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The Crack Magazine

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Mae Watch

Is that a new box-set of Mae West’s classic Hollywood films in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me…

Top-hatted man: “Great town, St. Louis. You were born there?” Mae West: “Yes.” Top-hatted man: “What part?” Mae West: “Why all of me.” Mae West’s film are littered with such lines (many of which she coined herself) but she was famous – make that infamous – before she even stepped in front of a camera. She began performing in amateur stage shows at the age of seven, and she made her first appearance on Broadway when she was only 20. And it was on Broadway that she staged ‘Sex’ (a play she wrote, produced and directed), which – despite being a commercial success – saw her charged with obscenity and time in jail. During her subsequent Hollywood career she continued to push at social mores and become one of the biggest box-office draws of the era. This new box-set collects together the ten films she made between 1932 and 1943, and it also includes a wealth of commentaries and documentaries. Final word to Mae: “When I’m good I’m very, very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.” RM

Mae West in Hollywood is released on 22 November by Powerhouse Films.