Vintage Pulp Apr 25 2017
DINNER TAKES ALL
Who, him? He'll be fine in a minute or two. Everyone who eats here reacts that way when they see their check.

Author Igor B. Maslowski was born in 1914 in Smolensk, Russia, which his parents left to settle in Poland, where Maslowski grew up. After studying French in Warsaw, he went to Paris to study law, and in 1935 he became a reporter for French radio. Later he became a film and theater critic, and from there he moved into writing fiction under his own name and the pseudonym Renée Gaudin. Above you see a very nice cover for his mystery Le jury avait soif, with unattributed art. The book was published by Éditions le Bruyère for its Collection la Cagoule in 1950, and the title in English means “the jury was thirsty.” However, the type of jury here is not a judicial one, but a literary one, convened to select the winner of a prize, a pursuit that's disrupted when one of the panel turns up dead. Pretty soon someone else is dead, and someone else, which in a way isn't a surprise, because the world of literature is actually pretty cutthroat. Aspiring novelists beware. Below, as a bonus, you see a cover of the same novel from Éditions du Chardon's Collection le Carillon, 1954. 

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Femmes Fatales Apr 25 2017
MIMI-OGRAPHY
The team wouldn't be nearly as nice without her.

This 1974 shot of the Japanese AV model Mimi came from an issue of Heibon Punch we bought a while back. It's pretty much impossible to isolate any information on her, because Mimi is actually a very popular name in Japan, as well as the name of a clothing line, a porn star, a movie, and some other things, but we thought we'd share the photo anyway. Apparently Mimi plays basketball, since her shirt says “Nice Sports Basketball.” Shirts against skins, anyone?

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Vintage Pulp Apr 24 2017
MOMMY DEAREST
Spare the rod, spoil the child.

We ran across this West German poster for Solange ein herz schlaegt, aka Mildred Pierce, and realized we had a substantial gap in our film noir résumé. So we watched the movie, and what struck us about it immediately is that it opens with a shooting. Not a lead-in to a shooting, but the shooting itself—fade in, bang bang, guy falls dead. These days most thrillers bludgeon audiences with big openings like that, but back in the day such action beats typically came mid- and late-film. So we were surprised by that. What we weren't surprised by was that Mildred Pierce is good. It's based on a James M. Cain novel, is directed by Michael Curtiz, and is headlined by Joan Crawford. These were top talents in writing, directing, and acting, which means the acclaim associated with the movie is deserved.

While Mildred Pierce is a mystery thriller it's also a family drama revolving around a twice-married woman's dysfunctional relationship with her gold-digging elder daughter, whose desperation to escape her working class roots leads her to make some very bad decisions. Her mother, trying to make her daughter happy, makes even worse decisions. The movie isn't perfect—for one, the daughter's feverish obsession with money seems extreme considering family financial circumstances continuously improve; and as in many movies of the period, the only black character is used as cringingly unkind comic relief. But those blemishes aside, this one is enjoyable, even if the central mystery isn't really much of a mystery. Solange ein herz schlaegt, aka Mildred Pierce opened in West Germany today in 1950.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 23 2017
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
Everybody knew—but was what they knew right?


It's amazing how many mid-century authors were compared to Erskine Caldwell, but such was his influence that any pass at southern smalltown loving, feuding, and corruption prompted reviewers to cite him as the king of the genre. Francis Irby Gwaltney's The Whole Town Knew, originally published as The Yeller-Headed Summer, was compared by many to Caldwell. It deals with the rape and murder of a woman, subsequent efforts to find her killer or killers, efforts to keep the details of her free-spirited ways out of court, local newspaper drama, a not-too-bright lawman in way over his head, and more.
 
This lawman is the center of the book, and his problems mount tremendously—starting with the fact that he's supposed to leave influential members of the community alone and stick to policing poor and powerless folk. Art imitates life, right? The town of Walnut Creek was close kin to the burgs from Caldwell's oeuvre, as were the antics of the townspeople, but the book was well reviewed, leading to Irby—actually a protégée of Norman Mailer, whose mentorship was instrumental—becoming very famous for a time. We love the cover art on this 1955 Popular Library edition. It was painted by Ray Johnson, who always does great work, as you can see here and here.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 22 2017
PILOT EPISODE
You may now return to the full upright position. Heh. I never get tired of saying that.

