Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Mae West: Policy King

The drama critics in Great Britain and California have reviewed a revival of stage plays that were written by MAE WEST. But let’s go back in time to see what the critics of her era had to say about her writing and her acting. This review is from 1931 and it was published in Mae’s hometown newspaper during the Prohibition Era when a glass of gin or beer in a honky-tonk or a Harlem dive made the audience nostalgic.
• • This is a review of “The Constant Sinner,”  Part 2.
• • Miss West Turns Her Novel Into Drama and Plays a Bum • •
• • Babe Gordon at a Harlem athletic club • • 
• • "Gee," says a hanger-on, "this Bearcat Delaney is some fighter!" So Babe Gordon, Harlem bum, goes after Bearcat Delaney and spends all his prize fight winnings for him.
• • Burns Mantle wrote:  Too much dissipation with her and he's back driving a cab but still in love with her, and married to her, too.
• • Burns Mantle wrote:  Tired of poverty, Babe takes up with a colored policy king and night club operator, and later — — this being a dramatization of Miss West's novel — — she wins the love of a millionaire store proprietor. The millionaire thinks it is his duty to take a nice girl like her out of the company of a policy king. The scenes switch from hotels to Harlem dives and Harlem flats.
• • Burns Mantle wrote:  Babe peddles dope, the policy king is murdered, Bearcat nobly assumes the blame and is acquitted, and Bearcat rises to even greater pugilistic heights. But Babe Gordon is still a bum, for all her husband's faith. 
• • Burns Mantle wrote:  As the fighter, Russell Hardie has to indulge in several love scenes with the husky Mae. Although there are many colored actors, George Givot, white, plays the policy king. Arthur R. Vinton is authentic as a fight manager, and Donald Kirke, Walter Glass and Walter Petrie help things along.
• • This was Part 2 of two parts. We hope you enjoyed it.
• • Source: Drama Review, p. 39, from The N.Y. Daily News; published on Wednesday, 16 September 1931
• • On Tuesday, 11 July 2000 • •
• • "Mae West" is a track by Herb Geller and Brian Kellock. You will find this jazzy single (4:04 minutes) on their album "Hollywood Portraits," released in the U.K. on Tuesday, 11 July 2000 by Hep Records.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Max Gordon is dickering with Mae West’s studio to let her do a play.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Boris Petroff, former stage producer, is my dramatic adviser, while Murray Fiel and Murray Ellman — — with Mr. Jim Timony — — comprise what amounts to a business board of directors."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A woman’s history site mentioned Mae West.
• • Sari Rosenberg wrote: Mae West’s witty, buxom and bawdy ways paved the way for women to own their sexuality in a way unheard of before. (“Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?”) Nobody owned Mae West. She was Hollywood’s most independent spirit.  . . .
• • Source: Article by Sari Rosenberg; published on Thursday, 17 August 2017
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • • 
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — — 
• •
• • 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 3,900 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3999th 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 • the black cast of her 1931 stage play

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