Femmes Fatales Feb 24 2024
HAIR DOWN TO THERE
Since you ask, no, I've never had a haircut. Though many have offered.


This image shows French/Dominican actress Tina Aumont, aka Tina Marquand, who we've seen around these parts a couple of times, most recently in the 1966 movie Modesty Blaise. We also shared a 1975 photo of her from Playboy Italy. This shot was conceived (or maybe copied from Erna Schürer) by Angelo Frontoni and dates from 1969. 

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Femmes Fatales May 10 2023
QUITE A BIT AT STAKE
She always wanted people to think of her as sizzling hot.

You don't see many photos like these. They were published in Playboy Italy in 1980, and feature Italian actress Maria Rosaria Omaggio, who appeared in such films as Roma a mano armata, aka The Tough Ones, and Squadra antiscippo, aka The Cop in Blue Jeans. These images are yet more imaginativeness from famed photographer Angelo Frontoni. This time he took his cue from Omaggio when she said she collected writings on witches and the occult. Playboy shared an example: The candelabrum: go at night to the place reputed to hide a treasure, carefully watching the oscillations of the flame. When the flame goes out, it will be a sign that you have the coveted treasure under your feet. Groovy.

The text goes on to note that during the Italian Renaissance, and later during the Counter-Reformation, contraception, birth control, and infertility came to be defined as witchcraft. So the eclectic Frontoni, in collaboration with Omaggio, took all that info onboard came up with this immolative concept. Don't forget, this was during an era when photographers and models generally saw nudity as an expression of freedom and power. In other words, Frontoni and Omaggio, by using nude-witch-at-the-stake imagery, were saying, “Strip away all the excuses and this is what many men really hate and fear most: women.” Heavy handed? Maybe. But very much on target, we think.
 
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Femmes Fatales Apr 29 2023
FEMI-NINITY AND STYLE
There are very few limits to how fur she'll go for fashion.


This shot of Italian actress Femi Benussi made by prolific lensman Angelo Frontoni is from a 1977 issue of Ciné-Revue, and shows her wrapped (sort of) in a fur vest, probably made of skunk, which was a trendy choice for coats at the time. Benussi appeared in more than eighty films, among them Tarzana sesso selvaggio and Nude per l'assassino, aka Strip Nude for Your Killer. At some point she became a fixture in commedie sexy all'italiane, a sub-genre of goofy titillation flicks, with humor so sophomoric you'll beg for mercy. Well, you don't have to beg to see Benussi back on Pulp Intl. There are a few more movies of hers we'd like to check out, so she'll return.

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Femmes Fatales Aug 24 2022
PERFECTLY INNOCENT
I'm not devious or Machiavellian in the least. But a Machiavellian person would say that, wouldn't they?


Fifteenth century philosopher and diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli popularized the belief that powerful men—and particularly politicians—are often amoral, and perhaps should be that way, an idea that gave rise to the term Machiavellian. Amazingly, some of his genes funneled down the centuries directly into the person you see above, Italian actress Nicoletta Machiavelli. She earned—or deviously maneuvered—her way into more than thirty films, including Se tutte le donne del mondo... (Operazione Paradiso), aka Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, Matchless, Navajo Joe, and Les seins de glace, aka Someone Is Bleeding.

The photo was shot by Angelo Frontoni, and comes from 1965. Below you see a couple of unretouched alternate frames Frontoni made during the same session, but with Machiavelli showing an impressive treasure trail. Will those ever come back, you think? No? Well, they should. About her famous ancestor Machiavelli once said that she was proud to be his descendant, and quipped that she was, “Machiavellian in the cradle.” She also claimed that to her, at least, the term didn't mean to behave deviously or sociopathically at all. But then she would say that.

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Femmes Fatales Aug 17 2022
CARDINALE BLUE
Whatever the background color she was always red hot.


Above are three images of Tunisian born Italian actress Claudia Cardinale made by Italian photographer Angelo Frontoni. It's difficult to imagine European cinema without Frontoni. He photographed everyone, and he blurred the line between mainstream photography and erotica by collaborating with magazines like Excelsior and Playmen. Cardinale is pretty racy here by her standards. She worked with Frontoni many times over the course of her career, which began during the late 1950s and continues today, encompassing such films as , The Pink Panther, Blindfold, Les pétroleuses, Fitzcarraldo, Once Upon a Time in the West, et al. These shots don't have a copyright date that we could find, but based on appearance we'd say they're from the late 1970s.

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Modern Pulp Jan 15 2022
THE DEFIANT ONES
Gladiatorial combat is all fun and games until the gladiators decide you're the one who needs killing.


