Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mae West: 40 Lbs of Bling

MAE WEST turned up in a Canadian column devoted to new books on being fabulous and fashionable.
• • Here is what Nathalie Atkinson had to say about a reissued title by Edith Head that discusses costumes designed for Mae West's movie character Lady Lou in "She Done Him Wrong" [Paramount Pictures, 1933].
• • The Dress Doctor: Prescriptions for Style A to Z [Collins Design, 2008]
• • What's in it: Hollywood's most famous costume designer, the late Edith Head, was the winner of eight Academy Awards. The book itself is a gorgeous repackaging of Head's 1959 original bestseller, offering dress directives interspersed with reminiscences of dressing top silver screen names. It's alphabetical: A is for Audrey (as in Hepburn), B is for Bowling, and so on.
• • The good: Redesigned to include Bil Donovan's watercolour illustrations, the layout is innovative: one spread shows a pair of Edith Head heads saying things like: "Designers are inclined to make people look like models. But essentially, a model is anonymous, she's a living form to show off clothes. A person wears clothes to express personality." A great detail? Edith Head designed forty pounds of costume jewellery for Mae West to wear with her skintight costumes — — as Diamond Lil [sic] in "She Done Him Wrong." Mae West needed a reclining board between takes.
• • The bad: Even if the tone and content are often anachronistic (she advocates completely different outfits for each domestic task, such as grocery shopping and housekeeping, so that an average day has at least five wardrobe changes), the icons Head singled out as examples back in 1959 — — Gloria Swanson, Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich — — still stand up today.
• • Say what? What to wear as.... a dog handler? And to the circus?
• • Words of wisdom: "Don't be afraid to wear a becoming costume many, many times ... The modern approach is to change accessories." Anna Wintour does it, and in these dark economic times, so should we all. Sing it, sister!
• • Grade: A for effort but, alas, C for practicality.
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: "Don’t have natural style? Read these!"
• • Byline: Nathalie Atkinson
• • Published in: The National Post — — www.nationalpost.com
• • Published on: Friday, 28 November 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 • • 1932
• •

Mae West.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mae West: Ruth's Truths

This is the real MAE WEST a woman of passion, highly geared emotions, tense feelings, who has been forced over a period of years to feed those emotions to a box-office, wrote Ruth Biery in 1934. A greedy, wanting-to-be-shocked box-office. Urged gently at first, tempted cleverly, promoted subtly, Mae West has put all the force of her cyclonic nature into bringing the thrills of love and life to others.
• • Journalist Ruth Biery sat down with Mae in Hollywood
not unlike the way she had sat down with Greta Garbo in the 1920s as a sympathetic listener who wrote mainly for movie magazines. "I have really loved only once," Mae has told me, as she has told others. But never before have I heard her say, "They always found a way to break me up with a man before it became too serious. I was not allowed to love, really love. My mother and then Timony "
• • Journalist Ruth Biery either was mild enough or persuasive enough to extract Mae's confidences. Or perhaps Mae was ready to confess: "You see, first it was my mother. If she thought I was falling in love, she'd stop it right like that. If I was liking a man too much or she thought a 'crush' was getting serious, she'd find a way. She knew me so well, she could always find a way. She wouldn't let me learn to love really. She wouldn't let me and now Timony protects me."
• • When little Mae was growing up, neighbors referred to her as "the German girl."
• • The daughter of Christiana and Jacob Delker, Matilda was born in December 1870 perhaps in Wurttemberg, Germany, speculates biographer Jill Watts, noting that Jacob Delker had been working there in a sugar refinery. In January 1889, 18-year-old Matilda Delker wed John West. However, she and her daughter Mae were really the love of each other's lives until Matilda died on 26 January 1930 at age 59. How terrifying it was for Mae during the winter of 1929, watching her mother's illness worsen. After Matilda died, Mae felt, "There wasn't anyone to play to."
• • "Courting Mae West" features interesting scenes dramatizing their relationship.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1927
• •

Mae West.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mae West: By George

