Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mae West: Fitzroy Davis

One of MAE WEST's least favorite motion pictures was "The Heat's On" [1943].
• • It was Fitzroy Davis who got screenwriting credit for this mish-mash, a film so disjointed and disappointing that The New York Times review led off with this sally: "The heat is definitely off!"
• • Fitzroy Davis, an odd hyphenation of actor-singer-novelist, was born in Evanston, Illinois in the month of February — — on 27 February 1912. He made his stage debut in November 1935 in Chicago. A minor walk-on role was available for a "Romeo and Juliet" production starring Katharine Cornell as young Juliet. By 1942 his first novel Quicksilver had appeared in print. This roman a clef deals with a road company touring the USA in "Romeo and Juliet." There are four gay characters in the story including the lead actress. Hmmm. During the 1960s, Fitzroy Davis penned articles for gay publications in Switzerland using the pen name Hadrian.
• • Fitzroy Davis died in Putnam, Connecticut on 30 September 1980 at the age of 68.
• • Remembering Lee Kohlmar [1873 — 1946] • •
• • Lee Kohlmar was cast in the role of Jacobson in "She Done Him Wrong" [1932].
• • Born in Nuremberg, Germany in the month of February — — on 27 February 1873 — — he entered the young film industry in 1916, directing nine short silent movies between 1916 — 1921. Deciding he also wanted to act, he got himself involved in more than 50 cinema titles between 1916 and 1941, often cast in minor roles.
• • Lee Kohlmar died at age 73 in Hollywood from a heart attack on 14 May 1946.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1943 • •
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1 comment:

  1. R. Mark Desjardins3:10 PM

    The seldom seen 1943 film, The Heat's On, may have been Mae West's least favorite film, but it definitely is one I enjoy watching a lot! Mae looked fabulous it in, perhaps the most beautiful of all her films. She looked incredibly trim and adopted a current hair style which suited her very well. Her musical numbers were top notch, the only problem being the most dramatic musical production, for the "Lure" number where she wears a very risque outfit, which she would be wearing when the police were supposed to have raided her show. The dress was entirely made of coruscating blue sequins, except for portions of skin-colored net intended to photograph as real flesh. The outfit featured a fantastic headdress in the form of a coiled snake, studded with blue sequins, its glittering head spitting out at me. From behind the snake a mass of peacock feathers spread in all directions. Over her forehead swung three strands of large, fake pearls. Under her chin, from ear to ear, dangled three more strands of pearls.
    Stills that survive of this stunning gown attest to the high camp appeal the scene likely would have generated if it hadn’t been excised. Ironically, when the video version of the film was finally released in 1993 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of West’s birth, the packaging featured a still from the deleted scene, her Lucite finger nails predating Edward Scissorhands’ claws.
    If one watches the DVD of the film, which I obtained from amazon.UK in a box set, you see the police bursting into the theatre where Mae's Faye Lawrence character's play "Indiscretons," is raided and the performers on the stage are running off as the police burst down the aisle. Unfortunately nothing is seen of Mae in her gown.
    Over the years, several stills of the infamous Pluckett gown have surfaced, but if this musical number which was reportably banned were to be reinserted, Mae's running time of 25 minutes in this 80 minute film would be boosted and it would make for essential viewing.