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.
1963—Profumo Denies Affair
In England, the Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, denies any impropriety with showgirl Christine Keeler and threatens to sue anyone repeating the allegations. The accusations involve not just infidelity, but the possibility acquaintances of Keeler might be trying to ply Profumo for nuclear secrets. In June, Profumo finally resigns from the government after confessing his sexual involvement with Keeler
and admitting he lied to parliament.
1978—Karl Wallenda Falls to His Death
World famous German daredevil and high-wire walker Karl Wallenda, founder of the acrobatic troupe The Flying Wallendas, falls to his death attempting to walk on a cable strung between the two towers of the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Wallenda is seventy-three years old at the time, but it is a 30 mph wind, rather than age, that is generally blamed for sending him from the wire.
2006—Swedish Spy Stig Wennerstrom Dies
Swedish air force colonel Stig Wennerström, who had been convicted in the 1970s of passing Swedish, U.S. and NATO secrets to the Soviet Union over the course of fifteen years, dies in an old age home at the age of ninety-nine. The Wennerström affair, as some called it, was at the time one of the biggest scandals
of the Cold War.
The federal penitentiary located on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay closes. The island had been home to a lighthouse, a military fortification, and a military prison over the years. In 1972, it would become a national recreation area open to tourists, and it would receive national landmark designations in 1976 and 1986.
1916—Einstein Publishes General Relativity
German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity. Among the effects of the theory are phenomena such as the curvature of space-time, the bending of rays of light in gravitational fields, faster than light universe expansion, and the warping of space time around a rotating body.
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