The venerable restaurant and hotel owner George Rector [18781947] co-starred with MAE WEST in her motion picture "Every Day's a Holiday."
• • The motion picture opens on 31 December 1899 with the buzz that there will be the biggest New Year's Eve party ever at Rector's. The set featured a full scale version of Rector's in Times Square as it looked during its halcyon days.
• • "Every Day's a Holiday" was released on 18 December 1937.
• • When he wasn't busy appearing as himself in a Paramount film or running his famous eateries, George Rector penned cookbooks and guides to fine dining at home. Food critic Ruth Reichl once wrote, If George Rector, the author of the well-regarded ''Dining in New York'' in 1939, were to stroll through the restaurants of modern Manhattan, he would find very little to surprise him. Even then, the city had a lot to offer an adventurous appetite. The most glaring exception was Japanese food, which Mr. Rector dismissed as ''derivative of the Chinese.''
• • On 7 October 1937, The Hartford Courant ran a brief article with this headline: "George Rector May Open Hollywood Restaurant." Ah, that enticing wiggle of the word "may."
• • At age 69, George Rector died in the month of November on 26 November 1947. That year, in an early December issue, Time Magazine published this brief obituary: George Rector, last of the restaurateur Rectors of Manhattan's lobster-&-champagne era; of a heart ailment; in Manhattan. Apple-cheeked, white-haired George carried on when father Charles died in 1914, but bowed out when Prohibition closed his last cafĂ© in 1923; thereafter he nourished the Rector legend and himself by diligent publicity work, lecturing and writing, wound up as food consultant for a Chicago meat packer.
• • Rector's was located on Broadway and West 43rd Street.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1937
• •

Mae West.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mae West: Mouth-watering

On Thanksgiving, here's a festive toast inspired by MAE WEST:
• • Mae West Royal Diamond Fizz
• • 1 oz Goji berry infused Four Roses Single Barrel bourbon
• • 1/2 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
• • 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
• • 1/2 oz Jean Laurent Blanc de Noirs Brut champagne
• • 1 whole egg
• • Shake all ingredients except champagne, without ice, to emulsify (called a dry shake). Then add ice and shake well to chill. Pour into a cocktail glass that is half-rimmed with hot sugar (4 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, pinch of cocoa). Top with champagne. Garnish with 2 bourbon soaked Goji berries.
• • 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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mae West: Grant-ed

An article that admires actor Cary Grant naturally must mention MAE WEST.
• • Peter Bogdanovich writes: If there had never been a Cary Grant, someone would have had to invent him, and, in fact, someone did, a fellow named Archie Leach from Bristol, England. Acrobat, tumbler, stilt-walker, tall, dark, and handsome, Archie came over to New York City with a well-known vaudeville kind of stunt show, decided to stay on and try his hand at acting and singing in the theater, got work on Broadway, changed his name, taking “Cary” from his first large role, and “Grant” from the phone book. Did a number of musicals, sang, danced, acted, played in a half-dozen shorts, got picked up by Paramount for a seven-year contract, did leads in over two dozen films before he found his picture persona. But along the way, in a couple of the good movies he did at Paramount, he learned a thing or two.
• • On one of his first, Blonde Venus (1932), the legendary Josef von Sternberg, discoverer-molder-Svengali of Marlene Dietrich, took one look at Grant on his first day of shooting and quietly said, deadpan, “Your hair is parted on the wrong side.” Grant himself told me this story — we were friends for 25 years — and I asked him how he had responded. “I parted it on the other side,” Cary said brightly, and somewhat conspiratorially, “and kept it that way for the rest of my career!”
• • Another big thing was gleaned from his successful experience on two pictures playing the love interest to Mae West. In both She Done Him Wrong (1932) and I’m No Angel (1933), Cary is the object of Mae’s affections and desires. She pursues him, rather than the other way around. Indeed, she makes one of the screen’s most famous (and most misquoted) invitations to Grant in their first scene together: “Why don’t cha come up sometime, an’ see me?” Cary’s a minister [sic], says he hasn’t the time. She responds, “Say, what’re you tryin’ to do, insult me?!” What Cary took home was that it’s better to be wanted than to want, and once he established himself as a star in 1937, it never was otherwise. . . .
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article (with errors): "My Favorite Star"
• • By: Peter Bogdanovich
• • Published in The New York Observer — — www.observer.com
• • Published on: 25 November 2008
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1932
• •

Mae West.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mae West: 25 November 1943

Bouquets did not shower MAE WEST after her film "The Heat Is On" was released right before Christmas in December 1943. Trading on The Big Apple's fondness for the Brooklyn bombshell, this ill-fated project had a special New York City premiere on 25 November 1943 — — exactly sixty-five years ago.
• • There were no good reviews. The New York Times sneered, "The heat is definitely off!" And Mae, who did not contribute any material to the screenplay, long regretted getting involved.
• • After the failure of The Heat Is On, Mae West returned to the stage (portraying the Russian empress Catherine the Great) and — — a decade later — — she would create a frisky show that wowed the nightclub circuit.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • none
• •