Mid-century sexploitation fiction left no profession untapped for tawdry thrills. You can put Naked Angels in the airline sleaze bin, along with the classic Bronson's 19 Year Old Stewardess and others. The story here actually follows a specific naked angel, and the twists and turns of her love life both in air and on the ground in various cities and countries. We may put together a small collection of covers from this genre sometime. 1959 on this one, with uncredited art.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 21 2017
INNER CITY BLUE
Life on the edge of a razor.


Above is a Japanese poster for the 1972 blaxploitation film Come Back Charleston Blue, starring Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques as the Harlem detectives Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson. It was the sequel to the highly successful Cotton Comes to Harlem. The plot deals with the return of a legendary vigilante named Charleston Blue, who killed with a blue steel straight razor and is believed by some to be responsible for a series of recent slayings aimed at the local drug trade. He's supposed to be dead, but his casket is empty and his collection of razors has gone missing. Is he really back from beyond? You'll have to watch the movie to find out. Reviews were mixed, but there are some thrills and laughs, there's good location filming around Harlem and environs pre-gentrification, and the soundtrack by Quincy Jones and Donny Hathaway is a nice bonus. All-in-all, a middling effort, but certainly not a waste of time. Come Back Charleston Blue first played in Japan today in 1973. 

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The Naked City Apr 21 2017
TRUE VERSUS FICTION
Nothing impresses a girl like nice hard rod.


Jack Ruby was a nightclub owner, which of course meant he knew many women. After he shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald several formerly obscure or mildly famous women became widely known for their associations with Ruby, including Gail Raven, Candy Wells, and Candy Barr. This cover of National Star Chronicle from yesterday in 1964 shines the spotlight on another Ruby acquaintance—Tammi True. Born Nancy Myers, True danced at Ruby's Dallas nightspot the Carousel Club. She kept her career under wraps, but when Ruby shot Oswald she was identified as a Ruby associate and her anonymity evaporated. National Star Chronicle is one of many tabloids that delved into True's life.
 
Is its headline about her touching the gun that killed Oswald factual? Well, Ruby was arrested at the scene of the shooting. The only time True could have touched the gun was before the murder. Ruby always carried a weapon because he always had club receipts on him, so it's very possible he let True handle it at some point, but True has never confirmed the story. The main reason we tend to doubt it is because she has always been vocal about how angry she was to be outed as a stripper. Before the shooting only her friends and family knew she danced. We can't imagine her sitting down and giving Chronicle an interview. But you never know. See more from National Star Chronicle by clicking here or here

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Femmes Fatales Apr 21 2017
BREAKING WAVE
Hey guys! You might want to get out of the water. I think I see a tsunami coming.


You may have noticed Pulp Intl. went offline for about sixteen hours. As has become tradition whenever our site goes down, we're going to win people back with some nudity. Above is glamour model Maggie Ball, who evokes in this shot that appeared in Players magazine in 1975 the coming summer, the beauty of nature, the re-establishment of connectivity, the return of worldly order, and all other good and wonderful things. Around the palatial Pulp Intl. offices we call these type of posts “naked apologies,” and we've had to resort to them a few times. Now that we've done the naked, here's the apology part: Sorry about that outage last night. Check out what our internet provider wrote us about it:

We can tell you that your bandwidth usage has spiked. Your site has received over 1.2 million total hits since midnight UTC today.
 
So in short, the site broke due to a traffic surge. Because of a link someone posted on Reddit, legions of visitors suddenly arrived to look at our pieces on Vikki Dougan, which caused us to run through our bandwidth. This is a temporary phenomenon, like a tidal wave. It comes, it goes, and the internet forgets, save for a few people impressed enough to become regular visitors. Our visitorship has long been above 35,000 individual sessions a month, so we have no complaints about traffic subsiding to normal levels. Our normal levels are really good. In any case, Pulp Intl. is back up. You'll notice, below, how happy Maggie is about that. And if she's happy, we're happy.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 19 2017
SEX FEVER
They were so delirious they forgot their own names.

