Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Mae West: Stir-Fried Facts

Whipping up the creamiest parts of her own legend occupied MAE WEST from the start.  She was her best press agent. Only dedicated Mae-mavens will be able to separate fact from fancy but do we care? Here is how she presented herself to  Harry Lee and Winfield Meggs for the "Side Glances" feature.
• • Let's continue with another fascinating installment of Mae West in "Roads of Romance," so  charmingly illustrated and written by Harry Lee and Winfield Meggs in 1934. (The pen and ink drawings were so striking that they made this week-long series even more extraordinary.)
• • Harry Lee and Winfield Meggs wrote:  In the spring of 1932 Miss Mae West went to Hollywood to try her luck. If it had expected to be as welcome as the flowers In May, she was soon disillusioned. Society and studio both gave her the glassy stare. She at last was given a small part in "Night after Night," which rated her fourth place In the billing. She didn't like her lines, raised a ruckus, got permission to write her own dialogue, appeared in the picture, and, yes, stole the show. Fans everywhere raved. The producers recognized her as a comer.
• • Her ideas about story and movie-making were realized, and she was given the chance to star in a play of her own creating! Mae made over "Diamond Lil" for the talkies and renamed it "She Done Him Wrong." The result is history. Not to have seen Mae West onscreen makes one outmoded. Her language has become part of the language. . . . 
• • She has already written four plays, three novels, lyrics for forty songs, and is preparing a humorous book to be named "How to Misbehave." She halted working on this book in order to to do her next Paramount picture, "I'm No Angel."
• • Miss West lives in Hollywood with her brother Jack. She is seen at prize fights several times a week with him and her manager, Frank Timoney. The doings of the other stars do not interest her particularly.
• • Many Important people have had important things to say about Mae West.
• • "Will Rogers and D.W. Griffith on Mae West" • •
• • Will Rogers says that she is the most interesting woman in Hollywood, that she apparently came there to teach the other girls how to read their lines and that he has a hunch that Greta Garbo hurried back from Sweden to prevent Mae from stealing her laurels. D. W. Griffith calls her one of the ten most remarkable persons in America. Old Man Depression claims she done him wrong!  She may be no angel, as she says, but she sure is swell company. She says another picture idea is buzzing around In her bonnet. Mae, we're waiting!  . . .
• • Source: Article:  "Mae West in Roads of Romance" by Harry Lee and Winfield Meggs, Side Glances columnists and illustrators for The Winnipeg Evening Tribune; published on Saturday, 2 June 1934.
• • On Friday, 3 June 1911 in The Clipper • •
• • The New York Clipper (a.k.a. The Clipper) was a weekly entertainment newspaper published in New York City from 1853 to 1924.  It reviewed many forms of artistic endeavor from the circus to vaudeville to the legit. Two items in The Clipper, on 3 June 1911 and on 2 September 1911, covered "A Florida Enchantment." This touring show featured "a little French adventuress" played by Mae West and "young Goldberg" played by Frank Wallace, who became her husband in April 1911. The Clipper applauded their "coon shouting."  Mae sang a number "Tiger Love," backed by a burlesque chorus and also delighted the reviewer when she made "several changes down to full tights with good effect."  Woo-woo..
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • A liberal sample of the kind of men Mae West has selected for her new Paramount film, "Goin' to Town," which shows for the last day Monday at the Capitol Theatre, Brownsville, Texas, can be seen in this picture. Paul Cavanaugh, Ivan Lebedeff, and Tito Coral head the supporting cast.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Can't you be thinking on your speech while you're doing that?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Singapore publication discussed Mae West.
• • "Mae West as Salvationist Missie" • •
• • "Mae West Slumps and Misses Badly" • •
• • The London correspondent of The Straits Times wrote:  Mae isn't naughty any more. She is just dull, and that is the unforgivable sin for anyone with her curves, voice, and eyes. ...
• • Source: Article on Film Stars for The Straits Times; published on Wednesday, 3 June 1936
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2927th 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 in 1932

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