Mae West.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mae West: Voice

Awhile ago, Voice of America did a lively and somewhat accurate program on MAE WEST. Listen in:
• •
Mae West, 1893-1980: The Wild Woman of Film and Stage
• • Her rich voice and sexy jokes made her an important figure in American popular culture.
• • VOICE ONE: I'm Barbara Klein.
• • VOICE TWO: And I'm Steve Ember with People in America in VOA Special English. Today we tell about film actress Mae West. She was also a writer, producer and businesswoman. The sexual nature of her life and art represented her liberal and often disputed ideas. Her funny jokes have become part of the language of American popular culture.
• • VOICE ONE/ Barbara Klein:
• • Mae West was born in Brooklyn, New York in eighteen ninety-three. Her father, John West, had several jobs but started his career as a competitive fighter. Mae's mother, Matilda, played an important role in developing her daughter's career as an entertainer.
• • Mae started to perform in local theater groups as a young child. By nineteen-oh-seven she was part of a national vaudeville tour that performed across the country. Vaudeville was a theatrical show with several entertainers performing songs, dances and jokes. Vaudeville was very popular in the United States during the early nineteen hundreds.
• • When Mae West was about eighteen years old she started performing on Broadway, the famous theater area of New York City. She appeared in many musical shows such as "Hello, Paris" and "A la Broadway." For the next fifteen years she sang and danced in both Broadway and vaudeville shows. . . .
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Transcript of radio broadcast: http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/2008-11-22-voa2.cfm
• • People in America in VOA Special English — — Mae West
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • none
• •

Mae West.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mae West: The Avalon

The 2009 edition of Frommer's Los Angeles is out — — and MAE WEST is bedding down there.
• • According to Frommer's, the Avalon is the first style-conscious boutique hotel on the L.A. scene — — and this mid-20th-century-inspired gem in the heart of Beverly Hills still leads the pack. With a soothing sherbet-hued palette and classic atomic-age furnishings — — Eames cabinets, Heywood-Wakefield chairs, Nelson bubble lamps — — mixed with smart custom designs, every room looks as if it could star in a Metropolitan Home photo spread. But fashion doesn't forsake function at this beautifully designed hotel, which offers enough luxury comforts and amenities to please design-blind travelers, too.
• • The property is comprised of the former Beverly Carlton (seen on "I Love Lucy" and once home to Mae West and Marilyn Monroe), as well as two neighboring 1950s-era apartment houses. . . .
• • Avalon Hotel — — 9400 W. Olympic Boulevard [at Beverly Drive], Beverly Hills, CA 90212
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Frommer's Los Angeles 2009
• • 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, November 22, 2008

Mae West: November 22nd

While you may think MAE WEST passed from your life on 22 November 1980, the happy news is that authors are keeping the Empress of Sex very much alive.
• • Remember Charlotte Chandler — — whose second book, The Ultimate Seduction, included conversations with Mae West, Tennessee Williams, Henry Moore, and others? Well, Charlotte Chandler's newest book is She Always Knew How — — Mae West, a Personal Biography [NY: Simon & Schuster]; this hardcover will be released on 10 February 2009.
• • Charlotte Chandler is a member of the board of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and is active in film preservation. She lives in New York City — — and is currently finishing a book on Bette Davis.
• • On the West Coast, former film critic Kevin Thomas — — who enjoyed conversing with Mae for many years — — is busy doing a book about her.
• • On the East Coast, who is a native New Yorker — — as Mae West was — — is at work writing an illustrated book: Mae West's New York.
• • Mae West — — many individuals have said that to know her was to love her.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mae West: Who's Who

Who's Who, that venerable volume established in 1899 and updated once a year, celebrated its 110th birthday with a toast to MAE WEST.
• • Their boring press release is far too tedious and self-congratulatory to be reprinted here in its entirety — — but the gist is that their editors "compiled a collection of facts, letters, and other interesting documents providing a fascinating view of the history and cultural impact of Who's Who in America(R)" — — to give added value to the 2009 edition.
• • Looking back on its own historical quip-cream and snippets for the past century, their commemorative edition documents the flattery they received from noteworthy individuals.
• • According to the publisher, "This historical retrospective, appearing as a 16-page color section in the front of the new edition, includes: advertisements and published cartoons featuring Who's Who in America(R), such as a Cuban cigar advertisement from 1955, Beetle Bailey, and Doonesbury; quotes about the book from such famous Americans as Mae West; a letter to the editor from former President Harry Truman, as well as one from magician Harry Houdini; and editorial reviews of the first edition from 1899. Also included are biographies of interesting, one-time listees William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, explorer Hiram Bingham, and the author of The King and I, Anna Leonowens. ...

