It creates a tiny hole but a huge dilemma.
This photo shows Belgian actress Dominque Wilms in full femme mode as she brandishes a teeny weeny prop pistol while promoting her 1966 film Um Null Uhr schnappt die Falle zu, known in English as The Trap Snaps Shut at Midnight. We've shown you Wilms before, spectacularly, and she also starred at least once as a book cover model—though possibly without her knowledge. See those images here and here.
All other predators pale by comparison.
Belgium usually delivers when it comes to vintage film posters. Above is a Belgian promo in French and Dutch for the iconic chiller The Night of the Hunter, titled in French La nuit du chasseur and in Dutch De jagersnacht. “Jagersnacht” sounds like something weird and wicked, like a monster from Lewis Carroll, but it means the same as the English title—“hunter's night.”
Belgian vintage posters often bear the name of the exhibiting cinema. We've shared examples from Ciné Odeon, Acropole, Varieties, Plaza, and Capitole, twice. The above poster bears the name of Cinemax, which was located at 27 Rue de Malines in Antwerp, and was called at different times the Cineum, Rubens, and Apollo.
Looking more closely at the art, it was printed by L.F. de Vos & Co. S.A. Anvers, also from Antwerp, and the work is signed by “RK”—if we're reading it correctly. We've got nothing on RK, but his or her work is top notch, so we'll keep an eye out for more. Night of the Hunter premiered in the U.S. in 1955 and reached Belgium today in 1956.
By whatever means necessary.
Above is a Belgian poster for the 1953 film noir Wicked Woman, originally made in the U.S. starring Richard Egan and, in one of her classic femme fatale roles, Beverly Michaels. Generally, because of the predominant languages used in Belgium, posters from there carried both French and Dutch text. In French Wicked Woman was titled La vicieuse, and in Dutch it was De slet (you can guess what that means). Our header for this post is a play on the never ending debate over whether film noir is a genre or a cycle. Either way, what it produced was always vicious. We briefly talked about Wicked Woman some years ago and shared the U.S. poster. This effort is from the presses of S.P.R.L. Belgique and it's signed by Wik, an artist who remains a mystery. Below, you see Michaels pondering the wickedness of her behavior and deciding she's fine with it.
Venus shows her dark and light sides.
Above are two versions of a piece of Alain Gourdon art first used on Yann R. Patrick’s Vénus des neiges by Éditions de l’Arabesque in 1955, then repurposed by Antwerp based Uitgeverij Eros for Mickey Spencer's Geen tijd voor Kusjes. Everyone's an aka here. Gourdon painted under the moniker Aslan, Patrick was really Jacques-Henri Juillet, and Spencer is an obvious pseudonym, though we don't for whom. Whether dark or light, this is lovely work.
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.
Markov plants vivid ideas in readers' heads.
Remember the side trip to France we mentioned? Today you see the first of our acquired items, an issue of the cinema and television magazine Ciné-Revue, which was based in Belgium and published throughout Europe and the French speaking world. This one appeared today in 1975, and who is that on the cover other than Margaret Markov, a favorite star of bad U.S. exploitation movies of the era? We've seen her hanging out in the woods before. Remember this shot? The cover and centerfold of today's magazine, like that previous image, were made by Italian lensman Angelo Frontoni, who photographed scores of international actresses during the ’60s and ’70s. You've seen his work often on our website: check here, here, and especially here. He does a bang-up job with Markov, bringing to mind mythical gardens and similar fertile places. Inside the magazine are celebs such as Valerie Perrine, Anne Libert, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Marion Davies in a tinted shot, and on the rear cover John Phillip Law shows that he dresses to the left. That one's mostly for the Pulp Intl. girlfriends, but everyone should have a scroll and enjoy.
The train is headed to L.A. but some passengers make their last stop long before then.
Les tueurs du Pacific Express is one of two French titles for the 1952 film noir The Narrow Margin, with Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor. The other was L'énigme du Chicago Express, which was used for France. But the above poster is Belgian, which you can always tell because there's also a Dutch title—in this case De moordenaars van de Pacific Express. We've already shown you the U.S. and Italian promos for this, so if you're interested you can click over to those and learn a bit more about the film. It premiered in Belgium today in 1953.
She's one cool cat burglar.
We have bit of tasty French style for you with this poster for La louve solitaire, a film that premiered today in 1968 and starred Danièle Gaubert. The movie is sourced from a series of novels by Albert Saine-Aube, and plotwise Gaubert plays a Parisian real estate agent by day/leotard wearing cat burglar by night. When she's caught in the act of a robbery by two government agents who've been lying in wait for her, she's blackmailed into working for them. The government duo want her to make a daring theft that will help bring down an international drug smuggling network. She's assigned a helper in the form of Michel Duchaussoy, so the movie becomes a sort of partners-in-crime adventure with a side of romantic tension. Gaubert, of course, finds herself in more danger than she expected, and after the caper the crooks she's robbed are hellbent on revenge.
