Monday, January 29, 2018

Mae West: Through "Formula"

It was January 1930 when MAE WEST was being considered as a member of Universal Pictures screenwriting staff.
• • “She Done Him Wrong” was released on Friday, 27 January 1933.
• • “Talkies” were then on the rise. Previously, a script was referred to as a “photoplay.”
• • Working titles for this film include Honky Tonk, Ruby Red and Lady Lou . An onscreen foreword reads: "The Gay Nineties...When they did such things and they said such things on the Bowery. A lusty, brawling, florid decade when there were handlebars on lip and wheel--and legs were confidential." This film marks West's first starring screen role and followed Night After Night, which starred George Raft but for which West received much attention.
• • According to the Paramount Script Collection at the AMPAS Library, Marian Marsh was originally set to play the role of Sally. Several reviews list Rafaela Ottiano's character as "Russian Rosie," which was her name in early scripts; the release dialogue script dated 17 Jan 1933 lists Ottiano as "Russian Rita," which was her name in the viewed print.
• • According to files in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, in January 1930, Universal Pictures was considering purchasing West's play, Diamond Lil , and possibly employing West as a member of Universal's writing staff.
• • The play went through "formula" • •
• • According to a letter dated on Saturday,11 January 1930, Colonel Jason S. Joy, Director of the Studio Relations Office of the AMPP, discouraged Universal against hiring Mae West. The play went through "formula," i.e., was scrutinized according to the Production Code, on 22 April 1930, when Paramount was considering adapting it for the screen. On 19 October 1932, Will H. Hays, head of MPPDA, wrote to Paramount President Adolph Zukor, stating that Diamond Lady and Diamonds, the suggested film titles, had both been rejected because "changing the title [of the play] is not enough." ..
• • Source: Excerpt from: AFI Catalog of Feature Films — The First 100 Years, 1893–1993; undated.
• • Happy Birthday on the 29th of January • •
• • Happy Birthday to actress Ann Jillian (born on 29 January 1950), who portrayed Mae West in the 1982 TV bio-pic of the same name. Jillian was 32 when she starred in "Mae West" on the small screen.
• • Happy Birthday to actor Tom Selleck (born on 29 January 1945). It's been said by a few people that Mae West first noticed Tom Selleck in a Pepsi commercial. She was responsible for getting Selleck cast as The Stud in "Myra Breckenridge" [1970] when he was 25 years old.
• • On Monday, 29 January 1917 in Brooklyn • •
• • Mae West was a witness at her younger sister's wedding, which took place on a weekday, Monday, 29 January 1917 in Brooklyn City Hall, not far from the West family's Brooklyn residence.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • As a critic from the New York Herald Tribune noted on 23 January 1927, "It may be said of [Mae West] and SEX that they do not make sin attractive.”
• • In Her Own Words •
• • Mae West said: “I’m no model lady.  A model’s just an imitation of the real thing.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Madera Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • Showing at the Madera Theatre for the last time tonight is . . .  and “Born to be Bad,” featuring a Loretta Young. It was his work opposite Mae West that showed Cary Grant was the Ideal choice to be co-starred with Loretta Young in “Born to be Bad”. .  .
• • Source: Item in Madera Daily Tribune; published on Friday, 25 January 1935
• • 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 3885th 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 • a still from 1932

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