Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mae West: Supreme Court

MAE WEST told the court they couldn't put anything over her — — including an umbrella.
• • It was November 1936 when Supreme Court Justice Joseph M. Callahan ordered Frank Wallace to supply further information concerning his alleged life with the buxom actress. Callahan gave Wallace, who sought a judgment declaring him to be Miss West's husband, until 27 November 1936 to serve and file an affidavit saying: Whether the plaintiff claimed he and the defendant actually lived together as husband and wife in the state of New York since 1911 . . . and, if so, to specify the times and places where such residences occurred.
• • The justice's order for additional information resulted from Miss West's refusal to appear in the New York court which, she said, had no jurisdiction over her.
• • In November, Let's Remember Eugene O'Neill [1888 — 1953] • •
• • At a time when City Hall was monitoring "dirt plays" and policing the ever present threat of theatrical innovations, both Eugene O'Neill and Mae West aroused the finger shakers in the New York City mayor's office. Joab Banton, N.Y.'s District Attorney, was especially severe on both playwrights. "Desire under the Elms" [produced in 1924] really got Banton's knickers in a knot. This drama was "too thoroughly bad to be purified by blue pen," said Banton.
• • Eugene O'Neill was born in New York, NY on 16 October 1888 and introduced to the theatre world via the Provincetown Playhouse during the 1920s. The Pulitzer-winning "Beyond the Horizon" [published in 1920] was O'Neill's first important play.
• • Though Mae found O'Neill's outlook depressing, she was well aware of his enormous popularity and made sure to go and see his plays. In 1922, she rehearsed the song "Eugene O'Neill, You've Put a Curse on Broadway" for "Ginger Box Review."
• • "Mae West was better suited to writing gritty realism than Eugene O'Neill," explains Frank Cullen in the book "Vaudeville, Old and New" [2007].
• • It was during the eleventh month that the prize-winning dramatist died — — on 27 November 1953. He was 65 years old.
• • On 27 November 1932 in Hollywood • •
• • Jon Tuska, writing about "She Done Him Wrong," notes that production commenced on 27 November 1932, and concluded in December of that year.
• • 27 November 2007 • •
• • Released by the U.K. publisher St. Martin's Griffin on 27 November 2007 was "Mae West: It Ain't No Sin" by the biographer Simon Louvish. The paperback edition had 491 pages.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I don't read. Never have and guess I never will. I write in my books what I learned myself, from life."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A review of "The Heat's On" mentioned that Mae West was "nearly crowded out."
• • The N.Y. Times noted: Even so, the sumptuous siren — — and Victor Moore and William Gaxton, as well — — is nearly crowded out of her own picture by a series of dull production numbers. Miss West, you see, is the turbulent musical comedy star caught in the intrigues of two rival crooked producers, and the plot has been used as little more than an excuse to place Hazel Scott, Xavier Cugat and some lesser folk through their paces — — none of which are particularly startling. ...
• • Source: Film Review written by T.S. for The N.Y. Times; published on 26 November 1943
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2128th 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 • • 1936 • •
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