Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Mae West: Bert Williams Film

MAE WEST was entranced by Bert Williams, who inspired the young vaudevillian.
• • Steven W. Thrasher wrote:  Produced by Biograph Studio in 1913 and starring Caribbean American star Bert Williams, the never-finished, never-released film (awkwardly titled "Bert Williams Lime Kiln Club Field Day") is showing in the Museum of Modern Art’s 12th annual To Save and Project festival. It is a gem of a movie which moved me to tears a couple of times, but which also slapped an irrepressible smile on my face during most of its flickering frames. The film is also significant because it is the oldest film of any kind with its “daily rushes” (multiple unedited takes) intact, allowing us to see what was happening behind the scenes, including two white co-directors and a black stage manager directing an all-black cast.
• • Steven W. Thrasher explained:  The process of bringing the film to the public has been an effort “a decade in the making,” MoMA film curator Ron Magliozzi explained in his opening remarks, after it languished for nine decades nearly unwatched. In 1939, it was among 900 negatives acquired from Biograph as part of the MoMA’s founding film collection, when curator Iris Barry was hunting, ironically, for work by racist filmmaker DW Griffith.  ...
• • Source: Article by Steven W. Thrasher for; published on Monday, 27 October 2014.
• • On Wednesday, 5 November 1930 • •
• • "A prizefighter's tart" who enjoys black men as well as Caucasians, Babe Gordon, the frisky blonde teenage protagonist, was Mae's idea of an uptown temptress, footloose, fearless, and unfettered in Harlem.
• • The novel "Babe Gordon" by Mae West was published in New York City by The Macaulay Company on Wednesday, 5 November 1930.
• • On Saturday, 5 November 1932 • •
• • On Saturday, 5 November 1932, a cable was wired to Colonel Joy.  It assured him that Zukor and Hertz promised that they will abandon "Diamond Lil" and will make an announcement to that effect tonight. [Hmmm. We know how that turned out.]
• • On Wednesday, 5 November 1969 in Ithaca • •
• • On Wednesday, 5 November 1969 Cornell University students were treated to a  screening of "My Little Chickadee" starring Mae West and W.C. Fields at 7:00 pm and again at 9:15 pm.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Hollywood — Busty Mae West challenges W.C. Fields in "My Little Chickadee" — — don't miss it.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I've spent a lot of money. I used to play the horses pretty bad. And then I owned a string of horses. I've got a lot of property, but I don't like to talk about my investments in public."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • In his diary entries, composer Ned Rorem mentioned Mae West when drunk.
• • Ned Rorem wrote:  No one, not Einstein nor Cleopatra nor Margaret Mead nor Mae West, not even Maureen Stapleton, nor Ned Rorem, is clever when drunk.
• • Source: Entry for 4 November 1971 in "The Later Diaries of Ned Rorem, 1961 — 1972" by Ned Rorem; published in 2013  
• • 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 3041st 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 her idol Bert Williams in 1913

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