Pornodelirio was originally made in France as Les grandes jouisseuses and premiered today in 1978. The title literally means “the great enjoyers,” but Pornodelirio is a lot snappier, don't you think? As usual with these Italian smut posters, the names are all pseudonyms made especially for the movie's run in Italy. We don't know why, but if if any of the stars ever needed to go there at least their hotels weren't overrun by adoring, pornodelirious fans.

In any case, Annick Fougery, Anne Sand, Michele Perelo, and Pierre Forget are actually Brigitte Lahaie, Ursula White, Jean-Louis Vattier, and Dominique Aveline. It's weird that two of the pseudonyms are Fougery like “forgery” and Forget. And it's even weirder that Annick Fougery and Pierre Forget were actual French stars. But they certainly weren't in this movie. Did they ever know their names had been borrowed? Did Europe have trademark infringement laws in 1978? When they checked into hotels were they beseiged by pornodelirious fans? 

This is all a bit of a mystery, but the only name in which we're really interested is Mafé. He or she painted the promo poster you see above and it's another example of his/her great work on an x-rated promo, along with this, these, and these, one of which you'll notice is an alternate poster for Pornodelirio. We still have no idea who Mafé is/was, but as always, we'll keep up the research. Soon as our delirium subsides. You wanna watch the film? The English dubbed version (with correct credits) is online right here

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Vintage Pulp Apr 19 2017
ART OF DARKNESS
Last one to leave turn out the lights.

Above, a beautiful black dust jacket for James Hadley Chase's thriller Believed Violent, 1968, from British publisher Robert Hale Limited. Chase gets right into this one with an adulterous sex scene on the opening page, and serious repercussions resulting from the subsequent murder. The book evolves to become an espionage caper, with Russians willing to pay a fortune for the secret formula behind the manufacture of a revolutionary new metal. Against that backdrop you get the broken man behind the formula, a sadistic professional killer, a one-eyed henchman, a sex slave heroin addict whose eventual rebellion has pivotal consequences, and Chase's franchise character Frank Terrell. The art here, which is what we really wanted to show you, is from Barbara Walton. We've mentioned her only briefly but as you can see she was a top talent. We're going to get back to her a little later.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 30
1927—First Prints Are Left at Grauman's
Hollywood power couple Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, who co-founded the movie studio United Artists with Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith, become the first celebrities to leave their impressions in concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, located along the stretch where the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame would later be established.
April 29
1945—Hitler Marries Braun
During the last days of the Third Reich, as Russia's Red Army closes in from the east, Adolf Hitler marries his long-time partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker during a brief civil ceremony witnessed by Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann. Both Hitler and Braun commit suicide the next day, and their corpses are burned in the Reich Chancellery garden.
1967—Ali Is Stripped of His Title
After refusing induction into the United States Army the day before due to religious reasons, Muhammad Ali is stripped of his heavyweight boxing title. He is found guilty of a felony in refusing to be drafted for service in Vietnam, but he does not serve prison time, and on June 28, 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court reverses his conviction. His stand against the war had made him a hated figure in mainstream America, but in the black community and the rest of the world he had become an icon.
April 28
1947—Heyerdahl Embarks on Kon-Tiki
Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl and his five man crew set out from Peru on a giant balsa wood raft called the Kon-Tiki in order to prove that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia. After a 101 day, 4,300 mile (8,000 km) journey, Kon-Tiki smashes into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands on August 7, 1947, thus demonstrating that it is possible for a primitive craft to survive a Pacific crossing.
1989—Soviets Acknowledge Chernobyl Accident
After two days of rumors and denials the Soviet Union admits there was an accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. Reactor number four had suffered a meltdown, sending a plume of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area. Today the abandoned radioactive area surrounding Chernobyl is rife with local wildlife and has been converted into a wildlife sanctuary, one of the largest in Europe.
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