Monday, September 05, 2016

Mae West: Epidemic of "Sex"

In 1974, MAE WEST gave a long interview to Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester. This is Part 6. 
• • Mae West: the Queen at Home in Hollywood • •
• • Written by Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester (Interview Magazine) • •
• • MAE WEST:  Well, I started reading [the manuscript] and suddenly Edward Elsner says, Oh my God, this is sexy!   He says, you have a quality I have never seen in a star before... a sexy quality. I say, where have I got it? He says, I don't know but you've got it, it's just there, sex. So I just went on doin' what I was doin', and he says again, sex, sex, sex, this play reeks of sex. I was hearing the word sex so much I was beginning to like it. "Gee," I thought, "this might be good for the title, Sex."
• • MAE WEST:  So I tell my manager I want to change the title of the play to "Sex." He says, if only we dare... so we do! Then there was a lot of trouble. When it opened, the newspapers wouldn't use the word. They said, "Mae West in that certain play." Finally we had to hire those sticker guys, you know. You'd leave your car for ten minutes and there'd be "Sex" all over it. Well, then there was an epidemic of sex plays, all of them using dirty words. I'd never use bad words like hell or damn in my plays. I wrote innuendos, I write the way I feel. It just comes out that way. I'd hit 'em all the way through the beginning, middle and end. My play had a plot, a story. No woman's going to pay to see other women being slapped around, and these other plays were embarrassing. Sex is only exciting on the inside.
• • ANJELICA HUSTON AND PETER LESTER:  What was your next play?
• • MAE WEST: Then I wrote The Drag. There were 60 gay boys in it. I wrote it for them, I didn't act — why? Well, the gay boys were having a hard time, they couldn't keep a job. The trouble was they'd start flaunting it and people would take offence. I'd tell them to keep it private. I sympathized with them... I studied books on homosexuality and I wanted to  help them, so I hired them. The NYC officials said the play would harm the city and that they were not equipped to deal with it.  . . .
• • This has been Part 6 of the interview written by Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester. Part 7 will continue tomorrow on Tuesday.
• • On Friday, 5 September 1952 • •
• • On Friday, 5 September 1952 in Denver, Adlai Stevenson gave a speech that included a piece of wisdom — — "it is not the years in your life, but the life in your years" — — and this statement has been mis-attributed to both Abraham Lincoln and Mae West.
• • Happy Birthday, Raquel Welch • •
• • Happy Birthday to Raquel Welch, whose career was not boosted by "Myra Breckinridge" [1970], though her curves made the poster memorable. Born on Thursday, 5 September 1940, the former model is 76 years old today. When they co-starred together, Mae West was 77 years old and still had a huge fan base. You think about it, honey.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • As the circuit schedule stands now, the Brighton will light July 10, 1951 with "Diamond Lil," and the Mae West vehicle will tee-off the Jamaica the following week.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "Well, I've always had to battle for my rights."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • "Myra Breckinridge" at the Regency II, Lafayette Road, Shadeland, and South 31. 
• • The screen adaptation of Gore Vidal’s contoverslal novel of a trans-sexual, “Myra Breckinridge,” is now playing at the Lafayette Road, Shadeland, South 31, and Regency 2. The satirical dissection of many of our sexual mores, manners and hang-ups marks the return of Mae West to the screen after an absence of 27 years, co-stars director John Huston (in strictly an acting chore) and Raquel Welch in the title role, and introduces the noted writer Rex Reed in his first film role. The 2Oth Century-Fox attraction was produced by Robert Fryer, whose recent films were “The Boston Strangler” and “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” and directed by youthful Michael Sarne, who guided last year’s hit, “Joanna.” ...
• • Source: Item in Indianapolis Recorder; published on Saturday,  5 September 1970
• • 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 3,500 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3523rd 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 1926

• • Feed — —
  Mae West

No comments:

Post a Comment