Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mae West: French Chanteuse

A very long article about MAE WEST and her career in Tinseltown appeared five years ago.  It was written by Paul Phaneuf. Let's pick this up again and enjoy it together. This is Part 68.
• • Mae West: "I'm here to make talkies" or Censor Will vs. Diamond Lil • •
• • "'Every Day's a Holiday' came to me in 56 seconds." — — Mae West
• • "Every Day's a Holiday" seemed to have revived her spirits • •
• • Paul Phaneuf wrote:   Her next picture, "Every Day's a Holiday" seemed to have revived her spirits and was to be her most expensive, at one million dollars. 
• • Fifi, a French Chanteuse • •
• • It was a return to her favorite era, New York in the 1890s. Mae had gotten the idea for the story from a song she heard called "Mademoiselle Fifi."
• • As Mae tells it, "It was a simple song about a girl from 10th Avenue in New York, who went to Paris to learn French and came back to America as a French chanteuse." She and scriptwriter Allan Rivkin then fleshed out a story. According to Rivkin, when they were done, Mae turned to him and said, "Thank you very much, Mr. Rivkin. Very nice. Now I'll make it good." Mae's name was the only one featured in the writing credits.
• • She plays singer "Peaches O'Day" ("Peaches" was a nickname she had as a child) who specializes in selling gullible men the Brooklyn Bridge.
• • "Are ya trying to swindle me?" • •   . . .
• • This was Part 68.  Part 69 will appear  tomorrow.
• • Source:  Article by Paul Phaneuf in Films of the Golden Age Magazine;  issue dated 5  November 2011. Used with permission.
• • On Tuesday, 19 April 1927 • •
• • The New York Times gave this news item prominence in their paper on Tuesday, 19 April 1927: "Mae West Star In Raided Play Jailed and Fined" was the headline.
• • Mae West the star of one of three recently raided Broadway plays was sentenced to ten days in the workhouse and a fine by Judge Donnellan today as the penalty for participating in an obscene performance. A similar sentence and fine were pronounced in the case of James A. Timony and a sentence without the fine for William Clarence Morganstern. All the other 19 defendants in the "Sex" case received suspended sentences . . . .
• • That trial and the dramatic guilty verdict end Act I of the full-length stage play "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship, and Secrets," a serious-minded comedy set during 1926 — 1932. Watch a scene on YouTube.
• • On Thursday, 19 April 1928 • •
• • In his diary, Carl Van Vechten wrote: Then we go to see Mae West in "Diamond Lil," sitting in the front row. I like it even better than before.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • According to Louella Parsons, Mae West got herself a movie job. Yes, indeed! She signed a contract with William Shapiro who brought Bobby Breen to the coast.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   “I don't know a lot about politics, but I can recognize a good party man when I see one.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A European Journal mentioned Mae West.
• • "Too Far West" • •
• • Will Visconti wrote: In a career that lasted over eighty years, the performances of Mae West were famous, or infamous, ...
• • Source: Article in the European Journal of Humor Research; printed in 2014
• • 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 3685th
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 court in 1927

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