Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mae West: Defining Roles

Was the iconic performer MAE WEST, defined by certain roles? Everybody has an opinion and here's one.  
• • "The Roles That Defined Mae West's Career" written by Mark S. Baker • •
• • Mark S. Baker wrote:  Before her transition to mainstream movie roles, Mae West made a name for herself on the vaudeville stage, both as an actress and a writer.  When she did make her film debut in 1932, she went straight to the top, earning top billing, where she stayed for her entire career. Even though her body of work is small, West does have several roles for which she is known. 
• • According to Mark S. Baker, here is a look at four roles that she made her own:
• • 1. Maudie Triplett, "Night After Night" (1932) — — Transitioning from vaudeville, West made her film debut as Maudie Triplett in 1932's "Night After Night," a drama that also starred George Raft and Constance Cummings. Hal Erickson in his review for All Movie notes that the movie would be all but forgotten if not for the presence of the ebullient West. The actress, who has uttered some of the most famous lines spoken by an actress in movie history, gets off to a fast start in this movie, which features her famous quote, "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie."
• • 2. Lady Lou, "She Done Him Wrong" (1933) — — Arguably her most famous role, West stars as Lady in "She Done Him Wrong" opposite Cary Grant, Owen Moore, and Gilbert Roland. She portrays a bawdy Bowery singer who loves diamonds and the company of men.  According to Turner Classic Movies, the film features what is likely West's most famous (and often misquoted) line, "Why don't you come up some time and see me?" Another famous line spoken by West in the movie is "Listen, when women go wrong, men go right after them."
• • 3. Tira, "I'm No Angel" (1933) — — Paired again with Cary Grant, along with Edward Arnold and Gregory Ratoff, West appears as Tira in "I'm No Angel." In addition to starring in the movie, she is also credited with writing the story and co-writing the screenplay. The story is about the star of a traveling sideshow who works with a pickpocket to make extra money on the side.      In addition to repeating several variations of her famous line from "Night After Night," two additional noteworthy lines are attributed to West, including "When I'm good I'm very good. But when I'm bad I'm better" and "It's not the men in your life that count, it's the life in your men."
• • 4. Flower Belle Lee, "My Little Chickadee" (1940) — — "My Little Chickadee" featured a much anticipated pairing with comedian W.C. Fields. Set in the Western frontier during the 1880s, West portrays Flower Belle Lee, a singer heading West to meet family members, who ends up pretend marrying a con man, played by Fields.    Both West and Fields banter throughout the film, repeating signature lines from previous films, including an exchange where the Fields' character, Cuthbert J. Twillie, says, "Come up and see me sometime," and Flower Belle Lee responds with, "Mmm, I will, my little chickadee."
• • Source: Article written by Mark S. Baker for Newsmax.com; posted on Thursday, 14 May 2015.  
• • Which Mae West motion picture is your personal favorite? Let us know.
• • On Sunday, 26 May 1889 • •
• • Another wedding in the Jacob Delker family; Delker was Mae's maternal grandfather.  Matilda West's brother Carl Delker married Miss Mathilde Misdorn on Sunday, 26 May 1889.
• • Earlier that year Miss Matilda Delker had wed John West in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on Saturday, 19 January 1889.
• • On Wednesday, 26 May 1999 • •
• • Wednesday, 26 May 1999, TV viewers and Mae mavens were able to watch  Intimate Portrait, Season 5, Episode 28: "Mae West." This was the original air date and it was shown on LIFE.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West reads trade magazines and a few newspapers. She has no taste for fiction, because she says she can write her own.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "She who laughs lasts."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A NYC campus newspaper mentioned Mae West.
• • "Word Is Out" • • 
• • Frank Sinatra doing it his way in "The Detective," and Mae West in "Myra Breckinridge."
• • Source: Item in Columbia Daily Spectator; published on Wednesday,  26 May 1982
• • 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 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,100 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3186th 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 1940

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