Hollywoodland | Vintage Pulp Apr 26 2011
STARDOM CALLING
Marilyn had a little lamb, but soon she'd have the world.

By now we shouldn’t be surprised where Marilyn Monroe turns up. Still though, we never thought we’d see her befrocked and befrilled, fondling livestock in a field. Yet there she is on the April 26, 1946 cover of the women’s magazine The Family Circle. At the time, Monroe was modeling just about anywhere she could find work, going by her real name Norma Jeane Daugherty. She was twenty years old, one year away from her first film appearance, and two years away from her first minor film contract with Columbia Pictures. The year after that, in 1949, still trying to make ends meet, she posed nude for photographer Tom Kelley. In 1952 one photo from that session ended up on a Western Lithograph Co. pin-up calendar. Monroe was a contract player with 20th Century Fox by then, and the studio feared the photos would cause a scandal. They were wrong. Monroe admitted posing nude to pay the rent, and the public was fine with it. The next month she appeared on the cover of Life. Said Monroe: “Oh, the calendar’s hanging in garages all over town. Why deny it? You can get one anyplace. Besides, I’m not ashamed of it. I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Monroe’s career took off from there, but there’s a modern postscript to the story—namely, with the internet being what it is (a massive repository of misinformation the likes of which we never could have imagined a mere fifteen years ago), there are many shots of Monroe out there that are misidentified as the one that ended up on that 1952 calendar. So we took the liberty of posting a scan of the Life story, with its inset of the Monroe calendar. The shot you see there—and not the several others appearing on assorted websites—is the one that scandalized Monroe’s bosses but was shrugged off by the public. The nude image is pretty small in Life, but the internet being what it is (a massive repository of nakedness the likes of which we could never have imagined—but always hoped for), we were able to simply grab a larger version of Kelley’s shot and post it below so that, for purely academic interest, you can have a closer look. The photo will disappear if we get a cease and desist order, but for now it’s there.

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Femmes Fatales Apr 22 2011
INNER CHAMBERS
When a woman says she’s ready.

Above, a super rare promo photo of American actress Marilyn Chambers, who we’ve discussed several times previously. Chambers, who starred in the mainstream horror film Rabid but is better known as the girl from the porno films Behind the Green Door and Insatiable, was born today in 1952, and died in April 2009. 

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Intl. Notebook Apr 8 2011
KONNICHIWA, DOLLY!
Sweet Honeychile o’ mine.

We’ve always been impressed by the variety and quirkiness of Japanese novelties, but the item above—a resin Ursula Andress Dr. No figure—reaches new heights. It’s all the more interesting because it isn’t contemporaneous with the film. Rather, it hit the market in 1983, twenty years after the film’s Japanese debut. Still, the existence of this doll isn’t a complete surprise—western blondes are fetishized in Japan, and Andress’s bikini-clad, knife-wielding Honeychile Ryder is probably one of the most famous blondes to ever appear onscreen. The figure comes complete with the most superfluous assembly instructions in history, just in case you try to attach her legs to her armholes or vice versa, and the final result is… well, actually, we don’t know. Just like a car, this little lovely loses value the moment you drive it out of the showroom, which means the cellophane is going to stay sealed. If you absolutely must see an assembled version, we might entertain a purchase offer. Check your bank account and get back to us. In the meantime, we’ve posted the shot the box art is based on below. And if that isn't enough Andress for you, check here.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 5 2011
LILLIES OF THE FIELD
Where have all the flowers gone?

These are pretty cool. You're seeing the front and rear cover of He magazine, yet another American men’s publication from the 1950s. It has Lili St. Cyr on the front and Lilly Christine on the reverse. They were arguably the two most famous performers in the field of burlesque at that time. The art of burlesque has died, save for a precious few revues here and there, but you can see more Lili here and here, and more Lilly here and here. And if you missed it, our comprehensive photo post on burlesque—the first of several we'll be doing, by the way—is here. 

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Femmes Fatales Mar 10 2011
NASTASSJA BY NATURE
Don’t credit her—it’s all in the genes.

Above, German actress Nastassja Kinski, born Nastassja Aglaia Nakszynski, whose legendary beauty was 50% spawned by a man some consider to be one of the creepiest-looking actors in cinema history. Is nature weird or what?

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Vintage Pulp Mar 7 2011
BEST FRIEND
Star and stripes forever.

