Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Mae West: Most Becoming

An excellent biography of MAE WEST was published on Sunday, 1 June 1997. It was called "Becoming Mae West" by Emily Wortis Leider.
• • In case you don't already own this book, it belongs on your shelf. Here's the KIRKUS REVIEW.
• • A wide-ranging biography and social history examining the years in which Mae West the woman became Mae West the theater and movie star and cultural icon. It's a mark of how definitive a character Mae West was that even people who have never seen one of her movies are likely to know what she looked liked and how she talked, and to know one or more of her most famous quips. In this new biography Leider demonstrates that this character was the work of a woman who painstakingly reinvented herself over a long career, starting as a child performer at the turn of the century and on into an extensive period in vaudeville, burlesque, and finally Broadway, where she wrote and starred in the plays that defined Mae West for America. This period in West's life remains little understood, and Leider brings vividly to life the young entertainer, as well as the entertainment world in which she moved. But Leider also widens her focus to detail the cultural history of the period, showing how changes in social and sexual mores affected West and how she, in turn, affected them. There are some narrative infelicities: The sequence of events is occasionally jumbled, and Leider is prone to show off her research with long lists of almost random details. And Leider ("California's Daughter: Gertrude Atherton and Her Times," 1991) believes that after censors effectively ended West's film career at the end of the 1930s, little she did was worthy of note. Thus she disposes of the last 40 years of West's life in an 8-page epilogue. But for the most part this is lively, incisive reading. A vibrant story of a star's life and times — — not just for the movie buffs. [Source: unsigned review released by Kirkus]
• • On Thursday, 1 June 1933 • •
• • "Night After Night" was playing at the Varsity Theatre in Stanford, California and the film was billed as "starring Mae West and George Raft." Starts today, announced the ad.  Lovely.
• • In June 1935 in England • •
• • Filmed at Lime Grove Studios and around the UK, "The 39 Steps"  was released in London, England in June 1935.
• • According to Film Reference: Alfred Hitchcock's use of sound and careful lighting heighten the suspense — — and humor — — of the film. Throughout the melée in the music hall during the first sequence, persistent members of the audience ask, "What causes Pip in poultry?" and "How old is Mae West?" as the crowded mise-en-scène and the fast-paced editing reinforce the confusion.  ...
• • On Tuesday, 1 June 1999 • •
• • In VHS format, the 60-minute TV movie "Intimate Portrait: Mae West" [1999] was released on Tuesday, 1 June 1999.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • In those days there was a high-class brothel in Hollywood called Mae’s, run by a Mae West lookalike and staffed by women done up to resemble the stars.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Sex is emotion in motion."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A science magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • Thermochromic clothes would undoubtedly have helped Mae West find an answer to her immortal question: 'is that a gun in your pocket" . . .
• • Source: Item in New Scientist; published on Saturday, 1 June 1991
• • 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 3454th 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 1934

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