Monday, April 02, 2012

Mae West: Fails to Testify

Dressed in mourning for her mother, MAE WEST paid close attention, day after day, as the "Pleasure Man" trial proceeded.
• • This was very different than the "Sex" trial in 1927 in Judge George Donnellan's courtroom when Mae could count on Tillie's reassuring nods and smiles across the rows of seating. The anticipated acquittal did not come. Instead Judge Donnellan openly lectured the jurors about Mae's serious transgressions before they deliberated. The jury found her guilty and she was sent to the Workhouse.
• • Defense Rests After Offering Seven Witnesses • •
• • But by 1930, the West family household had come apart. The three siblings were living together in midtown Manhattan. Mae's brother, now a real estate agent, was supporting his two unemployed sisters. The threat of a second jail term hung over Mae's head. On April Fool's Day, her attorney Nathan Burkan announced to the court that the defense rested.
• • News men were astonished, deprived of the star witness. Headlines on Wednesday, 2 April 1930 registered the disappointment: "Mae West Fails to Testify."
• • Sam Coslow [27 December 1902 — 2 April 1982] • •
• • Born in Mae's hometown, New York City, Sam Coslow was born on 27 December 1902. He attended Erasmus Hall High School and he was still in his teens when he began writing songs. For instance, "My Old Flame" was written in 1934, with Arthur Johnston, for the Mae West film "Belle of the Nineties." His music made it into many Hollywood movies.
• • The composer died in New York, NY in the month of April — — on Friday, 2 April 1982.
• • On Saturday, 2 April 1927 in The N.Y. York Times • •
• • Defense attorney Norman Schloss rounded up a number of theatre buffs who had seen "Sex" and applauded. A NYC pyjama manufacturer Harry M. Geiss told the court that he "had seen 'Sex' twice and found nothing obscene about it," noted The N.Y. Times in their weekend edition for 2 April 1927.
• • On Saturday, 2 April 1927 in The N.Y. Daily News • •
• • Mae West's "Sex" trial was good for selling newspapers, therefore, the coverage continued daily. On Saturday, 2 April 1927, The N.Y. Daily News reported on the testimony from the previous day, April 1st. Harold Spielberg, Jim Timony's lawyer, did his best to frame the discussion of "Sex" and its merits by comparing it to the Bible. Spielberg reminded the jurors of The Book of Genesis and the story of Adam and Eve with all its "precedents for frank language." We can only imagine the effect Spielberg had on the jury box when he emphasized, "If your morals have not already been corrupted, I am afraid they will before I finish reading from the Bible."
• • In December of 1937, Mae West would portray Eve on radio. Everyone knows how that "frank language" on "The Chase & Sanborn Hour" turned out.
• • Mae West on the Bookshelf • •
• • "The Sex Goddess in American Film 1930 — 1965: Jean Harlow, Mae West, Lana Turner, and Jayne Mansfield," written by Jessica Hope Jordan [Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2009].
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “People want dirt in plays, so I give ‘em dirt.”
• • Mae West said: “A thrill a day keeps the chill away."
• • Mae West said: "A gold rush is what happens when a line of chorus girls spot a man with a bankroll."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about an antique show in April 2012 mentioned Mae West.
• • Andrea Canady, Show Director, wrote: In addition to the array of coveted antiques and jewels at the Show, distinguished Chicago exhibitor N. Green & Sons will showcase Hollywood's glamour as they present timeless pieces previously owned by celebrities including: A platinum and diamond encrusted pocket watch from the estate of Mae West . . . .
• • Andrea Canady, Show Director, wrote: "We are honored to be able to feature these Hollywood treasures at the inaugural show," said Jeff Cohen, N. Green & Sons. "For years many collectors have only dreamt of being able to view pieces owned by celebrities and now this event will give them the opportunity to feel a deeper connection." . . .
• • Source: Article: "Hollywood Glamour Revealed at the First Annual Chicago Antique Jewelry & Watch Show" written by Andrea Canady for Yahoo! News; posted on 26 March 2012
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2257th 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 Nathan Burkan in 1930 • •
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