Friday, July 29, 2016

Mae West: Sexual Nature

MAE WEST had visits from a member of the Nassour family. This remembrance continues from Thursday, when Part 6 was posted.
• • "After knowing Ms. West for seven years through a family connection, I had the pleasure of working with her to promote a recording project of some of her famous movie lines," wrote Ellis Nassour in 1985.  Insisting he had "rare access," he self published this lengthy remembrance.  This is Part 7.  The misspelt words have been corrected. Some of the more questionable recollections and inaccuracies have been marked by "sic."
• • Memorable Visits with "Aunt Mae" • •
• • Ellis Nassour recalled Mae West's words:  "Why shouldn't women be able to do what they wanted even if it was of a sexual nature?"   Mae observed that before she came along, you couldn't print the word "sex." [sic] Mae continued,  "I'm flattered when people say I invented it. I didn't. Now it's on billboards, all over the movies. People shout it. It's not special anymore. It's been so exploited, it's not fun anymore. What's missing is a respect for sex."
• • Ellis Nassour  observed: She explained that sex in films was going through a rough period. "It's being misused and mishandled." As far as language was concerned, "I would never want censorship, but writers and directors ought to learn four-letter words aren't the full extent of the English language. I never used a four-letter word. I didn't have to rely on that for laughs. We've gained full freedom to say and see everything, but we've lost something, too."
• • Ellis Nassour  noted: Of films she'd seen up to that point, she liked Star Wars. "It made people laugh and have fun. I coulda been in that one. I'd like to do a science-fiction. I could have played the Moon Goddess."
• • Ellis Nassour  stated:  She spoke of her "feud" with W. C. Fields. "Bill was difficult, but I didn't hate him. There was no one quite like him.  I always enjoyed his comedy. My only doubts about him came in bottles. I wrote "My Little Chickadee" and put in a terrific part for him.  I had my ideas, he had his and the studio had theirs. I did my best to make Bill's part funny, but he became envious of me getting so many big laughs from the crew.  Bill wanted to write a scene for himself, and demanded co-billing."  . . .
• • This has been Part 7.  Part 8 will continue  on Monday.  [Ellis Nassour © 1985; all rights reserved; used with permission].
• • On Thursday, 29 July 1937 • •
• • Frank Wallace and the on-going lawsuit he initiated (to get the court to recognize his marriage in 1911 to Mae West) made enough waves in the news media. However, an item in the Los Angeles Citizen-News on Thursday, 29 July 1937 reported that Paramount Pictures "announced 98% of her fan mail had been favorable" despite the drawn-out divorce debacle.
• • Save the Date: Wednesday, 17 August 2016 • •
• • Mae West: New Yorker, Vaudevillian, Upstart, and Jailbird — — a Birthday Celebration! • •
• • Link: Mae West event on August 17, 2016
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Roger Pryor was borrowed from Universal by Paramount Saturday for the role in the Mae West picture, "It Ain't No Sin," which George Raft refused to play.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "Jazz suited me — — I liked the beat and emotions."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A British newspaper mentioned Mae West.
• • Wilde at Heart • •
• • Helen Zaltzman wrote: A 'sex personality' with Oscar Wilde's capacity for quips, Mae West's 'great secret' was that she was a hard-working writer by night, knocking out three novels and 12 plays and more than 20,000 finely honed ripostes. . . .
• • Source: Article in The Guardian (London): published on Saturday, 29 July 2006
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past twelve 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 twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3497th 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:


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in court in 1927

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