Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mae West: September 30

Taking advantage of the legal woes of his sister-in-law MAE WEST, Beverly's husband Sergei Treshatny went to court to obtain a divorce on 15 April 1927 after a decade of marriage. Their divorce became final on 30 September 1927.
• • On 29 January 1917 Beverly West [1898 —1982] wed her first Russian husband Sergei Treshatny. An inventor, Treshatny had arrived in the United States in 1916. Vaudevillians Beverly and Mae West were both busy working in Paterson, New Jersey during January 1917 when Beverly took some time off to become a "missus" at Brooklyn City Hall on Joralemon Street. It had been a brief courtship.
On 8 December 1916, the bride-to-be had celebrated her 18th birthday.
• • A decade later, when Mae and Beverly were arrested in Bridgeport, Connecticut on 2 February 1927, Sergei took advantage of the scandal, using the trial testimony as his grounds for divorce.
• • The union between the unhappy couple was dissolved by Supreme Court Justice George H. Taylor, Jr. in Newburgh, New York. The divorce action was based on a police raid on a room in the Arcade Hotel (Bridgeport) at 5:00 AM when Beverly West and Edward Elsner were charged with a "breach of the peace" [i.e., being drunk].
• • The arrest at the Arcade Hotel — 1001 Main St, Bridgeport, CT 06604 — is dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West." This scene can be viewed on YouTube.com.
• • Though the case against Edward Elsner and Beverly West was dropped the next day in the Bridgeport City Court, a stenographer took a transcript of the testimony for Mr. Treshatny the policeman who made the February 2nd arrests testified before Judge Taylor.
• • Sergei Treshatny, who was living in Stamford in 1927, had invented an air-cooled motor.
• • Beverly had tried to divorce him in Brooklyn in 1924 but dropped it after her plea for alimony and counsel fees pending a trial had been denied.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • with family in 1934
• •

Mae West.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mae West: LA's Biltmore

Say "The Biltmore" and Mae-mavens will recall the infamous raid in 1928 of a gay play written by MAE WEST — — "Pleasure Man." But far from Times Square, out in California, there are fond memories of when Mae West and W.C. Fields performed at the Biltmore Theatre, once located inside the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
• • Richard Guzman mentioned this connection in his enjoyable article "Big Time at the Biltmore — — Historic Downtown Hotel Celebrates 85th Birthday" for the Los Angeles Downtown News. Apparently, this landmark [built in 1923 when Mae West was 30 years old] has attracted everyone from presidents to the Beatles to the actress who came to be known as the Black Dahlia.
• • According to Guzman, this hotel was the headquarters for John F. Kennedy during the 1960 Democratic National Convention, when he was nominated for president. In 1927, the venerable Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded there. And during that meeting, the Oscar was designed on a linen napkin.
• • Guzman writes: It was once the largest hotel west of Chicago. It opened with 1,000 rooms, its opulent grand ballrooms a mixture of Neoclassical, Moorish, Baroque and Renaissance styles. It was designed by Leonard Schultze and S. Fullerton Weaver, who also designed New York's Waldorf Astoria. . . .
• • The Biltmore Hotel, now known as the Millennium Biltmore — — and considered to be the most significant historic hotel in Los Angeles — — will be celebrating its 85th birthday this week. An invitation-only party on Thursday, 2 October 2008, is expected to attract 500 people.
• • Built in 1923, the Beaux Arts-style building is one of downtown's most recognizable structures. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.
• • Do read his feature to learn more about its intriguing history.
— — Source: — —
• • Article: "Big Time at the Biltmore — — Historic Downtown Hotel Celebrates 85th Birthday"
• • Byline: By Richard Guzman
• • Published in: Los Angeles Downtown News — — www.downtownnews.com
• • Published on: 29 September 2008
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • none
• •

