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.
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.
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.
100 pounds of trigger pull weight.
Above is reedy Iso Yban, here pictured with a toy machine gun and not much else. Her various bios say she was born in Essen, Germany, but moved to Paris, where she became a dancer at Le Crazy Horse, and as a model posed under the aforementioned name, as well as Yso Iban, Isi Yban, Marlène Funch, Christina Madison, Belinda, et al. This bold shot was made by French lensman Serge Jacques and it dates from the late 1960s.
Cancans de Paris is always uncanny.
Above: a few pages from the French burlesque publication Cancans de Paris, the seventh time we've taken a look at this mag, with this example dating from September 1965. As always there are mainstream celebrities mixed in with the peelers, including Carroll Baker, Brigitte Bardot, Elke Sommer, Kim Novak, Sean Connery, Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, and French born ballerina Ludmilla Tchérina. At the top of panel two there's also a minor Raymond Brenot illustration. See some major ones here, and just click the Cancans keywords below if you want to see more issues.
And this stretch is great for the shoulders. We violent ones know how to take care of bodies in more ways than one.
Above is a Barye Phillips cover for Howard Hunt's 1950 novel The Violent Ones, about World War II vet Paul Cameron, summoned by his buddy Phil Thorne back to Paris, where they spent part of the war. Thorne needs help with an unspecified jam, but he's killed not long after Cameron arrives, who then vows revenge against any and all. There's nothing subtle here. He turns bull-in-china-shop, knocks heads, gets knocked, uncovers commies, and manhandles various women—who fall for him anyway. The murder has to do with the smuggling of gold to Hanoi. Cameron mocks the head smuggler at one point, “So now you're sending gold to your cousins in Indo-China so the Little Brown Man can come into his own?” Hunt couldn't imagine Vietnam escaping the western orbit, but it happened anyway. That's irony. He's an intriguing author and a uniquely interesting man, which means he may appear here again.
If it feels good just do it.
This rare and striking poster was made for the Japanese run of the French softcore flick Je suis une nymphomane, known in English as Libido: The Urge to Love, and I Am a Nymphomaniac. The Japanese text here, 色情日記, translates as “lust diary.” Filmed in Paris and Antibes, in the story Sandra Julien falls down an elevator shaft and the accident changes her personality from prim and proper to sexually insatiable. She hates her new urges, but has no control and proceeds to have relations with everyone around her, from her boss's slimy nephew to co-star Janine Reynaud. She also poses for dirty photos, has a threesome with a pair of carny workers, and even commits sexual assault. Possibly her low point comes when she seeks answers by enrolling in philosophy classes. You have to be really far gone to do that. In the end the answer to her problem is deceptively simple: find someone who likes her for more than her body. We can't count ourselves among that group, because other than Julien's nakedness, we don't feel there's much that's worthwhile here, but we'll give it points for being artsy. Je suis une nymphomane had its Japanese premiere today in 1971.
I'm not just pretty—I have relatively positive feelings toward the institution of marriage.
This nice shot shows Hungarian actress, singer, and socialite Eva Gabor. She was not quite as famous as her older sister Zsa Zsa, and she also wasn't nearly as as fickle—by which we mean she only married five times, as opposed to Zsa Zsa's nine trips down the aisle. Marriages ran in the family. The oldest Gabor sister, Magda, had six husbands. But two of them died on her, so technically she finished third in the marital grand prix. You're probably wondering if the sisters shared any husbands. Yes, lucky George Sanders married both Magda and Zsa Zsa. That must have made for some fun Christmas dinners.
Eva appeared in numerous films, including Pacific Blackout, Love Island, Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl, Paris Model, and The Last Time I Saw Paris. On television her most popular role was as Lisa Douglas on Green Acres. The Gabor genes didn't just provide talent and beauty—they bestowed longevity. Eva's mother died at 100, and both her sisters reached 99. You have to figure Eva would have gotten there too, but a bathtub fall followed by pneumonia did her in two decades early, aged seventy-six. The above photo shows her in 1941, when she was a tender twenty-two.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1934—Queen Mary Launched
The RMS Queen Mary, three-and-a-half years in the making, launches from Clydebank, Scotland. The steamship enters passenger service in May 1936 and sails the North Atlantic Ocean until 1967. Today she is a museum and tourist attraction anchored in Long Beach, U.S.A.
1983—Nuclear Holocaust Averted
Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov, whose job involves detection of enemy missiles, is warned by Soviet computers that the United States has launched a nuclear missile at Russia. Petrov deviates from procedure, and, instead of informing superiors, decides the detection is a glitch. When the computer warns of four more inbound missiles he decides, under much greater pressure this time, that the detections are also false. Soviet doctrine at the time dictates an immediate and full retaliatory strike, so Petrov's decision to leave his superiors out of the loop very possibly prevents humanity's obliteration. Petrov's actions remain a secret until 1988, but ultimately he is honored at the United Nations.
2002—Mystery Space Object Crashes in Russia
In an occurrence known as the Vitim Event, an object crashes to the Earth in Siberia and explodes with a force estimated at 4 to 5 kilotons by Russian scientists. An expedition to the site finds the landscape leveled and the soil contaminated by high levels of radioactivity. It is thought that the object was a comet nucleus with a diameter of 50 to 100 meters.
1992—Sci Fi Channel Launches
In the U.S., the cable network USA debuts the Sci Fi Channel, specializing in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal programming. After a slow start, it built its audience and is now a top ten ranked network for male viewers aged 18–54, and women aged 25–54.
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