Monday, December 19, 2011

Mae West: Biblical Knowledge

It was on Sunday, 19 December 1937 that newspapers were announcing updated information about MAE WEST that did not have to do with "The Chase and Sanborn Hour" but instead a film-related gift. A gossip columnist noted that, to celebrate the completion of her last picture, Mae West has given director Edward Sutherland a gold watch case inscribed "Come up and see me sometime — — and I'll give you the works."
• • This cheerful item and the quote were reported in tabloids as far away as Perth, Australia in their Sunday Times on December 19th.
• • Edward Sutherland • •
• • Born in London, England in early January, A. Edward Sutherland [5 January 1895 — 31 December 1973] hailed from a theatrical family. Al Sutherland, his father, was an American-born theatre manager and producer; Julie Ring, his mother, was an American vaudeville performer. Early in his career, Sutherland was cast in more than thirty-six silent movies — — after his debut as one of the original Keystone Cops in "Tillie's Punctured Romance" [1914], a slapstick feature that starred Charles Chaplin, Mabel Normand, and Marie Dressler. Mack Sennett launched him at age 19 into a long career in films.
• • As a director, Eddie Sutherland helmed "Every Day's a Holiday" [1938], which starred Mae West and featured Edmund Lowe, Charles Butterworth, Charles Winninger, Lloyd Nolan, Walter Catlett, Chester Conklin, and Louis Armstrong.

• • On 19 December 1936 in Picturegoer • •
• • Picturegoer's issue for the week of 19 December 1936 featured these three: Mae West, Merle Oberon, Alfred Hitchcock.
• • Picturegoer was a magazine published in the United Kingdom between 1913 — 1960. Its primary focus was on contemporary films and the performers who appeared in them. During the silent film era, it started as a weekly movie review, then evolved into a weekly listing of films being shown at UK cinema houses when talkies became popular. Eventually, it became a bi-weekly movie magazine featuring the screen's biggest stars that was sold at all movie theaters in the UK.
• • On 19 December 1937 • •
• • Forbidden fruit, unlawful carnal knowledge, the serpent in the garden
— and maybe the real "snake" all along was the self-righteous head of the purity police, the Catholic League.
• • NBC Chairman Frank R. McNinch was still dealing with the fallout after Mae West's appearance on his network. The FCC took the position that, though it had no power to censor radio guests, NBC had a moral duty to shield its listeners from offensiveness. An article about the outraged public outcry and protest letters that NBC had received over the Mae West Biblical skit on radio was published in The Sunday Morning Herald in Washington, DC on 19 December 1937.
• • Eventually, NBC would ban Mae for 15 years over this curious flapdoodle.
• • On 19 December 1991 in London • •
• • Christie's held a "Film and Entertainment" auction in London on 19 December 1991.
• • Among the rare items was this: "Lot Description: Film Stars." This included approximately eight hundred publicity postcards, circa 1930s — 1960s, subjects include Mae West, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Maurice Chevalier, Fred Astaire, Greta Garbo, Collette Colbert, Tallulah Bankhead, Grace Kelly, and Brigitte Bardot, in an album and loose. Price realized was $564.
• • On 19 December 2003 in Tennessee • •
• • Suddenly, the Mae West Project went bust.
• • Writing for Scripps Howard News Service, Terry Morrow broke the story this way:
• • PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — — Dolly Parton's dream of playing Mae West for ABC is finished.
• • The singer told me last week that ABC is nixing the project. Had it come to fruition, Parton would have acted out West's life story in a TV movie of the week. "They stopped doing it altogether because (ABC) is going to stop doing (so many) movies of the week," Parton says. "'Mae West' has completely fallen through."
• • Terry Morrow continued: Dolly Parton has talked fondly of the West project often in recent years. The problem has always been finding the proper script. ABC wasn't happy with any draft. Parton saw scripts only when ABC passed them along to her. The "Mae West" project has gone through a series of writers. ...
• • Source: Article written by Terry Morrow for Scripps Howard News Service; posted on 19 December 2003
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Virtue has its own reward — — but no sale at the box office."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A review of a new book on vaudeville in Scranton, Pennsylvania mentioned Mae West.
• • Cheryl A. Kashuba wrote: Mae West, Will Rogers, Jack Benny, George M. Cohan, Enrico Caruso, Marion Anderson. These and many more all played Scranton, and Nancy McDonald's book tells you all about it. ...
• • Source: Book Review: "Putting on the Ritz Book gives glimpse of Electric City's vaudevillian past" written by Cheryl A. Kashuba for The Times-Tribune; posted on 18 December 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2150th 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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