Monday, May 25, 2015

Mae West: Uplift Campaign

It was Monday, 25 May 1936 and MAE WEST was in the headlines in Brisbane, Australia.
• • "Klondyke Annie" Banned! • •
• • Mae West's 'Uplift' Campaign in Alaska • •
• • Sydney, Sunday — — Australians will not be permitted to view Mae West's latest picture, 'Klondyke Annie,' as the Federal film censorship has placed a ban on it.
• • The film, however, was released in New Zealand. 
• • Mae West's role in the picture is that of a woman who has committed a murder, and is escaping to Alaska on board a ship. The only other passenger, a Salvation Army lassie, dies just before the vessel reaches Nome. Mae West lands in the goldfields town wearing a Salvation Army uniform, and immediately begins an "uplift" campaign.
• • "Attacked by Papers" • •
• • The manager of a Brisbane picture theatre yesterday said that when this picture was shown in America, it was attacked by several newspapers — — but was not banned.
• • Source: Article rpt in The Courier-Mail [Brisbane]; published on Monday, 25 May 1936.
• • On Saturday, 25 May 1912 • •
• • "Mae West — Songs" • •
• • When Mae West made her solo debut at Hammerstein's, the act was eleven minutes of dances and songs that were delivered in a Bert Williams like manner — — talking her way through.  Mae selected "Parisienne," "Dancing-Prancing," and "Rap, Rap, Rap."  Her closing number was a sultry cooch.
• • Reviewing this variety artist in their issue dated Saturday, 25 May 1912, The New York Clipper felt that a number of well-placed comrades in the audience were there, helping her along.
• • In their edition dated for Saturday, 25 May 1912, Variety's critic called her a "freak." In their opinion, Mae's presentation lacked "that touch of class that is becoming requisite nowadays for first-class houses."
• • On Wednesday, 25 May 1927 in Variety • •
• • Apparently, Texas Guinan was having difficulties with the Shuberts over her show "Padlocks of 1927."  When Variety printed an item on 25 May 1927 noting that "Mae West is being readied to jump in," their intention was probably meant to pinch some sense into the speakeasy hostess, who regularly paid for ads to promote her night spots in The New Yorker and whose spectacles attracted people from The Algonquin Round Table, an audience quite far from the circle of Mae West admirers. 
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Cary Grant showed up at Mae West Ciro's opening. Three other of Mae's former leading men also were in attendance: Steve Cochran, Phil Reed, and Jack La Rue. 
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A fan magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • "Benefit?" I shrieked, "Jean Harlow, I told you five years ago to give up benefits. Let somebody else be the sucker sometime. Already by actual count you have appeared
at ten benefits and five free radio programs this year. Jean, you're a sap."
• • "Oh, no," said Jean, quite seriously, too. "I'm flattered that they want me when they
could have Joan Crawford, or Carole Lombard, or Mae West. And besides, it's such a little thing to do for anybody."  . . .
• • Actress Jean Harlow [3 March 1911 — 7 June 1937] died young from kidney disease at the age of 26.
• • Source: Article on Jean Harlow in Screenland; issue dated for August 1935 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,100 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3185th 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

