Friday, July 10, 2015

Mae West: Spreading Glamour

MAE WEST looks like she's having fun, holding a gun, outwitting a traveling medicine man, having an affair with "The Masked Bandit," and wearing elaborate 1890s costumes in "My Little Chickadee." Was it really that bad working with Bill?
• • "My Little Chickadee" for Capitol Theatre • •
• • Stars Wrote Own Screenplay • •
• • Mae West and W. C. Fields wrote the screenplay for their first co-starring picture, "My Little Chickadee," which will be screened to-morrow at the Capitol Theatre.
• • They have given themselves the respective names of "Flower Belle Lee" and "Cuthbert J. Twillie" in the film, the most part of which is devoted to their efforts to trick each other.    
• • Mae portrays a wise-cracking Chicago cabaret singer, who causes a tornado of excitement when she arrives in the wild and wide woolly spaces, and W.C. Fields is a traveling medicine man, who is fascinated by Mae, and struggles to win her affection.
• • Joseph Calleia makes one of his rare appearances in a comedy as the crooked boss of the western town where most of the action takes place.  Dick Foran is a crusading newspaper editor, and Donald Meek appears as a shifty gambler who  looks like a deacon.
• • One of the famous "Black Crows," George Moran, returns to the screen for the first time since the death of his famous partner, Mack. And others in the cast are Gene Austin, the well-known singer, whose gramophone records were so popular a few years ago, Ruth Donnelly, and Fuzzy Knight.  Fuzzy is one of Miss West's favorite comedians and he appeared with her in her talking picture "She Done Him Wrong."
• • Since her first motion picture, Mae West has followed a custom of introducing at least one new song in each film and in "My Little Chickadee" the song is "Willie of the Valley." written especially for her by Milton Drake and Ben Oakland.  The song tells of a gold miner who is pursued by many a maid because of his fortune and his gold teeth. Gene Austin and Coco and Candy accompany the star in  this number.
• • The supporting attraction at the Capitol will be . . .
• • Source: Article (p. 19) in The Sydney Morning Herald; published on Thursday, 11 July 1940.
• • On Friday, 10 July 1931 • •
• • During July 1931 Mae West entered into a complex discussion with the Shuberts about a stage version of "The Constant Sinner," based on her bi-racial novel set in Harlem and published by Macauley in hardcover [November 1930].
• • The mainstage contracts were signed by Mae West the playwright (on Friday, 10 July 1931) and Mae West the Broadway star (on 20 August 1931).
• • When she brought her stage play "The Constant Sinner" to Atlantic City in August 1931, the crowds lined up for tickets, noted The New York Times.
• • Happy Birthday to Ian Whitcomb • •
• • Ian Whitcomb was born in Woking, Surrey, England on Friday, 10 July 1941.
• • Ian Whitcomb was the producer for Mae West on her album "Great Balls of Fire" [MGM Records, 1972].  He's 74 today and we hope the celebration is simply smashing.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Genial Jim Timony, Mae's manager, has not escaped the "husband" touch. They labeled him such last year.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Every time the postman rings twice, I get a dozen proposals from guys who must have gone to school at a mail order college. Not bad, either."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Photoplay mentioned Mae West.
• • On other lots, Mae West was knocking over exhibitors and audiences, Marlene Dietrich was spreading glamour thicker than honey and Greta Garbo, who invented glamour but couldn't patent it. Then came Queen Jean Harlow, God bless her, who was the platinum blonde dynamo and — well, everybody had glamour. All Hollywood's gals had glamour.  All but the actress Irene Dunne. ...
• • Source: Item in Photoplay; published in the issue dated for May 1939 
• • 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 3219th 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 1939

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