Monday, February 16, 2009

Mae West: St. Louis Woman

An intriguing article on the motion picture industry mentioned Paramount Pictures and MAE WEST.
• • No fan of today's "global popcorn" features, film critic Joe Williams had this to say:
• • It's no coincidence that when America entered the Great Depression, Hollywood entered its Golden Age. From 1929 until the end of World War II, the studios tailored their products for hard times.
• • The year of the stock market crash was also the first year that talkies outnumbered silent movies. Audiences came out in droves to experience sound — and a rarity called air conditioning.
• • In the 1930s, the studio system was at its peak of efficiency, producing prestige films featuring carefully groomed matinee idols as well as "B movies" and newsreels that kept audiences captive for hours.
• • The competing studios, which owned their own theater chains, each had different specialties. Industry leader MGM specialized in costume fare and glamorous musicals. Among its biggest stars were dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, whose characters wore evening attire and hobnobbed with the swells from Broadway to Brazil.
• • Paramount appealed to popular tastes with the comical Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields, heroic Gary Cooper, and the sexy Mae West.
• • Not all of the movies of the Depression era were escapist. Warner Bros. specialized in social realism. It was the studio for gangster films and hard-boiled dramas featuring independent women such as Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck. When the studio pushed too hard against moral conventions of the mid-1930s, there was a backlash from the Roman Catholic Church, which tamed American film for the next three decades.
• • Today's Hollywood is a far different place, run by corporations aiming for cross-platform penetration. Even in boom times, the new Hollywood specializes in "tentpole" spectaculars that translate easily overseas. . . .
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: "Studios package global popcorn"
• • Published in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch — — — — St. Louis, MO 63101
• • Published on: 15 February 2009
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Speaking of Saint Louis, Missouri, did you know that one Mae West movie was going to be called "Saint Louis Woman"?
• • Originally titled "It Ain't No Sin" until the censors prevailed, then "Saint Louis Woman" and "Belle of New Orleans" — — until complaints were registered from those two communities — — "Belle of the Nineties" [runtime: 73 minutes] was Mae West's first post-Production Code film.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
Mae West.

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