Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Mae West: Empire Pictures

In 1938, after MAE WEST had a falling out with Paramount Pictures, a new film firm had formed to focus on her screenplays. During the great Depression, when five million was a considerable investment, San Francisco “capitalists” got together. The goal was to “produce four Mae West pictures a year.” This was aiming high considering Mae preferred to do no more than two pictures a year, even at her peak. Nevertheless, she was in demand. Let’s have a look.
• • “Film Firm Formed for Mae West's Pictures” • •
• • Written By the United Press — — San Francisco, Oct. 4 — — A five-million dollar company, backed by San Francisco capitalists, has been organized to produce pictures starring Mae West.
• • The new company, incorporated at Sacramento, will be known as "Mae West Empire Pictures, Inc.," and will produce four Mae West pictures a year.
• • The first will be "Catherine the Great," for which Miss West has written her own scenario.
• • Source: United Press syndicated column; published on Tuesday, 4 October 1938.
• • On Wednesday, 9 January 1889 in Brooklyn, NY • •
• • On this date, John West took his best girlfriend Tillie Decker to Brooklyn's Borough Hall to apply for a marriage license. Mae's mother's name appears as "Tillie Decker" on the form, not as "Matilda."
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Lunch in the M-G-M commissary: The menu features (cross our heart and hope to die) "Chopped chicken livers, kosher style, with bacon!" The commissary really is a handsome restaurant, featuring modernistic decoration (like Mae's velvet foot-wiper) of white and blue. The food is excellent and the customers, well, they are amazing.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Sex in grandma's day was always quaint."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An essay by Colette discussed Mae West.
• • Colette wrote:  When we went to see “She Done Him Wrong,” we perceived that Mae West had invented something in the acting art. Since then she has continued, with the nonchalance of a woman of wit and the obstinacy of a trader.
• • Colette wrote:  To enlighten my judgment, I would have liked America to send us a great deal of Mae West, since she is the auteur and the principal interpreter of her films. […] a character so rich, so hardy, so un-American: the woman without scruples, the female rival of the male débauché, the brave enemy of the male, valorous enough to use the same weapons as he.
• • Source: Colette, Une comédienne de l’écran: Mae West, “Le Journal” — — 22 May 1938, transl. in Colette at the Movies: Criticism and Screenplay, edited by Alain and Odette Virmaux, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New York 1980 
• • 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 3871st 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 • in 1932

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

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