Friday, September 3, 2010


Sometimes I am known to do Mae West imitations and have dressed as Miss West for Halloween parties.

Oftentimes when I say a Mae West line people are surprised, because it IS Mae West's quote. One time I uttered the quote, "An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises," and my boss said, "I like that; I think I'll use it." When I told him it was Mae West's line, he reconsidered.

Miss West (as she is always called) was an amazing force--in a time when other women were never considered to be writers and directors in Hollywood, Miss West did it all!

I especially like Miss West's twists on cliches. Some of my favorite Mae West lines:

"I used to be Snow White but I drifted"
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."
"When I'm good, I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better."
"I never worry about diets; the only carrots that interest me are the number that you get in a diamond."
"I'm no model lady. A model's just an imitation of the real thing."
"I didn't discover curves; I only uncovered them."
"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it."
"I never loved another person the way I loved myself."
"I only have "yes" men around me; who needs "no" men?"
"I like two kinds of men: domestic and imported."
"If you don't like my cherries, don't shake my tree."
"An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises."
"To err is human, but it feels divine."
"Too much of a good thing is wonderful."
"He who hesitates is last."
"Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often."
"Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly."
"Between two evils, I always choose the one I haven't done before."
"He who hesitates is a damn fool."
"A man in the house is worth two in the street."
"A man's kiss is his signature."
"A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up."
"A hard man is good to find."
"It's not the men in my life that counts,; it's the life in my men."
"So many men, so little time."
"I've been things and seen places."
"I've been in more laps than a napkin."
"It is better to be looked over than to be overlooked."
"It takes two to get one in trouble."
"Look your best; who said love is blind?"
"I see you're a man with ideals. I better be going while you've still got them."
"I speak two languages: Body and English."
"I'll try anything one; twice if I like it; three times to make sure."
"I'm a woman of few words but lots of actions."

It's uncertain whether her most famous line, "Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you glad to see me?'" was spoken in an interview or when and if she first uttered it, but she didn't actually use the line in a movie until the 1978 movie "Sextette" but I know that I had been attributing it to her since I first heard it in the 1960s.

The line, "Come up and see me sometime" was actually said this way to Cary Grant: "Come up sometime; see me." Later she also said, "Come up again anytime."

Raquel Welch told this story on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson: when Raquel and Miss West were scheduled to appear together in the movie "Myra Breckinridge", Raquel went to Miss West's dressing room and she began gushing about how she'd always been a fan, how much she admired Miss West and so on; during all of this, Miss West never uttered a word. Raquel said that she went on and began telling Miss West that she knew that the media liked to manufacture stories of feuds when two women STARS who worked together, but that she herself assured Miss West that she would have no part of it! When Raquel took a breath, Miss West asked, "What did you say your name was again, honey?"

1 comment:

Derek Myers said...

You forgot:

"A woman in love can't be reasonable - or she probably wouldn't be in love."