Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mae West: Tight-Whipped Morality

MAE WEST's Australian fans noticed the heavy hand of the Hays Office weighing down her latest romantic comedy, "Belle of the Nineties." Several paragraphs in the article printed in The Sydney Morning Herald examined the differences between free-wheeling attitudes in "I'm No Angel" [1933] as compared with the tight-whipped morality in the motion picture released one year later.
• • Summing it up, The Sydney Morning Herald's critic explained: Even though Miss West's reformation has taken away that piquant acidity which made her earlier work so vivid, she remains an extraordinarily picturesque figure. Her costumes and the dressing of her light hair make a gay extravaganza on the styles of 40 years ago, flamboyant enough in themselves without the aid of exaggeration. The success of her style depends on under-statement in the inflections of the spoken word. Sometimes she depresses the quelt casualness of speech to such a pianissimo that it barely registers; but the Mae West followers are now so numerous and so undaunted that they will probably fill in with their own imaginations the points in the dialogue which pass over their collective heads. There is more plot in "Belle of the Nineties" than in the earlier Mae West creations. Towards the end, the superb sang-froid which the Belle brings to bear on a tangled situation, which involves robbery, swindling of creditors, incendiarism, and murder, is deliciously grotesque. The copious period furnishings, complete to the last antimacassar, add to the genial spirit of the play. Released by Paramount, "Belle of the Nineties," is being screened at the Prince Edward Theatre.
• • Source: Review in The Sydney Morning Herald; published on Monday, 28 January 1935.
• • On Thursday, 28 January 1937 in Maryland • •
• • "At the Tivoli today and tomorrow!" announced the paid notice in the Frederick News-Post, covering the arts and entertainment scene for Frederick, Maryland. "Mae West in Paramount's 'Go West Young Man' with Warren William, Randolph Scott, Alice Brady." This bold-faced stand-alone ad stood out in the Frederick News-Post on Thursday, 28 January 1937.
• • On Friday, 28 January 1938 • •
• • "Radio Officials, 'No Gentlemen,' Let Her Down, Says Mae West" was a page 3 article in The Washington Post. It was published on Friday, 28 January 1938..
• • On Friday, 28 January 1938 in The Harvard Crimson • •
• • The Moviegoer, W.B., informed his student readers with this headline: "Fred Warning and Pennsylvanians Cut Capers on Stage; Mae West Takes Lead in a Clean Picture."
• • The Moviegoer, W.B. wrote: Fred Warning and his mad, merrymaking Pennsylvanians top the bill at the Metropolitan Theatre this week with an hour of swing punctuated by the informal capers of the orchestra. On the screen Mae West plays the rather weak part of a confidence girl with an honest heart in "Every Day's A Holiday." ... [Uh-oh!]
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West's next story for Paramount will be Frank Mitchell Dazey's, "Lulu Was a Lady," which has as its background the Klondike during the gold rush days.
• • Frank Mitchell Dazey [30 April 1892 — 16 June 1970] • •
• • Mae West shared writing credit on "Klondike Annie" [1936] with several people. One participant was Frank Mitchell Dazey.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Love means one thing to one person and something else to another. It's a more or less powerful emotion beyond ordinal human control. Try it yourself, sometime, and you'll get what I mean."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Canada's Winnipeg Tribune mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West at the Capitol Has Old Time Pep" • •
• • The Winnipeg Tribune wrote: Buxom, curvaceous, peppy as ever, Mae West moved Into the Capitol on Thursday to present her newest picture, "Every Day's a Holiday" for a week's engagement. "Rosalie," which probably would have warranted a hold-over for another week, vacated, and Mae's wisecracks were substituted for the opulence of immense scenes and undoubted splendor. Both Mae West and her picture have their moments. The whole film has been laundered, dry cleaned, and what have you, before it passed the American arbiters of screen decency, consequently it is as clean as a new babe after a bath, although in many respects reminiscent of former vehicles in which Mae made her first big hits. Mae is her old self despite the cleansing process.  ...
• • Source: The Winnipeg Tribune (page 4); published on Friday, 28 January 1938 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2841st 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 in 1934

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