Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mae West: Stimulate Desire

In mid-November 1929, MAE WEST told a reporter:  "From San Francisco we go to Los Angeles where the play will be filmed." She also discussed her views on everything from "talkies" to homosexuals. Make yourself comfortable and read Part 2.  
• • "Hollywood Challenge Will Make Stage Plays Better" — Mae West • •
• • Written by Bernard Pollard • •
• • Miss West is a beautiful blonde, pleasantly plump and unfortunately misunderstood.  She has spent twenty-two of her thirty years on the stage. At eight she was imitating Eddie Foy and Bert Williams.  She danced into the bright lights of Broadway and, unlike many others, has remained.
• • "I wrote a play called 'Sex'," Miss West said. "It was a hit and the box office returns big. For business reasons which every successful producer understands, professional jealousy, and because the police claimed that we were corrupting the morals of youth, I spent ten days [sic] in the workhouse for women on Welfare Island. The time was spent to advantage. Jails are mines for authors. "
• • "My play 'The Drag' was perhaps a little premature.  It dealt with a vital problem, the homosexual. It is my belief that if this phenomenon is a disease, then it is up to psychologists and doctors to find out what it is and cure it. It is a good rule to face problems, not to avoid them. I want the public to understand or at least to stimulate a desire to understand. Professor Burton of Columbia University declared that 'Drag' was a masterpiece.
• • "When I wrote 'Diamond Lil,' I determined to bring it to the Pacific Coast. This is the first time I have ever been here.  I like it very much.  From San Francisco we go to Los Angeles where the play will be filmed. I am not sure whether I will like the talkies for myself but I have always supported them.  Hollywood has taught America how to dress. She will now teach them how to speak."
• • This was Part 2 of two parts. (Part 1 appeared yesterday.)
• • Source:  Article written by Bernard Pollard for The Stanford Daily; published on Friday, 15 November 1929.
• • On Friday, 17 November 1916 • •
• • On Friday, 17 November 1916, Mae West announced in the trade papers (such as Variety) that she had new plans.
• • "Mae West's New Name and Act" • •
• • An act written by Blanche Merrill will return Mae West to vaudeville under another name and as a male impersonator.
• • On Tuesday, 17 November 1936 • •
• • An article on favorite dishes of movie stars in the 1930s mentioned Mae West. The Sydney Morning Herald commented: Mae West always has a salad, which has been named after her.  Sydney Morning Herald added: The chefs of the Brown Derbies have supplied the following recipes for the dishes favoured by well-known film people ...
• • Source: Article: "Some Favourite Dishes of the Stars — — Spaghetti Astaire and Mae West Salad" written by the editors of The Sydney Morning Herald [Australia], page 8; published on Tuesday, 17 November 1936.
• • On Saturday, 17 November 2001 • •
• • On the program "Writer's Almanac" on Saturday, 17 November 2001, a poem by Charles Bukowski was read, "sit and endure" (sic), and his rambling free verse begins like this: "well, first Mae West died / and then George Raft, / and Eddie G. Robinson's / been gone / a long time, ..."
• • It's nice that Bukowski mentioned Mae in his first line but it is astonishing that his work was published in book form by Black Sparrow Press.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • And even Mae West, who had helped to establish his reputation as a virile leading man, reportedly said in private: "Cary Grant never came up to see me."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Other nights the audience would be family groups — — especially on Friday nights when the kids didn't have to go to school the next day." 
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Motion Picture Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • Hollywood, July 12 — Paramount is still facing the title bugaboo on the Mae West film, having been unable to clear "Belle of New Orleans," which happens to have been tacked on to a play of a decade ago.  ...
• • Source: Item in Motion Picture Daily; published on Friday, 13  July 1934 
• • 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 3312th 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 1934

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