In 1925 Columbia Pictures released its first film, More to Be Pitied Than Scorned. Late last month, after 50 years and many successful motion pictures (It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, All the King’s Men, Born Yesterday, Funny Girl), Columbia marked the birthday in a way that Hollywood understands. The studio threw itself a monster party.
About 800 guests turned out for the roast beef, chicken and chili in threads that ranged from satins and chiffons to open-necked sportshirts. The party was held on a sound stage at the Burbank Studios and the climax of the evening was the wheeling out of a huge-gigantic-colossal-mammoth-rrrrreally big cake, spiked with 50 candles and a towering “C.”
Along with that pastry, another attraction of the evening was Mae West. The remarkably preserved, 81-year-old Mae, dressed in white, was surrounded by young men. At one point Janet (My Sister Eileen) Blair came over to her table and said: “You don’t know me, but I want to say you look wonderful. You’re getting younger every day.” Beulah, peel me a grape.