Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mae West: 2 and 2

Two books inspired by MAE WEST were released on December 18th.  Also on December 18th, two extraordinary items from her pen were auctioned off by Christie's: a personal letter to a comedian and pages linked to "Sex," her stage play in 1926.
• • "Words from the Stars: Quips and Quotes from Mae West to the Backstreet Boys" was written by Trevor Hunt. This snappy hardcover came forth over a decade ago on Tuesday, 18 December 2001 [ISBN 0517218569]. Trevor Hunt's compendium may be out of print by now.
• • A more recent title was "The Sex Goddess in American Film, 1930 —1965: Jean Harlow, Mae West, Lana Turner, and Jayne Mansfield" from the pen of Jessica Hope Jordan, who worked on the material for her dissertation. When it came time for publication, a famous image of Mae West was used for the dustjacket. What a wonderful cover. 
• • Jordan's hardback book (282 pages) has photos and was published by Cambria Press in Amherst, NY in mid-December — — on Friday, 18 December 2009 [ISBN-10: 1604976632].
• • Cliff Shirpser [4 August 1906 — 18 December 1977] • •
• • Cliff Shirpser was a camera assistant for "She Done Him Wrong" starring Mae West.
• • Born in San Francisco on 4 August 1906, he began his Tinseltown career during the silent era with the classic "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" [1921] when he was 15 years old. Always plying his trade within the confines of the studio's Camera and Electrical Department, Cliff Shirpser was attached to a diverse number of motion pictures including several Marx Brothers classics, "Destry Rides Again," and "Gone with the Wind." Eventually, he switched to children's series on TV. For six decades, from 1921 — 1981, he was behind the camera on 188 projects. He also distinguished himself as a producer.
• • Cliff Shirpser died in Los Angeles in December — — on Sunday, 18 December 1977. He was 71. 
• • On Saturday, 18 December 1937 • •
• • "Every Day's a Holiday," a Gay Nineties motion picture comedy film starring and co-written by Mae West, was released in the USA in December — — on Saturday, 18 December 1937.
• • On Saturday, 18 December 1937 • •
• • On Saturday, 18 December 1937 some industry people surely noticed an article about Mae West on page 27 in Motion Picture Herald:   "Mae West Burlesques the Bible on the Air for Coffee Merchants."
• • On Saturday, 18 December 1993 • •
• • On Wednesday, 29 September 1971 Mae West had written a letter to comedian Groucho Marx.  Mae wrote (in part), "I've always been crazy about your crazy comedy. I remember how I howled watching your rushes in the projection room at Paramount, when I was there too, waiting to watch my own. ... I have to tell you you're the greatest of all the funny men ... whenever you're in L.A. come up and see me."
• • Price realized for this rare letter by Christie's auction bidding in NYC on Saturday, 18 December 1993 was $2,530.
• • On Monday, 18 December 1995 • •
• • Christie's got their mitts on handwritten notes from Mae West's 1926 stage play "Sex" — — wrote Mae: Sex depends on certain positions. But kissing is good in any position. If a girl closes her eyes when she kisses a guy, he's gotta be nothing to look at. Even so, she should like him for what he is — — rich.
• • Stamped on the bottom of the page was this notation: "Property of Mae West."
• • Price realized by Christie's auction in NYC on Monday, 18 December 1995 was $690.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I'm here to make talkies."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A review of a book on vaudeville in Scranton, Pennsylvania mentioned Mae West.
• • Cheryl A. Kashuba wrote: Mae West, Will Rogers, Jack Benny, George M. Cohan, Enrico Caruso, Marion Anderson. These and many more all played Scranton, and Nancy McDonald's book tells you all about it. ...
• • Source: Book Review: "Putting on the Ritz Book gives glimpse of Electric City's vaudevillian past" written by Cheryl A. Kashuba for The Times-Tribune; posted on Sunday, 18 December 2011
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2519th 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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• • Mae West • on book cover
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