Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mae West: NO to Jerry Wald

A MAE WEST movie was on the screen for her Singapore fans to enjoy in mid-April 1934.
• • The Capitol Theatre was showing the film "Catherine the Great" starring Elizabeth Bergner and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Then "I'm No Angel" was scheduled to begin its run on Tuesday, 17 April 1934.
• • Years later, Mae West would portray the Russian empress on Broadway using her own script.
• • Source: The Straits Times; published on Sunday, 15 April 1934.
• • On Friday, 15 April 1927 • •
• • Taking advantage of the legal woes of his sister-in-law Mae West and the scene his wife made at the Arcade Hotel, Beverly's Russian husband Sergei Treshatny obtained a divorce on Friday, 15 April 1927.  Well, somebody had a nice weekend, eh?
• • The play "Courting Mae West" dramatizes aspects of Beverly's relationship with Sergei, her divorce, and her hot — cold bond with her older sister Mae.
• • On Tuesday, 15 April 2003 • •
• • On Tuesday, 15 April 2003, a paperback edition was published of this popular biography: "Mae West: An Icon in Black and White" by Jill Watts. This is a must-have title for any Mae maven.
• • Mae West Movie Trivia • •
• • An intriguing newspaper article printed in 1950, illustrated with the photos of Mae West and Jane ["The Outlaw"] Russell, explained that Mae West would co-star in a new motion picture and play the mother of Jane Russell's character.
• • Mae West and Jane Russell will team together in "Mother Knows Best," RKO Studio announced today. Mae West will portray "Mother."
• • A fascinating premise indeed from RKO — — and too bad the picture wasn't made. Jane Russell [1921 2011] was 29 years old in 1950 and Mae was in her mid-50s.

• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West is still saying "NO" to the Jerry Wald-Norman Krasna call to co-star with Jane Russell in "Mother Knows Best" and now the boys are thinking about Marlene Dietrich.
• • "Mother Knows Best" is the story of two sisters who fleece unsuspecting males by posing as mother and daughter. Sighs Jerry Wald [16 September 1911 — 13 July 1962] on his failure to lasso Mae: "I talked with her over long distance last night. I don't know why she objects to the part. The story establishes that she's not really Jane's mother, but her sister. Mae's a wonderful business woman. I can't understand it."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "And as for me, I never trust men anyway."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The newspapers in Queensland, Australia discussed Mae West.
• • Review: "Diamond Lil" • •
• • "Our English Letter" columnist wrote this:  London dramatic critics have not been impressed by Miss Mae West's London debut In her own play 'Diamond Lil.'  This melange of crooks, white slavers, gamblers, and speak-easy frequenters has run for years in America, but had mixed receptions when tried out before coming to the Prince of Wales Theatre in London, at Manchester, and Glasgow.  
• • "Mae did well with two characteristic songs in the second act ..." • •
• • "Our English Letter" columnist continued:  While the Mancunians remained rather frigid, the Glaswegians were almost cordial. A first-night West End audience was, however, extremely friendly. Yet one doubts whether it will have a big London success.  Miss Mae West, too, gorgeously gowned and with a coiffure shimmering with diamonds, did well with two characteristic songs in the second act — — but somehow, to London eyes, looks to-day slightly demode. She brings voluptuous curves of a Rubens genre into an austerely streamlined epoch. Her Bowery cracks lack the 1948 sophistication.  . . .
• • Source:  "Our English Letter" column (unsigned) in Townsville Daily Bulletin (Queensland, Australia); published on Wednesday, 11 February 1948 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2892nd 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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• • Photo:
• • Mae West touring the UK in 1948

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