Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mae West: Film Pictorial

MAE WEST graced this issue of Film Pictorial. Printed in the United Kingdom, this weekly edition was dated for Sunday, 15 April 1934. Collectors know this particular copy as Volume 5, Issue 112.
• • As you can see, Film Pictorial's intriguing cover line is "The Private Life of Mae West."
• • On Friday, 15 April 1927 • •
• • Taking advantage of the legal woes of his sister-in-law Mae West, Beverly's husband Sergei Treshatny obtained a divorce on Friday, 15 April 1927. Well, somebody had a nice weekend, eh?
• • The play "Courting Mae West" dramatizes aspects of Beverly's relationship with Sergei, her divorce, and her hot — cold bond with her older sister Mae.
• • On Tuesday, 15 April 2003 • •
• • On Tuesday, 15 April 2003, a paperback edition was published of this popular biography: "Mae West: An Icon in Black and White" by Jill Watts. A must-have title for any Mae maven.
• • Do you own a Mae West Doll? • •
• • Effanbee pioneered innovative dolls such as Dy-dee in 1934, the first drink-and-wet doll, and celebrity dolls like Mae West and Howdy Doody. They also designed a Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen ventriloquist doll.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a diamond."
• • Mae West said: "I didn't discover curves. I only uncovered them."
• • Mae West said: "I've never had any face lifts either. You can tell by my hands and wrists. They can't operate on your hands. I've never had anything done, and I look the way I did when I was 22."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on fashion and Hollywood style discussed Mae West.
• • Cynthia Robins wrote: The wisecracking personality and slightly nasal delivery, by the way, didn't originate with Mae West. So says Marc Wanamaker, a Hollywood film historian and archivist. He explains: "Mae got a lot of her style from Texas Guinan, a stage actress and movie actress in the early silents who became a bar owner in New York. A lot of the lines attributed to Mae (and W.C. Fields, for that matter) like 'Never give a sucker an even break' came from Texas Guinan. They all had known each other for years from vaudeville."
• • Cynthia Robins wrote: So how did a woman so intrinsically homely, not to mention older, become such a vital part of Hollywood and such a viable film idol? "On and off the screen," remarks Marc Wanamaker, "she had an honest view of people and the world. She represented the common woman, always, and if you look at her films she did play a courtesan type, but with a heart of gold who always remembered her meager beginnings. They costumed her in fantastic gowns because women, particularly in the Depression, loved the fantasy. If she had been too real, it wouldn't have worked. She didn't want to be that real either."
• • Cynthia Robins wrote: Wanamaker says that despite West's lack of natural attributes, "Paramount catered to her, assigning their best hair, costume and makeup people" — —people like Travis Banton, who designed for Jean Harlow and Bette Davis, set and costume designer Howard Greer, Paris designer Marcel Rochas and makeup artist Dot Ponedel.
• • Cynthia Robins wrote: Paramount's aim was to make Mae West into an icon of independence for the common woman. ""Paramount didn't want her to be this goddess. Besides, Mae didn't believe in that,'' says Wanamaker. ""But she did have this image to uphold, of not being an aristocrat, not a goddess, but a princess. A princess of the people.'' . . .
• • Source: Article: "The Secret to Mae West's Style" written by Cynthia Robins, Chronicle Beauty Writer for The San Francisco Chronicle; posted on 15 April 2001
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2271st 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 1934 • •
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