Friday, January 26, 2018

Mae West: She's Wanted

On Wednesday, 26 January 1938, there was a buzz of excitement by West Coast fans of MAE WEST.
• • “Mae West Playing at the California Theatre” • •
• • New York of the gay nineties and the early 1900s forms the background for Mae West's new comedy of politics, police and palaces, "Every Day's a Holiday," opening tomorrow at the California Theater, The story concerns one Peaches O' Day, played by Miss West, who is wanted by the police for selling the Brooklyn Bridge, and by Walter Catlett, a show producer, to star in a new stage offering. Since it is impossible to take care of either without stepping on the toes of the other, Miss West dons a black wig and a French accent, becoming "Mile Fifi."
• • Intertwined in this story is a better government crusade, a New Year's Eve celebration, hansom cabs, cars of the get-out-and-get-under period, horse cars, helmeted policemen and barber shop quartets. George Rector, who managed a famous restaurant in Old New York, has a part in the film, whose supporting cast includes Edmund Lowe, Charles Butterworth, Charles Winninger, and many others.
• • Source: Item in the San Bernardino Daily Sun, published on Wednesday, 26 January 1938.
• • Note: Wesley Ruggles died on 8 January 1972 — — at age 82 — — in Santa Monica, California.
• • On Sunday, 26 January 1930 • •
• • Matilda, daughter of Christiana and Jacob Delker • •
• • The daughter of Christiana and Jacob Delker, Matilda was born in December 1870 — — perhaps in Wurttemberg, Germany, speculates biographer Jill Watts, noting that Jacob Delker had been working there in a sugar refinery. In January 1889, 18-year-old Matilda Delker wed John West.
• • However, she and her daughter Mae were really the love of each other's lives until Matilda died in the month of January — — on Sunday, 26 January 1930 — — at age 59. We honor her memory today with love and respect.
• • On Monday, 26 January 1948 • •
• • In Britain, The Times reported on Monday, 26 January 1948 that "Miss West is a competent actress. Appearing in a tawdry ornate framework of her own devising, she puts across her own kind of audacity with good timing and a shrewd sense of its own absurdity."
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West was quoted in a South Yorkshire paper [The Sheffield Independent] as saying that she neither smokes nor drinks. And the only man who “comes up sometimes” is a minister.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “I’ve always said that a hard man is good to find.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A film historian mentioned Mae West.
• • Mae West: "I'm here to make talkies" or Censor Will vs. Diamond Lil • •
• • Paul Phaneuf wrote:  Amazingly, Lady Lou passes two men behind bars embracing each other, and says, "Ah, the Cherry Sisters."
• • In the end, Mae West in turn gets arrested by Cary Grant who tells her, "I'm going to be your jailer for a long time" as he slips a ring onto her finger and says, "You bad girl." To which she coos, "You'll find out."
• • The word "wisecrack" • •
• • "In 1933, the year that Mae West pursed her lips in "She Done Him Wrong" ('When women go wrong, men go right after 'em') — — the word wisecrack first entered the Oxford English Dictionary. — — The History of The Code," wrote Paul Phaneuf.    . . .
• • Source: Article by Paul Phaneuf in Films of the Golden Age Magazine; issue dated 5 November 2011
• • Note: My dictionary states wisecrack (as a noun) was first used in 1906. It was used as a verb from 1915. This dates it to the vaudeville era, which Mae was part of.
• • 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 3884th 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 1932

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1 comment:

  1. When Mae West was asked about her mother, she stated that although Matilda didn't live long enough to see her great success in films, "she knew." Our mothers can be the greatest support system in our developing years, and Mae West surely lucked out! I appreciate your tribute to Matilda West.