Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mae West: Rex Reveals

An inside scoop about MAE WEST and her star billing in her first motion picture shot in Technicolor was printed in Out Magazine.  Yes, there are some zingers, so do read the entire article. Only a tiny excerpt is below.
• • Production on "Myra Breckinridge" concluded on Thursday, 26 February 1970.  Has it really been 45 years since Michael Sarne tackled the Gore Vidal bestseller and made it so patently absurd? Film critics said the movie "was as funny as a child molester."
• • According to Rex Reed, Mae West said this at a press conference in 1970: “I’ve never seen one of Raquel Welch’s pictures. But I think she’s a great little girl.  Of course, no real woman would play this part.”
• • "Raquel Welch vs. Mae West" • •
• • Rex Reed said: And then the first big blow was that Bette Davis and Burl Ives dropped out. But they’d be replaced by Mae West and John Huston. Well, OK. And I was at George Cukor’s house with Mae West and Greta Garbo. Raquel Welch and I would go over there, and he would coach us. She won’t admit it.
• • Way Out West • •
• • Mae West’s return to the screen was fraught with hard-nosed negotiations. She demanded and received star billing and the top salary for her supporting role — — and required the insertion of two songs for her character. And though Raquel Welch went to visit her at her apartment building prior to filming, they were never simpatico. Their costumes reflected their places in Hollywood at the time: Legendary Oscar winner Edith Head designed West’s clothes; relative newcomer Theadora Van Runkle, who changed the face of fashion with her work on "Bonnie and Clyde," designed Welch’s.
• • Rex Reed said:  The first day of filming there was a press conference. And Raquel said, “I’m so happy to be working with Mae West. I’ve loved her ever since I was a little girl.” And Mae West said, “I’ve never seen one of Raquel Welch’s pictures. But I think she’s a great little girl.  Of course, no real woman would play this part.”
• • Source: Article:  "Raquel Welch vs. Mae West" from Out Magazine; published on Monday, 16 February 2015.
• • On Wednesday, 26 February 1936 • •
• • Hollywood Citizen News ran this article on Wednesday, 26 February 1936: "Mae West Mum in Lubitsch, Timony Debate."
• • On Saturday, 26 February 1938 • •
• • A leisurely article (317 words) published Down Under on Saturday, 26 February 1938 discussed in great detail all the ways Mae West, the real woman, was nothing like the fast-living fictional females she played.
• • The Mirror (in Perth, Australia) wrote: Mae West's characterisation of a motion picture star in "Go West Young Man," the hilarious comedy, which will be screening at the Grand Theatre, Friday next, March 4, strangely enough, is entirely unlike her own life as an outstanding film luminary.
• • The Mirror gave several examples. Here's one: "Go West Young Man" portrays a film star's touring paraphernalia as extremely elaborate, but the real Mae West journeyed to Corona, California for her first ''location" scenes of the picture, in simple fashion. Accompanied only by her driver and personal maid, Miss West's arrival was inconspicuous, and her departure the same — — a decided contrast to the film role (Mavis Arden) she portrays.  ...
• • Source: Article: "'Go West Young Man' — Mae West Stars in Coming Paramount Attraction" printed on page 24 in The Mirror (Perth, Australia); published on Saturday, 26 February 1938.
• • Finale on Saturday, 26 February 1949 • •
• • A revival of "Diamond Lil" opened at the Coronet Theatre in February [5 February 1949 — 26 February 1949] on Broadway.
• • Background: On Saturday, 26 February 1949, Mae West broke her ankle when she slipped on a rug in her hotel suite, ending that engagement at the Coronet Theatre [230 West 49th Street, a Broadway playhouse later renamed for Eugene O'Neill].  The revival of "Diamond Lil" had begun on 5 February 1949. Naturally, the cancellation of a show in any legitimate theatre — — where each actor has a union contract — — is an enormous expense, not to mention the box-office losses.
• • When Mae filed a lawsuit, newspapers posted headlines: "Mae West Tosses Curve at Chatham Hotel in New York" and "Mae West Fell In Hotel, Claims Dollars." Yee-owtch!
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Production on "Myra Breckinridge" began on 23 September 1969 and concluded on 26 February 1970.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • About "Myra," Mae West said:  "I like my sexes stable."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Columbia Daily Spectator mentioned Mae West.
• • The Kraft Sisters, a sensational new dance team currently appearing at Cafe Society Uptown, will be leaving for Hollywood soon to appear in Mae West's next picture. They specialize in ancient Hindu and Spanish dances done in boogie-woogie style. Three days after their opening at Cafe Society, the Kraft Sisters were under contract to Columbia pictures.  ...
• • Source: Item in The Columbia Daily Spectator (NYC); published on Friday, 26 February 1943
• • 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 1,430 visitors. We reached a milestone this week: 3,100 posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3123rd 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 • in 1970

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