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New Mae Murray biography


MichaelGAnkerich
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Hey this is great news. I'm a big Mae Murray fan. I have the Self-Enchanted book, which I've read a few times, but was always looking for more information on her. Even though she never seemed to be a darling of the critics, I find that she really pops right off the screen, and was very talented and entertaining. She was absolutely beautiful and moving in "The Merry Widow". And I enjoyed her in talkies -- she was great in Bachelor Apartment (though a little over the top), you really could not keep your eyes off of her -- I'm sorry her career didn't continue. I also have her two other talkies, which are not as good, but she comes across well. She certainly had a tragic end.

 

I'm really looking forward to the book coming out. I have the Joyce Compton book, which I enjoyed.

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Of Murray's three talkies, I think she's awful in *Bachelor Apartment. Peacock Alley* is hard to follow because of missing material. But in her final film, *High Stakes*, she plays a complex character and comes off better although her acting is still over the top. My review from IMDb:

 

"The legendary Mae Murray is a fascinating train wreck in HIGH STAKES, a little B film film about a cloying, baby-talking woman (Murray) who marries an "older man" while she carries on an affair. The older man's "kid brother" is a failed playwright (Lowell Sherman) who seems to stay happily soused throughout the film.

 

But soused or not, Sherman picks up on a series of clues and investigates the woman and her friend, discovering they are scam artists with a history of bilking rich millionaires.

 

A slight plot but well enough done. Sherman is excellent. He had a long acting career on stage, in silent films, and in talkies (although he died in 1934 at age 49). He was also a distinguished director. Here he plays the deceptively drunken Joe beautifully. He is dismissed by everyone as a failure but his loyalty to his older brother and his street smarts make him a clever and enjoyable character.

 

On the other hand, Mae Murray is just plain awful in this film. At age 42, she plays a character who is supposedly 32 pretending to be 22! Murray does this awful baby-talk routine and can't pronounce her Rs. She played the same kind of character in BACHELOR APARTMENT (also with Lowell Sherman). She skips and preens and calls her husband Daddy. Is it an act? Is it the real Mae Murray? For a brief few minutes, she drops the baby act after she is exposed and displays a tough and bitter side that seems to better suit the 42-year-old star. But because Murray made only 3 talkies, it's hard to tell what's really going on with her act.

 

Good support from Edward Martindel as the duped husband, Karen Morley as the secretary, Leyland Hodgson as DeSalta, and Charles Coleman as the butler.

 

Mae Murray was a major star of the teens and 20s. It's too bad she was all washed up by 1931. Lowell Sherman should be rediscovered as an actor and director."

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Michael, a big congratulations on your book on the one and only, the legendary over-the-top Jazz Age Flapper--Miss Mae Murray!

 

 

I've read everything I can about her and have seen her in only one movie, THE MERRY WIDOW on TCM (with that truly hideous organ score) but she just jumped off the screen.

 

 

I so wish we had more of her big MGM movies to see today. I've read THE SELF ENCHANTED and was so dissapointed in the way it just stopped with Mae Murray sleeping on a park bench in Central Park.

 

 

THE MGM GIRLS gives us a fascinating view of her and the nightmare she went through with her devious fake prince husband.

 

 

I'll definitely purchase me a copy of your book.

 

 

Good luck!

 

 

P.S. Have you read the cult novel, THE KISS OF KING KONG by Jason Fury? IT's a fasicnating study of early-talkie Hollywood and follows the careers of three young men--one becomes the number one box office star in the world only to be destroyed by his wild personal life. Another one becomes a popular musical extra and a famous drag queen by night. The third one is so big physically, although smashing looking, he eventually ends up a stag film superstar. Mae Murray is mentioned several times in this book. You might enjoy!

 

 

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Relatively few of Murray's silents are around. *Mademoiselle Midnight* and *A Mormon Maid* come to mind as well as *The Delicious Little Devil.*

 

Can anyone think of any others?

 

 

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