Saturday, October 06, 2012

Mae West: Rocked River City

MAE WEST starred in Jacksonville, Florida all during the month of October in 1933. An article written in the River City back in October 1998 recaptured that excitement.  Let's turn back the clock.
• • The week Mae West rocked River City • •
• • The Times Union wrote: In her own words, she climbed the ladder of success ''wrong by wrong.''  Mae West was the hottest thing going the fall of 1933.
• • Ever on the cutting edge, Jacksonville, FL marked ''Mae West Week'' October 21 — 28 that year.  It celebrated the opening of West's blockbuster ''I'm No Angel'' at the Florida Theatre.  ''As West goes, so goes the nation,'' boomed the theater ads.  ''A tantalizing beauty who can't bear to see men suffer!''
• • Mae West still was on the bombshell side of caricature.  She was unlike anything most Americans had seen. She was buxom, brash, pushy and was on a roll when ''I'm No Angel'' hit the Florida Theatre.
• • Her last film, ''She Done Him Wrong,'' had made enough money to keep Paramount studios afloat, preserving American culture as we know it.  In five years since she hit Broadway with ''Diamond Lil,'' the bawdy, busty blonde had become a major current in the American mainstream.  Fans rushed to her every movie, aped her style, worked her witticisms into the language. She had become an icon of America struggling out of the Depression.
• • Mae West typified a Hollywood inventing excesses of scandal and glamour. The outrage, mischief, and fame of filmdom and its minions titillated the pedestrian and became the daily grist of the nation's press.  ... All during the week Mae West was putting the moves on Cary Grant in ''I'm No Angel'' at the Florida Theatre right here in Jacksonville.
• • (The neighboring Imperial Theater chose this week to show a shocking documentary on nudist camps. That's how totally West blew away the opposition at the box office.)  ...
• • Although a thing of beauty, the Mae West rage did not last forever in River City.  ...
• • Source: Article: "The week Mae West rocked River City" written by The Times Union; Published on Tuesday, 6 October 1998.
• • Milton Ager [6 October 1893 — 6 May 1979] • • 
• • It was during October 1924 that Mae West attached herself to the subversive song sheet for "Big Boy," a run-away hit by the lyricist Jack Yellen [1892 — 1991] and the Chicago composer Milton Ager who was born in the month of October — — on 6 October 1893. "Big Boy," with explicit lyrics about a darktown sheik who drives both pale and brown-skinned women wild in bed, was offered by Advanced Music Corp. on a song sheet disguised with artwork depicting a jaunty white male.
• • Milton Ager was 85 when he died in Los Angeles on 6 May 1979. He was interred there in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.
• • On Sunday, 6 October 1918 • •
• • On Sunday, 6 October 1918 the New York Herald Tribune wrote about Mae's superb performance as Mayme Dean in "Sometime," noting "Mae West gave a capital characterization of a chorus girl in search of temptation, but never finding it, ..."
• • On Friday, 6 October 1933 • •
• • On Friday, 6 October 1933, Mae West wowed the world when Paramount released "I'm No Angel" directed by Wesley Ruggles and co-starring Cary Grant (in the role of Jack Clayton).
• • On Saturday, 6 October 1934 • •
• • The New York Board of Censors insisted upon a new ending for the upcoming Mae West picture.  Ruby Carter and the Tiger Kid have to head to the altar to satisfy the purity police and Paramount Pictures pays the fare to have the conclusion done over.
• • An article in Literary Digest discussed this, calling the forced ending "a sort of shotgun wedding." This piece ran in their issue dated for Saturday, 6 October 1934.
• • On Saturday, 6 October 1934 • •
In their magazine section, The Winnipeg Free Press ran a lengthy article by Mae West called "Me and My Past" with two small b/w photos on Saturday, 6 October 1934.
• • On Tuesday, 6 October 1959 • •
• • In early October — — on Tuesday, 6 October 1959 — — newscaster Charles Collingwood had taped an interview in the screen queen's apartment. Questioned about the title of her new memoir Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It, Mae West replied, "It's about my private transgressions — — that's a long word for sin." The suits viewed the footage and were afraid to air it.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I don't believe that you need any kind of chemical to get high."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article by Nick Yapp mentioned Mae West — — and Yapp spelt Groucho Marx "Groucho Mark." Writing for WSJ. Ulp.
• • Nick Yapp wrote:  "Groucho Mark (sic), who acted with her in an even earlier film, Love Happy, saw her as a mixture of 'Theda Bara, Mae West and Bo-Peep all rolled into one.'  ...
• • Source: Article: "From Norma Jean to Marilyn Monroe" written by Nick Yapp for WSJ International; published on Friday, 5 October 2012
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2449th 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:

Source: to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • 1933
• •
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