Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mae West: Escaped Scrutiny

A very long article about MAE WEST and her career in Tinseltown appeared five years ago.  It was written by Paul Phaneuf. Let's enjoy it together. This is Part 13.
• • Mae West: "I'm here to make talkies" or Censor Will vs. Diamond Lil • •
• • "Night After Night" Reviews  • •
• • Paul Phaneuf wrote:   Because Mae's role was a small one (in what was supposed to be George Raft's big breakthrough film), "Night After Night" escaped close scrutiny by the Hays Office. The dialogue between Mae and Miss Jellyman alluding to prostitution might have never passed muster otherwise, not to mention the quick sequence of two young women lighting each others' cigarettes while exchanging seductive looks. But this wouldn't last.
• • Her next vehicle was thought to be a natural, "Diamond Lil," based on her Broadway hit which had helped bring her to Hollywood's attention. The play was set in the New York Bowery of the 1890s in a saloon called Suicide Hall. Diamond Lil is the star entertainer. The bar is also the setting for a white slavery ring run by saloon owner Gus Jordan and his procurer Rio Rita. 
• • Suicide Hall:  colorful ne'er-do-wells, gamblers, prostitutes • •  ...
• • This was Part 13. Part  14 will appear tomorrow.
• • Source:  Article by Paul Phaneuf in Films of the Golden Age Magazine;  issue dated 5 November 2011. Used with permission.
• • On Friday, 19 January 1973 • •
• • Released theatrically in the USA on Friday, 19 January 1973 was a frisky color cartoon starring Mae West — — "Kloot's Kounty." This Old West styled animated feature was written by John W. Dunn, who created the storyline: Mae West comes to visit Sheriff Kloot. It seems that her sheep are missing — — and she says Chief Crazywolf has taken them. Sheriff Kloot rockets into action but, by the end of the toon, he looks as if he has been hit by a rocket.
• • On Monday, 19 January 1981 • •
• • Readers of The N.Y. Times opened their newspaper on Monday, 19 January 1981 and they read this startling headline: "Mae West Left Million, Mostly to Her Sister." A reporter based in California filed the story for Reuters, which was date-lined from Los Angeles.
• • Los Angeles, January 18 — Mae West, who died in November [1980] at the age of 87, left $1 million, according to her will filed in court here.
• • Paul Novak, a former ''muscleman'' in her stage act who was her constant companion for the last 25 years, was not mentioned in the will, filed on Friday in Santa Monica Superior Court.
• • A petition for probate estimated the value of Miss West's personal property at $1 million with an annual income of $50,000. She left the bulk of her estate, including her jewelry, to her sister, Mildred West.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • When Harry Zehner, confidential secretary to Carl Laemmle, Jr. suggested Mae West as a screen possibility to the powers at Universal, he was howled down.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "The act went over very big."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Australian newspaper mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West Is Ill" • •
• • Toronto, Monday — — Mae West, author, producer, and star of the stage show "Diamond Lil" and famous on the screen. is ill with abdominal trouble.
• • She has had to cancel her stage appearance in "Diamond Lil," with which she is now touring in North America.  
• • Doctors are consulting with her regarding an operation. ...
• • Source: Item in National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW); published on Tuesday, 18 January 1949  
• • Note: Since Mae West did not like to work with an understudy, any illness on the star's part was bound to be a big problem for the touring company.
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th 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 3,500 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3621st
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 1949
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