Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mae West: Flagged

MAE WEST had her portrait done by many — — including James Montgomery Flagg.
• • James Montgomery Flagg [18 June 1877 — 27 May 1960] • •
• • American artist James Montgomery Flagg asked Mae West to sit for a portrait.
• • The current owner is the Museum of the City of New York; it's part of their Theatre Collection.
• • In the month of May, we celebrate Mr. Flagg, who loved to sketch the stars of stage, screen, and comedy; performers who were members of The Lambs Club; variety artists and singers, and who always did such a wonderful job of it. 
• • Flagg, who was famous for his Uncle Sam poster, died in New York City on Friday, 27 May 1960. He was 82.
• • Mae's illustration by J.M. Flagg
• • On Monday, 28 May 1934 • •
• • The Australian audience embraced "the new star" in their midst when their movie-houses showed "She Done Him Wrong" down under. But their local critics did not have the same reaction to "I'm No Angel."
• • On Monday, 28 May 1934, a lengthy article in The Argus emphasized that the second comedy "shows Mae West as a type rather than an actress."  The Argus found other faults but we'll only mention their viewpoint on this: "In her first film she had a good story and the support of a brilliant cast.  In 'I'm No Angel' she has an ordinary story and a commonplace cast.  Her own part is much the same as it was in 'She Done Him Wrong,' but the setting is very different.  . . ."  [Source: page 5 of The Argus; 28 May 1934.]
• • Nevertheless, the film did good box office and Mae's stock rose even higher in Tinseltown after two successes in the States, What is your opinion? Which Mae West film is your personal favorite?
• • On Tuesday, 28 May 1935 • •
• • The Straits Times in Singapore carried this headline: "Mae West Marriage Claim — —   Come Up and See My Lawyer Some Time."  Uh-oh. Trouble brewing.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Now Shirley Temple is a candidate for the Mae West treatment.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "If you select your characters and the atmosphere in which they live with sufficient care, you don't have to use much imagination to make them colourful or their story interesting. In newspaper language, you don't write them up. Instead you write them down."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An art gallery's exhibition materials mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mary Beth Edelson, Feminist Humor as Political Device at Princeton University"  — — displayed from March 28th — May 7th, 2015
• • Artist: Mary Beth Edelson — — Drawing:  Mae West — There is Never Only One Game in Town, 1997, mixed media on jute tag, 12" x10"
• • Source: Accola Griefen Gallery, NYC; posted in March 2015
• • 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 3188th 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 • by artists

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mae West: Officialdom Opprobrium

It was on Wednesday, 27 May 1936 that the citizens of Australia learned that MAE WEST had offended the censor.
• • "Screen Notes: By Preview" • •
• • "Miss West Offends the Australian Censor: Brush with Officialdom" • •
• • Preview wrote:  So Mae West has at last shocked the Australian film censor. When he was shown a print of her latest picture, "Klondike Annie" (it is called "Klondike Lou" in the United States [sic]), he disapproved so strongly of her behaviour that he refused permission for the film to be shown in any State in Australia. 
• • This is the picture in which Miss West plays the part of a murderess who escapes to Alaska, changes clothes with a Salvation Army girl who has died, and conducts an uplift campaign among the men of Nome. The situations in which the inimitable Miss West appeared and the things that the inimitable Miss West said not only offended Mr. Cresswell O'Reilly, they astounded the Federal appeal censor (Brlgadler-Geneial J. O. MacKay), to whose judgment Mr. O'Reilly's decision was referred by the digruntled distributor Brigadier-General.  . . .
• • Source: The Argus (Melbourne); published on Wednesday, 27 May 1936.
• • On Monday, 27 May 1935 • •
• • It was on Monday, 27 May 1935 — — and Mae West fans were lining up to see the screen queen in "Goin' to Town" opening its exclusive engagement at the Capitol Theatre in Ontario, Canada.
• • That week in Ontario, these feature films were onscreen as well: "The Bride of Frankenstein" starring Boris Karloff and "Loves of a Dictator" starring Olive Brook (at the Tivoli).
• • On Friday, 27 May 2005 • •
• • Talented artist Tom Tierney released his wonderful "Mae West Paper Doll" book on Friday, 27 May 2005.  Dover published this book and Tommy did such a fabulous job. This is an essential item for your Mae West bookshelf.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West has no patience for night spots or other convivial gathering places where people get even slightly tight. 
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "I'll stick to the movie game for some time. But I hope to be able to find time to do another play."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Screenland mentioned Mae West.
• • "Help Yourself to a Hollywood Figure with James Davies' advice" • •
• • James Davies wrote:  No, I don't mean that you should watch Mae West or imitate her mode of locomotion. Mae West has made her walk a trademark. It is unique and it is so very amusing when she uses it, but if anyone else did it, it would be ridiculous.  . . .
• • Source: Article in Screenland; issue dated for June 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 3187th 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 • in 1935