Mae West.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mae West: Schiap

As an excuse to dress up a pathetic list of over-priced consumer goods, a Canadian publication trotted out the names of MAE WEST and Elsa Schiaparelli. We'll repeat the sentences that refer to Mae, omitting the silly items with their inflated pricetags.
• • Rea McNamara writes: Chanel disdainfully referred to great rival Elsa Schiaparelli as “that Italian artist who makes clothes.” Granted, Schiaparelli (“Schiap” to friends) wasn’t a born tailor, but with a clientele that boasted Mae West and Marlene Dietrich, she remains an innovator whose broad-shouldered form-fitting suits re­defined the fashionable silhouette. . . .
• • Rea McNamara explains: Schiaparelli gave the world “shocking pink” — — a signature shade somewhere between fuchsia and red — — that is still in use today. It was also the name of her 1936 perfume that came in a bottle inspired by Mae West’s hourglass torso (which was copied by Jean Paul Gaultier for his own torso-shaped perfume bottles). . . .
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: "That Italian artist who made clothes"
• • Byline: Rea McNamara
• • Published in: EYEWEEKLY.COM [625 Church St., Toronto, Canada M4Y 2G1]
• • Published on: 24 September 2008
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • none
• •

Mae West.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mae West: Lloyd Nolan

In 1937, Paramount Pictures spent a record one million dollars on its MAE WEST vehicle "Every Day's a Holiday" [released in the USA as holiday fare on 18 December 1937].
• • Mae West portrays Peaches O'Day, a turn-of-century con artist who poses as a famous French chanteuse to avoid arrest. In this guise, she manages to expose crooked police chief Lloyd Nolan and smooths the path for reform mayoral candidate Edmund Lowe. A strong cast of supporting comedians — — including Charles Winninger, Charles Butterworth, and Walter Catlett — — match Mae quip for quip. Set in the Naughty Nineties, the motion picture features the gayest New Year's Eve party ever held at Rector's on 31 December 1899.
• • Born in San Francisco, Lloyd Nolan [11 August 1902 — 27 September 1985] was a film, stage, and television actor.
• • Even though critics often hailed his acting ability, Nolan was relegated to B movies for the most part and spent his career in Hollywood portraying police officers, detectives, and physicians.
• • On 27 September 1985, Lloyd Nolan died at age 83 in Los Angeles of lung cancer.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1937
• •

Mae West.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mae West: George Raft

MAE WEST told a reporter that she almost married George Raft [26 September 1895 — 24 November 1980], a native New Yorker and an actor most closely identified with his portrayals of gangsters in crime dramas of the 1930s — 1940s.
• • Born George Ranft in Washington Heights [in New York City zip code 10032] to Conrad Ranft (who was of German descent), he adopted a slick "tough guy" persona that he would later use in his films.
• • In 1910, little Georgie was living with his sister and parents on West 163rd Street.
• • As with the case of Mae West's maternal side, George's mother was also born in Germany; she emigrated to the USA in 1878. Eva Glockner Ranft taught dancing to theatre people — — and gave her son lessons. His smooth tango and dance-floor style led to performances at some of Times Square's most fashionable nightspots. He became part of the stage act of "Texas Guinan and Her Gang."
• • In 1923 George Raft wed Grayce Mulrooney. Though it was soon apparent that this was a bad move, the devout Roman Catholic refused to give him a divorce. Grayce finally died in 1970, when her husband was 75.
• • A former boxer, George Raft also ran errands for Owney — — such as retrieving his box office cut every evening after "Sex" and "Diamond Lil." Raft handled more than cash inside Mae's dressing room, where the dapper New Yorker staged a steamy (private) performance of his own on Broadway.
• • In 1928 Mae West tried to recruit him for the role of Juarez in "Diamond Lil" but George said he "wasn't ready." In truth, his lack of schooling made him worry that he might not be able to remember all the lines and cues for a stage play. As a dancer, he didn't have to worry about memorizing a lot.
• • In 1929 Raft moved to Hollywood and took small roles. His success came in Scarface [1932], the role that was originally offered to Jack LaRue, an actor who played opposite Mae West in her 1928 Broadway hit "Diamond Lil." George Raft's convincing portrayal of the gangster led to speculation that he himself was a mobster
— — not far from the truth.
• • When the studio was casting Raft's new feature Night after Night, the role of Maudie Triplett, a former gal pal, was to be offered to a well regarded actress and night club personality: Texas Guinan. Raft suggested Mae West for this cameo, and Mae's three little scenes set the so-so film on fire. "Mae stole everything but the cameras," admitted George Raft.
• • One of his final film appearances was in "Sextette" (1978) with Mae West. He played himself in a brief cameo that went like this:
• • MAE WEST: "Why George Raft, I haven't seen you in 20 years. What have you been doing?"
• • GEORGE RAFT: "Oh, about 20 years!"
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1932
• •

