"Here, then, is a MAE WEST picture tailored for her by one of the best brains in show business, and setting her in a completely new locale . . . small town America," announced Film Daily in 1936.
• • For once, Mae did not originate a script for one of her starring roles. Let's find out more about the successful stage play, "Personal Appearance," a satire about Hollywood. This hit opened on Broadway on Wednesday, 17 October 1934 and ran until December 1935.
• • "Personal Appearance" • •
• • Starring Mae West, with Lynne Overman, Elizabeth Patterson. "Personal Appearance" is more than just another Mae West picture.
• • Produced by Brock Pemberton [14 December 1885 — 11 March 1950] and written by Lawrence Riley [1 November 1896 — 29 November 1974].
• • Since Brock Pemberton, one of the country's leading playwrights (sic), fashioned "Personal Appearance" for Broadway production two years ago, this play has established itself as one of the all-time box office wonder-workers. This story of the Hollywood actress Mavis Arden, who turns a small Pennsylvania town upside down, played New York for more than a year, and other companies enjoyed triumphal runs in all the key cities.
• • Here, then, is a Mae West picture tailored for her by one of the best brains in show business, and setting her in a completely new locale . . . small town America. So, take your "Klondike Annie" figures and start multiplying. An Emanuel Cohen Production.
• • Source: Article in Film Daily; published on Thursday, 16 July 1936
• • On Saturday, 17 October 1931 • •
• • Since Mae West's drama "The Constant Sinner" was set in and around West 125th Street, the Pittsburgh Courier (a black weekly newspaper) was keeping tabs on this production. Reporter Floyd G. Snelson, Jr. signaled his appreciation. On Saturday, 17 October 1931, Snelson told his readers: "Mae West Employs 30 Race Artists In Her Latest Production." Praising Mae's plans to bring a bi-racial cast with her to D.C., he pronounced the project "the cleverest piece of artistry to be expected from a woman of the Caucasian race."
• • On Tuesday, 17 October 1933 in Variety • •
• • A review of the latest Mae West motion picture was published by Variety in their issue dated for Tuesday, 17 October 1933. Movie critic Land wrote: "I'm No Angel" is going to help redistribute a nice chunk of the nation's coin. That the Mae West film is going to make tubs of coin was crystal-clear opening day at the Paramount. Ushers were riding herd on a permanent corral of waitees in the lobby. As to quality, "I'm No Angel" can stand alone, although without "She Done Him Wrong" as a benediction and a million bucks worth of assorted publicity, high-brow and hoi pollil, the gross probably wouldn't reach the big brackets now looming. ...
• • In the same issue, Variety ran an item on page 8: "'Angel' B'klyn's Big Noise, Rousing $50,000." Mae's hometown's ticket-buyers turned out for Tira.
• • On Thursday, 17 October 1968 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • Mae West had plans for a cinema version of the stage play "Sextet" back in 1968.
• • Writing for The New York Times, Motion Picture Editor A.H. Weiler announced on Thursday, 17 October 1968: Mae West, who has not appeared in movies for a quarter of a century, will return to the screen early next year in a film version of her play — — "Sextet" — — in which she starred in Florida in 1961.
• • On Friday, 17 October 2008 in NYC • •
• • A Staged Reading of "Courting Mae West" was held on Friday, 17 October 2008 starting at 5:45 PM on West 43rd Street and Broadway. Yvonne Sayers played the title role. Were you there?
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • "Go West, Young Man" is from the stage comedy hit, "Personal Appearance" [by Lawrence Riley]. Mae West, in her own way, is excellent in the role Gladys George created on the stage.
• • George was not hindered by the limitations of screen censorship, hence the play’s sock tag isn’t half as punchy in the film, nor are other lines or situations up to the same potency.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Nearly all my work is based on true facts."
• • Mae West said: "I will not sign until I see the script."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The New York Times mentioned Mae West.
• • J.T.M. wrote: The suasively undulating Mae West is back on the Paramount screen with a new and engagingly robustious exposition of her theory that "a thrill a day keeps the chill away." This time the medium is that eminently successful Broadway spoof of a Hollywood glamour girl, "Personal Appearance," which Miss West has wrought, with slight alterations, into something she modestly has caused to be titled, "Go West, Young Man."
• • J.T.M. wrote: Generally speaking, "Personal Appearance" has lost little in Miss West's edition. The mobility of the camera permits the screen audience a glimpse or so of the susceptible screen idol, Mavis Arden, actually engaged in one of her saccharine personal appearances. It also brings into being, in the person of Lyle Talbot, the unseen telephone lover of the play. . . .
• • Source: Review for The N.Y. Times; published on Thursday, 19 November 1936
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •
• • Thank
you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this
past decade. The other day we entertained 1,223 visitors.
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3028th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1936 • •
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