Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mae West: Female Don Juan

The June 1935 issue of Photoplay featured a lengthy fantasy feature on MAE WEST with charming illustrations by Frank Godwin.  This is the third installment, Part 3.
• • "Mae West Can Play Anything" written by Leo McCarey • •
• • Leo McCarey wrote:  Mae West has always wanted to do a version of the Queen of Sheba. 
• • Queen of Sheba • •
• • Leo McCarey continued:  As this glamorous biblical character is almost wholly a legendary woman, the Mae West version, however humorous, is apt to be as truthful as any.
• • Catherine the Great • •
• • Observe the billing! I submit Mae West as Catherine the Great. Am I mad? Not at all. Read your history. What sort of woman was the amazing Empress of all the Russias? Not the glorified person we have seen in pictures. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, she was a female Don Juan or Casanova, as well as a remarkably strong, dominating and fascinating woman.
• • She freely acknowledged taking her fun where she found it.
• • She was really a woman of great executive ability, and every inch an empress despite the irregularity of her moral life. To the very end, she was a great gal, good-natured and bubbling over with robust humor.
• • So much for the character that everyone will agree Mae West can play. I'll now go to the other extreme.  Mae could play a Peg o' My Heart.
• • Mae as Peg o' My Heart • •
• • Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous. What, La Belle West in curls and baby-faced innocence? No, that's not the idea. I'm talking about the plot of the play, not the character as played by the unforgettable Laurette Taylor.  
• • If Mae were to play a Peg o' My Heart, she need only forego the curls. The Irish brogue and mannerisms suit her personality to a T.   An Irish-American shop-girl, say, who finds herself suddenly transplanted into stuffy English society because of an inheritance. Can't you picture Mae in these surroundings?   . . . 
• • The very charming artwork is by Frank Godwin, who illustrated Mae West in each role,  for Photoplay.
• • This has been Part 3. And Part 4 continues tomorrow.
• • Source: Article "Mae West Can Play Anything" for Photoplay; published in the June 1935 issue.
• • On Sunday, 30 June 1935 • •
• • Frank Wallace was quite a talker when a news man was present.  He told the New York American that Jim Timony began living with Mae West and one day he pulled over in a "fine, big automobile" with Mae inside, happily wrapped up in a fur coat.  "He said I ought to realize my marriage to Mae was a fizzle and that she could not afford to be married because there was a future waiting for her in show business."
• • The newspaper ran a long interview with the washed-up vaudevillian in their issue dated for Sunday, 30 June 1935.
• • On Wednesday, 30 June 1937 • •
• • The Straits Times in Singapore was up to date with Mae West, in their own fashion. On Wednesday, 30 June 1937, this was the headline on page 12: "Mae West Comes East to Singapore." 
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• •  The narrative in her latest motion picture is a plot that Miss West has often favored, and it freely reprises a lot of lines from earlier pictures.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Back in 1926, I wrote and starred in the play 'Sex,' the first time the word was ever used on stage in that manner."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Singapore paper mentioned Mae West.
• • Reuters wrote:  Mae West wants a tall, dark, handsome man.
• • Mae West wants young men with British accent to come up and see her at noon today. The 84-year-old actress, planning a film of her play "Sextette," will hold a studio audition for a "tall, dark and handsome unknown" . . .
• • Source:  Feature in New Nation (page 6); published on Wednesday, 30 June 1976
• • 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 eleven years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3476th 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:


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• • Mae West • in 1935

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