Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Mae West: Plotting Through

In 1974, MAE WEST gave a long interview to Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester. This is Part 8. 
• • Mae West: the Queen at Home in Hollywood • •
• • Written by Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester (Interview Magazine) • •
• • MAE WEST: Well, I knew W.C. Fields was a clever man, a comedian. Universal wanted me to use him. I said fine. We started workin' together but he started gettin' envious because I wrote the thing. He asked if I'd mind him writing a few of his own scenes, and I said no as long as he didn't go write anything for me. He was plottin' though.  He'd hold up the shooting on the scenes he'd written and you see they'd be vital to the story. Among other things he wanted the billing to read, "Mae West and W.C. Fields," instead of "Mae West with W.C. Fields."
• • MAE WEST: I'd have a little writing to do here and there, so he'd work mostly in the in the mornings. I'd come in after lunch... it was easier to for me to work in the afternoons. But he'd be late, or he'd delay shooting the scenes. He knew all the time he was doin'. The director came to me one day and said that Bill was on the sound stage, and that he'd been drinking. I said if he's been drinking let's get him out of here for the rest of the day. I had to go down to work, and I saw him there, showing off in front of about two hundred extras. The director told him, "Tomorrow morning, Bill," so he left. Tipped his hat to me on the way out. He was humorous, maybe. We didn't talk too often. When you're a star, you don't get much time for conversation, unless it's part of a scene.
• • ANJELICA HUSTON AND PETER LESTER:  How did you get on with your directors?
• • WEST: A director can't really tell me what to do. I look a certain way, and move a certain way, and talk a certain way... other actors have to move around me.
• • HUSTON AND LESTER: Is this the reason you're a star?
• • WEST: Of course.
• • This has been Part 8 of the interview written by Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester. 
• • Part 9 will continue tomorrow on Thursday — — with the conclusion to this lengthy, insightful interview.
• • On Saturday, 7 September 1912 • •
• • In New York City, the musical "A Winsome Widow" was seen on The Gay White Way from 11 April 1912 — 7 September 1912 at Moulin Rouge [1514 — 1516 Broadway at W. 44th St.]. Mae West, who was cast as Le Petite Daffy in that show, was taking her final bows.
• • On Wednesday, 7 September 1949 • •
• • The "Diamond Lil" revival enjoyed great success at the venerable Plymouth Theatre [236 West 45th Street]. It opened there on Wednesday, 7 September 1949 — — and had four months of performances (182 performances) on Broadway.
• • In his admiring review of her 1949 reinvigorated Bowery queen romp through her popular "naughty nineties" hit, The New York Times drama critic Brooks Atkinson admitted he was moved to acknowledge what he called — — in an atypically poetic effusion — — ''the sublime fatalism of the entire business,'' and he went on to ask: ''Is she kidding or is she serious?''
• • On Friday, 7 September 2001 • •
• • "Mae West and Ten Good Men" written by Jerry Boswell was staged at Yellow Springs Center Stage until Friday, 7 September 2001.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Let's face it: who would even remember "Night After Night" [1932] if it were not for Mae West's wonderful scenes in an otherwise dull film?
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "A man in the house is worth two in the street."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Australian publication discussed how popular Mae West was.
• • "Grand Theatre — Second Week for Mae West" • •
• • Film World wrote: Only films that prove more than usually popular are permitted to occupy the screen for two weeks at the Grand Theatre and, naturally, the Mae West success, "I'm No Angel," falls into this class. It will enter on its second and final week today . . .
• • Source:  News in The West Australian (on page 3); published on Friday, 7 September 1934
• • 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 3525th 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 1940

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