographs in this 229-page trade paperback edition, which measures 7 1/2 inches by 9 1/2 inches.  
• • For the cost of this volume, there are much more fun and factual accounts of Mae West's land and varied career available.  I would not recommend this publication at all.
• • On Monday, 23 July 1934 in Film Daily • •
• • W. C. Fields wrote: I have been approached by Mae West to consider collaborating. But I want my work to stand out individually. Besides Mae has the wrong slant on this thing. She says she does her best writing in bed. Well, I do my best loafing there, and consider that that is the primary purpose of a bed. . . .
• • Source: Article: "W. C. Fields Talks About His Grand Passion" in Film Daily; published on Monday, 23 July 1934.
• • On Saturday, 23 July 1938 in Bristol, England • •
• • "At the Little Theatre — — A Mae West film" announced the Western Daily Press (Bristol, England)  on Saturday, 27 July 1938.  
• • Save the Date: Wednesday, August 13th • •
• • Wednesday, 13 August 2014 will be the next Mae West Tribute in Manhattan and the event will start at 6:30 pm at 425 Sixth Avenue. The theme will be: "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill."   
• • Details: August 13th event
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Frank Wallace has court action in Los Angeles to bring about a division of community property under California law against his former spouse Mae West.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: " "Everyone else that gets in the money out here buys a forty-room house, hires a dozen servants, and gets ritzy. But not me. I'd be lonesome."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about camp mentioned Mae West.
• • Michael T. Schuyler wrote: Mae West freely "camped it up" once she recognized the power of her camp stature in her later years.  ...
• • Source: Article: "Camp for Camp's Sake: Absolutely Fabulous, Self-Consciousness, and the Mae West Debate" written by Michael T.  Schuyler for Journal of Film and Video, Vol. 56, No. 4; published in Winter 2004
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2963rd blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West bad cover on a book to avoid

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  Mae West