"Goodness had nothing to do with them!"
That's the line Miss Maven remembers from the earliest movie she saw with Mae West.
It's the great response to a hatcheck girl looking at all her diamonds and saying, "Oh, my goodness!"
(And if you thought she was talking about anything but diamonds, shame on you!)
(Mae West and George Raft in "Night After Night")
One exchange that Miss Maven loves is the exchange between Ms. West (as Lady Lou) and Cary Grant in "She Done Him Wrong" (1933).
Right off, you have to love the name she gave her leading man. What else to call Cary Grant than Captain Cummings in a script by La Belle West?!
She greets him with "Hello there, warm, dark and handsome."
Mae asks the good Captain "Why don't you come up some time and see me?"
He's busy with work at night.
The idea of any man turning down Mae West's sweet, innocent little invitation absolutely flummoxes Miss Maven.
She tries again with "Come up some time and I'll read your fortune."
Maven must confess to laughing so hard at that line that she couldn't tell you WHAT happens next!
Ms. West had other goodies in that movie:
"It was a toss up between whether I go in for diamonds or sing in the choir. The choir lost."
Trust Miss Maven. The choir is harder to carry around with you to show off--They usually can't even agree on what night to practice!
"When Women go wrong, men go right after them."
That's the only time men don't need to stop and ask directions.
Captain Cummings says "Haven't you ever met a man who could make you happy?"
"Sure, lots of times."
Modern pop psychologists would probably say she has a healthy sense of self but that's not what Miss Maven's grandmother would have called it!
Another good source of Westisms are in "I'm No Angel" (1933):
Jim Clayton tells her "You were wonderful tonight."
Ms. West: "Yeah, I'm always wonderful at night!"
Clayton: "Tonight, you were especially good."
Ms. West: "Well . . . When I'm good, I'm very good but, when I'm bad, I'm better!"
Excuse Miss Maven but she'll continue Mae West's great quotes tomorrow.
She wants to try that last on on Santa Claus!
You can contact Miss Maven at