Modern Pulp Jan 6 2009
THRILLA IN MANILA

Known as the King of Philippine Movies, actor-director Fernando Poe, Jr. was such a popular figure in his home country that he ran for president in 2004. After a hotly contested election that he lost, his supporters accused the opposition of fraud. Seven months later he was killed by a coronary thrombosis, whereupon some people close to Poe blamed his enemies, but that’s a pulp story for another time. What we’re interested in today in his huge body of work—nearly 175 movies over more than five decades. You’d almost have to be two people to produce so much and, in a way, he was. He directed for years under the name Ronwaldo Reyes, and kept the identity secret until the night he walked onto stage at the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (or FAMAS) Awards to claim a statuette. The above film, the actioner Ang Padrino, may have low budget promo art, but it won three more FAMAS Awards for Poe, including best picture. It opened today in Manila in 1985.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
September 17
1908—First Airplane Fatality Occurs
The plane built by Wilbur and Orville Wright, The Wright Flyer, crashes with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge aboard as a passenger. The accident kills Selfridge, and he becomes the first airplane fatality in history.
1983—First Black Miss America Crowned
Vanessa Williams becomes the first African American Miss America. She later loses her crown when lesbian-themed nude photographs of her are published by Penthouse magazine.
September 16
1920—Terrorists Bomb Wall Street
At 12:01 p.m. a bomb loaded into a horse-drawn wagon explodes in front of the J.P.Morgan building in New York City. 38 people are killed and 400 injured. Italian anarchists are thought to be the perpetrators, but after years of investigation no one is ever brought to justice.
September 15
1959—Khrushchev Visits U.S.
Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the United States. The two week stay includes talks with U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, as well as a visit to a farm and a Hollywood movie set, and a tour of a "typical" American neighborhood, upper middle class Granada Hills, California.
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