We've featured master fantasy artist Frank Frazetta a few times, so it seems only fair that we feature the yang to his yin, Peruvian born legend Boris Vallejo. Here you see his art on a promo poster for Naked Warriors, which is better known as The Arena, released this month in 1974 starring another legend, Pam Grier, along with occasional co-star, the lovely Margaret Markov. We've talked about the movie twice, shared its Italian and U.S. promo art, and shared rare promo images of Grier once or twice, or maybe even three or four times, as well as a beautiful centerfold of Markov. All of that imagery is worth a look.

Vallejo's art is a nice fit for a tale of enslaved gladiators pitted against each other eventually defying their sadistic masters to fight for freedom. He painted when Corcorde Pictures acquired the rights to the film from MGM/UA for a VHS release in 1988. Concorde/New World was formed and run by schlockmeister Roger Corman, and that explains the black wedges at the top and bottom of the promo. When you do thingson the cheap as a matter of course like Corman did, tilting the art in an inelegant way to make the two figures fit a door panel format seems logical. We can imagine him: “Just lean the fucker left. Who cares about the blank spots?” And indeed, who does, really?

In addition to a great piece of art, as a bonus we've also uploaded some Arena production photos we found scattered around the internet over the years. Most of them were shot by Italian lensman Angelo Frontoni, whose work we've admired often. As it is a lusty sort of movie, some of the shots are a bit lusty too. We had these sitting about and didn't have a real good excuse to share them until today, so from the good old days of ’70s sexploitation behold: Grier, Markov, Lucretia Love, Maria Pia Conte, Rosalba Neri, and others in barely-there gladiatorial gear—and sometimes less. We can't say the film is perfect, but it's definitely worth a watch.

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Femmes Fatales Jul 21 2014
GORI HALLELUJAH
Patrizia Gori open her holy place to the public.


We talked about Italian actress Patrizia Gori's awesome-but-not-really movie Nathalie: Escape from Hell back in June, and for no reason at all today seems like a good day to bring her back. The above photo of her giving Italian photographer Angelo Frontoni (and the rest of the world) a flash of what's under her raincoat was made in 1979.

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Femmes Fatales Jun 11 2013
G-L-O-R-I-A
Just about five feet ten a-from her head to the ground.

These two shots by famed Italian photographer Angelo Frontoni show dancer and actress Gloria Paul, who was born in London but was of Italian extraction and spent most of her career in Italy. She worked steadily beginning in 1961, and appeared in such films as The Intelligence Men, For a Few Dollars Less, and Darling Lili. In 1996 she was the victim of an accident in which a water tank in her home fell through the roof of her shower and broke her back. After time in a wheelchair she eventually regained the ability to walk, but her dancing career was over.

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Intl. Notebook Dec 17 2010
ORIGINAL CINE
Sommer time is always the right time.

Above is German actress Elke Sommer, looking her stunning best in two scans from Belgium’s Ciné-Revue that we stumbled across in an online forum. The issue was published forty years ago today, during a period when the magazine was upping its skin quotient. In this case, they wisely chose photos by Angelo Frontoni, who was one of the foremost glamour photographers of the day. Ciné-Revue still exists, more or less, as Ciné-Télé-Revue. We’ve been meaning to do an entire feature on the publication, because it has a tangled history we haven’t quite puzzled out yet. It definitely began in Belgium during the mid-1940s, but also published in France for a time. Also, there was another Ciné-Revue published in France back in the 1920s, but we aren’t sure if it has the same provenance as the one above. We’ll figure all that out later, now that these great images have reminded us to do so. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
May 25
1938—Alicante Is Bombed
During the Spanish Civil War, a squadron of Italian bombers sent by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to support the insurgent Spanish Nationalists, bombs the town of Alicante, killing more than three-hundred people. Although less remembered internationally than the infamous Nazi bombing of Guernica the previous year, the death toll in Alicante is similar, if not higher.
1977—Star Wars Opens
George Lucas's sci-fi epic Star Wars premiers in the Unites States to rave reviews and packed movie houses. Produced on a budget of $11 million, the film goes on to earn $460 million in the U.S. and $337 million overseas, while spawning a franchise that would eventually earn billions and make Lucas a Hollywood icon.
May 24
1930—Amy Johnson Flies from England to Australia
English aviatrix Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia. She had departed from Croydon on May 5 and flown 11,000 miles to complete the feat. Her storied career ends in January 1941 when, while flying a secret mission for Britain, she either bails out into the Thames estuary and drowns, or is mistakenly shot down by British fighter planes. The facts of her death remain clouded today.
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