Born on 12 January 1884 in Waco, Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan played a gun-slinger and rode bareback in silent films, took New York by storm in 1906, and earned a salary of $700,000 as a speakeasy hostess. Here are highlights from a life led at full speed until 5 November 1933. Meet TEXAS GUINAN!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Texas Guinan: Queen of Clubs

TEXAS GUINAN is in her element in the Vitaphone production, "Queen of the Night Clubs,"  now on view at the Mark Strand Theatre, stated the New York Times in 1929.
• • "Queen of the Night Clubs" • •
• • It is a somewhat entertaining thriller, with a murder or so, frowning plotters, a silly hoofer, and a none-too-gifted young woman who, nevertheless, appears to be worth her weight in gold as an entertainer in a night club.
• • Miss Guinan's voice is more powerful than melodious. It is the voice that is accustomed to ordering guests to buy and buy and give little girls a hand. Following the murder, which must happen in every night club on the screen, Miss Guinan, as Texas Malone, admits on the witness stand that she knows more about Scotch than English, a joke that was thought to have sunk into oblivion.
• • Miss Guinan is not exactly new to the screen, for she appeared years ago in a number of short subjects. Her first pictorial production was "The Gun Woman," through which she became known to some persons as the female Bill Hart. In this present film she is the night club hostess who is favored by those who patronize these nocturnal resorts. Her success is such that it causes her rivals to plot her downfall, especially that of Don Holland, who supplies the boodle.
• • In at least one of the incidents in this unedifying tale, the police are depicted as being exceptionally callous regarding murders. They order two stretchers over the telephone, with about the same coolness a butter and egg man might order mineral water in a Texas Guinan club.
• • This story is told in such a way as to arouse curiosity as to how it is going to finish.  The dénouement, however, is by no means as imaginative as one anticipates. The author appears to have been floundering around trying to find a way out and hen ended his yarn as best he could. And this best is amateurishly forced. The scenes in the court room are both well filmed and competently acted. Those filling the rôles of the the lawyers do their work naturally.
• • Lila Lee impersonates Bee Walters, the girl who makes a strong impression upon the night club crowds. Eddie Parr, the silly young hoofer, is fairly well acted by Eddie Foy Jr. John Davidson appears to be thinking too much of his voice and not enough of his gestures and expressions in playing Don Holland.
• • There are several interesting Movietone news reel subjects.  . . . 
• • Night Clubs and Murders.
• • QUEEN OF THE NIGHT CLUBS, with Texas Guinan, Eddie Foy Jr., Lila Lee, Jack Norworth, John Davidson, John Miljan, Arthur Houseman, William Davidson, Charlotte Merriam, Jimmie Phillips, Lee Shumway, James T. Mack, Agnes Traney and Joseph Depew, directed by Bryan Foy;  . . .   At the Mark Strand.
• • Source: Movie Review by Mordaunt Hall, N.Y. Times; published on Monday, 18 March 1929
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• • The legal battles fought by Mae West and Jim Timony are dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship, and Secrets," set during the Prohibition Era. Texas Guinan is in some scenes, too.
Watch a scene on YouTube.

• • Website for all things Mae West 

• • Exciting Texas Guinan news is on the horizon. More anon.
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• • Photo: Texas Guinan
• • in 1929 • •

Texas Guinan.

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