Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mae West: A Sockdollager

Paramount Pictures had made a lot of money with MAE WEST. But the winds of change were strong by the mid-1930s. 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 2 of four segments.
• • “Mae West 's Dizzy Career Rests on a Film's Success” • •
• • By Frederick C. Othman (United Press Correspondent)
• • It is a sockdollager of a film • •
• • Frederick C. Othman wrote: It really is a sockdollager of a movie. To our mind, it's the best one that Miss West ever made. The only thing that's worrying her and the men who spent nearly $1,000,000 producing it is whether potential audiences will stay home in protest against her attempt to advertise coffee over the radio by playing the part of Eve in the Garden of Eden, where she got into an argument with a snake about an apple. It was a peculiarly unpleasant skit, without even a sparkle of humor.
• • The National Broadcasting Co. apologized. So did the J. Walter Thompson advertising company, while the Federal communications commission ordered an investigation and the Legion of Decency indicated it may do for the radio what it has done for the movies. The situation would be funny, were it not for its admitted seriousness.
• • What happened was that when the advertising agency approached Miss West to do a broadcast, she wanted to enact a scene from her new movie.
• • It would be risky and risque • •  . . .
• • This is Part 2 of four segments. To be continued tomorrow.
• • Source: United Press coverage; published and syndicated on Wednesday, 22 December 1937.
• • On Monday, 31 January 1927 in Bridgeport • •
• • Despite the public's curiosity about the controversial vaudevillian Mae West, and her latest play "The Drag," Jim Timony could only manage to secure half a week at Poli's Park, which was then in use as a burlesque house in Bridgeport.
• • It was a dreary and blustery Monday on 31 January 1927 when the Morals Production Company hoisted a banner over the trolley cars criss-crossing Main Street. Pedestrians were intrigued by this saucy announcement: "'The Drag' by the author of SEX — — more sensational than Rain or The Captive!" It was Mae West’s intention to give gay characters a voice and a spotlight. The police were lying in wait for her.
• • These true events are dramatized in Act I, Scene 2 of the stage play "Courting Mae West" by LindaAnn LoSchiavo. Why not bring this astonishing 95-minute play to your theatre?
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • The Red Skelton Show: In a parody of "Person to Person" (1953), Mae West is interviewed about the three men who do not appear in her autobiography.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “It was up to me. I had to stay in command of my career."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on sex trafficking mentioned Mae West.
• • Taken into custody on Front Street after police here had been given an accurate description of her, Miss Lunsford said she had been staying at a cabin near the beach. Declaring that she was proud of her resemblance to Mae West, she wisecracked with federal agents on the train journey to San Francisco and before Commissioner Williams declined to answer questions propounded by Assistant United States Attorney A. J. Zirpoli.
• • "1 don't like your face," she told him.
• • Zirpoli said she was shipped to Honolulu by O'Brien last November and then brought back here recently. He asserted she may be held with him as a co-defendant on charges of transporting girls to the islands for immoral purposes.  …
• • Source: Item in the Santa Cruz News (California); published on Wednesday, 31 January 1934
• • 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 3887th 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 • by J.M. Flagg

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