MAE WEST sat down for a long chat with Leicester Wagner. The interview, reframed in Mae's first-person sentences, was offered as a syndicated series and reprinted in newspapers across the USA during September 1934. This excerpt continues from where we left off last Friday, September 12th.
• • By Mae West (as told to Leicester Wagner) • •
• • My picture ''I'm No Angel" did three times the business of the record-setting "She Done Him Wrong" and "The Belle of the Nineties" speaks for itself. I have always — — as the diamond-saying goes — — two strikes on me. Because of the records set by my pictures, I have to top each one. Yet if I fell far below any of them, the knockers could start whispering, "We told you so!" When, in fact, a picture I might turn out that should fall below those amazing records, still would be far more popular than the average star's films.
• • But anyone at the top can expect that. It doesn't bother me. I get my satisfaction from handing others an hour of entertainment, of putting 'em out of what's bothering 'em, and in handing 'em a personally prepared motion picture.
• • "I'm never satisfied" • •
• • I believe my third picture "The Belle of the Nineties" is better than my others. Each one has to be better, so far as I'm concerned. Because I'm never satisfied. A few critics have made some point of my pictures being "Mae West pictures." Certainly they are Mae West pictures. People find a personality they like and they want to see that person. The story is of primary importance in any picture, of course. But even with a real story, the star is what the public pays to see.
• • "Charlie Chaplin's sex appeal" • •
• • Critics talk about stars being "types," or having "acts." Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and a few others can answer yes to that. And they have stayed while hundreds have fallen into oblivion Theirs is a distinct personality. They have something which bears repeating — and I, too, have a hundred sauces for my brand of caviar. Charlie Chaplin, by the way, has sex appeal. That may seem far-fetched but think it over. He has it, which Is one of the secrets of how he remains in favor. . . .
• • To be continued on Tuesday (tomorrow).
• • Source: Syndicated article rpt in Logansport Pharos-Tribune (Logansport, Indiana); published on Wednesday, 12 September 1934.
• • On Wednesday, 15 September 1937 • •
• • It was Wednesday, 15 September 1937 when newsstands in the Midwest carried this headline: "Michigan Sprint Star Plays Bit in Mae West Film." The reference was to the athlete Sam Stoller [1915 — 1985] who was born in Cincinnati. After winning the 100-yard championship, Sam Stoller announced that he intended to pursue a career as "a crooner Movie Star" and, subsequently, became known as "Singin' Sammy Stoller." Screen comedian Joe E. Brown was instrumental in getting Stoller bit parts in several 1937 motion pictures along with registration with the Screen Actors Guild. Stoller's first part was in a crowd scene at the legendary New York cafe Rector's in Mae West's "Every Day's a Holiday" when he was 22 years old.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • "Takes Two More!" • •
• • Mae West has two new leading men in her new picture — — John Mack Brown and Roger Pryor. When you witness Mae's reaction to John Mack Brown's soft Southern love-making, you'll know that "Love is the sweetest thing!"
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I pity the weak. The legitimate theatre industry is no place for the timid."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Los Angeles Times mentioned Mae West.
• • Roger Vincent reports: "This is a very important property in the sense that it is the gateway to Hollywood," said William McMorrow, chief executive of Beverly Hills real estate investment firm Kennedy Wilson, one of the two developers of the apartment complex.
• • Roger Vincent explains: Indeed, a shiny public sculpture called Hollywood La Brea Gateway stands on the southeast side of the intersection. The stainless-steel gazebo popular with picture-taking tourists is held up by statues representing actresses Mae West, Dorothy Dandridge, Anna May Wong, and Dolores del Rio. . . .
• • Source: Item in Los Angeles Times; published on Thursday, 21 August 2014
• • 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 3004th blog post.
Unlike many blogs, which draw
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1934 • •
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