Mae West.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mae West: Strong Woman

Strong women are getting media coverage as this presidential election moves towards "home run" turf — — and MAE WEST is being mentioned in the conversation.
• • Without drinking the John McCain Kool-Aid, reporter John Farr writes about Sarah Palin: "The lady gives off a quality that used to be called "spunk" — — a combination of confidence, toughness, and charm that wins over voters, even when a track record commensurate with the office she seeks is lacking. Right or wrong, many Americans like the fact that Sarah [Palin] dares to be strong."
• • John Farr explains: The same phenomenon represents a recurring theme in film. Over the years, movies built on strong female characters have consistently entertained and inspired us. Instinctively, we root for these characters as we do for all non-conformists. These are women who confront head-on those ingrained roles which only gradually have faded from society — — whether it's being judged by the man you marry, the conflict between motherhood and competing in a male-dominated world, or the lopsided moral burden placed on a lady to maintain her "virtue." To navigate these thorny obstacles, a woman must be resolute, independent, and smart.
• • When John Farr gives examples, Mae West is the first on his list
— — even though he forgets that her character's name was Tira. He notes: Take the larger-than-life example of Mae West. In the timeless "I'm No Angel" (1933), she plays a blatantly sexual, flamboyant lion tamer named Mira [sic] who happily conquers men, displaying their framed likenesses like so many trophies. She is unafraid and unashamed of who she is, knows her assets and how to use them. At the same time, she is decent to anyone who shows her a modicum of respect. When a young Cary Grant appears to warn her away from a smitten friend, he too falls under her spell. But we see that it's not just her ample curves that attract him, but also her integrity, attitude and humor — — in short, the whole package. . . .
• • Other Hollywood motion pictures and actresses are discussed in his piece "The Lure of Strong Women." The citation is below so that you can read it for yourself.
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: "The Lure of Strong Women"
• • Byline: John Farr
• • Published in: The Huffington Post — — www.huffingtonpost.com
• • Published on: 24 September 2008

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1933
• •

Mae West.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mae West: Myra

When MAE WEST was getting fitted for her costumes for the ill-fated "Myra Breckinridge" [release date 24 June 1970], one creation by Edith Head cleverly reprised Mae's Statue of Liberty moment in the 1934 movie "Belle of the Nineties."
• • Production began in September — — on 23 September 1969.
• •
Author Gore Vidal, who disowned the screen version of his novel, had named his character "Letitia Van Allen" — — but Mae West insisted that her role should be advertised as "Leticia," citing "the obvious reasons."
• • In this production, Mae West performed the songs "Hard to Handle" and "You Gotta Taste All the Fruit." During the shoot, the actress would come to work surrounded by young, muscular males. She would tell the studio security, "They're with me!"
• • Director Michael Sarne did not use a lot of the material Mae West had written for her scenes, she later complained to newspaper reporters.
• • This box office disappointment was the feature debut of actor Tom Selleck.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1969
• •

