On Wednesday, 10 October 1928, Variety published a long editorial in order to scold MAE WEST. Her offense was that she had written a play about homosexual men. But even worse was the indisputable fact that the public wanted to see it. Variety's publisher was incensed. He wrote this scathing head-shaking, finger-pointing essay.
• • "Is Show Dirt Box-Office Pay Dirt?" • •
• • Variety wrote: The Mae West pinch of "The Pleasure Man" was not unexpected. The Times Square wise mob, living In their own centralized sphere, and averse as they are to traveling beyond its welcoming confines, for once braved the subways and the bridges to the Bronx and Queens boroughs for a load of the latest thing in Wild West operas.
• • Variety wrote: After a sample of the surgical exposition, as disclosed in "The Pleasure Man," with its attendant "drag" scenes by the useless sex who dominate the cast numerically, the reports for once were substantiated in a manner that belied any dubious opinion that such things are, as a rule, grossly exaggerated. If anything, the play was exaggerated In its premise.
• • The Mae West pinch • • . . .
• • Note: When Variety referred to "the surgical exposition," they meant castration.
• • This is Part 1. Part 2 continues tomorrow.
• • Source: Editorial in Variety (page 44); published on Wednesday, 10 October 1928.
• • On Thursday, 26 October 1995 • •
• • "Mae West and the Men Who Knew Her" [57 minutes] — — the VHS format was released on Thursday, 26 October 1995.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • There are tantalizing flashes of insight about how Marilyn Monroe developed her screen persona: Natasha Lytess encouraged her to imitate Mae West’s walk.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I'm too busy to fall in love."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A NYC trade paper mentioned Mae West.
• • Variety wrote: Anticipating possible legal detention, Dorothy Sands is spoken of as Mae West's successor in "Diamond Lil" should the flamboyant authoress—star run afoul of the law again in connection with the suppressed "Pleasure Man."
• • Variety wrote: Miss Dorothy Sands' imitation of Miss West in the "Grand Street Follies" this summer was a highlight of that revue. Producer Jack Linder is said to have offered Miss Sands $1,000 a week as "Diamond Lil's" successor. ...
• • Note: When Variety referred to Dorothy Sands taking Mae's place in her Bowery-themed Broadway show, this was just its publisher's way of issuing a veiled threat to Miss West. Did you catch that mocking tone?
• • Source: Item in Variety; published on Wednesday, 10 October 1928
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 13th anniversary • •
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• • By the Numbers • •
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • Dorothy as Diamond Lil in 1928 • •
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