Mae West was best known as a comedian and actress whose bawdy plays and movies were full of double entendres and attracted the attention of industry censors. Less well known is her role as writer in many productions. Her film career -- mainly at Paramount in the 1930s -- seemed to stop in 1943, but she returned in the 1970s for Myra Breckindridge, a cult classic, and Sextette.
Selected Mae West Quotations
• I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.
• If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning.
• I wrote the story myself. It's all about a girl who lost her reputation but never missed it.
• When I'm good, I'm very good. When I'm bad, I'm better.
• Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.
• It's hard to be funny when you have to be clean.
• I'm a woman of very few words, but lots of action.
• I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.
• It isn't what I do, but how I do it. It isn't what I say, but how I say it, and how I look when I do it and say it.
• I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
• When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.
• Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet.
• I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
• Why don't you come on up and see me sometime -- when I've got nothin' on but the radio.
• Why don't you come up sometime and see me? I'm home every evening. Come up. I'll tell your fortune. Ah, you can be had.
• Life's just a merry-go-round. Come on up. You might get a brass ring.
• She's the kind of girl who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong.
• When women go wrong, men go right after them.
• There are no good girls gone wrong, just bad girls found out.
• Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
• Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
• It is better to be looked over than overlooked.
• Keep a diary, and someday it'll keep you.
• To err is human, but it feels divine.
• Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.
• I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better.
• Sex is emotion in motion.
• Virtue has its own reward, but no sale at the box office.
• Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.
• I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I'm a woman, but loose enough to show I'm a lady.
• You're never too old to become younger.
• I like restraint, if it doesn't go too far.
• I'm the lady who works at Paramount all day... and Fox all night.
• I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
• A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up.
• I never loved another person the way I loved myself.
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About These Quotes
Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2008. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Mae West Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/mae_west.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)