Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Mae West: On Your Dial

MAE WEST will be in your living room tomorrow night.
• • Giving all Mae-mavens a heads up, Newsday columnist Diane Werts wrote: Lots of treats this week on Turner Classic Movies. Racy lady of the 1930s Mae West does her thing Thursday night in "I'm No Angel" (8:00 p.m.), "She Done Him Wrong" with Cary Grant (9:45 p.m.), "Belle of the Nineties" (11:15 p.m.), and W.C. Fields co-starrer "My Little Chickadee" (12:45 a.m.).
• • Thank you, Diane Werts of Newsday!
• • On Wednesday, 13 August 2014 • •
• • Here in New York City, the next annual birthday tribute will be on August 13th and all the exciting details will soon be posted.
• • If you are hosting a Mae West event, let us know. We will announce it.
• • On Tuesday, 2 July 1935 • •
• • It was a long, hot summer wrestling with the Hays Office over the script for "Klondike Annie."  Mae West and Paramount got more bad news from the censors on Tuesday, 2 July 1935.
• • The Hays Office wrote: "We judge from your letter that during part of this picture, Miss West will be masquerading as an exponent of religion or a religious worker. ..."
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • It's a joy to talk to that blessed old trouper May Robson for she's as full of amusing personal anecdotes as Mae West is of curves.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I got my own individual style. You know you can always tell Eugene O'Neill — — and you can always tell Mae West."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in a men's magazine discussed Mae West, Assistant D. A. James G. Wallace, and the New York D.A. Joab Banton.
• • "When Mae West Went to Jail for ‘Sex’" • •
• • While the law found a way to lock up the symbol of sex, the law could not tarnish her brilliance. From the moment she stepped into the Welfare Island workhouse, the drab structure glistened with her personality. The blue cotton uniform which made boards, boxes and bags of the other women, seemed to be transformed into a sheer negligee on Mae. Her bare gray cell took on the aura of a royal boudoir. She asked no favors, no special treatment, and performed the menial tasks without complaint.
• • She distributed the gifts sent to her among the other less fortunate prisoners. An expert on matters of the heart, she gave advice to the lovelorn and bolstered their sinking spirits with hope. The only rancor she expressed was against Wallace and District Attorney Joab Banton, whom she denounced in strong terms.
• • “Jail life is not bad after all,” said Mae • •
• • “Jail life is not bad after all,” she confided. “It may be the making of me.  They say I’m a terrible woman, but I’m not really. I never drink or smoke.”
• • After serving her sentence she presented Warden Harry Schleth with $1,000 to buy books for the jail library. The warden, though obviously appreciative of the gift, commented flatly that he would exercise “liberal” censorship over the choice of books.   . . .
• • Source: Article: "When Mae West Went to Jail for ‘Sex’" written for Popular Mechanics;  published in the issue dated for November 1959 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending us questions, and posting comments during this past decade.

• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2948th 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:

Source: to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West in 1932

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  1. I was surprised that Robert Osborne didn't introduce the Mae West films last evening, as he played a key role in an A&E Mae West documentary filmed in 1993. He was more animated and less wooden back then, and Ben Mankiewicz not only provided interesting and accurate facts about West and production notes, he actually got the true essence of who and what Mae West was really all about.

    The five films TCM aired were pristine copies, and along with "Myra Breckinridge" and "Sextette" which have been presented before, it would be fantastic if "Night After Night," "Goin' To Town," "Klondike Annie," "Go West, Young Man," and "Every Day's a Holiday," could be aired at some point.

    Although the Hollywood Production Code that came into effect in 1933 severely clamped down on Mae West's sexually charged film personna and dialogue, there still remains a lot of fun to be had watching these films. During her Vaudeville and Broadway careers, Mae West performed song and comedic skits , and all of her films except "Night After Night" feature lavish musical music productions.

    Sadly the musical number referred to as "Lure" featuring a "sinsational" costume designed by Walker Plunkett was cut from film censors in the 1943 "The Heat's On." Sporting headers featuring a coiled snake and talon like fingernails, one can only imagine the evils censors thought they were protecting the public from. Sadly this excised footage has been lost to time. Fortunately several stills of West's amazing costume exist.

  2. Once you have seen the stage play "DIAMOND LIL," then and only then can you realize what an anemic film version Paramount Pictures reduced Mae's original sexy drama to for the 66 mins of "She Done Him Wrong."
    When we offered "DIAMOND LIL" in NYC in 2013, the announcements said "all of the sex and none of the censorship."
    The stage play is 200% superior to the movie. Yet that's the footage that TV-watchers will see on the screen.
    Tsk tsk.