Sunday, January 06, 2013

Mae West: William F. Moran

In 1921, MAE WEST was in a musical revue "The Mimic World" with actor William F. Moran. 
• • William F. Moran [2 October 1888 —  6 January 1972] • •
• • Born in New Orleans on 2 October 1888, William Moran was entranced by the dramatic arts. By the age of 22, he was on Broadway in November 1910 in "Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman," a revival that was shot down and put out of its misery quickly. But realizing the cinema trade was flourishing, he had sweetly sashayed his way into a shortie by 1916.
• • Perhaps William Moran bore a resemblance to an infamous actor, John Wilkes Booth, because he was cast as the presidential assassin in two silent films about Lincoln.  The first was "In the Days of Buffalo Bill" [1922]. The second was "The Dramatic Life of Abraham Lincoln" [1924].  A. Edward Sutherland was cast as William Scott; as a director, Eddie Sutherland helmed "Every Day's a Holiday" [1938], which starred Mae West.  And guess who portrayed Mary Lincoln? It was Nell Craig, the actress who was cast in three motion pictures starring Mae West. Nell was seen as Mrs. Bond in "I'm No Angel" [1933]. Perhaps you also recalled her as a society lady in "Goin' to Town" [1935] as well as a mournful looking missionary in "Klondike Annie" [1936].
• • Right before he worked on those movies about Lincoln, William Moran returned to Broadway.  In 1921 he was onstage with Mae in "The Mimic World" and he worked with Ned Wayburn that summer in "Town Topics."
• • Between 1916 — 1947, William Moran participated in 25 motion pictures in minor roles. He died in Los Angeles in January —  — on Thursday, 6 January 1972. He was 83.
• • On Sunday, 6 January 1935 • •
• • On Sunday, 6 January 1935, one day after her father had died, an interview with Mae West ran in the Sunday Dispatch. The title was "I'm an angel really — Mae West tells for the first time just what she is really like."
• • On Saturday, 6 January 1940 • •
• • Blytheville, Arkansas was a-buzzing on Saturday, 6 January 1940 when the Courier News was delivered. On page 3 was a tsk-tsk tut-tut piece about Mae West, then shooting with W.C. Fields in Hollywood.  
• • The article scolded the screen siren because she had been "ruling the roost" during shooting of "My Little Chickadee," making script changes and criticizing the action. Supposedly, the director protested that he had reached the limit of his patience when Mae demanded that cast mate Joseph Calleia dye his hair before their romantic scenes. 
• • On Saturday, 6 January 2001 • •
• • The screen classics starring Mae West "I'm No Angel" and "She Done Him Wrong" became the movie package acquired by Turner Classic Movies. "I'm No Angel" made its premiere on that station on Saturday, 6 January 2001.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I wrote scenes for them to cut. These scenes were so rough I’d never have used them, but they worked as a decoy. They cut them and left the stuff I wanted. I had these scenes in there about a man’s fly and all that, and the censors would be sittin’ in the projection room laughin’ themselves silly. Then they’d say ‘Cut it’ and not notice the rest.."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A book on censorship mentioned Mae West.
• • Aubrey Malone wrote: Almost from the word go, Mae West was seen as Public Enemy Number One as far as Breen was concerned.  ...  Most of Hollywood’s sex symbols were created by the so-called “Dream Machine” but West was self-made. Her play Sex hit the stage in 1926 and was swiftly branded by both church and state as the height of depravity. John Sumner of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice (NYSSV) believed the public were gullible and didn’t know what was best for them, which meant that they needed to be protected from themselves by people like him. This imperious usurping of the conscience of the nation was fairly typical of such spokespeople. One is reminded of the definition of a censor as somebody who “No’s” what he likes. The placards tantalizingly advertised “Sex with Mae West” while her enemies called her one of the devil’s daughters. The public, meanwhile, just regarded it all as a bit of a hoot. By making fun of carnality (“Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?”) she took the harm out of her own salaciousness. She didn’t exude the raw danger of a Tennessee Williams a couple of decades down the line. Instead she chose to poke fun at prudish shibboleths as a kind of precursor to the “Carry On” era of adolescent locker room repartee. Up until now, this had been the sole preserve of men folk. Sex was originally called The Albatross. If she kept that title, it’s doubtful it would have created such seismic waves. It took a while to gather steam as it was dismissed by most reviewers as unadulterated tripe. But by the first weekend of its run there were lines three deep around the block outside the theater. So much for reviews. Many of the people in the lines were sailors.  ...
• • Source: Chapter: "West and the Rest" in "Censoring Hollywood: Sex and Violence in Film and on the Cutting Room Floor" written by Aubrey Malone; published by McFarland, 2001
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2538th 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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• • Mae West • 1940
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