Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mae West: Was Immoral

In September 1933, MAE WEST sat down for a series of interviews with the West Coast syndicated columnist Willis Thornton. Last week, the first chapter was posted and here is chapter two, excerpt dd.
• • "Mae West Goes to Heaven as Little Eva But Goes to Prison for Her Own Show" • •
• • Written by Willis Thornton, NEA Services Writer • •
• • Willis Thornton wrote:  But the shimmy soon failed to shock a theatre world that was turning smoothie, and Mae West went on to Higher Things. She appeared only now and then in some musical show, but the itch to write that broke out all through her youth in a remarkable ability to "ad lib" lines under all circumstances, now broke out in a play of her own. It was called, with the delicate restraint that has marked Mae's whole career, "Sex."
• • First Play Brings Arrest • •
• • Some people thought "Sex" was funny, some thought it vulgar, most of the critics called it garbage, and practically everybody agreed that it was a terrible play. But for 11 months Daly's Theatre was jammed with people who went to find out about "Sex." Mae West's first play was a sensation.
• • Then suddenly somebody discovered that "Sex" was immoral. The police pounced on Daly's theatre, and bundled the luscious Mae into the Black Maria for the trip to court. Despite fervent pleas of her lawyers that "Sex" was no more obscene than "Hamlet'' and was really something like "A Tale of Two Cities," a Jury awarded Mae 10 days on Welfare Island and $10,000 worth of priceless publicity.  . . .
• • NOTE: This is the second of three stories on Mae West, the buxom actress who is restoring curves to feminine favor.  [A lengthy section, it will be posted piece by piece this week. This post was excerpt dd. See tomorrow for excerpt ee, the finale.]
• • On Tuesday, 29 September 1914 • •
• • The newspaper Philadelphia North American reviewed the more prominent variety artists who were performing onstage in the City of Brotherly Love on Tuesday, 29 September 1914. The arts critic thought well of Mae, who was then calling herself "The Original Brinkley Girl." When he referred to her stage act, he called her a "nut comedienne."
• • On Friday, 29 September 1933 • •
• • It was on Friday, 29 September 1933 that Mae West signed the Release Dialogue Script form for her very successful motion picture project "I'm No Angel" for Paramount Pictures. Mae West was paid for the film's treatment, story, and screenplay.
• • Julien's Auctions sold this autographed Release to a fan for $128.00.
• • On Tuesday, 29 September 1936 • •
• • "Go West Young Man" starring Mae West (as the man-eating movie marquee marvel Mavis Arden) was released in the USA on 18 November 1936.
• • The production began in early August at General Service Studios and was all wrapped up on Tuesday, 29 September 1936.
• • "Sex" by Mae West returns to NYC Sep't. 29 — Oct. 2, 2016 • •
• • To kick off the 2016/2017 Residency with FRIGID @Horse Trade in NYC's East Village, The Dirty Blondes will present a staged reading of Mae West's play "Sex."
• • "Sex," about a sharp-witted prostitute looking for true love, was initially shut down in 1927 during its Broadway run, and its writer and lead actress Mae West was jailed for "lewdness and corrupting the youth." 

• • Each evening will feature a talk back with a special guest to explore just how extreme the play was for its time, and how it's still relevant today. 
• • LINK:  "SEX" by Mae West presented by The Dirty Blondes in NYC
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West did her best to get around the bans with innuendo: "Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I’m tired."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I'm just as busy when I'm not making a movie."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Australia paper mentioned Mae West.
• • If Cleopatra Met Mae West . . . What would happen if famous women
in history were born again to-day?
• • A.P. Garland wrote: Cleopatra would probably overshadow Mae West if she came to life in this twentieth century and stormed Hollywood. . . .
• • Source: Article in  The Australian Women's Weekly; published on  Saturday, 29 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 3541st 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

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