Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Mae West: Wreaked Havoc

As MAE WEST would say, “When I’m good, I’m very good.” And when she broke records, one reporter quipped, she could have wiped out the Depression. Travel back in time on our a-MAE-zing magic carpet. This is Part 3 of 3 segments, the conclusion to this piece written in 1933.
• • What's Doing at the Cinema • •
• • I'm No Angel” — Breaking Records at the Embassy • •
• • Mae West confesses • • 
• • Mae West, whose latest picture "I'm No Angel" is now playing at the Embassy, with Cary Grant featured, confesses that she is a student of the lives and loves of the sex appeal champions of bygone days.
• • Her character, "Lady Lou," whom she portrayed in her film, "She Done Him Wrong," was based upon a woman who actually wreaked havoc with men's lives in the unregenerate Bowery of the Gay Nineties, Miss West said. This flamboyant caricature was not a modern reincarnation of any of the bad women of history, according to Miss West, but, she added, "her technique was the same."  Mae also said that a sex worker can have more advanced ideas than most of her female onlookers.
• • Source: Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania); Wednesday, 22 November 1933.
• • On Wednesday, 9 January 1889 in Brooklyn, NY • •
• • On this date, John West took his best girlfriend Tillie Decker to Brooklyn's Borough Hall to apply for a marriage license. Mae's mother's name appears as "Tillie Decker" on the form, not as "Matilda."
• • On Wednesday, 9 January 1974 in Los Angeles • •
• • A popular piece of memorabilia for a Mae-maven is anything signed by the icon. One fan snapped up a check written on Wednesday, 9 January 1974. On that date Mae had signed a personal check, made out for $50 in cash and signed by the star in black ink.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • In "Belle of the Nineties" starring Mae West cinema staple and singer Frank Rice will be seen in a minor role as the Best Man at a wedding.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “Kiss and make up-but too much makeup has ruined many a kiss.”
• • Mae West said: "I've always taken the rap for the Code — — but it was really those Barbara Stanwyck pictures (i.e., 'Babyface') that did it."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on Pre-Code movies mentioned Mae West.
• • Susan King wrote: Though a number of these films revolved around the gangster world, including 1930's "Little Caesar," 1931's "The Public Enemy" and 1932's "Scarface," these pre-Code films were generally dominated by strong female actresses such as Mae West, Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo, and Clara Bow.
• • Susan King explained further: Women were much more sexually aggressive in pre-Code films, morals were loose. Their dialogue was suggestive. And their often skimpy outfits left little to the imagination. Some actresses who starred in pre-Code films flourished even after the Code crackdown in 1934. But others, like Mae West, whose image was so sexually charged, lost audiences as a more sanitized version of herself. ...
• • Source: Article: "Classic Hollywood: Pre-Code films out from Warner Archive" written by Susan King for The L.A. Times; published on Sunday, 8 January 2012
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 14th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fourteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,100 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4123rd 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 costume in 1934

• • Feed — —
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