Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mae West: Play Anything

The June 1935 issue of Photoplay featured a lengthy fantasy feature on MAE WEST with charming illustrations by Frank Godwin.  This is the first installment, Part 1.
• • "Mae West Can Play Anything" written by Leo McCarey • •
• • Here is proof that Mae is the "type" for any role.
• • What did the Queen of Sheba say to King Solomon when she took her first peek at his thousand wives? In the same spot, Mae West would have said in her husky, languorous drawl, "What you need is one good one."
• • Can you picture our devastating Mae West playing the Queen of Sheba? l can. Having directed her but once, in "Belle of the Nineties," it is my opinion that she can play anything.  I'm serious. As a matter of fact, don't be surprised if Mae actually does appear on the screen some day in her version of the biblical romance.
• • It has been said that the real artist, an actor or actress of fascinating, dominating personality, can play anything. That is true.  Those who limit Mae to sexy roles are wrong! She is one of our most versatile actresses!
• • Mae West. Yes, she has what it takes. Her interpretation of a character should be as scintillating and believable as that of any other outstanding actress. As, say, Helen Hayes, Pauline Lord, Greta Garbo or Ruth Chatterton.  
• • True, she would undoubtedly invest each characterization with her own peculiarly intriguing personality, but what player doesn't? True, she would undoubtedly play for comedy instead of tragedy. But we all know that comedy is the very essence of humanness.
• • Mae West is essentially a great comedienne. In the art of acting, comedy is regarded as one of the most important requisites.   
• • When I first walked on a  Paramount set to direct Mae West, I didn't know whether she was actually an actress or simply a woman with an amazing personality. She hadn't finished rehearsing the first scene until I knew the answer to that one.   
• • It was "actress"!  . . .    
• • This has been Part 1. And Part 2 continues tomorrow.
• • Source: Article "Mae West Can Play Anything" for Photoplay; published in the June 1935 issue.
• • On Thursday, 28 June 1934 • •
• • On Thursday, 28 June 1934 this article written by Associated Press appeared in many newspapers in the USA and abroad — —  "It Ain't No Sin," starring Mae West, Hit by Churchmen.
• • Paramount Productions Inc., producers of Miss West's pictures, announced it was being sent back to Hollywood for revision and would be reissued another time. ... The announcements came a few days after leaders of Catholic and Jewish faiths joined in a nationwide drive against indecent movies.  ...
• • On Friday, 28 June 1946 • •
• • Mae West was starring in "Come On Up" at Cass Theatre in Detroit on Friday, 28 June 1946. The Playgoer's cover featured a beautiful portrait of Mae West perched on a divan wearing a beautiful gown with a floral pattern.
• • On Thursday, 28 June 1956 in Los Angeles • •
• • Bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay filed assault charges against Charles Krauser, who punched him out in Mae West's dressing room.  Krauser pleaded self defense.  The trial was set for Thursday, 28 June 1956 in Los Angeles.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • The Mae West style influence is spreading.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond!"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Westchester County paper mentioned Mae West.
• • Mae West, whose list of “tall, dark and handsomes” has been swelling from picture to picture, attains her all time record in her new Paramount film, “Goin’ to Town,” playing at RKO Proctor’s, Mount Vernon, five days, Saturday to Wednesday, June 29, 30, July 1, 2, 3.
• • Seven “leading men” are Miss West’s total in the new picture, and not one of them has ever acted with her before. Paul Cavanagh heads the list as the man Miss West really loves, with Ivan Lebedeff, Tito Coral, Fred Kohler, Sr., Monroe Owsley, Gilbert Emery and Grant Withers, running him close seconds.
• • Alexander Hall directed “Goin’ to Town,” in which Mae West starts out as a cowboy’s sweetheart and winds up by roping in society.
• • Source: Item in The Bronxville Press (Bronville, N. Y.; published on Friday, 28 June 1935
• • 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 3474th 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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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • with Leo McCarey in 1934

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