Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mae West: When Fay Met Franz

In the role of Fay Lawrence, MAE WEST starred in "Tropicana" — — renamed "The Heat's On" [1943].
• • Underwhelmed by this rag-bag disguised as a musical for the screen, T.S. from The N.Y. Times wrote: After an extended sabbatical in which she streamlined her figure to more svelte proportions, Mae West, none other, has returned in a hit-or-miss item entitled "The Heat's On," now at Loew's State. The title is a misnomer. For the heat is off, but definitely. . . . 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. So said The Times.
• • Walter Plunkett dressed Mae West. But her mountain-high headdresses and spectacular sequined gowns never reached the wide audience the producers hoped for. Clearly, Mae especially enjoyed Plunkett's serpent seductress creation because she had a similar costume made for a number she performed in the 1950s with Richard Du Bois in the "Mae West Revue."
• • Franz Planer [29 March 1894 — 10 January 1963] • •
• • It was bad planning on the part of Franz Planer, A.S.C. to get involved with "The Heat's On," a film credit that Wikipedia omits in his entry.
• • Born in Karlsbad, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic) at the end of March — — on 29 March 1894 — — Franz Planer prepared to be a portrait painter. It seems he felt that photography would overtake the work that used to fall to artists and he turned to the film industry as his new vocation. Beginning in Germany as a director of photography, he gained experience. In 1937, he wisely left Hitler and Europe behind and headed to Hollywood.
• • With more than 125 films to his credit, Planer certainly had his successes. For instance, the cinematographer shot five of Audrey Hepburn's films including the iconic "Breakfast at Tiffany's" [1961]. And though "The Heat's On" is tepid fare, at least he got to work with Mae West.
• • Franz Planer suffered a heatstroke in Spain while working on the Sermon on the Mount sequence of "King of Kings." He died in Hollywood on 10 January 1963. He was 68.
• • On Sunday, 31 March 1912 • •
• • On Sunday, 31 March 1912 • •
• • The end of March signaled the beginning of excitement down at "The Corner" [Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street]. The New York Times announced on 31 March 1912 that "Mae West and Her Boys" would take the stage at Hammerstein's Victoria.
• • On Thursday, 31 March 1927 • •
• • On Thursday, 31 March 1927 it was reported in The New York Times that Sergeant Patrick Keneally of the Midtown Vice Squad, whose testimony was heavily flavored with a thick Irish brogue, quoted long passages from Mae's play "Sex" from memory. Moreover, "frequently, under the instructions of the Prosecutor," explained The Times, "assuming poses to demonstrate the manner in which members of the cast delivered their lines," Sgt Keneally gave the jury box quite a show.
• • On Monday, 31 March 1930 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • The N.Y. Times ran this headline to keep readers up to date on the "Pleasure Man" trial at the end of March 1930: CLASH MARKS MOVE TO FREE MAE WEST; Nathan Burkan Demands Details in Play Indictment — — Wallace Calls Motion Ridiculous. TWELFTH JUROR CHOSEN Then Panel Is Excused as Counsel Argue Over Terming Actress "Star of Case." Sales Manager Picked as Juror. Wants All Indecency Specified.
• • In March 1934 • •
• • Mae West was featured on the cover of the March 1934 issue of Radio Stars Magazine.
• • In March 1978 • •
• • Hollywood Studio Magazine featured a colorful Mae West cover on their issue for March 1978.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars. That's subtraction."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about a shoe designer mentioned Mae West.
• • Luke Leitch writes: Those tourists and the odd Bath-based Sex and the City fan aside, Manolo Blahnik says he remains blissfully undisturbed in Bath, free to haunt Topping's for books and HMV for films ("They get me everything. Yesterday, it cost £10 for five movies; I got a whole box of Mae West and Orson Welles.") ...
• • Source: Article: "Bath time with Manolo Blahnik" written by Luke Leitch for The Telegraph [U.K.]; posted on 28 March 2012
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2255th 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 • as Fay Lawrence in 1943 • •
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1 comment:

  1. Mae looked fab in The Heat's On. Some of the costumes were very cool.
    Alas the storyline fell short.