Mae West.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mae West: Pantages

A Salute to Vaudeville” in Tacoma this weekend revives the memories of when MAE WEST dazzled the foot-stomping audience at Pantages not long after it opened in 1918.
• • This event will take place on Saturday [27 September 2008] at Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, Washington.
• • They were all there at the opening of Tacoma’s Pantages Theater on January 7, 1918 — — according to an article by Rosemary Ponnekanti — — and they’ll be there again for this season’s opener in the same theater. An opera singer, a tap dancer, circus performers, a comedy act, puppets, a magician — — all live, local performers, just as entertaining as those back in the Pantages’ vaudeville heyday. And they’re coming together to celebrate the 90th birthday of Tacoma’s historic theater, courtesy of the Broadway Center for Performing Arts. Vaudeville dead? Not a bit.
• •
Rosemary Ponnekanti writes: When the Tacoma Pantages opened, it was to a city eagerly awaiting the glitz and glamour it would bring. Alexander Pantages was a Greek immigrant who (funded in no small part by his notorious mistress, dancer “Klondike Kate” Rockwell) built a chain of vaudeville theaters around the country, and by the time he turned his sights on Tacoma, there were 13 Pantages theaters from Vancouver to Minneapolis and San Diego to Salt Lake City.
• • Collaborating with William Jones, Pantages built a theater and office building. Architect B. Marcus Priteca, who designed Pantages’ buildings for 19 years, modeled the theater after one in Versailles, and its size and facilities allowed the impresario to promise Tacoma “the best that the Pantages circuit can offer.”
• • The best, that is, of the mix of song, dance, comedy, and general spectacle that was vaudeville. Opening-night performers included singer Agnes Finley, concert violinist Jan Rubini, dancer George Primrose and his minstrel troupe, Mariette’s Marionettes and comedian Tom Kyle. The evening opened with Pantages’ own daughter Carmen “frolick(ing) in modern and old-time dancing steps on her daddy’s stage,” as the Tacoma Daily News put it.
• • Over the next seven years, vaudeville reigned supreme. Performers included Charlie Chaplin, Mae West, and W.C. Fields, not to mention the Mexican Cossacks motorcycle troupe and the scandalous “Fatty” Arbuckle — — canceled by the Tacoma Board of Censors at the last minute.
• • By 1925, silent movies and vaudeville shared the Pantages stage at matinees. . . .
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: "Vaudeville revival as the Pantages turns 90"
• • Byline: By Rosemary Ponnekanti
• • Published in: The News Tribune — — www.thenewstribune.com
• • Published on: 22 September 2008

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • none
• •

Mae West.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mae West: Troubled Waters

MAE WEST sang "Troubled Waters" in her 1934 motion picture "Belle of the Nineties."
• • Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow have provided four crimson chansons — "My Old Flame," "Troubled Waters," "My American Beauty," and "When a St. Louis Woman Comes Down to New Orleans" — which are quite perfect, and Miss West delivers them in her inimitable adenoidal contralto, said The New York Times review printed on 22 September 1934.
• • Troubled Waters lyrics
• • (by: Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow )
I must be
One of the devil's daughters
They look at me with scorn
I'll never hear their horn
Sometimes
It's like being in chains
Sometimes I hang my head
In chains
When people see me
They scandalize my name
I'm going down
To the devil's daughter
I'm gonna drown
In that troubled water
It's coming round my soul
It's way beyond control
I must be one
I must be one
I must be
One of the devil's daughters
They look at me with scorn
I'll never hear their horn
Sometimes it's like
Being in chains
Sometimes I hang my head
In chains
When people see me
They scandalize my name
I'm going down
To the devil's daughter
I'm gonna drown
In that troubled water
It's coming round my soul
It's way beyond control
I must be one
I must be one
I must be
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1934
• •

Mae West.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mae West: 1934's Belle

In September 1934, MAE WEST was involved in promoting her fourth feature for Paramount Pictures: "Belle of the Nineties." This motion picture was released on September 21st. And here is the review published in The New York Times on 22 September 1934. "Of course, Miss West is her own plot," wrote critic Andre Sennwald.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Mae West and Her Gaudy Retinue in "Belle of the Nineties"
• • By ANDRE SENNWALD

