Monday, February 06, 2012

Mae West: Substantial Star

It was on Tuesday, 6 February 1934, that readers in Australia saw this article positioned on page 3 — — MAE WEST FOR TIVOLI.
• • The Courier-Mail editors wrote this: For years Mae West, a Broadway star, appearing in stage productions, has been the favourite of millions of comedy lovers. Now she has taken to the screen, and as a result of one picture is an internationally popular star; her styles are copied, her wit is repeated, and her curves are emulated by women the world over. Before she took to the screen feminine style had been moulded on slim and willowy figures. One look at Mae West, and the world of women decided to be billowy and well shaped. Curves have come back with a rush.
• • The Courier-Mail editors added this: "There's something substantial in a person of good proportions," says Mae West, and she flouted film convention by declining to get off poundage to make her first starring picture. "She Done Him Wrong." Her fashion has set a new vogue in films. Mae West will be seen at the Tivoli next Friday in "She Done Him Wrong," and is certain of a hearty reception.
• • Source: The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Queensland) on page 3, 6 February 1934.
• • Happy Birthday to Mamie Van Doren • •
• • Born in Rowena, South Dakota as Joan Lucille Olander on Friday, 6 February 1931, and known professionally as Mamie Van Doren, the actress and singer rose to popularity as Universal Pictures's version of 20th Century Fox's Marilyn Monroe.
• • Sex symbol Mamie Van Doren recalled Steve Cochran most fondly on her web site. According to Miss Van Doren: Steve and I had dated for a short time when I found out that he was also seeing Mae West on a regular basis. Steve had been a young actor in one of Mae's Broadway shows when she "discovered" him. (Mae always had a yen for younger men. Of course, I did too.) At first he told me that they were working on a script together, but as time went on, it became clear to me that there was a good bit of other work going on too. Steve finally admitted that he and Mae had been lovers for some time. It has never been my style to share a lover. If someone isn't willing to be with me exclusively, I feel they should move on. But I made an exception in this case. It was, after all, Mae West... . [Leading ladies Cochran led to bed also included busty Jayne Mansfield and Merle Oberon.]
• • After performing with Mae West, Steve Cochran [1917 — 1965] signed with Warner Bros. in 1949 and returned to Hollywood. He died at 48 years old on his yacht.
• • Happy Birthday to Mamie Van Doren. She is 81 today and still a beauty.
• • On Monday, 6 February 1928 • •
• • Mae West mailed her manuscript for "Diamond Lil" to the Library of Congress from the Harding Hotel, West 54th Street, New York, NY. The date of her Washington, DC copyright registration is Monday, 6 February 1928. The play opened on Broadway in April 1928.
• • On Friday, 6 February 2004 • •
• • An article about the full-length play "Courting Mae West" was written by Max Gross and was published in New York City in The Forward on 6 February 2004.
• • On Friday, 6 February 2009 • •
• • On Friday, 6 February 2009, a sparkling new print of "I'm No Angel" opened the 1930s series "Breadlines and Champagne," which was scheduled to run from Friday February 6th through March 5, 2009 at the Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, New York, NY 10014. Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks played a medley of 1930s tunes live on stage and ushers handed out chunks of bread. How delightful to be part of this experience. Every seat was taken in this wonderful NYC moviehouse in Mae's hometown.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "A man in the house is worth two in the street."
• • Mae West said: “Cultivate your curves — — they may be dangerous but they won't be avoided.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on censorship in Canada mentioned and quoted Mae West.
• • Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec wrote: The first decades of talking cinema came at a time in Quebec history known as the Great Darkness. Film censorship played an important role during this period.
• • Not everything should be said • •
• • Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec wrote: With talking films, not only images had to be censored, but also words. In the first place this posed a technical problem for the censors, who were unable to cut the records film soundtracks were often recorded onto in the early years of the talkies. Cuts to the images also became visible, because the censors were obliged to replace the section cut with black leader to maintain synchronisation with the soundtrack. The widespread use of optical sound beginning in the early 1930s solved these problems and simplified the censors’ task.
• • Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec wrote: Many famous lines of dialogue were cut from prints of films shown in Quebec. The communist Cognasse (in Louis Mercanton’s film of the same name) could not be allowed to say “Neither God nor Master” or “property is theft.” Quebec audiences did not hear Mae West say “So many men, so little time” or “It’s easy to get married, but hard to stay that way” ...
• • Source: "Cinema in Quebec: The Talkies and Beyond, 1930 — 1952" — —Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec in reference to L'Action Catholique, 6 February 1940, p. 3
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2200th 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 • with Cary Grant in "She Done Him Wrong" • •
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