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mae West: Defining Roles

Was the iconic performer MAE WEST, defined by certain roles? Everybody has an opinion and here's one.  
• • "The Roles That Defined Mae West's Career" written by Mark S. Baker • •
• • Mark S. Baker wrote:  Before her transition to mainstream movie roles, Mae West made a name for herself on the vaudeville stage, both as an actress and a writer.  When she did make her film debut in 1932, she went straight to the top, earning top billing, where she stayed for her entire career. Even though her body of work is small, West does have several roles for which she is known. 
• • According to Mark S. Baker, here is a look at four roles that she made her own:
• • 1. Maudie Triplett, "Night After Night" (1932) — — Transitioning from vaudeville, West made her film debut as Maudie Triplett in 1932's "Night After Night," a drama that also starred George Raft and Constance Cummings. Hal Erickson in his review for All Movie notes that the movie would be all but forgotten if not for the presence of the ebullient West. The actress, who has uttered some of the most famous lines spoken by an actress in movie history, gets off to a fast start in this movie, which features her famous quote, "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie."
• • 2. Lady Lou, "She Done Him Wrong" (1933) — — Arguably her most famous role, West stars as Lady in "She Done Him Wrong" opposite Cary Grant, Owen Moore, and Gilbert Roland. She portrays a bawdy Bowery singer who loves diamonds and the company of men.  According to Turner Classic Movies, the film features what is likely West's most famous (and often misquoted) line, "Why don't you come up some time and see me?" Another famous line spoken by West in the movie is "Listen, when women go wrong, men go right after them."
• • 3. Tira, "I'm No Angel" (1933) — — Paired again with Cary Grant, along with Edward Arnold and Gregory Ratoff, West appears as Tira in "I'm No Angel." In addition to starring in the movie, she is also credited with writing the story and co-writing the screenplay. The story is about the star of a traveling sideshow who works with a pickpocket to make extra money on the side.      In addition to repeating several variations of her famous line from "Night After Night," two additional noteworthy lines are attributed to West, including "When I'm good I'm very good. But when I'm bad I'm better" and "It's not the men in your life that count, it's the life in your men."
• • 4. Flower Belle Lee, "My Little Chickadee" (1940) — — "My Little Chickadee" featured a much anticipated pairing with comedian W.C. Fields. Set in the Western frontier during the 1880s, West portrays Flower Belle Lee, a singer heading West to meet family members, who ends up pretend marrying a con man, played by Fields.    Both West and Fields banter throughout the film, repeating signature lines from previous films, including an exchange where the Fields' character, Cuthbert J. Twillie, says, "Come up and see me sometime," and Flower Belle Lee responds with, "Mmm, I will, my little chickadee."
• • Source: Article written by Mark S. Baker for Newsmax.com; posted on Thursday, 14 May 2015.  
• • Which Mae West motion picture is your personal favorite? Let us know.
• • On Sunday, 26 May 1889 • •
• • Another wedding in the Jacob Delker family; Delker was Mae's maternal grandfather.  Matilda West's brother Carl Delker married Miss Mathilde Misdorn on Sunday, 26 May 1889.
• • Earlier that year Miss Matilda Delker had wed John West in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on Saturday, 19 January 1889.
• • On Wednesday, 26 May 1999 • •
• • Wednesday, 26 May 1999, TV viewers and Mae mavens were able to watch  Intimate Portrait, Season 5, Episode 28: "Mae West." This was the original air date and it was shown on LIFE.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West reads trade magazines and a few newspapers. She has no taste for fiction, because she says she can write her own.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "She who laughs lasts."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A NYC campus newspaper mentioned Mae West.
• • "Word Is Out" • • 
• • Frank Sinatra doing it his way in "The Detective," and Mae West in "Myra Breckinridge."
• • Source: Item in Columbia Daily Spectator; published on Wednesday,  26 May 1982
• • 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 3186th 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 1940

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