• • Although Mae West has graciously permitted the New York censors to make an honest woman of her in her new picture, she has not adopted the emblematic blue-nose. Back in the days when "Belle of the Nineties" — alias "Belle of New Orleans" and "It Ain't No Sin" — was locked in a death grip with the local censorship board, one of the major points of dissension was the shocking fade-out in which Miss West won her man without the assistance of a justice of the peace. In the new and approved version there is a wedding ceremony and Miss West is now safe for her large following to visit.
• • It is pretty futile to strive for an air of detachment toward Miss West and her new work. A continuously hilarious burlesque of the mustache cup, celluloid collar, and family entrance era of the naughty Nineties, it immediately takes its place among the best screen comedies of the year. Its incomparable star has been bolstered by a smart and funny script, an excellent physical production, and a generally buoyant comic spirit. There are gags for every taste and most of them are outrageously funny according to almost any standard of humor.
• • Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow have provided four crimson chansons — "My Old Flame," "Troubled Waters," "My American Beauty," and "When a St. Louis Woman Comes Down to New Orleans" — which are quite perfect, and Miss West delivers them in her inimitable adenoidal contralto.
• • Amid the lithographic Police Gazette settings of the Sensation House in New Orleans, Ruby Carter (in Miss West's classic person) rules the sporting world with queenly insolence. As she herself sagely observes, "It is better to be looked over than to be overlooked" and her serpentine gowns, hayloft coiffure, and hour-glass figure insure her against neglect. Ruby's expressed preference is for two kinds of men — domestic and foreign — and the gentlemen moths, in their tight pants, bowler hats, and Ascot cravats, flock to the flame. Even the bartenders with their walrus mustaches and spit-curls silently yearn for her.
• • Of course, Miss West is her own plot, but there are a fixed prize-fight, some stolen jools, an envious siren, a fire, and a pair of rival claimants for her affections to add the necessary business. While Ruby's personal philosophy is, in her own words, to keep cool and collect, she has a healthy admiration for a good man, and the Tiger Kid fills the bill. Sinister interests conspire to separate them, and Ruby Carter is forced to fight for what she politely refers to as her honor against the evil and wax-mustached Ace Lamont, proprietor of the Sensation House. This last is of a vintage so objectionable as to cause the amiable Ruby to remark, "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
• • Roger Pryor as the Tiger Kid, John Miljan as the contemptible Ace, and Katherine DeMille as the jealous mistress of Ace Lamont all contribute excellently to the comedy, while Duke Ellington's boys provide the sulphurous musical background for Miss West's songs. If the great lady's public expects a cool and reasoned appraisal of "Belle of the Nineties" this morning, it will have to be disappointed. Not being immune to the common human failing of magnifying the virtues of the past, this reporter will always consider "She Done Him Wrong" her greatest show. At any rate, her present masterpiece is superior on every count to "I'm No Angel." As for its morality, you have Miss West's own testimony, when she tells an overwrought admirer, "Remember, I'm a lady, you worm."
• • You will have to take her word for it.
• • BELLE OF THE NINETIES, adapted from a story by Mae West; music and lyrics by Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow; directed by Leo McCarey; a Paramount production. At the Paramount.
• • Source: The New York Times
• • Critic: Andre Sennwald
• • Originally published on: 22 September 1934
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1934
• •

Mae West.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mae West: Bostock's Fan

The Pre-Code MAE WEST is the best.
• • if you still have not seen the classic I’m No Angel” on the big screen, this Sunday is your chance.
• • In this screen gem — — inspired by Bostock's lion exhibit in Coney Island that she adored as a little Brooklyn girl — — Mae West is a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. And she wants Cary Grant. Again. The bold Tira works as a hootchie-cootchie dancing beauty and a lion tamer at a fair. Out of an urgent need of money, she agrees to a risky new number — — she'll put her head into a lion's mouth.
• • The intrepid Mae West did all her own stunts in the lion's cage, too.
• • When: At 2:00 pm on Sunday, 21 September 2008.
• • Where: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art [4420 Warwick Blvd. Kansas City, Missouri 64111 — — T: 816-753-5784.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1933
• •

Mae West.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mae West: Brooklynites

Joan Rivers was born in Brooklyn, NY on 8 June 1933 — — forty years after MAE WEST was born. When Mae died, Joan was 47 years old.
• • Attending Mae West's funeral in 1980 is one of the things the 75-year-old comedienne discusses in her stage show "Joan Rivers: A Work In Progress by A Life in Progress" (now playing in London). When Joan intones “she outlived her fame,” it is understood that Ms Rivers surely intends to avoid that.
• • British drama critic Sharon Garfinkel recently described the performance for readers of The Tribune Magazine: "The show is set in a dressing room, which has been allocated to Joan backstage at the Oscars. Sadly for her, it is dressing room two, her make-up artist of 30 years is absent, and her producer is merely an assistant. The delightful Emily Koskoski is her make-up artist and Nathan Osgood acts as her producer. Still, as she gets ready for the big night, she tells us all numerous anecdotes from her life: the good and the bad, including her husband’s suicide as well as sex for the over 60s. She reminisces about attending Mae West’s funeral and how she was shocked that, despite West’s great acclaim, only a few others attended. . . ." [Source: The Tribune UK — — www.tribunemagazine.co.uk — — 17 September 2008]
• • Reviewing the Joan Rivers show for the London Theatre Guide earlier this month, British drama critic Peter Brown had written: "And [Joan Rivers] discusses meeting a veteran Mae West who required special conditions in order to be entertained. Later, she describes Ms West's funeral which had only a handful of people present, in spite of the fact that an entire studio owed its continued existence to Ms West's celebrity. ..."
• • Did you see the show?
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • none
• •

