Here in New York City, you can enjoy this celluloid creampuff during the month of May — — "From MAE WEST to Punk: The Bowery on Film" at Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Avenue).
• • Save the date! On Friday, 16 May 2014 at 9:15pm, join us for an hour of hijinks with Mae West on the Bowery in her Naughty Nineties classic "She Done Him Wrong" — — co-starring Cary Grant as the man who will handcuff her at the end and promise to be "her jailer" for life. Swoon.
• • Further details on this rollicking series will be posted shortly.
• • From Suicide Hall to the Hoosegow • •
• • Well, the 1890s Bowery may have been a-blaze with lights, attracting one and all. But what were Mae's thoughts as she locked eyes with a prison matron in that cold Greenwich Village prison in 1927?
• • The play "Courting Mae West" dramatizes the events of her night in Jefferson Jail. Convinced that Jim Timony will be able to get her released on bail, Mae is shocked to learn he's powerless. Meanwhile, as the Broadway star waits to be fingerprinted, a deranged inmate, Bowery Lil, curses Mae and hurls insults. A patrolman uses his nightstick to persuade Bowery Lil to curtail her threats to slit Mae's throat. When Jim Timony does return, to escort Mae to the lock-up, he tells her he bribed a guard to get a few privileges — — such as a larger cell.
• • "That one? Sure it's spacious," Mae tells Jim, "if you've been cremated!"
• • Newspapers announced Mae would be using her time behind bars to write a new play. Let's look at that front page coverage from 1927.
• • "Mae West Now Wielding Mop While in Jail" • •
• • Stage actress draws 10 days for Appearing in Alleged Obscene Play • •
• • New York, April 19 (AP) — — Mae West, who starred in the play "Sex" for 270 nights on the Great White Way, tonight sat in a cell in Jefferson Market Prison and contemplated a nine-day stay in the workhouse on Welfare Island, serving with a mop or in the workhouse laundry while she gathers material for a play.
• • At 4 o'clock this afternoon, Miss West with her co-producer, Clarence W. Morganstern, and James A. Timony, co-author [sic], had completed the first day of a 10-day sentence, imposed this morning for staging an obscene production.
• • May Write a Play • •
• • The actress was detained in Jefferson Market Prison, pending a transfer to Welfare Island's workhouse. Before being fingerprinted this morning, she said she would probably write a play based on her workhouse experiences but (continued on page 2) supposed "it will have to be ok'd by the learned district attorney before I can put it on."
• • Morganstern and Timony are to serve their sentences in the Tombs prison. . . .
• • Source: Syndicated news by AP rpt in Sarasota Herald-Tribune; published on Wednesday, 20 April 1927.
• • "A night club wants her to mop the floor in prison costume" • •
• • In her hometown newspapers, Mae West's short prison sentence was being played for comedy not tragedy. The N.Y. Daily News reported on Saturday, 23 April 1927 that the inmate was writing a new play in jail and had job offers waiting. "A night club wants her to mop up the floor in prison costume for a few weeks at a fat salary," ran the article.
• • On Sunday, 2 May 1982 • •
• • In the United States the bio-pic "Mae West" was shown on TV on Sunday, 2 May 1982. Actress Ann Jillian was cast in the title role. To announce this, Chicago TV Week Magazine put a beautiful photo of Mae on their cover; this issue was dated for May 2nd, too.
• • On Sunday, 2 May 1982 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • Covering the Mae West bio-pic for The N.Y. Times, John J. O'Connor wrote: If nothing else, television biographies are remarkable for their sheer variety. ... The viewer is advised at the outset that the script, written by E. Arthur Kean, is ''based on events in the life of the legendary Mae West.'' Legend, of course, doesn't necessarily have anything to do with truth. In this case, certain autobiographical facts are embellished with several of Miss West's more famous comments about life and sex (''When I'm good, I'm very good; when I'm bad, I'm better''), some of them taken out of their original performance context and delivered as passing conversation. ...
• • On 2 May 2011 in People Magazine • •
• • Mae West appeared in People Magazine in their issue dated for 2 May 2011.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • "Indianapolis Items" • •
• • Izzie Halperin, general manager of Circle, will hold Mae West's "Goin' to Town" another week.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "We women have been kept down for a long time. And I guess equality will come. That's progress."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about Hollywood personalities mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West Film Holds Over" • •
• • Ralph Wilk wrote: Mae West in "Goin' to Town" will be held for a second week at the New York Paramount. ...
• • Source: Column "A Little from 'Lots'" written by Ralph Wilk for The Film Daily; published on Thursday, 16 May 1935
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2905th blog post.
Unlike many blogs, which draw
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • "The Bowery on Film" series in 2014 • •
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