Born under the sign of Leo the lion, MAE WEST (birthdate: 17 August 1893) felt empowered by her untamed, untranslatable, creative roar — — a leonine desire for stardom, pageantry, and razzing authority.
• • It seems that the Sun is most radiant when it resides in Leo, an astrological cycle that begins on July 23rd and ends on August 22nd.
• • During the month of August, when the vivacious vaudevillian was even more energized, several motion pictures were in progress.
• • In Hollywood, "Night After Night" began production on 22 August 1932. Mae had been offered a modest and colorless role as an ex-girlfriend of George Raft's character, the upwardly mobile thug and speakeasy owner Joe Anton.
• • The "Maudie Triplett" look was dreamt up by Paramount's costume designer Travis Banton, who was born in August — — on 18 August 1894 — — another Leo with a jones for show stopping.
• • Four summers later, in August 1936, production was in full force for "Go West, Young Man," this time keeping its star centered in the script. The "Mavis Arden" wardrobe was put together by Costume Designer Irene Jones.
• • Shot mostly on a closed set, the cinematographer Karl Struss mediating the chiaroscuro between moon and sun, each 1936 frame was robbed of its Technicolor potential. In reality, however, dazzled electricity eagerly fingered Mae West's colorful attire, fanning circles over detailed Tinseltown gilding, as if to undress the orphaned black-white dark.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1936 • •
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