Saturday, April 05, 2008

Mae West: The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has appeared in a number of films and plays and certainly MAE WEST made good use of it.
• • In her Broadway blockbuster "Diamond Lil" [which opened in April 1928], Mae perhaps had the Easter season in mind when she scripted this exchange:
• • Diamond Lil (turning around at the top of the stairs): "Whyncha come up some time and — — see me?"
• • Salvation Army Officer: "I'm sorry, Lil, I can't. It's Lent."
• • Diamond Lil: "Well, when you get it back, come up and see me."
• • The red-lining "Hitler of Hollywood" got Mae West to tone down the Salvation Army connection in Paramount's film version. In "She Done Him Wrong" [1933], a city mission (a rather thinly-disguised Salvation Army) is next door to Gus Jordan's saloon. Its young missionary director, Captain Cummings (played by Cary Grant) is, in reality, "The Hawk," an undercover agent working to infiltrate and expose the illegal activities in the bar.
• • The film "Klondike Annie" [1936] returned to the soul-saving organization
— probably because it was thought of as a lucky charm that could attract ticket-buyers. In the script, Mae West is a music hall performer who has to impersonate a Salvation Army missionary Sister Annie Alden (portrayed by actress Helen Jerome Eddy). Despite kicking and screaming from Joe Breen's office about linking the empress of sex to this Christian group, Mae went ahead and put plenty of missionaries and temptresses in the supporting cast.
• • The character Fanny Radler was portrayed by actress Esther Howard [born on 4 April 1892 in Helena, Montana].
• • The month of April reminds us of The Salvation Army especially because its British founder William Booth, a Methodist preacher, was born on 10 April 1829.
• • The Salvation Army is a Christian charity and church that is internally organized like a military service; it functions as both a charity and social services organization. Its founders William [1829 — 1912] and Catherine Booth [1829 — 1890] sought to bring Christian salvation to the poor, destitute, and hungry by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
1936 • •

Mae West.

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