Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Mae West: Notorious Woman

Hollywood film censor Joe Breen's name turns up on an awful lot of correspondence involving MAE WEST. Someone had a brilliant idea to title her next picture "It Ain't No Sin."  This would be retitled several more times before it was sent out into the world as "Belle of the Nineties."  Let's follow the backstage drama, shall we? This is Part 3.
• • "I am deeply concerned about it all" • • 
• • Joe Breen continued:  "I am deeply concerned about it all." On the same day as the above memo, Breen discovered that his earlier statement about not writing to Cohen was in violation of Section III of the Code, which imposed responsibility of Hays Office agents to notify the studio involved in writing of the censorship decision. Breen, therefore, sent Cohen a letter stating that the film screened on June 1, 1934 was "definitely in violation" of the Production Code. 
• • Reasons for the violation • •
• • Reasons for the violation were again delineated in a memo from Breen to Paramount President Adolph Zukor on 4 June: 1.) general low [moral] tone, 2.) immoral criminal theme of story, and 3.) lack of sufficient compensating moral values.  
• • Objections to the theme • •
• • Objections to the theme were further outlined: 1.) the life of a notorious woman, 2.) her activities in a crooked gambling establishment, 3.) her doping of the prizefighter, 4.) her acts as an accessory to crimes of homicide and arson, and 5.) her illicit love affair with an acknowledged ex-convict, thief, and killer.
• • Source:  Notes [from TCMDb Archive Materials].
• • On Saturday, 7 June 1952 • •
• • In Hollywood, on 7 June 1952, Mae West made a check payable to her long-time secretary Larry Lee, who also provided editorial help to the actress. Christie's sold it in 1999.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Italian American actor Jack LaRue, who has made more than 300 pictures, was tapped for his first by Howard Hawks, who saw him on the stage opposite Mae West in "Diamond Lil."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  “I saved 1,700 theaters.  Paramount was going to have to sell ihem to MGM, but my pictures made so much money the studio was able to keep them.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A syndicated columnist mentioned Mae West.
• • "Dorothy Kilgallen Reports on Broadway" • •
• • Billie Burke would like to persuade Mae West and Bobby Clarke to team up in a new version of the Ziegfeld Follies.  ... 
• • Source: Item in The Voice of Broadway by Dorothy Kilgallen;  published on Wednesday, 3 November 1954
• • 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 3,700 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3720th
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 1928

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