Tuesday, October 22, 2013

MAE WEST ALWAYS THE BEST : The Early Years : RARE MAE WEST PHOTOS AND CLIPPINGS (most from my own collection)

Shirley Temple and Mae West pinup  Look May 25 1937 (from my collection) 
Mae West dressed as a boy aged 15 in 1908. This photo probably started a lot of rumours
In her teens Mae West was striking
Mae West as a vamp variety performer in 1917
Mae West and her rarely seen sister Beverly (own collection)
Blondes have more fun
Mae West color magazine pinup (own collection)
Mae West vintage postcard (own collection)
Mae West as a lion tamer in I'm No Angel 1933 (own collection)
My favorite photo of Mae West (own collection)
This is a close 2nd favorite shot. 
Silver Screen Feb '35 (own collection)
Mae & Charlie McCarthy "Why don't you come up and play in my wood pile?" 
Posted by PicasaThere has been a lot of speculation over the years that Mae West may have actually been born male.
She was rarely photographed showing her legs, loved films set in the 'gay nineties' as that era suited her penchant for big hats, ample bosom, tiny waist and hourglass figure. Also Mae disliked being touched, was very discreet with her lovers, loved a prizefight or a black boxer as a lover. And yet Mae was tiny, she wore stacked shoes that had false bottoms on them, so when she walked, it was one balancing act.  Another unusual thing about Mae was she hated her masculine chin and jawline, and had them retouched in every photo. Mae made her first film at 40, so she wanted to look as good as possible in every photo. Her weight was always a problem, and being short in stature didn't help. So she always wore long dresses or trousers to cover her stacked heels.  In the late 40's it was reported Mae had died, then the papers said it was her brother who had died. Some people believe Mae's looks changed from the 50's onwards. Her brother was taller, but her sister Beverly was about the same height. and looked very similar. Very few photos exist of Mae with her sister Beverly. But her sister was at Mae's funeral in 1980, so it couldn't have been her pretending to be Mae all those years. It would be a fascinating rumour to believe, but there is no proof. Anyway, Raquel Welch loves to talk about working on the 1970 camp classic Myra Breckenridge with Mae, and on the dvd's commentary, she states at the time she noticed Mae's big hands, and thought she was a man. Raquel and Mae famously did not get on during filming. Mae insisted on being the only actress to wear white, so Raquel wore a pale blue tinted ruffle. But more about Myra in my next post on Mae's later years. For now enjoy some rare early shots of Mae in her vaudeville days, and some stunning shots through the 30's of Mae at her peak. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

JACK BUETEL : THE OUTLAW : Introducing Jane Russell in a HOWARD HUGHES Production. (made in 1941, previewed in 1943 but then banned, finally released in 1946)

Jack Buetel
Jack Buetel (from my own collection)
Jack Buetel (from my own collection)
Jack Buetel
Jack Buetel and Jane Russell admire costume illustration
Illustration of Jack Buetel
Jane Russell posing for the magazine poster ad for The Outlaw
The Outlaw magazine ad August 1946 Screen Stars (from my own collection)
Jane Russell and Jack Buetel The Outlaw
 Jack Buetel and Jane Russell The Outlaw : still hand signed by Jayne Russell (from my own collection)
Jane Russell and Jack Buetel The Outlaw lobby card
Jane Russell and Jack Buetel The Outlaw still
Jane Russell and Jack Buetel The Outlaw
Jane Russell and Jack Buetel relaxing
Jack Buetel
Jack Buetel
Jack Buetel signed fan photo
Jane Russell and Jack Buetel The Outlaw 
Posted by PicasaJack Buetel was chosen to star opposite Jane Russell in her first film, The Outlaw, it was rumoured,  because he looked like a male version of her. Then the film after much fanfare, was delayed and not released for a few years because of censorship. Jack Buetel was under contract to Howard Hughes, and was not allowed to make another film for about a decade, because Hughes wouldn't let him.  So his career was virtually ruined, but he did do a few films later.  He is best remembered for this film. He would never say why Hughes treated him so poorly.  The Outlaw was completed in February 1941. The studio demanded cuts because of the footage of Miss Russell's ample bosom. Hughes had designed an uplifting bra for Miss Russell to wear, but it was so uncomfortable, she padded her own, and wore that without telling him. The film was finally previewed in 1943 for one week but was closed because it violated the production code. Hughes drummed up publicity to have the film banned by women's and church groups, hoping to get some interest from the studio. The publicity had the desired effect, and the film was finally released in April 1946, 5 years after it had been made. It became an instant hit.