Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Mae West: Loves Hats

MAE WEST, and her long-awaited return to the screen, spurred a number of news stories such as this exclusive published in Ottawa, Canada in 1977.
• • "Mae West — She still more than measures up" • •
• • Written by George Anthony — Special to The Ottawa Journal • •
• • Edith Head said, "I've created 12 new gowns for Mae, as well as a few pantsuits one in black velvet, one in white satin. She was wearing pantsuits long before anyone else too. But the director (Kenneth Hughes) wasn't crazy about her in pantsuits, so I don't know if you'll get to see them on her."
• • "Mae loves hats!" • •
• • She also designed half a dozen hats for her. "Hats!" Head exclaimed gleefully. "Remember hats? I can tell you Mae remembers them. She loves them, not only because she wears them so well but because they're such great props for her. Can't you just see her, primping in front of the mirror?"
• • One day on the set the director asked Mae to change her dress. It wasn't exactly what he wanted for one particular scene. So she said fine, okay, and she was about to go to her dressing room when he suggested that she change into a certain gown that she had worn earlier in the picture. She looked him straight in the eye and said, "I'm Mae West, I can't wear the same clothes twice." And she didn't. She did the scene in another brand new gown. "If you took Mae West clothes and hung them up on hangers, you'd know they were Mae West clothes. And she knows how to wear 'em. At any age, no one can do what she does with clothes."
• • In "Sextette" Mae plays a Hollywood superstar — — move over, Barbra and Liza — — who marries an English lord and has her six former husbands turn up at the wedding. And despite gloomy box-office predictions from Hollywood crepe-hangers, West herself has no doubts that she has written and starred in a hit. "All my pictures have made big money," she says matter-of-factly, a bit surprised that the question could even come up. "I wouldn't do it if it weren't right for me."
• • This excerpt concludes this 3-part interview with Edith Head by reporter George Anthony. To read the first excerpt, start here: http://maewest.blogspot.com/2014/08/mae-west-promised-threatened.html
• • Source: Interview in Ottawa Journal (Ottawa, Canada); published on Tuesday, 30 August  1977.
• • On Monday, 2 September 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-woo.
• • On Tuesday, 2 September 1969 • •
• • Stanley Musgrove spoke to Mae West often as she prepared for "Myra Breckinridge" and fretted about working with Michael Sarne and a much younger actress.  Musgrove's diary entries on Tuesday, 2 September 1969 reveal a different side of Mae than most of her fans knew.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • We tossed a kiss to that GREAT show-woman Mae West now shooting "It Ain't No Sin." Noontime eating in Paramount Studio Cafe with Al Kaufman.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "There wasn't anyone to play to. ... It was the first time I'd opened without my Mother."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Film Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • "Offer Ten Grand to Mae" • •
• • Chicago — Mae West has received an offer to appear at a World's Fair spot at $10,000 a week. Balaban and Katz also are trying to make a deal for her to appear at one of their Loop houses this summer and it is possible arrangements may be made for her to play the theater and double at the Fair.
• • Source: Item in Film Daily; published on Saturday, 23 June 1934 
• • 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 2995th 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 1934

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  1. That was a fascinating two days worth of quotes from "The Ottawa Journal" regarding Mae West's participation in her last role, "Sextette." I lived in Ottawa at this time, but as I was a paperboy delivering the rival paper, "The Ottawa Citizen," I wouldn't have seen this article at the time of its original publication. What fun to be reading it now, after all these years!

  2. • • Thank you. This long article, posted in three separate parts, began on Friday, August 29th.