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • none
• •

Mae West.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mae West: Wicked

MAE WEST could not have been thrilled during November 1927. The New York Times planted a bitter raspberry with their review of her latest play (published on Saturday the 5th of November 1927). Written by Mae West, age 34, and her long-time collaborator, the production opened on Friday evening 4 November 1927 — — and lasted for merely nineteen performances. Mae West appeared in a bathing suit, a sight which brought out the spite and malice in her longtime detractors. In other words, this project was a turkey that never made it as far as Thanksgiving.
• • "THE WICKED AGE" TAME — —
• • Mae West Wins a Bathing Beauty Contest in Her New Play.
• • Although it is milder than "Sex" and will probably not cause Mr. Banton and the gendarmes to come on the run, Mae West's newest contribution to dramatic art, staged last night at Daly's Sixty-third Street Theatre, will doubtless stand as the low point of the theatrical season of 1927-28.
• • "The Wicked Age" is the name Miss West has given it, and according to its own admission it is a satirical comedy, in which case "Bringing Up Father" is simply mordant and biting irony. [Ouch!]
• • Dragging through the evening until nearly midnight, "The Wicked Age" seemed at its first New York performance incredible cheap and vulgar trash, with only such minor amusement as was to be derived from watching the exhibitionistic antics of Miss West as a faintly redeeming feature.
• • The bathing beauty contest as practiced along the Jersey Coast was the pressing sociological matter upon which the author-actress had her say.
• • This permitted her to introduce a contest scene in the second act in which, a blithe spirit of the younger generation, she captured first honors. The third act, up to 11:35, was devoted to . . .
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Drama Review: "The Wicked Age" Tame
• • Published in: The New York Times
• • Published on: 5 November 1927 — — Saturday
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1927
• •

Mae West.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mae West: Ruth Donnelly

Ruth Donnelly was in one classic screen gem with MAE WEST.
• • How many remember the character actress as Aunt Lou in "My Little Chickadee" [1940], directed by Edward F. Cline?
• • Born in Trenton, New Jersey on 17 May 1896, Ruth Donnelly began her stage career at the age of 17. In 1914, her Broadway debut brought her to the attention of George M. Cohan — — who proceeded to cast her in numerous comic-relief roles. Though she made her first film appearance that same year, her Hollywood career began in earnest in 1931 and lasted until 1957.
• • Ruth Donnelly died in New York City during the month of November — — on 17 November 1982.
• • 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.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mae West: Penrhyn Stanlaws

It was 75 years ago — — on 17 November 1933 — — when Penrhyn Stanlaws was interviewed about painting the face of MAE WEST, noted the Jackson Hole Star Tribune.
• • This portrait artist, who became famous for his paintings of beautiful women commissioned for the covers of magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, complained that Hollywood starlets were far from perfect beauties. The reporter for the Casper Tribune-Herald listed Penrhyn Stanlaws's critiques of stars such as Mae West, Katherine Hepburn, Constance Bennett, and Greta Garbo. His only criticism of Kay Francis, however, was that she had overdeveloped triceps but otherwise had "nicely balanced features."
• • Born on 19 March 1877 in Dundee, Scotland (birth name: Stanley Adamson), portraitist Penrhyn Stanlaws attended Princeton. This turn-of-the century illustrator sought out beautiful women for his studio models; he painted Mabel Normand, Olive Thomas, and Florence La Badie prior to their movie careers.
• • It was reported that Penrhyn Stanlaws died in his Los Angeles studio at the age of 80 after falling asleep while smoking in a chair on 20 May 1957.
• • 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.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mae West: TLC on TCM

