Sunday, January 01, 2012

Mae West: Greasewood City

It was Wednesday in Australia — — on 1 January 1941 — — and folks down under were reading about MAE WEST. Her latest motion picture comedy had been released in the USA on 15 March 1940. Now it was being distributed around the globe.
• • From Queensland, the Morning Bulletin's movie critic wrote: What could be funnier than W. C. Fields as a patent medicine vendor turned masked bandit (sic), and Mae West, late of the honky tonks, as a little desert flower blooming brighter every hour? A riotous "team" they make, this one-glance gal and two-shot son-of-a-gun. Their adventures among the citizenry of Greasewood City, one of the wilder outposts of the West, are something in the nature of a parody and burlesque on the familiar fixtures of Western pictures. Nothing has been spared in the hulabaloo of ridicule, and the disorderly progress of Fields through the badlands. lt is a flt subject for the short, barking laugh (it goes "Hah," and is bitten off on that syllable) or the comfortable internal chuckle.
• • The Queensland movie critic conveyed admiration by noting this: W.C. Fields is assisted in his hilarious duties by Mae West, who retains her old slinky ways, frank humour, free Invitations, wisecracks, and peculiar style that attracted the public in her first picture. She is Flower Belle Lee, idol of the "boys," and the sight of the comedian battling to save himself from the alluring dangers of the beautiful West is the kind of screen material that will throw any audience into a panic.
• • The critic concluded: It will be screened at the Wintergarden this afternoon [Wednesday, 1 January 1941] and tonight, also tomorrow and Friday.
• • Source: Entertainment Feature: "Wintergarden Theatre "My Little Chickadee" written for the Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld); published on Wednesday, 1 January 1941, page 8
• • Susannah McCorkle [1946 — 2001] • •
• • Shortly before committing suicide, Susannah McCorkle [1 January 1946 — 19 May 2001] had been writing a lengthy profile of Mae West.
• • A supremely talented jazz singer, Miss McCorkle was born in Berkeley, California in the month of January — — on 1 January 1946. Her fascinating article about Mae West can be found online.
• • On Sunday, 1 January 1933 • •
• • Bootlegger and speakeasy owner Larry Fay met his death inside the Napoleon Club, 33 West 56th Street, New York, NY on Sunday, 1 January 1933. Mae West and George Raft both knew Larry Fay, who was the business partner of the night club czarina Texas Guinan.
• • Filmed in Hollywood, the reformed gangster rom-com "Night after Night" was set in the once grand townhouse that Larry Fay turned into a deluxe speakeasy.
• • On Sunday, 1 January 1967 in The Washington Post • •
• • Newspaper readers in D.C. got a brief respite from hearing about the antics of President Lyndon B. Johnson on Sunday morning, 1 January 1967 when the Washington Post printed an article by Kevin Thomas: "Mae West, Like Rock 'n' Roll Music, Is Still Deeply Rooted in Ragtime."
• • On Sunday, 1 January 1978 • •
• • A review of the motion picture "Sextette," starring Mae West, was printed in Variety, the issue dated for Sunday, 1 January 1978.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Good women are no fun. The only good woman I can recall in history is Betsy Ross. And all she ever made was a flag."
• • Born on January 1st, Philadelphia native Betsy Ross [1 January 1752 — 30 January 1836] was a woman who was given credit for sewing the first American flag; her design incorporated stars representing the first 13 colonies. Heavens to Betsy!
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about "My Little Chickadee" discussed Mae West.
• • Roger Hurlburt writes: Ah, yes, My Little Chickadee, take a gander at the 1940 western spoof with W.C. Fields and Mae West (midnight, WFLX — Ch. 29). The duo also wrote the screenplay, though one feels the film could have been even funnier. Saloon scenes are the best; so are the performances of hatchet-faced Margaret Hamilton and milquetoast emeritus Donald Meek as a corrupt "preacher."
• • Source: Entertainment Feature: "Come Up and See This Film" written by Roger Hurlburt, Staff Writer, for the Sun Sentinel; published in Florida on 1 January 1987
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2163rd 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 • • 1940 • •
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