Hollywood is seen without its face on.
We have something a bit different today, a cover of Pete Martin's tinseltown tell-all Hollywood without Makeup. What you get here are tabloid style bios of various cinematic luminaries, including Greer Garson, Ava Gardner, and Maria Montez. The info on the stars probably makes this one worthwhile by itself, but as a bonus you get tabloid style writing in long form. It's a type of prose that isn't practiced anymore, but it can be quite entertaining to read. Here's an example:
“When first stumbled upon, the conception of the lady sounds as if those who are promoting it are deliberately plying a fire extinguisher to quench the flames of publicity that might singe her career.”
We don't even fully understand what that means, really. Here's a more straightforward passage:
“She operates on the theory that standing up on her two eye-filling legs and yelling for her rights, while at the same time clubbing people over the head with her overpowering personality, will bring home a choice brand of bacon generously streaked with lean. The head screwed on her decorative shoulders is not stuffed with goofer feathers or idle girlish vaporings. The mind behind her velvet-textured Latin facade closes on an opportunity like the jaws of a bear trap.”
Aside from being incredibly condescending, it's an interesting style. You find this type of baroque writing in all the high budget tabloids, such as Confidential, Hush-Hush, and Whisper. It's self-indulgent, but fun to read. Does it sound like your cup of tea? Then go for it. Regarding the cover art, we aren't sure whether we're dealing with a painting or a photo-illustration, but in either case it's uncredited.
Robert Mitchum’s records are still crazy after all these years.
Robert Mitchum was considered one of the coolest guys in cinema, but he didn’t take his craft very seriously. He said that stage passed around the time he “made a film with Greer Garson and she took 125 takes to say no.” Perhaps that disdain toward his chosen craft is why Mitchum didn’t hesitate to branch out and risk his image releasing two albums of whimsical music. His first, 1957’s Calypso Is Like So, offers up the normally baritone-voiced Mitchum singing in a lilting Caribbean accent. The album charted a modest hit in the countrified galloper “The Ballad of Thunder Road,” and also contains the ditty “From a Logical Point of View,” in which he comically shares a recipe for marital happiness:
But if you make an ugly woman your wife,
you can be sure you will be happy in all your life.
She will never do things in a funny way,
to allow the neighbor to have things to say.
She wouldn't disregard the husband at all,
by exhibiting herself too bitter and cold.
Man, from a logical point of view,
better marry a woman uglier than you.
Mitchum’s second record, entitled That Man Sings, aka That Man, was recorded in 1967. This one was mostly country music, and charted two singles. As time passed, the calypso album became the more renowned of Mitchum’s platters, probably because of its unrepentant cheese factor, but we think album two is far superior to the first. It’s less of a novelty album, and has what we think is his best song, a version of the Bobby Hebb classic “Sunny.” We have a feeling it'll brighten up your Monday.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1945—Nuremberg Trials Begin
In Nuremberg, Germany, in the Palace of Justice, the trials of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany begin. Among the men tried were Martin Bormann (in absentia), Hermann Göring, Rudolph Hess, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner.
1984—SETI Institute Founded
The SETI Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, the discovery of extrasolar planets, and the habitability of the galaxy, is founded in California by Thomas Pierson and Dr. Jill Tarter.
1916—Goldwyn Pictures Formed
In the U.S.A., Samuel Goldfish and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Pictures, which becomes one of the most successful independent film studios in Hollywood. Goldfish also takes the opportunity to legally change his last name to Goldwyn.
1916—First Battle of the Somme Ends
In France, British Expeditionary Force commander Douglas Haig calls off a battle against entrenched German troops which had begun on July 1, 1916. Known as the Battle of the Somme, this action resulted in one of the greatest losses of life in modern history—over three-hundred thousand dead for a net gain of about seven miles of land.
1978—Jonestown Cult Commits Mass Suicide
In the South American country of Guyana, Jim Jones leads his Peoples Temple cult in a mass suicide that claims 918 lives, including over 270 children. Congressman Leo J. Ryan, who had been visiting the makeshift cult complex known as Jonestown to investigate claims of abuse, is shot by members of the Peoples Temple as he tries to escape from a nearby airfield with several cult members who asked for his protection.
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