Friday, August 08, 2014

Mae West: Softened Up

In early August of 1970, MAE WEST did a long interview with a newsman from Associated Press.  This is the final installment of that fascinating article.
• • "Mae West, Nearing Her 77th Birthday, Has Her First Film Role In 27 Years" • •
• • The film ("Myra Breckinridge") itself, about a sex change, is barred to 17-year-olds and younger due to its X rating.   ...
• • That fits the Mae West career, which is studded with censorship hassles. Adolph Zukor, film pioneer and former head of the Paramount studios which produced most of Miss West's films, once said at least one state and many communities opposed a part of every film she made for the company.
• • Mae has an answer for that. "Paramount Pictures was losing its studio in 1933, when I made 'She Done Him Wrong.' It saved them. They called me 'The Life Saver.' That's why the RAP named their life-jackets after me," she smiled.
• • When she wrote her first play, "Sex," in 1927 — — with the encouragement of her mother — — it was raided and she was sentenced to 10 days in jail. One of the TV networks once refused to show a "Person to Person" interview with her, filmed at her California house. It showed, among other famous West home furnishings, the mirrors over her bed. "I like to see how I'm doin'!" — — a nude statue of her and a nude painting In which her face Is turned away. "It was done when I wasn't too tiny."
• • She is quick to note that she never used a dirty word and there was never any nudity in her movies. "Nudity isn't sex appeal," she says. Miss West apparently is planning to go a little farther — — in some directions, at least — — in her next project. She is returning to the "Diamond Lil" which first made her famous. She wrote the original, played it on stage and used it as the basis for her first starring film, "She Done Him Wrong."
• • Mae said: "They softened up everything ..." • •
• • In the original production, she recalls, "They wouldn't let me murder a woman. Now they'll let me murder her. There was white slavery; they soft-pedaled that. And drugs. They softened up everything. Now we can really do it as I wrote it." She also has plans to film "Sextet," from a play she wrote about a movie star with six husbands. "Rather than do something that isn't right, I'll do what my fans want of me."
• • And, though the times may change and the world my fall apart about them, Mae West wants the old Mae West, as she was, as she is. There's a line in "I'm No Angel" in which one of her spurned lovers says, "I'll never forget you." And the never-modest Mae answers: "No one ever does."
• • Source: Article rpt in The Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland); published on Monday, 3 August 1970.
• • On Friday, 8 August 1913 in Variety • •
• • Mae West was trying her best at Hammerstein's Victoria in early August 1913.  Though most of the reporters ignored the 19-year-old's attempts to woo the crowd and did not even mention her name in their reviews, at least Daily Variety's columnist Joshua Lowe [whose critique was published on Friday, 8 August 1913] noticed how hard she was working. "Mae West sang loud enough to be distinctly heard in the rear," wrote Joshua Lowe.
• • August 1956 in Hush-Hush Magazine • •
• • Hush-Hush Magazine (Vol. 2, No. 8, August 1956 issue) contained the article "Show Biz Buzzer: Mae West versus Marilyn Monroe."
• • Save the Date: Wednesday, August 13th • •
• • Wednesday, 13 August 2014 will be the next Mae West Tribute in Manhattan and the event will start at 6:30 pm at 425 Sixth Avenue. The theme will be: "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill."   
• • Details: August 13th event
• • The New Yorker announced it to their readers in the "Above and Beyond" section:
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • It's great to see Mae West performing her own dialogue in "She Done Him Wrong" (1933).
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  ""I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it."     
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in a journal mentioned Mae West.
• • Amanda Card wrote: This offered a sobering interruption to my viewing pleasure and sent me (careering) across to the other wall to encounter the words of Mae West: ‘The curve is mightier than the sword.’ This framing quote, one of many, introduced Australian photographer Gervaise Purcell’s images of attractive young women, their confident air encouraging other, more ordinary souls to buy one or two piece swimsuits by the likes of Jantzen and Speedo from the racks of 1950s department stores.  ...
• • Source: "Cossies and Togs" written by Amanda Card; published in Australia in 2010
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending 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 2975th 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 event on August 13th

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