Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Mae West: Dizzy Career

Paramount Pictures had made a lot of money with MAE WEST. But the winds of change were strong by the mid-1930s. Between the dialogue changes required by the Hays Office, which flattened Mae’s humor, and the demands of a changing audience, which was the safest route to box office success?
• • Paramount generously funded “Every Day’s a Holiday” — — and arranged for their star to promote the motion picture with a radio appearance on the hottest program. What could go wrong? This is Part 1 of four segments.
• • “Mae West 's Dizzy Career Rests on a Film's Success” • •
• • By Frederick C. Othman (United Press Correspondent)
• • Hollywood, Dec. 21. Mae West, who opened her mouth on the radio a week ago and thereby put her foot in something she may never live down, is about to flounce across the nation's movie screens in a new picture, upon which her whole career depends.
• • Frederick C. Othman wrote: If it's a fizzle, it will be the end of La West as one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. If it's a success, the producers Will pay her around $400,000 to do another and figure themselves lucky.
• • Titled "Every Day's a Holiday," it brings the billowy Mae back to the screen in the kind of role she does best. She's a Gay Nineties charmer, complete with wasp waist, billowy hats, a taste for champagne, taking ways and a way with men.
• • Frederick C. Othman wrote: We saw the picture in preview at Glendale, where the audience, startled at seeing her name flash across the screen, stayed to laugh and chuckle for two full hours, and then gave her an enthusiastic round of applause.
• • It is a sockdollager of a film • • . . .
• • This is Part 1 of four segments. To be continued tomorrow.
• • Source: United Press coverage; published and syndicated on Wednesday, 22 December 1937.
• • On Sunday, 30 January 1938 • •
• • "Mae West Is Banned Over Radio" • •
• • ("The Sunday Times" Special Message) • •
• • NEW YORK, Saturday — — The National Broadcasting Company from its headquarters here has issued definite instructions that the name of Mae West must not be mentioned over any station in the network which it controls.
• • It is believed that this is the result of violent objection that followed Miss West's recent appearance, after a four-year absence from the air, in a sketch entitled "Adam and Eve."
• • Source: Sunday Times (Perth); published on Sunday, 30 January 1938.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Although Jean Harlow was being toned down and made a bit more family-friendly in films like “Hold Your Man” and “Bombshell,” the torch was snatched up and held high by the most potent female symbol of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness since the Statue of Liberty: Mae West.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I had written a number of vaudeville sketches. I knew the theatre. I knew what audiences wanted."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Hollywood U.P. columnist defended Mae West.
• • “Mae West Accuses Radio Heads of Letting Her Down” • •
• • Frederick C. Othman wrote: Mae West broke her long silence today over the "Adam and Eve" radio incident which created a national furore a few weeks ago and charged that broadcasting and advertising officials were no gentlemen "for letting a lady down."
• • "I wouldn't say they were cowardly, but they weren't very brave," the curvaceous Miss West said, crossing one sequin-clad knee over another.  …
• • Source: United Press coverage; published and syndicated on Saturday, 29 January 1938
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 13th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past thirteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,800 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started thirteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3886th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • drawn by artist Tom Tierney in 1970

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
  Mae West

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