Mae West.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mae West: September 1935

In September 1935 — — when MAE WEST was working on "Klondike Annie" — — there were constant headaches.
• • Ramona Curry maps out the negotiation process between MPPDA and the producers of "Klondike Annie" in her article "Mae West as Censored Commodity: The case of "Klondike Annie" [Cinema Journal 31, No. 1, Fall 1991].
• • Ramona Curry writes: " ...The initial screening of "Klondike Annie" elicited rigorous monitoring from the PCA (Production Code Administration) for its implications of interracial sex, representations of torture and unpunished murder (which undermined the codes principle of 'compensating moral values'), and for casting Mae West as a prostitute...
• • Ramona Curry writes: " ...In memos written between September and October 1935 (the film's production went from June to December 1935), Joseph Breen required a number of changes in the script and in song lyrics and repeatedly cautioned the studio about maintaining decency in costuming and camera framing and especially in West's style delivery in "Klondike Annie"... For example, West was prohibited from saying, 'I'm sorry I can't see you in private,' while looking the young detective (Phillip Reed) up and down; other West lines that Breen marked for deletion included 'Men are at their best when women are at their worst'...
• • "Klondike Annie" was finally released on 21 February 1936.
• • In his "All Movie Guide," Paul Brenner observed: Mae West butts heads with Victor McLaglen [10 December 1886
7 November 1959] in Raoul Walsh's "Klondike Annie." But the real victor was the Legion of Decency, whose censorship strictures transformed a saucy and spicy gumbo into something closer to chicken noodle soup. West plays Rose Carlton, the kept woman of Chan Lo (Harold Huber), who takes her from walking the streets to pacing the floors of her high rent apartment. Rose ends up killing Chan and beats it from San Francisco to the frozen north. She boards a ship where burly sea captain Bull Brackett (Victor McLaglen) takes a shine to her. When he finds out she killed Chan, he blackmails her into coming up and seeing him sometime. Boarding the ship in Seattle is missionary Annie Alden (Helen Jerome Eddy), who dies on the way to Alaska. Rose assumes Annie's identity and, upon arrival in Alaska proceeds to preach the Good Book, saving sinners by unorthodox methods. Mountie Jack Forrest (Philip Reed) arrives in town searching for Chan's murderer and he falls in love with Rose, unaware that the woman he loves is the killer he seeks.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1935
• •

Mae West.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mae West: Spare the Roddy

Mae West's friend Roderick McDowall was born in London on 17 September 1928 — — eighty years ago.
• • Perhaps you remember seeing the lanky Englishman when he played the female impersonator Rene Valentine in "Mae West" [1982], a made for tv bio-pic. McDowall also received credit for [gulp!] "Technical Details" — — which is astonishing since his choices in his scenes with the Brooklyn bombshell all seem false.
• • Moreover, his rift on the elegant Julian Eltinge misses the point; Roddy McDowall looks more like one of Cinderella's ugly step-sisters than the Broadway star of "The Fascinating Widow."
• •
Shouldn't someone have noticed that the bawdy over-the-top drag queen Mae most adored was the campy cut-up Bert Savoy — — and not the inscrutable Mr. Eltinge?
• • Anyway, one happy fella was Richard F. Shepard, whose New York Times review said: "Roddy McDowall is persuasive as a female impersonator who puts Miss West on the path to stardom by fixing her stage personality and appearance; he is almost scholarly and calm, the lifelong friend and confidant" [Richard F. Shepard, NY Times, 14 August 1984].
• • Directed by Lee Phillips, the 1982 bio-pic also featured Ann Jillian as Mae West, James Brolin as Jim Timony, et al.
• • Decide for yourself how watchable Roddy McDowall is in this scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVZflfidfy4
• • The actor died of lung cancer in California on 3 October 1998.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • none
• •

Mae West.