Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Mae West: Ring Figures

Jill Watts, biographer of MAE WEST, a distinguished professor at CSUSM, and a talented author of books on Father Divine [1879—1965] and Hattie McDaniel [1895—1952], which has inspired a new film about the Oscar winner, has kindly consented to an exclusive interview with The Mae West Blog. This is Part 6.
• • Hints of abusiveness • •
• • JILL WATTS: As well, there were hints that possibly he was abusive toward her — it was something never discussed at the time — but if it were true, it made their relationship difficult. 
• • The way Mae West depicts boxers and ring figures • •
• • JW: Mae’s depiction of boxers in her work often was not flattering and that may have derived from her father but just as well from the men who surrounded him.  In terms of how he was remembered, perhaps Mae set the tone.  When her father died, she took very little time off from work to mourn him. However, when her beloved mother died, she couldn’t speak and was utterly bereft. “There was no one to play to,” she said. 
• • We will continue tomorrow with our third (3rd) interview question for biographer and historian Jill Watts.
• • "Watts' biography of Mae West delves deeply into the meaning of the star's essence. She presents an astonishingly complex portrait."National Post
• • Recommended Reading: “Mae West: An Icon in Black and White” by Jill Watts [Oxford University Press; paperback edition, 2003]; 400 pages.
• • On Tuesday, 7 August 1934 • •
• • According to Daily Variety, "Belle of the Nineties" was given the purity seal on 6 August  1934. Variety announced this on the front cover of their issue dated for Tuesday, 7 August 1934.
• • Correspondence from Hammell to Joe Breen dated Wednesday, 7 August 1934, however, listed half-a-dozen script revisions that would be made. These modifications were meant to scrub away any implied immorality from the Ruby Carter character or the Tiger Kid.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West met with Frank Buchman for a half an hour.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I don't like bad language. I never tell or listen to dirty stories myself. You can have a lot of fun, and be sexy, too, without being vulgar or plain dirty. Sex is natural and what is natural is not nasty. And dirt should always be cleaned up.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Biographers have enlightened us about Mae West.
• • Excerpt from a review of "Becoming Mae West" by biographer Emily Wortis Leider.
• • Book critic Maria Braden noted: Mae West also hid that she had been married twice because she wanted to be perceived as single and available. And although West was a businesswoman, she refused to portray such a character on the screen because it might compromise her "femininity." ...
• • Source: Book Review: "A Hollywood Legend Who Wasn't Always What She Seemed" written by Maria Braden, Knight-Ridder Newspapers; published on Thursday, 7 August 1997
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • • 
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — — 
• • http://lideamagazine.com/renaissance-woman-new-york-city-interview-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 4,000 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4018th 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/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West •  in 1934

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