Beginning on Mondays at 8 PM, TCM will offer a 50-film tribute to Hollywood's leading ladies — — including MAE WEST — — that's meant to promote their new publication.
• • The final scene of the play "Courting Mae West" features Mae West in Hollywood in December 1932, where she is filming the screenplay that was based on "Diamond Lil," her 1928 hit Broadway play set in a Bowery saloon during the Gay Nineties..
• • TCM has also produced a book "Leading Ladies" to commemorate the fifty most compelling actresses of the studio era. Here's their selection on the Brooklyn bombshell herself, penned by TCM's Frank Miller.
• • "Men's all alike — — married or single — — I happen to be smart enough to play it their way." — — Mae West in She Done Him Wrong

• • Frank Miller writes: Mae West played at sex like a man. She used her partners for pleasure and, with most of them, discarded them as soon as she got bored. Though there was usually one leading man who was given exclusive rights to her by the film's conclusion, she was the one doing the giving, with the veiled suggestion that she could always withdraw her approval if things didn't work out. More than any innuendo, more than the tightly corseted gowns she generously overflowed, this was what excited the censors' ire. Not only did she treat sex as an act of pleasure without any undue consequences, but also her attitude exposed the unwritten code by which many men operated, even after they were married. Little wonder she was often credited as the woman who brought stricter censorship to Hollywood. She wasn't — — but as Pauline Kael once said, if she was, the delights she offered on screen more than made for the later depredations of censorship.
• • In the early 1930s, the major Hollywood studios gave lip service to the Production Code, a set of rules for what could and could not be done on screen enforced by Will Hays of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA). Originally, Paramount Pictures was very good about following the Code. They hadn't done much to follow the trend toward gangster films spearheaded by Little Caesar in 1931. But by 1932 the studio was running $21 million in the hole. By that time, there was a new genre challenging the censors, the sex film (also called "women's pictures"), which dealt with women who stray from the straight and narrow and pay for it tearfully by the film's end. Paramount had flirted with the genre with its early Marlene Dietrich films like Morocco (1930) and Blonde Venus (1932), but they mostly let the other studios blaze new sexual trails and reap the box office rewards, at least until Mae West showed up.
• • Mae West had been developing her act since the early days of the 20th century, when she sang bawdy songs in vaudeville, creating a delivery copied from the female impersonators of the day and night-club queen Texas Guinan. She'd scored some huge hits on Broadway, particularly with the controversial Diamond Lil, in which she played a saloon singer on The Bowery in the 1890s who sets out to seduce a Salvation Army officer. Universal Pictures had proposed bringing the play to the screen in 1930, when she toured it to Los Angeles. Hays issued a firm edict, however. The play was off limits, and when Universal suggested hiring West to write something new for them, he talked them out of it. Meanwhile, West fell on hard times when her follow-up play, The Constant Sinner, closed after only eight weeks. The 39-year-old sex star began to wonder if she wasn't over the hill.
• • Then old friend George Raft came to the rescue. There was a juicy part for an older woman playing his ex-girlfriend in Night After Night (1932) at Paramount. The studio wanted to cast Texas Guinan, but he talked them into giving West a chance. She almost turned the role down when she saw how poorly it was written. Instead, however, she got producer Harry Le Baron, another old friend, to agree to let her re-write her lines. Loading the script with comic innuendo, she, in Raft's words, "stole everything but the cameras." Exhibitors were clamoring for another film with Mae West, and Paramount decided to take a chance on bucking the censors.
• • When the studio approached her about making another film, she considered her options, then insisted on adapting Diamond Lil. Rather than buck Will Hays outright, they suggested changing the title and enough details to make it seem like a new story. But when Hays found out, he tried to shut the film down. Studio head Adolph Zukor made his case to Hays' New York board of directors, and won the concession that they could redo the script with a new title and new character names (Diamond Lil became Lady Lou). Other demands made by the Hays Office included making the leading man (Cary Grant) a mission worker with no specific affiliation to the Salvation Army and cutting overt references to prostitution. They also changed the nationality of West's female nemesis from Brazilian to Russian, since there was little market for U.S. films in the Soviet Union.
• • In some ways, Hays' demands actually improved the film. Screenwriter John Bright, who had scored a hit with The Public Enemy (1931), was assigned to collaborate on the screenplay, but he didn't click with West, and her script didn't impress him either. He thought it was a creaky old melodrama filled with cheap jokes and tried to make it more of a straight crime film. West hated his ideas, but had a battle getting the studio to side with her. Then one of Hays' associates suggested that the film might be more palatable if played for comedy. That was the excuse she needed to cut Bright's additions and return many of her laugh lines (eventually she had him replaced by Harvey Thew). When Hays suggested toning down references to Lou's past affairs, West added a maid character (played by Louise Beavers) who knew of her past so the two could discuss it in a series of veiled references.
• • Those references -- and West's ability to make even the most innocent lines sound risque - made the film a hit and made her one of the world's most quoted writers. Early in the film she describes herself as "one of the finest women ever walked the streets." When a young woman complains about losing her virtue, West quips, "When women go wrong, men go after them." One of the play's most controversial lines was part of her come on to the Salvation Army officer, "You can be had," which West repeated at the end when the two hooked up. Hays thought it was too raw, so West replaced the line's second appearance with a comic exchange. Grant chastises her with "You bad girl," to which she coyly replies, "You'll find out." Another line, however, only sounded racy in West's patented delivery
— — the line where she tells Grant, "Why don't you come up some time, see me?"
• • She Done Him Wrong was a huge hit. Made for just $200,000, half of which went to West for writing and starring, it returned $2 million domestically on its initial release and another $1 million in international markets. That wasn't enough to pull Paramount out of the hole, but it raised studio morale and their image enough to help them edge back toward profitability. The film made West a household name and boosted the career of co-star Cary Grant, who was just starting in films. He would later claim that he learned most of what he knew about playing comedy from watching West at work.
• • She Done Him Wrong also changed fashions, bringing back the hourglass figure, and encouraged a run of films set in the 1890s. But there was also the inevitable backlash. West's suggestive song "I Like a Man That Takes his Time" was so heavily cut by censors that Paramount called back all release prints to cut the middle stanzas. Other lines were cut by local censors, and the film was banned outright in Java, Latvia, Australia, and Vienna. It also triggered renewed cries for national film censorship that led to the strengthening of the Production Code in 1934. That, in turn, would create even more battles for West and the censors, though they could do nothing to diminish the sexual independence of her characters. Even in the more liberated era of the '70s, West amazed audiences with her sexual forthrightness when she returned to filmmaking after decades off-screen for a small role as a predatory agent in Myra Breckinridge (1970).
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • She Done Him Wrong
• • Producer: William LeBaron
• • Director: Lowell Sherman
• • Screenplay: Mae West, Harvey Thew, John Bright
• • Based on the play Diamond Lil — — by Mae West
• • Cinematography: Charles Lang
• • Art Direction: Robert Usher
• • Music: Ralph Rainger
• • Principal Cast: Mae West (Lady Lou), Cary Grant (Capt. Cummings), Owen Moore (Chick Clark), Gilbert Roland (Serge Stanieff), Noah Beery, Sr. (Gus Jordan), Rafaela Ottiano (Russian Rita), Rochelle Hudson (Sally Glynn), Fuzzy Knight (Ragtime Kelly), Louise Beavers (Pearl).
BW — 65m. Closed captioning.
— — Source: — —
• • Byline: by Frank Miller
• • TCM — — www.tcm.com

