Monday, November 23, 2015

Mae West: Afire

A series of "If" questions circulated around the film colony in November 1934 and MAE WEST answered the questions. Here is one that ran on Friday, 23 November 1934.
• • Hollywood, United Press — — If your home were afire and you could save only one thing, what would it be? That’s the latest "If" stickler being brought up at film colony parties almost nightly. The answers given by leading stars and executives are often surprising, many passing up articles of value for sentimental keepsakes.
• • Mae West would save an old miniature of her mother Tillie as a girl.
• • Cecil B. DeMille, with a houseful of antiques, would make a dash for an obsolete motion picture camera used on "The Squaw Man," first film he ever directed.
• • Francis Lederer, asked what he would rescue, taped his coat pocket. He refused to reveal what he kept there, but observers believed it was a mysterious luck piece he always kisses before going into a difficult scene.
• • Sylvia Sydney has another luck piece she'd save — — a locket containing an old coin. But Sylvia also refuses to explain what makes the locket so valuable to her.
• • Carl Brisson would have a silver-and-gold cigarette case given him by Rasputin, “Mad Monk" of Russia.
• • Bing Crosby’s choice would be a pair of $5 drumsticks he used in the Gonzaga University band when a sophomore there.
• • Gary Cooper would save a gold cigarette case, the first present given him by his bride, Sandra Shaw.
• • Sir Guy Standing, who paints as a hobby, would save one of his canvases; he can't decide which one. “Probably I’d be burned to death while deciding," he says.
• • But J. P. McEvoy, the humorous writer, says he wouldn’t have to think it over at all. The first thing he would seize if the house were burning would be his bathrobe.
• • Source:  Syndicated Feature (page 2) rpt in The Daily Banner (Indiana); Friday, 23 November 1934.
• • On Wednesday, 23 November 1927 in Variety • •
• • Variety poked fun at Mae West's attempts at funding her production of "The Wicked Age" via corporate sponsorship. Mocking the apparel labels her character deliberately mentions in the dialogue (such as Sam Mayo negligees) and the long list of designers in the Program credits, Variety was as gleeful as if they were doing serious G-men undercover work. Between the acts, Variety informed their readers, postcards were distributed by the ushers explaining that "Cammeyer shoe creations have a leading role in my wardrobe."
• • Source: Variety (on page 48) in their issue dated for Wednesday, 23 November 1927.
• • On Wednesday, 23 November 1932 • •
• • Will Hays wrote to Adolph Zukor about "She Done Him Wrong" on 23 November 1932.
• • On Sunday, 23 November 1980 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • An obituary written by The New York Times was printed on Sunday, 23 November 1980.
• • Mae West and diamonds were almost synonymous even before the creation of her most memorable character: Diamond Lil. ''I hadn't started out to collect diamonds, '' she said, ''but somehow they piled up on me.'' The onstage Diamond Lil was a singer in a Bowery saloon of the 1890's — — a bad girl with a good heart, who murdered her girlfriend, wrecked a Salvation Army hall, and sang ''Frankie and Johnny,'' wrote The New York Times.
• • On Sunday, 23 November 1980 • •
• • Mae West received a first-rate send-off in The L.A. Times by her friend Kevin Thomas.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • British film fans agree that  Mae West and Gary Cooper are such acknowledged favourites.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I take it out in the open and laugh at it."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Stanford Daily mentioned Mae West in a "midnight" show that started at 11 pm..
• • Coming on Saturday — — Mae West in "I'm No Angel" — — Midnight show — — Saturday at 11 pm — — Stanford Theatre . . .
• • Source: Item in The Stanford Daily; published on Thursday, 23 November 1933
• • 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 3317th 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 1933

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1 comment:

  1. I got a big kick out of your post today on how Mae West used product placement endorsements in the dialogue of her play, "The Wicked Age." As well, her image was often used to sell song sheets at that time. During West's Hollywood era, she shilled items such as cigarettes, soap and perfume. Towards the end of her life, she was a spokesperson for bottled water. Even in death, her persona has hawked refrigerators, butter and even cell phones. Lest celebrities of today get on a high horse about this kind of activity, at least Mae West was upfront about using her fame to add to her bank account. It is a common practise for American stars of today to hawk any manner of products, but only in markets outside of the United States. You have to love someone like West who was told by Bette Davis upon their first meeting, "You don't sound like you do in films," to which West retorted, "I only do her when I get paid!"