Just looking at the poster, which you may have noticed is actually a French- and Dutch-language promo from Belgium, you can tell that the movie provides high style in a similar vein as cult flicks such as Danger: Diabolik and Modesty Blaise. Like those films, La louve solitaire features nice outfits, hip lingo, and nightclub scenes, plus Gaubert rolling around in a blood-red Pontiac Firebird that qualifies as pure car porn. Also like those other movies, La louve solitaire isn't fully successful from an execution standpoint, however because it's among a group that was at the forefront of portraying women as physically dangerous ass-kickers with specialized skills (Gaubert's thief character is a trapeze artist), it's worth seeing for historical perspective alone.
Ciné-Revue was the go-to publication for movie stars seeking exposure.
Here's your official Christmas gift, a prime example of that mid-century phenomenon we discuss often, the intersection of mainstream and adult cinema during the sixties and seventies. Ciné-Revue, which was published in Belgium and distributed there and in France, Switzerland, Canada, Portugal, Britain, and the Basque region of Spain, was at the vanguard of that idea. It highlighted both popular stars and their adult counterparts, blurring the line between the two. It wasn't hard to do. Famous performers often acted in sexually oriented films, and Ciné-Revue was a platform that helped cinematic explorations of sexual ideas be taken seriously. The issue you see above is the cover of Ciné-Revue Photos 49, a visual compendium of actresses both world famous and somewhat obscure. The names run the gamut from Anita Ekberg to Marina Marfoglia. Marfoglia gets the cover, while Ekberg gets the rear, and that's exactly what we're talking about—the obscure elevated over the known. Both are also featured in multiple pages inside—but while Ekberg gets seven, Marfoglia gets eight and the centerfold. The issue is about a hundred pages, but we're unable to put together a post that long. Instead, we've selected some of the nicer images to warm up this winter day. Enjoy, and don't worry about us slaving over a computer. We put this collection together last week. Right now, on Christmas, we're traveling with the PIs.
The liar that came in from the cold.
Above is a nice Belgian poster for the Mexican melodrama Susana, which was known in Belgium as Susana l'Impure in French, and Susana, de Eerloze in Dutch. We talked a long while back about this story of a family shaken by the arrival of sexy young Rosita Quintana. Shorter version: not everybody caught out in a rainstorm deserves to be rescued. The movie premiered in Mexico in April 1951 and reached Belgium today in 1955.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1969—The Krays Are Found Guilty of Murder
In England, twins Ronald and Reginald Kray are found guilty of the murder of Jack McVitie. The Kray brothers had been notorious gangsters in London's East End, and for their crimes both were sentenced to life in prison, and both eventually died behind bars. Their story later inspired a 1990 motion picture entitled The Krays.
1975—Charlie Chaplin Is Knighted
British-born comic genius Charlie Chaplin, whose long and turbulent career in the U.S. had been brought to an abrupt end when he was branded a communist and denied a residence visa, is bestowed a knighthood at London's Buckingham Palace. Chaplin died two years later and even then peace eluded him, as his body was stolen from its grave for eleven weeks by men trying to extort money from the Chaplin family.
1959—Lou Costello Dies
American comedian Lou Costello, of the famous comedy team Abbott & Costello, dies of a heart attack at Doctors' Hospital in Beverly Hills, three days before his 53rd birthday. His career spanned radio and film, silent movies and talkies, vaudeville and cinema, and in his heyday he was, along with partner Abbott, one of the most beloved personalities in Hollywood.
1933—King Kong Opens
The first version of King Kong
, starring Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray, and with the giant ape Kong brought to life with stop-action photography, opens at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The film goes on to play worldwide to good reviews and huge crowds, and spawns numerous sequels and reworkings over the next eighty years.
1949—James Gallagher Completes Round-the-World Flight
Captain James Gallagher and a crew of fourteen land their B-50 Superfortress named Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas, thus completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight. The entire trip from takeoff to touchdown took ninety-four hours and one minute.
1953—Oscars Are Shown on Television
The 26th Academy Awards are broadcast on television by NBC, the first time the awards have been shown on television. Audiences watch live as From Here to Eternity wins for Best Picture, and William Holden and Audrey Hepburn earn statues in the best acting categories for Stalag 17 and Roman Holiday.
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