Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Mae West: Parrot Bungle

Did you hear the story about MAE WEST and the promotional parrots?  This syndicated Hollywood column, circulated on Sunday, 9 February 1941, got the anecdote slightly wrong, unfortunately.  See if you can spot the errors.
• • "Parrots at Paramount Pictures" • •
• • A press agent summed It up ambiguously when he sighed:  "In this business you gotta be crazy to keep from going nuts."
• • This was the same fellow who, back in 1933, had the bright Idea of hiring or buying all available parrots In town, teaching them to chant: "It ain't no sin — It ain't no sin!" and parking them in theater lobbies to advertise the opening of a Mae West picture.
• • So he assembled the parrots in a room and began to play, over and over, a phonograph record which kept repeating the film title. At the end of the fourth day, haggard but triumphant, he emerged to find that the title of Miss West's picture had been changed to "She Done Him Wrong" [sic].
• • Source:  Syndicated Hollywood column rpt in The Salt Lake Tribune; published on Sunday, 9 February 1941.
• • On Wednesday, 9 February 1927 • •
• • On Wednesday, 9 February 1927, Variety mentioned that Beverly West had been arrested on a disorderly conduct charge in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
• • The drunken brawl at the Arcade Hotel in Edward Elsner's suite is dramatized in the stage play "Courting Mae West" in Act I, Scene 2. An audience favorite, the serious-minded comedy based on true events was featured last year in Australia's Midsumma Festival on 28 January 2012.
• • On Wednesday, 9 February 1927 in Manhattan • •
• • Headlines and headaches were in store for Mae West in 1927. On Wednesday, 9 February 1927, the first police raid of Mae West's play "Sex" led to an expensive trial, box office losses, and jail time for the actress and others.
• • On Thursday, 9 February 1933 • •
• • According to a source that tracks box office figures for motion pictures, "She Done Him Wrong," a 66-minute hit starring Mae West, had brought in $2,000,000 worldwide by Thursday, 9 February 1933.
• • On Friday, 9 February 1940 • •
• • The American premiere of "My Little Chickadee" was on Friday, 9 February 1940. The Western-style comedy went into general release on 15 March 1940 in the USA.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Many celebrities made their way south to party during the era of Prohibition and found that Hotel Del Coronado could be a playground for adults. Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, Errol Flynn, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable as well as Mae West were a few of the screen stars who bedded down at the hotel during weekend getaways.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "You've got to hit them [i.e., the audience] in the eye with it."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Hollywood weekly mentioned Mae West.
• • "Seen and Heard" • •
• • Arthur Forde wrote: What's the attraction — in that apartment house where Mae West and George Raft live?
• • Arthur Forde added:  No sooner than the famous stage star Ethel Merman arrive in Hollywood to play in "We're Not Dressing" for Paramount Pictures, then she decided to move into the very same place with the air of Broadway in its halls.  
• • Image: Carnival chalkware (a vintage figurine) manufactured by ESCO
• • Source: Item in Hollywood Filmograph; published on Friday, 20 January 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 3373rd 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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