Sunday, November 04, 2012

Mae West: Bad Reputation

MAE WEST told a Hollywood scribe, "Honey, I've always got a new trick. Come up and see me sometime, and bring an old dog with you."
• • John C. Moffitt wrote: "From which remark it will be seen that interviewing Mae is more than a passive adventure in journalism."  But Johnny boy knew the Brooklyn bombshell would be good for a sumptuous sound byte because he had had in-depth chats with her before.  [During one startling early conversation with Mr. Moffitt, Mae revealed details about her sexual encounters with various male teachers.  No wonder she left school early.]  
• • "A bad reputation . . ." • •
• • John C. Moffitt continued: "Without throwing too much ice water on those who predict that Mae is through, it is wise to recall that she enjoyed (the word is used advisedly) as bad a reputation when she made her big success as she does now.  She had not only been the star but also the author of plays that had been denounced from pulpits and viewed with alarm from many rostrums."
• • Three columns later, John C. Moffitt concludes his narrative with this sentence: Mae West arrived in Hollywood on a "coffee and cakes" contract and she lost no time becoming the biggest moneymaker in the history of the talkies, the one bright financial star in the long dark night of Hollywood's depression.
• • This excerpt hits just a few highlights in John Moffitt's long article. Come back another time to read more.
• • Source:  "The Experts Derided Mae West" written by John C. Moffitt and reprinted in The Straits Times (page 4); published on Sunday, 4 November 1934.
• • Edward F. Cline [4 November 1891 — 22 May 1961] • •
• • Born on Wednesday, 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 on Monday, 22 May 1961.  He was 69.
• • On Wednesday, 4 November 1931 • •
• • After enormous effort, on Wednesday, 4 November 1931 the final curtain came down at the Royale Theatre on "The Constant Sinner" starring and written by Mae West.
• • Set in Harlem, the play opened on 14 September 1931 and ran for 64 performances on Broadway.
• • On Friday, 4 November 1932 • •
• • The L.A. Times reported that the Hayes Office did not approve of "Diamond Lil" as a screenplay, however, Mae West would be starring in a new picture "Honky-Tonk." A few weeks later, on Friday, 4 November 1932, readers learned that project had been scrapped.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "There is nothing better in life than diamonds except maybe health."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in the N.Y. Observer discussed Mae West.
• • Robert Gottlieb explained: Celebrate Mae West or mock her, you can only feel sympathy for this game (and gamy) woman now that she's been discovered by academia. First, she was taken up by the genderists — — wasn't she "empowered"? Didn't she fight for her rights as Independent Woman and prevail? She battled the censors, she battled the moguls, she defied the police (she and the whole cast of her play "Sex" were thrown in jail, where she seems to have had a good time). Like Catherine the Great — — whom she impersonated on Broadway — — she chewed men up and spat them out. And most important of all, she never allowed anyone — — whether in a professional or personal relationship — — to compromise her great creation, "Mae West." As much as any woman of the 20th century, she took control of her life and kept it: an essential feminist heroine, and rightly so. ...
• • Source: Excerpt from a Book Review: "Come Up and Signify Me: Mae West Meets Academia" written by Robert Gottlieb, The New York Observer; posted on 4 November 2001
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2474th 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 • 1934
• •
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