Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Mae West: Sinister Cabaret

MAE WEST dominated the headlines in Australia on January 6th. Let's go back to the Bowery.
• • "A Bowery Film — — Passion and Colorful Life" • •
• • "Mae West's Big Part" • •
• • Mae West, popular Broadway favourite, makes her first starring screen appearance in "She Done Him Wrong," screening on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Miss West, who wrote both the story and the dialogue, gives her role a brilliant and vivid treatment and puts over her lines with a crackling spontaneity that speaks well for her own ability. And her torrid rendition of the favourite old rag-time ballad "Frankie and Johnnie" is very striking. Miss West also sings "Haven't Got No Peace of Mind," which was written specially for her.
• • Quite as effective as the brilliant portrayal of Miss West is the plot which twists and turns in any number of surprising ways, yet which succeeds in keeping perfectly logical. Miss West as Lady Lou, entertainer in a sinister cabaret in the heart of New York's colourful Bowery district, is the love interest of every man who visits the cabaret. Her passion is diamonds and her current provider, as the film opens, is Noah Beery, proprietor of the cabaret and leader of a ring of counterfeiters. However, he has plenty of competition in David Landau, powerful political boss, and Gilbert Roland, handsome Russian counterfeiter.  But Lou has eyes only for Cary Grant, a crusading missionary worker.
• • Source: Film Review on page 2 in the Geraldton Guardian and Express; published on Saturday, 6 January 1934.
• • On Sunday, 6 January 1935 • •
• • On Sunday, 6 January 1935, one day after her father had died, an interview with Mae West ran in the Sunday Dispatch. The title was "I'm an angel really — Mae West tells for the first time just what she is really like."
• • On Saturday, 6 January 1940 • •
• • Blytheville, Arkansas was a-buzzing on Saturday, 6 January 1940 when the Courier News was delivered. On page 3 was a tsk-tsk tut-tut piece about Mae West, then shooting with W.C. Fields in Hollywood.
• • The article scolded the screen siren because she had been "ruling the roost" during shooting of "My Little Chickadee," making script changes and criticizing the action. Supposedly, the director protested that he had reached the limit of his patience when Mae demanded that her leading man, actor Joseph Calleia, dye his hair before their romantic scenes.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Carrying the byline of Cary Grant, the three articles were entitled “Making Love to Mae West” and these appeared in Britain's Picturegoer (10 and 30 December 1933; 6 January 1934).
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I had in mind several stories as possibilities, and between shows I secluded myself at my hotel or in my dressing room and did some real work."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A book on mining mentioned Mae West.
• • John Hamilton wrote: Higgins recalled Sing asking, "What the hell will I call it?" . . .
• • John Hamilton added: "There's a new star, shining in the USA — — Mae West." So Billy and 2 mates went to the warden's office to register his last mine, the Mae West.  It is still there today, . . .
• • Source: Information in the book "Gallipoli Sniper" written by John Hamilton; published on Saturday, 1 November 2008 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. Yesterday we entertained 1,430 visitors. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3086th 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 1933

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