Friday, November 18, 2011

Mae West: Connie's Rolls-Royce

"Go West Young Man" starring MAE WEST (as the man-eating movie marquee marvel Mavis Arden) was released in the USA in the eleventh month — — on 18 November 1936. Since there is a clause in Mavis Arden's contract with Superfine Pictures, Inc. that bans her from going anywhere near an announcement of the Banns of Marriage, the starlet is always receptive to male attention and affection. It falls to Morgan, her press agent, to be sure she is not tempted. Resuming her publicity tour, Mavis is detained in a sleepy town ninety miles outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania when her customized Rolls Royce breaks down.
• • According to some vintage vehicle experts, this Rolls-Royce started life with a 1929 Phantom II chassis. However, in 1936 the original body was transferred to a RR Phantom III. During the pre-war era, the Hollywood actress Constance Bennett owned it, agreed to loan it to the movie studios, and it was featured in some films. A scene in "Go West Young Man" shows Mae West in Miss Bennett's automobile.
• • The production began in early August at General Service Studios and wrapped up on 29 September 1936.
• • There were many snappy exchanges between the long-suffering, ever vigilant Morgan and Mavis, believed to be demure, chaste, and ladylike — — of course, anything but.
• • • Morgan: But you'd better think of your reputation.
• • • Mavis Arden: You think of it. That's what you're bein' paid for.
• • In November, Let's Remember James B. Carson [1884 — 1958] • •
• • Actor James B. Carson [1884 — 1958] worked with Mae West in "Vera Violetta," which opened on 20 November 1911 at the Winter Garden Theatre. The Broadway veteran was cast as Professor Otto von Gruenberg. It was on 22 December 1884 that Carson was born in Missouri. He was active on The Great White Way from 1908 — 1928.
• • James B. Carson died in November — — on 18 November 1958. He was 73 years old.
• • "Vera Violetta," offered in repertory with "Undine," remained at the Winter Garden Theatre through the Christmas holidays, closing on 24 February 1912.
• • After the clash with Gaby Deslys, Mae West's part as Miss Angelique from the Opera Comique was awarded to Kathleen Clifford, who also worked with Mae on Broadway in "A Winsome Widow" [April — September 1912].
• • On 18 November 1927 • •
• • In February 1927, when Mae West was arrested and her play "Sex" was shuttered, she came face to face with Humphrey Bogart's wife Helen Menken, whose lesbian drama "The Captive" was raided on the same night. The previous year, Helen Menken had wed Bogart at her mother's posh residence on Gramercy Park. A nasty drunk, after an evening of bar-room carousing, he would come home and assault his wife whenever he was deeply intoxicated. That marriage did not even last two years. The couple divorced in November — — on 18 November 1927.
• • On 18 November 1995 • •
• • In the U.K., Virago (a British publisher specializing in women authors) reprinted the novelized version of "She Done Him Wrong" by Mae West. There was a book review in The Irish Times in the month of November — — on 18 November 1995.
• • Dublin-based critic Arminta Wallace called it "a hard-edged novella with a soft centre" and she wrote: "To put it frankly, Diamond Lil was a beautiful short course to hell." …
• • On 18 November 2003 • •
• • Auction house Christie's held a sale of "Entertainment Memorabilia" on 18 November 2003 in New York City at Rockefeller Plaza.
• • Christie's described it like this: A large collection of over fifty black and white photographs signed by various actors including Mae West, Barbara Stanwyck, Lillian Gish, Van Johnson, Cary Grant, Bette Davis, Claudette Colbert, Gilbert Roland, Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Irene Dunne, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Gloria Swanson, Ginger Rogers, Ida Lupino, Mary Astor, Fay Wray, Tyrone Power, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Marion Davies, Clara Bow, Fred Astaire, Ethel Barrymore, Ronald Colman, and Paul Heinreid among many others.
• • On 18 November 2007 • •
• • The amusing article "Why blondes make men act dumb" written by David Wilkes was published in the British tabloid The Daily Mail on 18 November 2007.
• • David Wilkes began his feature with this first sentence: From Mae West and Marilyn Monroe to more modern examples such as Paris Hilton, "blonde" has long been a by-word for a woman not overly blessed in the brain department.
• • David Wilkes explained: Now the stereotype of the "dumb blonde" is so firmly ingrained in the male psyche that men subconsciously become more stupid than they really are when they see one, according to scientists.
• • David Wilkes continued: Without realising it, they mimic what they believe — — often incorrectly — — to be the lesser intelligence of a blonde woman in order to get along with her, a study suggests. ...
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this line for the character Mavis Arden, an actress, in 1936: "Don't be modest. Modesty never gets you anything. I know." [Movie dialogue from "Go West Young Man"]
• • Mae West said: "I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I'm a woman, but loose enough to show I'm a lady."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about organizing a classic film fest in Prosser, Washington mentioned Mae West.
• • Local reporter Pat Muir writes: "A lot of parents are bringing their kids because they want them to see what they saw and make that connection," Rick James says.
• • That parents can share that by taking their kids to see films on the big screen rather than at home on a little TV or computer screen is important, Rick James explains. His own favorite so far is "She Done Him Wrong," the Mae West vehicle that The Princess Theatre ran in April [2011]. "Everyone talks about Mae West," he says. "I'd never seen Mae West on the screen and it was a blast to see her."...
• • Source: Article: "Prosser's picture show: Historic theater to show classic film" written by Pat Muir for The Yakima Herald-Republic; posted on 16 November 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2119th 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:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • Mavis Arden's Rolls-Royce, 1936 • •
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