Monday, February 06, 2017

Mae West: Sulphuric Lil

The film reviews in campus papers were very interesting  — — especially this one done by a Stanford student called "Sandoe" who compares MAE WEST's character Diamond Lil with Greta Garbo's Mata Hari, two disillusioned women.
• • Reviewer —  "She Done Him Wrong" (Paramount) • •
• • At the Stanford Theatre • •
• • Sandoe wrote: This might have been no more than a repetition of that aging ballad of the gilt-caged bird or that concerning the prostitute with a heart of gold.  But Mae West allows no sentimentality to creep into her portrait of Diamond Lil, a hard, selfish, practical fancy woman.
• • only the setting for the sulphuric Lil • •
• • Disregarding a not badly melodramatic plot, the barroom atmosphere has been well recaptured. But that is only the setting for the sulphuric Lil. Mae West is probably not capable of many roles; but in this one I know no one who excels her.
• • The Bowery nasals, the defiant coolness which breaks frequently into an acid wit, the movement of body — — all make her the woman who, without an illusion, seeks pleasure in more tangible possessions than a soul.
• • Diamond Lil may be compared and contrasted with Garbo's Mata Hari: both are disillusioned women. But whereas Garbo's portrait was intensely tragic, that of Mae West is comic, vulgarized — — and frankly, whole-heartedly so. It never leers.
• • The plot of Mata Hari, the few times that it became apparent, seemed shoddy, immaterial. And in that was a proper background for the lonely figure which passed through it, indifferent and unmoved.
• • Diamond Lil, on the other hand, is incapable of great emotions; she desires only pleasure and life — — and the latter, the more. Her apparent indifference to the occurrences of the melodrama is, therefore, only a well-made mask. Her calm breaks only once or twice. "She Done Him Wrong," an improved version of Diamond Lil, is by no means a fine film; it is merely an amusing, well-drawn portrait, placed before a good background. The shooting is merely by way of suspense.  — — Sandoe
• • Source:  Review in The Stanford Daily; published on Monday,  6 February 1933
• • On Monday, 6 February 1928 • •
• • Mae West mailed her manuscript for "Diamond Lil" to the Library of Congress from the Harding Hotel, West 54th Street, New York, NY. The date of her Washington, DC copyright registration is Monday, 6 February 1928. 
• • The play opened on Broadway in April 1928.
• • On Friday, 6 February 2004 • •
• • An article about the full-length play "Courting Mae West" was written by Max Gross and was published in New York City in The Forward on 6 February 2004.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • As long as there are Greta Garbos, Jean Harlows and Mae Wests, the Hollywood blonde will remain a blonde — and Hollywood.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  ""There's something substantial in a person of good proportions."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A British daily mentioned Mae West.
• • A lifelong friendship with Archie Leach (later to be Cary Grant) begins. Some say they were lovers.
• • Eventually designing Broadway costumes and stage sets, Kelly gets into his stride. We glimpse Mae West’s dressing room where a man bearing a steak sandwich and another delivering a court summons hover around a dressing table ringed with Victorian cupids. Kelly’s taste for glamour grows. At a glittering New York house party the hostess invites her special guests to cocktails in her vast bathroom, which is a symphony in marble and bear rugs.
• • It is only on page 160 that Orry George Kelly, now simply Orry-Kelly, follows his dreams to Hollywood
• • Source: Book Review:  "Women I've Undressed by Orry-Kelly" — — 'Old Hollywood heaven' written by  Susie Boyt for The Telegraph [U.K.]; published on Saturday, 6 February 2016
• • 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 3633rd
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 1932

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