The trendy term "frenemy" could describe the relationship between MAE WEST and the Linder brothers, Mark and Jack. The friction was frazzling nerves backstage at the Royale Theatre back when Mae first realized she had struck gold with "Diamond Lil."
• • The Bowery battles between Mae West and Mark and Jack Linder began early in 1928 and continued to rise in volume, intent, and dollar signs. As the Broadway box office bonanza barreled through 1928, Mae scooped up a larger stake in the show, buying out shares owned by Tommy and Texas Guinan. Eventually, she was Diamond Lil's principal stockholder and calling the shots. Mae was emotionally invested in the play's main character, too, identifying with the lusty lore surrounding the original Diamond Lil, a remorseless heart-breaker who loved diamonds so much she may have had a sparkler set in her front teeth.
• • By July 1928, on the grounds that the showtune cost too much, Mae scrapped the theme song "Diamond Lil," which had been written by a Linder ally named Robert Sterling.
• • Then in front of a reporter for Variety, Mae had a shout-fest with the Linder brothers.
• • On Friday, 3 September 1937 in Film Daily • •
• • On Friday, 3 September 1937, the West Coast Bureau of The Film Daily printed this item:
• • Hollywood — Jack Linder, formerly New York stage producer and one of the leading vaudeville bookers there, has entered the motion picture agency field here at 8741 Sunset Boulevard. Linder has produced such shows as Mae West in "Diamond Lil," "The Squealer," "Cortez," "The Honor Code" and others. Jack Linder also plans to produce legitimate shows on the Coast in the fall.
• • Though Jack Linder was still trumpeting his association with the Paramount star, just four months later, Mae West was back in court with his contentious brother Mark.
• • Filing the story from Los Angeles on Thursday, 20 January 1938, a West Coast correspondent wrote: Miss Mae West, the film actress, and Paramount Pictures have been sued for 1,000,000 dollars (£A200,000) by Mr. Mark Linder, an author, who has charged them with fraud in connection with the story of the film "She Done Him Wrong," which, he alleges, was written by him. Mr. Linder claims that he was induced to sell his interest in the story for 25,000 dollars (£A5,000), while Paramount Pictures made 4,000,000 dollars (£A800,000) and Miss West earned 330,000 dollars (£A67,800).
• • Mark Linder lost the case. Tsk! There went brother Jack's producing funds, no doubt.
• • On Wednesday, 3 September 1930 in Variety • •
• • According to Variety, the Wall Street crash clobbered the box office. When "Sex" starring Mae West enjoyed a ten-week engagement at the Garrick Theatre in Chicago, Variety noted that The Windy City had only three other plays in production during that interval. Variety's issue dated for Wednesday, 3 September 1930 noted that a dozen legitimate Chicago playhouses had gone dark. It was a lucky break for Mae, all the same.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West's appeal, via a trailer made in Hollywood, for support of the Cinema Benevolent Fund, was a sensation in this town.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Well, they were wonderful there, in London . . . England. But the men were a little reserved . . . and I'm not."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Film Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • Mae West, ill at home, spoke to visitors over the telephone, her voice amplified by loud speakers.
• • Source: Item in Film Daily; published on Thursday, 29 October 1931
• • 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 2996th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1937 • •
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