Monday, February 08, 2016

Mae West: Testifying

MAE WEST was no match in the newspapers for "the Marrying Mdivanis" and this amusing piece in Hollywood Filmograph captures the scene.  Columnist John Hall also declares that Mae should play Cleopatra.
• • "A Moving Movie Throng" by John Hall • •
• • John Hall wrote:  Anyway, there is a dash of paprika in the way Mae West crashed the front pages. The gal with more "IT" than most cuties dare dream of possessing, and more "glamour" than all of our "exotics" rolled into one, invaded the courts of Los Angeles to tell all about how she was robbed of her diamonds.
• • Just about the same time the Mdivani brothers, princes [sic] of far away Georgia, involved in trouble over their oil well operations, made a grand entry in court — — our tireless operators report that the Mdivanis drew a skimpy house, because every man, woman and child, including officials of all kinds, jammed their way into the court where Mae was testifying.
• • Her show was a riot. Reserves rushed to the place to handle the overflow. Report says Mae outdrew the Mdivanis five to one. Most of the jurors called to serve on the jury to try Mae's case knew nothing about gangsters — — but all of them knew about Mae West.
• • Can you beat that gal?  Any time Mae West takes the center of the stage all the world rushes for a seat. Jim Timony, her manager, should take a bow. But Jim takes a back seat for Mae.
• • Suggestion to C. B. DeMille: Mae West for Cleopatra and Cary Grant for Antony. Fireworks, Mr. DeMille. Fireworks. Compared with this combination, Caesar's fiddlin's started but a bonfire . . .
• • Source: item in Hollywood Filmograph; published on Saturday, 20 January 1933.
• • Note:  Several journalists have written an amusing article (from time to time) on these three bogus Russian princes. Alexis Mdivani [1905 — 1 August 1935] courted and wed heiress Barbara Hutton. And the other two, David  [1907 — 5 August 1984] and Sergei [1903 — 15 March 1936], pursued actresses. Once married, these wretches beat their spouses, played polo, and were a general nuisance all the way to the divorce courts. By 1935, Alexis was dead and a year later so was Sergei. Divorce lawyers on several continents wept.
• • On Tuesday, 8 February 1927 • •
• • The date was Tuesday, on 8 February 1927. Mae had staged a midnight "sneak preview" of "The Drag" at Daly's 63rd Street Theatre, reported Variety Magazine; invited attendees included city officials and several respected physicians, who had been expected to give the play an endorsement. The very next night, Mae's other show "Sex" was shut down by City Hall. No, not a coincidence.
• • Dated for Friday, 8 February 1935 • •
• • Calling James A. Timony the manager of Mae West for 25 years, and the person who "guided her to success," The N.Y. Times's obituary for the Brooklynite also noted that he "received major credit for her development from a relatively obscure singer and dancer into an internationally known prototype of the American siren."
• • Clearly, their long-term arrangement took various forms during the 38 years of their partnership from 1916 — 1954. Each derived benefits from this relationship and one example is this signed check.
• • Dated for Friday, 8 February 1935, the $3,500 allowance to James Timony was his 10% commission on Mae's script for "Now I'm a Lady," sold to Paramount Pictures for $35,000. This was quite a sum in 1935 when most of the country was in the grip of the Great Depression. [This Mae West vehicle was retitled "Goin' to Town" after a few changes.]
• • On Monday, 8 February 1960 in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West got her star on the "Walk of Fame" at 1560 Vine Street on Monday, 8 February 1960.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Celluloid collars and high laced shoes were the two most difficult orders to fill when wardrobe was being prepared for Paramount's "She Done Him Wrong," starring Mae West.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I've always been a bit put off by lesbians."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Hollywood Reporter mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West Captures Paris Fans" • •
• • Mae West has taken Paris like the revolutionists took the Bastille. "I'm No Angel" is packing them in at Gaumont-Elysee, with long lines being turned away daily. . .
• • Source: Item in The Hollywood Reporter; published in February 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 3,300 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3372nd 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 1935

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