Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mae West: Recollections

William Safire wrote:  I interviewed the real MAE WEST, boys, before she had a wrinkle on her face, and well remember the lesson she taught a cub reporter about living up to a legend.  It was 1949; she was in her late 50's, starring on Broadway in ''Diamond Lil.'' Her leading man was not her film discovery Cary Grant, to whom she had famously vamped ''Come up and see me sometime,'' but the actor who also played ''Captain Video'' on small-screen TV.  ...
• • Check out William Safire's charming recollection about what Mae taught him.
• • [Source: Op-Ed essay "I Remember Mae" by William Safire for The N.Y. Times;  published on Monday, 22 May 2000.]
• • Edward F. Cline [4 November 1891 — 22 May 1961] • •
• • Edward F. Cline directed a motion picture starring Mae West — — but he did not describe it like that. Instead (recalling the turmoil between the Brooklyn bombshell and her booze-loving co-star), Cline admitted: "I wasn't directing, I was referee-ing."
• • Born on 4 November 1891 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Edward F. Cline entered the world of cinema as an actor with Keystone in 1913, where he encountered a rotund juggler from Pennsylvania, William Claude Dukenfield.
• • As the director of "My Little Chickadee" [1940], Cline's insistence on having his stars adhere to the script irked Fileds; the former vaudevillian preferred spontaneity.  Cline had objected to ad-libbing because it caused the crew to snicker and chuckle. In fact, one time Cline's sudden burst of loud laughter necessitated a quick cut at the end of one of Fields's barroom scenes. Cline also directed "The Bank Dick," a comedy starring W.C. Fields. He followed up by directing "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" [1941].
• • Edward Francis Cline died in the month of May — — on Monday, 22 May 1961.  He was 69.
• • On Monday, 22 May 1978 in Time • •
• • In May 1978, Time Magazine printed these felicitous remarks by resident movie critic Gerald Clarke: And her new movie, Sextette, is so bad it's good. Opening her mouth so wide that the pink of her gums shows, Mae West taps her teeth with her fingernails. "See that," she says proudly. "All my own. Not a false one there." Then, holding out her arms so that her wrists protrude from her jacket, she adds, "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." You can't argue with a lady, and when the lady will be 85 this summer, who would want to? Sixty years ago Mae West looked in the mirror and ordered the clock stopped. So far as she is concerned, it has never dared to start again ....
• • [Source: "Show Business: At 84 Mae West Is Still Mae West" by Gerald Clarke, Time Magazine, issue dated for the week of 22 May 1978].
• • May 19 — 22, 1994 • •
• • Andrea Ivanov-Craig, who wrote about Mae West in her doctoral dissertation, presented a paper — — "Funny Seduction: Mae West, Cultural Literacy, and the Rhetoric of Sex" — — during a conference organized by Rhetoric Society of America (1994 Biennial Convention) in Norfolk, VA, from May 19 — 22, 1994.
• • On Friday, 22 May 2009 in Virginia • •
• • To celebrate blonde bombshells, Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Fredericksburg, VA hosted a film series with Mae West in "I’m No Angel" (1933), Jean Harlow in "Libeled Lady" (1936), and Marilyn Monroe in "Some Like it Hot" (1959).
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I don't like myself — — I'm crazy about myself.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in Film Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • Film Daily wrote: Hollywood — Mae West announced last week that she would move her permanent residence from New York to California. She and her father, Dr. Jack West, are looking over San Fernando Valley for a ranch.  . . . 
• • Source: Article: "Mae West Seeks Ranch'' written by the West Coast Bureau of The Film Daily, Hollywood, for Film Daily; published in 1933   
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2308th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • 1949 • •
• •
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Mae West.


  1. Manny Tanks6:52 AM

    I'm still enjoying the HELL out of your blog -- thank you so much for it.

    And while I'm certain that when it comes to Mae you've seen it all, I thought perhaps your readers might enjoy the documentary posted on YouTube called "Mae West on Mae West" which originally ran on BBC in 2002.

    Hearing her reminisce about her career with such remarkable candor (thanks to an interview recorded by Richard Meryman in 1968) was phenomenal !


    (I'd of course love to hear your opinion about the show if you have a moment to share it.)

    Also, I was STUNNED to stumble recently onto a re-post of a 2009 article at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) which shows a picture of Mae's infamous platform shoes !


    (Googling to get that link revealed that you've blogged about her shoes as well. Is there a way I can search your blog to find that post ?)

    Keep up the great work, hope all's well in your world, and ...

    Thanks for the Mae-mories !

  2. Yes, there is a way you can search this blog: (a) use the search box in the upper-right corner or (b) you can follow the outside link to the blog that you mentioned you discovered. Thanks for being a reader. Please consider being a follower of the blog.