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.
1933—Capone Sentenced to Prison
Chicago organized crime boss Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion after all other attempts to tie him to an assortment of crimes, from the mass murder of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre to widespread violations of the Volstead Act, fail. He is sentenced to eleven years in federal prison and, cut off from the outside world while on Alcatraz Island, his power is finally broken.
1964—China Detonates Nuke
At the Lop Nur test site located between the Taklamakan and Kuruktag deserts, the People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon, codenamed 596 after the month of June 1959, which is when the program was initiated.
1996—Handgun Ban in the UK
In response to a mass shooting in Dunblane, Scotland that kills 16 children, the British Conservative government announces a law to ban all handguns, with the exception .22 caliber target pistols. When Labor takes power several months later, they extend the ban to all handguns.
Pierre Laval, who was the premier of Vichy, France, which had collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, is shot by a firing squad for treason. In subsequent years it emerges that Laval may have considered himself a patriot whose goal was to publicly submit to the Germans while doing everything possible behind the scenes to thwart them. In at least one respect he may have succeeded: fifty percent of French Jews survived the war, whereas in other territories about ninety percent perished.
1966—Black Panthers Form
In the U.S., in Oakland, California, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale form the Black Panther political party. The Panthers are active in American politics throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but eventually legal troubles combined with a schism over the direction of the party lead to its dissolution.
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