Above, Marilyn Monroe on the cover of the Japanese cinema magazine Eiga No Tomo, aka Friend of Movies, which published between 1947 and 1957. This issue, with its candy-like striped motif, is from March 1954, promoting her film How To Marry a Millionaire, which would open in Tokyo on March 17. 

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Intl. Notebook Feb 20 2011
STOP REWIND
French starlet Brigitte Bardot turned heads in Saint-Tropez more than half a century ago.

Continuing the process of cleaning off our French shelf, we have an issue of the pin-up magazine Stop. This one, issue #18 from 1962, is devoted entirely to Brigitte Bardot, and inside you get studio and outdoor photography of the legendary sex symbol, plus production stills from several of her films.

The cover image of her in front of the Eiffel Tower is iconic, but the image in panel sixteen, just above, is one of the most famous ever made of her. It was shot by Willy Rizzo in Saint-Tropez during the 1956 production of Roger Vadim’s
Et Dieu… crea la femme, aka And God Created Woman, and it pretty much sums up the quality of Bardot’s sex appeal.

Saint-Tropez was just a sleepy seaside village back then, so you can imagine what all those crusty fishermen in the cafés thought the first time they saw this woman walking barefoot along their waterfront.
Mermaid? Tramp? Angel? Waif? Bardot had all those elements and more, which is a large part of why—in addition to her copious talent—she became such a transcendent star.

Today she remains in the public eye, if controversially, and it’s ironic that someone who once united people in their appreciation of her beauty,
acting and singing is now such a polarizing figure. The above photo isn’t the only image that survives from that famed Rizzo session, so just for the fun of it, we’ve posted a few more below to help you dream about springtime.

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Femmes Fatales Jan 24 2011
SWEDE AND LOWDOWN
Is there a draft in here, or is it just me?

We mentioned a while back that we had a few images of Swedish actress Christina Lindberg that had never been posted on the internet, and here’s one of them, from a Japanese promo poster circa 1972. Hope she didn’t catch a cold on this shoot. More Lindberg here, and more down the line. 

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Vintage Pulp Jan 18 2011
FRESH PERSPECTIVE
The National Police Gazette looks up to Raquel Welch.

This National Police Gazette from January 1970 features bombshell sex symbol Raquel Welch on the cover photographed from an odd up-the-nose angle you don’t often see. This was also, we are almost certain, the first Gazette to feature a full color cover photo, as the magazine was trying to upgrade its staid image. Inside you get Linda Harrison, Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Graziano, Grace Kelly and a dubious report on the 200,000 legally insane teachers working in America’s schools. Welch’s bikini shoots were always a major event, and images from this particular session ended up on or inside scores of publications, including an issue of the Japanese film magazine Screen we shared last year. We have several more frames from the shoot, and we’ll get around to posting those soonish. 

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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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Next Page
History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 22
1912—Pravda Is Founded
The newspaper Pravda, or Truth, known as the voice of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, begins publication in Saint Petersburg. It is one of the country's leading newspapers until 1991, when it is closed down by decree of then-President Boris Yeltsin. A number of other Pravdas appear afterward, including an internet site and a tabloid.
1983—Hitler's Diaries Found
The German magazine Der Stern claims that Adolf Hitler's diaries had been found in wreckage in East Germany. The magazine had paid 10 million German marks for the sixty small books, plus a volume about Rudolf Hess's flight to the United Kingdom, covering the period from 1932 to 1945. But the diaries are subsequently revealed to be fakes written by Konrad Kujau, a notorious Stuttgart forger. Both he and Stern journalist Gerd Heidemann go to trial in 1985 and are each sentenced to 42 months in prison.
April 21
1918—The Red Baron Is Shot Down
German WWI fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as The Red Baron, sustains a fatal wound while flying over Vaux sur Somme in France. Von Richthofen, shot through the heart, manages a hasty emergency landing before dying in the cockpit of his plane. His last word, according to one witness, is "Kaputt." The Red Baron was the most successful flying ace during the war, having shot down at least 80 enemy airplanes.
1964—Satellite Spreads Radioactivity
An American-made Transit satellite, which had been designed to track submarines, fails to reach orbit after launch and disperses its highly radioactive two pound plutonium power source over a wide area as it breaks up re-entering the atmosphere.
April 20
1939—Holiday Records Strange Fruit
American blues and jazz singer Billie Holiday records "Strange Fruit", which is considered to be the first civil rights song. It began as a poem written by Abel Meeropol, which he later set to music and performed live with his wife Laura Duncan. The song became a Holiday standard immediately after she recorded it, and it remains one of the most highly regarded pieces of music in American history.
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