Vintage Pulp Apr 6 2024
CURTAIN CALL
Before we go in, I should warn you that Isa might jump out from somewhere. Act surprised. She'll leave you alone after that.

Above: a cover for the 1953 adventure Isa, written by René Roques and published by his Paris-based company Éditions R.R. Their cover art was often by Jef de Wulf, but this one is signed YB. We have no idea who that is, nor have we ever seen his or her work elsewhere, but it's an interesting effort. R.R. produced attractive covers even in collaboration with obscure artists, so some of the credit for their consistency probably goes to the company's art director—René Roques himself. Click his keywords below to see more. 

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Musiquarium Jan 4 2024
L'GRECO
La Muse de l’existentialisme et Miles.

This striking music brochure promo art for French singer Juliette Gréco and Disques Fontana (a subsidiary of the Dutch label Philips Records) was created by the famous illustrator O’Kley in 1956. The art was reused for record covers, as you see below.

Gréco, an actress as well as singer, was a fixture in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris, and her acquaintanceships with such figures as Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty earned her the nickname La Muse de l’existentialisme—the existentialists’ muse. She was also, according to Miles Davis, one of the great loves of his life, and the feeling was
reciprocated
, so that wins major points right there because Miles was the bomb.

Moving on to the art, O’Kley was a pseudonym for Nantes-born Pierre Gilardeau, the man behind some of the most collectable Folies Bergère posters. He also illustrated many book covers and movie posters, and after a long career died in 2007. We’ve seen some good examples of his art, so we’ll try to get back to him a bit later—but we make no guarantees. You can see another Fontana post here.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 28 2023
A FOLIES JOLLY CHRISTMAS
Now dancers, now prancers, now vixens...


Folies de Paris et de Hollywood is one of our favorite vintage magazines, and though we have a tall stack of them, we don't share them nearly as often as we should. Today you're seeing the front and rear cover plus assorted interior bits from issue #506, which appeared in 1972. You get the usual burlesque dancers, prancers, and vixens, along with a centerfold featuring Margaret Nolan not looking quite her normal self (but it's her). See more from Folies de Paris et de Hollywood by clicking its keywords just below. 

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Intl. Notebook Nov 20 2023
CRAZY ABOUT PARIS
The sights are incredible there.


The photo series above was made to promote the famed Parisian nightclub Le Crazy Horse and its featured dancers. Posing on a terrace with a line of sight to the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, and Arc de Triomphe are Anna Portobello, Rosa Fumetto, Bonita Super, Maria Tuxedo (who we've featured before), Eva Wowor, Sophia Palladium, and Prima Symphony. That was today in 1968.

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Intl. Notebook Oct 8 2023
CIRCUS MAXIMUS
Welcome to the greatest show on Earth


Renato Casaro was a celebrated Italian movie poster artist, but he worked in other media, including album sleeves and portraiture. Above he's created an advertising poster for Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione, a Parisian circus that traces its roots back to 1852, when Charles de Mornay, commonly referred to as Duc de Morny, undertook its creation and named it after his half brother Prince Louis-Napoléon III. When the circus finally opened in 1859 it featured equestrianism, animal acts, and aerial acrobatics from the famed Jules Léotard. After being interrupted by World War I, the business passed over to Gaston Desprez in 1923, and again in 1934 to the Bouglione Brothers, who were Italians who'd made a name for themselves traveling France with a menagerie and wild cat act. The circus was halted during World War II and the occuptation of its buildings by the Nazis, but emerged post-war to continue its growth and fame, known by then as Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione, the name it bears today. Casaro's lovely poster dates from 1970.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 27 2023
ANATOMY OF AN ASSASSINATION
A murder by any other name would kill as dead.


This is a rather pretty cover painted by Charles Copeland for E.M. Harper's 1960 novel The Assassin, the story of Alec Jordan, who's spared the guillotine in an Algerian prison but must repay the shadowy government operatives who freed him by murdering an Arab political figure. We've seen convicts turned into assassins a couple times in vintage literature. What sets this story apart is its many flashbacks to Jordan's youth, from the time he was witness to his moonshiner father's killing by cops, to being sprung from reform school to play high school football (seems someone always wants to put his skills to use), to his various war experiences.

The story begins in Paris, from which Jordan pursues his target to London and Vienna, world weary, haunted by the past, and hounded by the people who are operating him. There's, unsurprisingly, the requisite woman-from-his-past for whom he still has feelings—a beauty named Renée who married an Austrian count while Jordan was hors de combat. Conveniently, she's now a widow, but is reclaiming the past an option for Jordan? To survive but lose your soul, to resist corruption but be killed, to find redemption in love. You've read it before, and though Harper breaks no new ground plotwise, he wrote a contemplative iteration of the story that offers some enjoyment.

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Femmes Fatales Jun 13 2023
SHOOTING STAR
Happiness, anger, and ballistics.


These two promo images of famously thin actress Audrey Hepburn were made for her 1964 film Paris When It Sizzles. It's another movie in her romance/adventure mold, along with Charade, How To Steal a Million, and others. There's a Hollywood commandment: Thou shalt not mess with success. For a while, following that rule made Hepburn one of the biggest stars of all.

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Vintage Pulp May 28 2023
IN DUE TIME
They're willing to hustle, side-hustle, and even hustle on their backs to get what they want.


When we stumbled across this Italian poster and saw that it was for a film starring the lovely Catherine Deneuve and her unbeatable hair, we felt a screening was needed. Due prostitute a pigalle is a French/Italian co-production that was originally titled Zig-Zig, with the name changing to Zig-Zag for the U.S. The movie is about two Parisians played by Deneuve and Bernadette Lafont who work as cabaret entertainers, bookies, and prostitutes in order to raise enough money to buy a chalet in the mountains. Their signature song and dance number “Zig Zig” earns them a small measure of fame around Paris, and the dream home seems closer by the day.

However, Deneuve has no idea that Lafont is involved with a gang of cross-dressers who've kidnapped the wife of a prominent politician. When she finds out, she freaks out, and it looks like her friendship with Lafont is cooked and their house will never come to be. The movie has its moments, but jarring shifts of tone from serious to farcical and an insistence upon an ironic and unrealistic ending definitively sink it. Even so, it has Deneuve, and her hair can't be sunk under any circumstances. Due prostitute a pigalle premiered in France in early 1975, and in Italy today the same year.
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Intl. Notebook Apr 30 2023
SIGHTS OF PARIS
Because the Louvre and Versailles don't stay open late.


Above are the cover and various interior pages from Cancans de Paris issue thirty-three, which hit newsstands this month in 1966. The magazine was one of several that explored Parisian burlesque, along with Folies de Paris et de Hollywood, Paris Frou Frou, Regal, and others. For more from Cancans just click the keywords below and scroll.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 9 2023
LOUVE STORY
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.
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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.
May 23
1934—Bonnie and Clyde Are Shot To Death
Outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, who traveled the central United States during the Great Depression robbing banks, stores and gas stations, are ambushed and shot to death in Louisiana by a posse of six law officers. Officially, the autopsy report lists seventeen separate entrance wounds on Barrow and twenty-six on Parker, including several head shots on each. So numerous are the bullet holes that an undertaker claims to have difficulty embalming the bodies because they won't hold the embalming fluid.
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