Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mae West: Spiked So High

Motion Picture Magazine's Elza Schallert trumpeted MAE WEST as "healthy, Amazonian, audacious."  No doubt it was a compliment — — but these patches of purple prose make you wonder if Elza was being paid a penny per word.  This article excerpt is Part 2.
• • "Go West — — If You're an Adult!" • •
• • Elza Schallert wrote:  The movie audiences have become curves-conscious again — and Mae is leading the way. What a woman!
• • Elza Schallert explained:  There will have to be a franker, livelier display of sex emanating from the screen in the future if Mae West stays around Hollywood for any length of time — — because she spells absolute doom to the hollow-eyed, sunken-cheeked, flat-chested, hipless exponents of the neurotic. A woman has to have what our grandmothers (who rode the bicycles built for two) termed "a beautiful physique" to compete with the effulgent Mae, in the first place, and a wit and quick mind that are as broad as the world and as encompassing. Because Mae slays 'em, on and off the screen, with her unmatchable line of wisecracks, released with a bit of nasal tone through a voluptuous mouth that half parts in a slow smile to reveal white, glistening teeth.
• • I shall never forget the first time I beheld Mae West at the Paramount studio. In this town of strange sights, the memory of that picture remains one of the outstanding. She was walking across the beautiful tree-lined square enclosing the "star" bungalows and offices of scenario writers on the lot.
• • Picture of Mae in Person • • 
• • Mae's heels were spiked so high that her walk became a shuffling toddle. Her hands were covered with diamonds, great big fellows. Her skin was as white as the driven snow and as smooth as satin — — a rarity in itself in Hollywood. She was saluting everyone who passed by with wisecracks that dropped impudently out of the corner of her mouth.
• • Following Mae was Jim Timony • •
• • Following her, at a respectful distance, was a tall, heavy-set, middle-aged man with a large, florescent face, whose walk was a swaying counterpart of her own. His overcoat was of the light tan early-Mackintosh style; his open coat revealed an expansive bright-hued waistcoat; his suit was a loud black-and-gray checkered pattern; he wore a wing collar and a puffed Ascot tie, in which a diamond horseshoe tie-pin flashily reposed; his hat was a derby, and his cane had an elk's tooth embedded in the handle. That, I learned, was Timony — — ...
• • This is Part 2 of a lengthy article written by  Elza Schallert. Part 3 appears tomorrow.
• • Source:  Article in Motion Picture; issue dated for April 1933.
• • On Wednesday, 28 April 1926 • •
• • On Wednesday, 28 April 1926, Variety (usually hostile to Mae West and nasty) took an early stand against the play "Sex," which had just opened on Broadway.
• • Variety wrote: “Mae West … has broken the fetters and does as she pleases here. After three hours of this play’s nasty, infantile, amateurish, and vicious dialog, after watching its various actors do their stuff badly, one really has a feeling of gratefulness for any repression that may have toned down her vaudeville songs in the past. If this show could do one week of good business it would depart with a handsome profit, it’s that cheaply put on.”
• • On Friday, 28 April 1939 • •
• • Newsweek's issue dated for 28 April 1939 was filled with newsmakers such as Mae West and Lieutenant General Drum (for whom Fort Drum in New York is named). 
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Imitation Mae Wests. Don't try it, girls. No one will come up 'n' see you any time.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • After seeing "The Battle of Atlanta" show in the Cyclorama at Grant Park, Mae West said:   "It is the best history lesson I ever had.  And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. If there had only been something like this in Brooklyn, I might have been more interested in history when I went to school.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Motion Picture mentioned Mae West.
• • Dorothy Donnell Calhoun, Hollywood Editor wrote:  Did you ever see a "beef trust" chorus? Ah, you don't realize what you've missed! But Mae West — the blonde girl with the sense of humor — shows you in her newest picture, "It Ain't No Sin." With these healthy Amazons to back her up, she plays a burlesque queen in the Happy (and hippy) Nineties, who drifts down the Mississippi from St. Louis to New Orleans.  . . .
• • Source: Item in Motion Picture;  issue dated for  August 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 3,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3430th 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 1942

• • Feed — —
  Mae West

1 comment:

  1. Elza Schaller's paints word pictures with a flourish few raconteurs today could approach, other than you. Reading your blog each morning is a ritual I look forward to. Thank you for you aMAEzing work keeping the memory of Mae West alive.