Friday, February 12, 2016

Mae West: A Style of Her Own

MAE WEST had a big influence on styles and fashions. This topic came up when Mrs. E. S.  Amundsen, the sister of actress Minnie Love, visited Australia and was interviewed.
• • Mrs. E. S.  Amundsen, who comes straight from Hollywood, describes that centre of filmdom as a "wonderful place," and the residents as "wonderful people "  . . .
• • Fashions in Hollywood change almost in a night, says Mrs Amundsen. In fact it is the city of changing styles, even pictures undergoing the same rapid somersault movement and altering their character.
• • "Mae West — — a style of her own" • •
• • Mae West, the lady who has popularised the return of the "curve" to the feminine figure, has created a style of her own, under whose spell the whole country has fallen, affirmed Mrs. Amundsen.  The shop windows all over America are exploiting the Mae West fashion in all kinds of women's wear.  There are the Mae West hats, the Mae West frocks, and so on, right through the gamut of fashion. This artist has been responsible for reintroducing the dress with billowing skirts, the large hat adorned with feathers, and such old-time dress fabrics as heavy velvets, plushes, and kindred weaves, not to mention all kinds of fur accessories.  . . .
• • Source: Article in The Sydney Morning Herald; published on Monday, 12 February 1934.
• • On Friday, 12 February 1943 • •
• • Mae West wrote numerous letters to her fans. Here's what she wrote on Friday, 12 February 1943, from a rare letter to a fan that was preserved in her archives.
• • Dear Mr. Jackson-Craig:
• • No one could help being moved by your always beautiful letters and the fineness of the sentiment they express. The most recent of your letters presents a problem, however, that cannot, I am afraid, be solved in the way that you wish. ... A life such as mine is anything but simple. ...
• • Curious? In another post, you might learn more about this intriguing letter from 1943.
• • On Saturday, 12 February 1949 in Billboard • •
• • Saturday night watching Mae West as the Bowery belle Diamond Lil at the Coronet Theatre, wow. 
• • Billboard reviewer Bob Francis was in the crowd on her opening night (5 February 1949) and recorded his fascinations in a lengthy, generously detailed piece that was printed the following week on Saturday, 12 February 1949 in Billboard Magazine. Critic Bob Francis had an exceptional perspective, since he had seen the show at the Royale Theatre in 1928, too.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • While considered unique, Greta Garbo was still perceived to be somewhat interchangeable with that other European symbol of androgyny and unalloyed sexuality, Marlene Dietrich. Andre Sennewald saw in Mae West a welcome relief from their “sulphurous sex-dramas.”
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "I pity weak women, good or bad, but I can't like them. A woman should be strong either in her goodness or badness."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Hollywood weekly mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae Wants to Be Quiet" • •
• • And so Mae West has bought a six-acre ranch out Van Nuys way that has ten room and a guest house. She claims it is difficult to find peace and quietness in an apartment, but wait until her friends hear about that guest house on the ranch.   . . .
• • Source: Item in Hollywood Filmograph; published on Saturday, 3 March 1934
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 11th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past eleven years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,300 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3376th 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 • in 1935 on horseback

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Mae West: Parabola Self

MAE WEST had numerous fans on the campus of Stanford University, who sent their resident critic, Sheldon, to catch the screen queen's latest motion picture. He enjoyed the dialogue but felt Mae had already done her best work elsewhere. Let's see what else he wrote in 1938.
• • "Time Marches as Mae West Also Runs" • •
• • Sheldon wrote:  Best thing about the Mae West bill at the Stanford Theatre tonight is the March of Time review of Nazi Germany. Not that Miss West is not her usual parabola self — — far from it indeed, but fans who race lo the show with the good old Puritanical naughty-naughty scene of anticipation will be slightly disappointed. 
• • Story of "Every Day's a Holiday" revolves around the clever Mae as a light-fingered New York gal and Edmund Lowe, the equally clever and overly-honest New York cop.  Both, according to the best of Hollywood scripts, are in love with each other; but duty always has the unfortunate habit of keeping them apart until the end.
• • Through a series of far too complicated moves, "Honest John" Quade, the villain and crooked politician, is out-witted, beaten in the election when he flies Lowe from the force, smacked in the face at his opponent's political rally.  All, of course, in the best of 1890 style, which by this time has gotten a little stale.
• • Dialogue Good • •
• • Dialogue between West and Butterworth and West and Winninger at times approaches the humorous, but is nowhere near the too famous Ameche-West Garden of Eden scene.  . . .
• • Source:  Review written by Sheldon for The Stanford Daily; published on Friday, 11 February 1938.
• • John Edwin West, Jr. [11 February 1900 — 12 October 1964] • •
• • Born in February — — on Sunday, 11 February 1900 — — in Brooklyn, John Edwin West died on 12 October 1964. John was 64. His survivors included his widow and one son (who had no children and who has since died of AIDS).
• • Mae made arrangements for the body of her beloved kid brother to be sent back to Brooklyn to the family crypt. Two weeks later, Mae — — who hated to think about death — — made a Will.
• • On Saturday, 11 February 1933 • •
• • "Hollywood has thinned Mae West. She no longer looks like a member of the Beef Trust," wrote a reporter for The New York Daily News on Saturday, 11 February 1933. The Daily News added, "This is the same Mae West, by the way, who when a kid was always dressed in Little Lord Fauntleroy clothing." ...
• • On Saturday, 11 February 1933 • •
• • The Los Angeles Daily News ran an article on "She Done Him Wrong" in their weekend edition on Saturday, on 11 February 1933.
• • On Saturday, 11 February 1933 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • Film critic Mordaunt Hall wrote: Mae West is to be seen at the Paramount in a hearty and blustering cinematic cartoon of the devilish '90s. With the haughty strut and the nasal twang which are the principal assets of her repertoire, she filled the screen with gaudy humor. Illustrating the troubled career of Lady Lou, whose heart is bigger than her sense of decorum, she rhymed "amateur" with "connoisseur" in one of her beer-hall ballads and, on the whole, gave a remarkable suspicious impersonation of Diamond Lil. In fact, "She Done Him Wrong," with a few discreet cuts and alterations, is the same "Diamond Lil" without which no bibliography of Miss West's literary works would be complete.
• • Mordaunt Hall continued: Most highly prized of the Bowery belles, Lady Lou is notable both for her beauty, which is ornate, and for her wit, which is not dull. Although her reputation is nightly torn to bits by the pious in the mission next door to the saloon where she holds court, district leaders and other local Napoleons fight for her favors. Despite the title, she did nobody wrong. While her man is doing a "rap" she has to live, and she has chosen a good location. "My career is diamonds," she says, and men fight for the privilege of adding to her collection of jewelry.  ...
• • On Friday, 11 February 1977 • •
• • Mae West said: "Hiring someone to write your autobiography is like hiring someone to take a bath for you."
• • Mae's comment was quoted in Bookviews, on Friday, 11 February 1977
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Phyllis Barrington said she was going to recommend (race car driver) Al Gordon to Mae West for the love interest in her next picture.  Mae demands a vast knowledge of the art of love in her male leads — — or so the story goes.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "There is one play which we never grow weary of seeing. That is the great show of life as it flows along."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Hollywood weekly mentioned Mae West.
• • They had to hide Mae West from the public and jury in her court appearances against alleged robbers.  "After all, we have to give someone else a chance," explained Assistant District Attorney John Oliver, in charge of the prosecution.  . . .
• • Source: Item in Hollywood Filmograph; published on Saturday, 27 January 1934
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 11th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past eleven years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,300 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3375th 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 • after the murder in "She Done Him Wrong"

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
  Mae West