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

Friday, May 22, 2015

Mae West: Chipping Norton

An evening event inspired by MAE WEST will be held in such an ideal place, we can only shake our head in admiration.
• • At 7:00 pm on Sunday 24 May 2015, the British group Scary Little Girls will present "She Done Him Wrong" starring Mae West and directed by Lowell Sherman — — with a zesty live introduction.
• • The venue in Chipping Norton began its life as a Salvation Army Citadel, with the first stones, now visible in this storied auditorium, being laid in 1888. In a strange quirk of fate, its designers and engineers were those behind many Victorian Music Halls, leaving it perfectly proportioned for its future theatrical life.
• • As Mae-mavens know, she claimed to have gotten the idea for the Captain Cummings character after seeing a very handsome fellow exit a building in a Salvation Army uniform.
• • Event description from the organizer: The Theatre’s former Associate Company, Scary Little Girls, celebrate the trail blazing icon that was Mae West in an evening of film, live performance and music. Enjoy performed extracts from Mae’s own novels, songs from her films, and behind the scenes chat from your host Rebecca Mordan, before a screening of the 1932 motion picture "She Done Him Wrong," the film that established Mae as Hollywood's biggest, wittiest and boldest star!  Mae heats up the screen alongside fellow screen legend Cary Grant in this racy comedy that follows a brash saloon singer with a penchant for troubled men. So enjoy a cocktail from the bar and settle in for an evening celebrating the golden age of cinema, the art of seduction and, of course, the double-entendre.
• • WHERE:  The Theatre, 2 Spring Street, Chipping Norton, OX7 5NL England  [U.K.]
• • Running Time:   40 mins performance, 20 mins interval, 66 mins Mae West film
• • Tell them you heard about it on The Mae West Blog.
• • On Friday, 22 May 1936 • •
• • Graham Greene reviewed "Klondike Annie" for London's publication The Spectator, printed on Friday, 22 May 1936.
• • Unlike so many critics, Greene praised Mae's satire on the revivalists, astutely noting that "it never occurred to me that Miss West's conversion was to be taken seriously." He wrote: "I am completely uncritical of Mae West. I enjoy every one of her films . . . ."
• • On Monday, 22 May 1978 in Time • •
• • In May 1978, Time Magazine printed these felicitous remarks by resident movie critic Gerald Clarke: And her new movie, "Sextette," is so bad it's good.  . . .  Sixty years ago Mae West looked in the mirror and ordered the clock stopped. So far as she is concerned, it has never dared to start again ....
• • Source: "Show Business: At 84 Mae West Is Still Mae West" by Gerald Clarke, Time Magazine; published during the week of 22 May 1978.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West's first two films grossed over seven million dollars at the height of the Great Depression.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Britain is swell."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about Cary Grant mentioned Mae West.
• • "The concept of Cary" • •
• • Chris Petit wrote:  Gary Cooper, that straight-shooting womaniser, declared Cary Grant ambiguous. Marlene Dietrich marked Grant an F for fag after "Blonde Venus" (1932) and in "I'm No Angel" (1933) he was treated to Mae West's rolling innuendo. "I like a sophisticated man to take me out." "I'm not really sophisticated." "You're not really out yet, either."  Cary Grant had a propensity for dragging-up at costume parties and a stated preference for women's underwear, worn for practical reasons (easier to rinse and dry, saving on hotel laundry bills).  . . .
• • Source: Article written by Chris Petit for The WuMing Foundation; posted on Saturday, 21 May 2005
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,100 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3184th 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 • with Cary Grant in 1933

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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mae West: Sex Drive

A MAE WEST motion picture was "opening at the Capitol soon," announced a Singapore newspaper on Tuesday, 21 May 1935.  The text ran this way: "Here she is! The girl with the hourglass figure who makes every second count! Mae West in 'Belle of the Nineties.' Hear her sing the songs that have made her famous. Come up sometime." 
• • Source:  Item on page 7 of The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser; published on Tuesday, 21 May 1935.
• • On Monday, 21 May 1973 in Variety • •
• • "Sex Drive" • •
• • An item appeared in Variety on Monday, 21 May 1973.  Mae West mentioned she was writing a new book "Sex Drive," that would include real names and be largely autobiographical.
• • Either Mae couldn't find a publisher in 1973 or the 80-year-old icon was giving that frisky title a test drive — — and then went straight to the idea junkyard and abandoned this brain-storm.
• • On Thursday, 21 May 1992 • •
• • The paperback version of "Mae West: Empress of Sex" by Maurice Leonard was released on Thursday, 21 May 1992. Mr. Leonard took a smirking view of Mae and his insulting book (lacking any footnotes) is not worth reading..
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • The crowd admires Mae West because she does things which everyone would like to be able to do — — but also because she creates a world where nothing is impossible.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "Years ago there was a  Mae West playing burlesque In the East, and only a few years back I had trouble stopping a burlesque queen In Pittsburgh from using my  name."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A British poetry newsletter mentioned Mae West.
• • Artist Christine Kennedy is a Sheffield-based writer, too. Her publications include contributions to Reality Street’s 4Pack 4: Renga+ and a chapbook "Possessions" (2003). Her credits include the group show 10x10x10 at Sheffield’s Bloc Studios and "Dusting the Mae West Memorial Library."  . . .
• • Source: Item in The Sheffield Poetry Newsletter; posted on Saturday, 19 March 2005
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,100 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3183rd 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 • cartoon printed in 1934

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