MAE WEST featured saloons and gambling joints in her motion pictures. In 2008, word came to light about an elite underground casino the very well-paid actress had visited in Arlington, Texas during the 1930s.
• • According to journalist Michael E. Young: Before this was Arlington Baptist and before it was Bible Baptist Seminary, these 46 acres on West Division Street were known by another name: the lilting Top O' Hill Terrace. And in the 1930s and 1940s, it was the fanciest gambling joint around — — a forerunner to Las Vegas looming over the Texas plains. Mr. Browning ordered his staff to ensure the anonymity of his guests.
• • But over the years, names trickled out — — Mae West, Clark Gable, Hedy Lamarr, Tom Mix, and Howard Hughes. John Wayne visited. So did Frank Sinatra, Bugsy Siegel, and Bonnie and Clyde.
• • In 1950 it was announced that "Mae West will open soon a gambling restaurant-casino at Las Vegas." And Mae once told a reporter how much money she lost at the race track.
• • To add to this casino chronicle, here's an item about a "sin ship" where Mae enjoyed gambling in private along with the Tinseltown hot types.
• • FOUND: A California 'Sin Ship' Wreck, Revealed by El Niño • •
• • Sarah Laskow wrote: On the coast of Coronado, California, there's a ship buried in the sand — the wreckage of the SS Monte Carlo, a ship once dedicated to sin, and ruined by a winter storm in December 1936. . . .
• • Sarah Laskow wrote: The SS Monte Carlo was 300 feet long and, at peak usage, would host 15,000 people a week, including, most famously Clark Gable and Mae West. The ship was anchored miles offshore, so that it was located in international waters, where, even during Prohibition, no one could stop the drinking and gambling. Guests could play blackjack, roulette or slots, and often there would be huge parties on board. . . .
• • Source: Article: "A California 'Sin Ship' Wreck, Revealed by El Niño" for Atlas Obscura; posted on Monday, 1 February 2016.
• • On Friday, 10 February 1933 • •
• • A news item about "She Done Him Wrong" popped up on page 7 in Film Daily on Friday, 10 February 1933. Other publications covered the Mae West hit as well.
• • An article on "She Done Him Wrong" was published in The New York Times on Friday, 10 February 1933.
• • Signed with the byline A. D. S., The New York Times reviewer described Mae's character Lady Lou as a woman "whose heart is bigger than her sense of decorum."
• • On Monday, 10 February 1936 in Hollywood • •
• • Joseph Breen wrote to Paramount Pictures about Mae West and "Klondike Annie" several times before he agreed on Monday, 10 February 1936 to the film's release.
• • On Tuesday, 10 February 2009 • •
• • A book about Mae West "She Always Knew How: Mae West, A Personal Biography" by Charlotte Chandler was published in its hardcover edition (336 pages) by Simon and Schuster on 10 February 2009.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Al Hall [Alexander Hall] will direct Mae West's next, "It Ain't No Sin" for Paramount.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Doing 'The Heat's On' was a mistake."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A California campus paper mentioned Mae West.
• • "Reviewer" • •
• • Plot is not all-important or sufficient to spoil every film: regard the recent Diamond Lil, well-sustained, not by its trivial plot, but by Mae West's characterization of Lil.
• • But this plantation film has not a sufficiently strong or interesting central character and, in presenting the struggle between cotton planters and pickers [in "The Cabin and the Cotton"], emphasizes the sentimental and melodramatic elements of the situation as well as indicating the problem.
• • Source: Item in The Stanford Daily; published on Friday, 10 February 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 3,300 blog posts. Wow!
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3374th blog post.
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