MAE WEST posed with Frank Buchman, an English clergyman, in her living room — — tastefully garbed, Los Angeles style, in a pink silk negligee decorated with ostrich feathers. One headline in the news that night was: "Moral Rearmament Man Wins Mae West, Loses Fields." Let's go back and take a look at this hooey.
• • "Mae West Will Join Oxford Group" • •
• • New York, Aug. 18 — — Mae West, the film star, announced today that she is in favour of "moral rearmament," and is ready to join the Oxford Group.
• • Miss West says this philosophy has already been a great help to her, and would also be valuable to her partner in her current picture W. C. Fields. She had a long talk to-day with Dr. Frank Buchman, founder of the Oxford Group, and leader of the "moral rearmament" movement.
• • "It is a wonderful work," she said. "I owe my success to the fact that I have been practising that philosophy in recent years."
• • "Early in my career," continued Miss West, "before I discovered the importance of correct thinking and correct consideration for others, it was a hard and bitter struggle to get ahead."
• • Dr. Buchman told her, "You are a splendid character, Miss West. You have done wonderful work, too, in pleasing and entertaining millions with your charming personality."
• • They posed for photographers together, and Mae drawled: "You're doing fine, doctor." Then she asked him, "Have you met Bill Fields yet?"
• • "No, but I'd love to," he said.
• • "This moral rearmament is just what Bill needs," Mae exclaimed. "By all means, meet Bill and tell him all about moral rearmament. Please get to him before we start this picture. I want him to be full of it."
• • Source: Article rpt in The Examiner (Launceston, Tasmania); published on Monday, 21 August 1939.
• • On Monday, 21 August 1939 • •
• • The headline "Mae West Will Join Oxford Group" ran in several newspapers around the world.
• • On Monday, 21 August 1944 in Life • •
• • An article "Catherine Was Great — — but Mae West Makes Her Dull" was printed along with photos in Life Magazine (pages 71— 72) in the issue dated for Monday, 21 August 1944.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West will be giving Katherine De Mille her big break in "It Ain't No Sin."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I consider myself above changing. I haven't time to change. I'm not looking backward at what I've done or what success has come my way. The minute you do that and stand around on what's already come your way, you're headed back in the other direction."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Photoplay Magazine wrote about Mae West.
• • "Has Mae West Gone High Hat?" • •
• • Photoplay wrote: Just the other day, Mae discovered a set-worker, Joe Ritchie, an ex-prize-fighter, singing prize-ring ditties.
• • "Ever sing those for talking pictures?" asked Mae.
• • Joe Ritchie replied that, no, he hadn't.
• • "Well, you're going to," said Mae — and sat right down and wrote a big part into the script to give Joe a break. . . .
• • Source: Article in Photoplay; issue dated for July 1934
• • Note: Mae West enjoyed her favorite sport by attending the Friday night fights at the Hollywood Legion Stadium. Some former boxers Mae helped initiate into the silver screen trade were Joe Rivers, Joe Ritchie, and Jim Flynn (who once knocked out Jack Dempsey).
• • 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 3250th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1934 • •
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