Friday, July 03, 2015

Mae West: Kirtley Baskette

An article "MAE WEST Talks about Her Marriage," written by Mr. Kirtley Baskette, was published in Photoplay Magazine in the summer of 1935. In this piece, the wild man columnist was playing nice for once. If you know Baskette's burn-the-house-down reputation, then you are a Hollywood insider for sure. This is Part 2.
• • Mae West Talks About Her "Marriage" • • 
• • About this interview, Kirtley Baskette told his readers:  It was the first time Mae had unbosomed herself on the subject which she had just confessed, was giving her fits. Up until now she had contented herself with a rapid fire volley of telephonic "no's" to all questions, ranging from the laughing, amused "No" to the dangerous, now-you-lay-off-of-me "NO!"
• •  Kirtley Baskette wrote:  "There's a saying," Mae West reminded me, "that when a woman says 'maybe' she means 'yes' and when she says 'no' she means 'maybe.' But not me. When I said 'no' — I didn't mean maybe!"  
• • Just picture a penthouse — or anyway an apartment — way up in the sky. All in white and gold and satin and silk. With a couple of polar bear skins spread out on the floor to lend their cooling effect to the heated lady of the house in a mood to slam the door on the Fuller brush man's foot. And all because a scattered crop of Mae West's and Frank Wallace's had apparently put the Marrying Mdivanis to shame — and put all the answers up to Mae.
• • Note: Georgian noblemen, who styled themselves as princes, were known in the society pages as the "Marrying Mdivanis."
• • "Since the first of the year," Mae revealed, "eight different guys have called me up to tell me I married 'em. In Oshkosh or Oscaloosa, in Tulsa or Toledo. Now it's Milwaukee and points East. They've been traveling men, singing waiters dance men, reporters — but not a single millionaire — darn it! Which makes it bigamy — and big o'me, too, if you'll stand for a punk pun. The point is," pointed Mae, "I like a laugh, like anyone else. I've got an elastic sense of humor — but if you stretch it too far, it snaps. A gag is a gag — and if this one gave the guy a chance for a job, then it's all right, with me. But the gag has gone too far."
• • The determined jaw of Battling Jack West's daughter settled back into place. She smiled. "It's all right to have a man around the house," she explained, "but when you wake up every morning to find a new husband with your grapefruit — say, I'm beginning to feel like the Dionne quintuplets. When you come up to see me now you have to look cross-eyed — or use mirrors."
• • "Getting down to one particular lord and master," I said "what about this Frank Wallace in New York?"
• • Mae dropped a stitch with her eyebrows. "Well — what about him?" she repeated. "I'm like Will Rogers — all I know is what I read in the papers, and I've quit reading about Wallace. I never went much for the comics, anyway."
• • "Frank Wallace says you married him in Milwaukee."    . . .
• • Part 2 ends here. To be continued.
• • Source: Article in Photoplay Magazine;  published in the issue dated for August 1935. 
• • On Wednesday, 3 July 1929 in Variety • •
• • Someone at Variety, too upset that Mae West had scored a hit with "Diamond Lil," snickered that this "creative genius" from Brooklyn had stockpiled "volumes upon volumes of treatises on white slavery and a hot collection of pictures of burlesque queens."  These remarks were printed in Variety's issue dated for Wednesday, 3 July 1929.
• • On Monday, 3 July 1933 • •
• • Production of Mae West's motion picture "I'm No Angel" began on Monday, 3 July 1933 in Hollywood (and concluded in September 1933).
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West talks the best sex-appeal you've ever heard. The world — — that is, the most important city, Hollywood — — is completely sold on the idea that Mae slays 'em. The result is the pleasant tinkle of silver running through the box-office.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "You shouldn't believe all you read any more than you'd believe all you hear."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Film Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • Ralph Wilk wrote:   Hollywood — Emanuel Cohen has signed Warren William for three films to be made by his Major Pictures unit for Paramount release in the year ahead. His first role will be opposite Mae West in the screen version of "Personal Appearance."
• • Source: Item in West Coast Bureau of Film Daily; published on Wednesday, 22 July 1936   
• • Note: "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. Lawrence Riley wrote 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. Manny Cohen took Mae to see the play in New York City and they decided to do it as a comedy for the big screen.

• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 11th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past eleven years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,200 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3214th 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 1936

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