Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mae West: George Arliss

MAE WEST, who used to enjoy going to the famous hotspot Cocoanut Grove, lights up the animated film feature "Coo-Coo Nut Grove" [1936] directed by Friz Freleng.
• • The playful storyline escorted a viewer through an amusing visit to a Hollywood night club, featuring caricatures of (among others): Mae West, Walter Winchell, Hugh Herbert, W.C. Fields, Katharine Hepburn, Johnny Weissmuller, Harpo Marx, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Clark Gable, Groucho Marx, Edward G. Robinson, George Arliss, etc.
• • The 60-minute cartoon feature was first aired on 28 November 1936.  The cartoon was supervised (directed) by Friz Freleng, with animation done by Robert McKimson and Sandy Walker and the buoyant musical score by Carl Stalling.
• • George Arliss [10 April 1868 — 5 February 1946] • •
• • Born in London, England on 10 April 1868, George Augustus Andrews embraced the dramatic arts and launched his theatrical odyssey in 1887 in the British provinces. Thirteen years later, Arliss was playing London's West End in supporting roles.
• • In 1901, he left for the USA as a member of Mrs. Patrick Campbell's troupe. By 1908, he was a star and he remained in America for two decades taking the leading roles in revivals of Shakespearean classics, Ibsen's dramas, and new plays by Ferenc Moln├ír and Booth Tarkington. 
• • George Arliss was the first British actor to win an Academy Award. He was also the first actor to win an Oscar for portraying a real person — — that is, British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli in "Disraeli" [1929], his most famous role. Since the animators sketched a cartoon version of Arliss costumed as Disraeli for "Coo-Coo Nut Grove," he is easy to pick out.
• • From 1921 — 1937, Arliss was seen in 25 motion pictures, often playing historical figures such as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Duke of Wellington, Cardinal Richelieu, Voltaire, etc.
• • During a court appearance, George Arliss described himself as the world's greatest living actor. He explained to the judge, "You see, I am on oath."
• • George Arliss contracted a bronchial ailment. He died in London on Tuesday, 5 February 1946. He was 77.
• • On Saturday, 24 February 1912 at the Winter Garden • •
• • Ambitious, bold, and 18 years old, Mae West, unfortunately, got on the wrong side of Gaby Deslys by trying to upstage her. Uh-oh! The 30-year-old diva got the teenage upstart fired before opening night in Manhattan..
• • "Vera Violetta" opened on 20 November 1911 at the Winter Garden Theatre.
• • Offered in repertory with "Undine," the musical remained on Broadway through the Christmas holidays, closing on the last weekend in February on 24 February 1912.
• • On Saturday, 24 February 1934 in Calgary Daily Herald • •
• • The legal battles Mae West fought made headlines all over.
• • After facing down the thug who robbed her in Hollywood on 18 September 1932 in a courtroom, Mae was shocked and horrified to learn that stick-up-artist Harry Voiler [1891 — 1974] was released on bail in Miami during February 1934.
• • There was indignation in the interviews she gave. Mae told the news media: "It's time someone in Hollywood — — speaking very frankly — — showed what is known as intestinal fortitude. They threaten us in the picture colony under penalty of having acid thrown in our face. And they don't stop at acid threats either. They threaten to kill. It's time someone called their hand. And if it has to be me, I'll do it."
• • Mae's quotes appeared in an article printed in the Calgary Daily Herald on Saturday, 24 February 1934.
• • On Saturday, 24 February 1945 • •
• • Archives of the National Theatre in D.C. mention Mae West performed there.
• • From Monday, 19 February 1945 through Saturday, 24 February 1945 "Catherine Was Great" was onstage there. This comedy by and starring Mae West had billed the star in their Program as "Diamond Lil of all Russia.” Mae brought "Come On Up" to this venue on 23 September 1946 for a week-long engagement.
• • On Thursday, 24 February 2011 in Canada • •
• • In British Columbia, Canada, Kitimat Public Library showed the Mae West classic feature "My Little Chickadee" [1940] on their wide 10-foot screen on Thursday, 24 February 2011.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "You can see for yourself, a girl's just as old as she feels."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about the guilty verdict in the "Sex" trial concerned Mae West
• • The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote: A jury in general sessions court [in New York city] this afternoon found guilty the twenty-two individuals and one corporation charged with presenting in the play "Sex," a production tending to corrupt the morals of youth. The law provides not less than ten days nor more than a year in jail, or not less than $50 nor more than $1000 fine, or both as punishment for each of them. ...
• • Source: News Item, Cleveland Plain Dealer; published on Wednesday, 6 April 1927
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2587th 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 1936
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