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1932
• •

Mae West.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mae West: In the Castro

Octogenarian Tony Curtis has the fondest memories of his many legendary co-stars including his favorite fellow New Yorker MAE WEST.
• • According to the Bay Area Reporter, the aged matinee idol shared an amusing memory of the iconic Mae West, with whom he worked in the notorious Sextette (1978). The sex goddess was then 87 years old, and still strutting her stuff!
• • "I played a Russian ambassador," he recalled. "We shot in her very opulent 'boudoir,' but she made her environment work. My call was for 8 a.m. Miss West came in, looked at her clothes, had breakfast, and was dressed by 11 a.m. But before she could shoot, she had to have her enema! I lived 20 minutes from the studio, and would have them call me when the enema was beginning, so I wouldn't have to sit around all morning!"
• • When Tony Curtis [born as Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx, New York on 3 June 1925] takes to the stage of the Castro Theatre on 18 November 2008, he will share these memories and many others.
• • "A Tribute to Tony Curtis"
— — live on stage, plus film screening & book signing: Tuesday, 18 November 2008 at 7 p.m., Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114.
• • Tickets will be available at A Different Light Books (489 Castro Street), San Francisco.

— — Excerpt: — —
• • Byline: David Alex Nahmod
• • Published in: Bay Area Reporter [Issue: Vol. 38 / No. 46 / 13 November 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.