Femmes Fatales Jan 19 2019
VENUS IN FURS
Prepare yourself for a Sykes-a-delic experience.


Above is a rare image of U.S. actress Brenda Sykes, who appeared in cinema and on television during a relatively brief ten year acting career from 1968 to 1978. She's pretty well remembered for someone who had such a short run. Some of this is due to her being one of the era's most beautiful performers, but she was also in cult classics like Cleopatra Jones and Mandingo, as well as on television shows like Police Woman. This shot is from a 1975 issue of Playboy Japan. We've cropped it above, and uploaded the full image below.

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Femmes Fatales Jan 17 2019
MOVITA BONITA
She's committing Rio grand larceny.


There aren't many good photos of Movita, aka Movita Castaneda. Here she's stealing—i.e. committing larceny—in her thriller Girl from Rio. The relative dearth of Movita photos is a bit surprising considering the extent of her film career. She began acting in 1930 as a teenager, and gained widespread fame when she married Marlon Brando in 1960. The marriage would have been tabloid fodder anyway because Brando was Brando, but Movita was seven years older than him. Cradle robber. This photo is from 1939, when she was a mere twenty-three.

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Femmes Fatales Jan 12 2019
PIGEON STOOL
Can we finish this up? I'm pooped.


Did U.S. burlesque performer Rosita Royce actually volunteer to be a stool for a bunch of pigeons? More to the point, how much pigeon stool did she have to wash off after the shoot? But she was probably used to it. Doves were her trademark, and she danced on stage with them, as well as with other types of birds, and posed for many photos thus accessorized. In burlesque a gimmick helped dancers to stand out. Baby Bubbles had her counter-rotating breasts. Lilly Christine had her abs of steel. And Rosita Royce had birds. In show business sometimes you have to get a little dirty. 

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Femmes Fatales Jan 6 2019
GRAPHIC ART
Brooks opens for trading, market expresses approval.


Leslie Brooks gives the stock market a boost in this promo image from 1945. We don't know if this Sunshine Graph image is associated with a movie, but we checked her output from ’45 and ’46 and nothing seems to fit. It could be just a one-off. We'll keep an eye out for more info. Meanwhile, see another Brooks promo here.

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Femmes Fatales Jan 3 2019
FLOWER DROMM SONG
You have to know when it's time to branch out.


Andrea Dromm is wearing a jumpsuit, which is fitting because she's going to have to jump if she ever wants to get out of this tree. A model and actress, she had one of the shorter careers, appearing in two movies and one television show. But one of the movies was the hit comedy The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! and the television show was Star Trek, so she's better remembered than someone with such a small filmography normally would be. After acting she went on to devote her time to modeling, and has been stuck in this tree since posing there in 1966.

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Femmes Fatales Dec 29 2018
STARFACE
Crime doesn't pay. Wink, wink. Just kidding. It paid for me.


This promo photo stars U.S. actress Ann Dvorak. Despite its mischievous nature, it was made for the crime drama Scarface. The dress she's wearing is one you'll see her in if you watch the film. She had been performing since age four in uncredited roles and shorts but the gritty Scarface made her a star. She appeared in numerous movies after that, many of them enjoyable, but what we like most about her is her stage name. Generally Hollywood performers wanted names that sounded less foreign, but she actually chose Dvorak over her real last name McKim. She had great talent, so it wouldn't have mattered what name she acted under. See Three On a Match or G Men for good examples. The above is from 1932. 
 
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Femmes Fatales Dec 23 2018
DRUCILLA THE THRILLA
In this instance it's fine to Strain your eyes.


This rather awesome photo shows U.S. actress, singer, and dancer Drucilla Strain, a Ziegfeld Girl and Broadway performer whose career ran from 1929 to the mid-1940s. The date given on this everywhere online is 1920 but that's wrong. She was a child then. The image is probably from 1930 or 1931, which was right around the time her show business career was getting off the ground. The photo—again, rather awesome—was made by famed lensman Alfred Cheney Johnston, part of a trove of unseen studio nudes unearthed after his death in 1971.

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Femmes Fatales Dec 21 2018
SWINGING INTO ACTION
Screw it. My insurance is paid up. I'm going for a loop!


Above, a fun image of British actress Alexandra Bastedo, who was a television stalwart but did appear in such films as the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale. We don't have a date on this photo, but it was probably made around 1965.

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Femmes Fatales Dec 13 2018
DEADLY DIANA
Dors takes a shot in the dark.


This beautifully composed and photographed image stars British actress Diana Dors and was made for her 1957 drama The Unholy Wife. We wrote about it a few years ago. Long story short, Dors wants to murder her rich husband. The film is in Technicolor but depending on who you ask falls into the category of film noir. That makes it one of the earliest color efforts to do so, as far we know, but all the promos we've ever seen for it are black and white. This one really shows the power of that medium. In fact, looking at it, it's hard to even imagine it's for a color film, isn't it? This image may actually be the best thing about the movie

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Femmes Fatales Dec 11 2018
HITOMI WITH HER BEST SHOTS
This is really fun. What should we do to entertain ourselves once we run out of film?


We said we'd post the rest of our scans of Japanese actress Hitomi Kozue from that 1974 issue of Heibon Punch and we're finally getting around to it today. As you can see, she did not burn down the cabin, but she's definitely generating a dangerous amount of heat. We'll have more from Kozue down the line.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
February 23
1945—Flag Raised on Iwo Jima
Four days after landing on the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima, American soldiers of the 28th Regiment, 5th Marine Division take Mount Suribachi and raise an American flag. A photograph of the moment shot by Joe Rosenthal becomes one of the most famous images of WWII, and wins him the Pulitzer Prize later that year.
February 22
1987—Andy Warhol Dies
American pop artist Andy Warhol, whose creations have sold for as much as 100 million dollars, dies of cardiac arrhythmia following gallbladder surgery in New York City. Warhol, who already suffered lingering physical problems from a 1968 shooting, requested in his will for all but a tiny fraction of his considerable estate to go toward the creation of a foundation dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts.
February 21
1947—Edwin Land Unveils His New Camera
In New York City, scientist and inventor Edwin Land demonstrates the first instant camera, the Polaroid Land Camera, at a meeting of the Optical Society of America. The camera, which contains a special film that self-develops prints in a minute, goes on sale the next year to the public and is an immediate sensation.
1965—Malcolm X Is Assassinated
American minister and human rights activist Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam, who shotgun him in the chest and then shoot him sixteen additional times with handguns. Though three men are eventually convicted of the killing, two have always maintained their innocence, and all have since been paroled.
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