Saturday, July 02, 2011

Mae West: Mordaunt Hall

Mordaunt Hall reviewed two motion pictures starring MAE WEST: "Night After Night" [NYT, 31 October 1932] and "I'm No Angel" [NYT, 13 October 1933] and loved both.
• • Born in Surrey, England on 1 November 1878, Mordaunt Hall (known to his friends as "Freddie") was the first regularly assigned motion picture critic for The N.Y. Times from October 1924 to September 1934. His writing style was described in his New York Times obituary as "chatty, irreverent, and not particularly analytical.… The interest of other critics in analyzing cinematographic techniques was not for him."
• • After retiring from the Times in 1934, he hosted a New York radio program on movies and movie players from 1934 — 1935. Shortly after, he was a drama critic for the Boston Transcript from 1936 —1938. Mordaunt Hall died in New York City at age 94 in the month of July — — on 2 July 1973.
• • 17 July 2004 17 July 2011 • •
• • In mid-July the Mae West Blog will celebrate its seventh anniversary. Thank you to all those Mae-mavens who come up and see Mae every day.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Here is a poem "Mae West" by Edward Field. The poem was originally printed in July 1974.
• • • • Mae West • • • •
• • She comes on drenched in a perfume called Self-Satisfaction
• • from feather boa to silver pumps.
• • She does not need to be loved by you
• • though she'll give you credit for good taste.
• • Just because you say you love her
• • she's not throwing herself at your feet in gratitude.
• • Every other star reveals how worthless she feels
• • by crying when the hero says he loves her,
• • or how unhoped-for the approval is
• • when the audience applauds her big number — —
• • but Mae West takes it as her due:
• • she knows she's good.
• • She expects the best for herself
• • and knows she's worth what she costs
• • and she costs plenty — —
• • she's not giving anything away.
• • She enjoys her admirers, fat daddy or muscleman,
• • and doesn't confuse vanity and sex,
• • though she never turns down pleasure, lapping it up.
• • Above all she enjoys her self,
• • swinging her body that says, Me, me, me, me,
• • Why not have a good time?
• • As long as you amuse me, go on,
• • I like you slobbering over my hand, big boy — —
• • I have a right to.
• • Most convincing, we know all this
• • not by her preaching
• • but by her presence — — it's no act.
• • Every word and look and movement
• • spells independence:
• • she likes being herself.
• • And we who don't
• • can only look on, astonished.
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 1979th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1932 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

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