Mae West: It Ain't No Sin


Most know Mae West only from groundbreaking comedies like I’m No Angel. But Simon Louvish, using clips and the star’s personal archive, re-creates her rich vaudeville years singing and shimmying, followed by her hot-button plays Sex (for which she was jailed), The Drag (exploring homosexuality), and The Pleasure Man (more homosexuality, plus castration) in Mae West: It Ain’t No Sin. Just as fascinating are details of West’s battles with Hollywood censors. (A note for Belle of the Nineties curiously suggests deleting the line ”It pays to be good — but it don’t pay much.”) While old age was unkind, in 1978’s Sextette she did get to say the F-word on screen.

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