Femmes Fatales Dec 7 2022
THE SWORD IN THE...
You're too late. I already pulled it out of the stone, and now I'm in charge of everything.


Edwige Fenech was born in Algeria when it was under French control, had Maltese and Italian parents, and became a film star in Italy, so theoretically she gets to rule all those lands, and possibly England too, since we figure she went there to do the sword pulling. Her first decree as wielder of Excalibur? Better titles for her movies. The photo, which is a colorization of a black and white original, was made for 1969's Alle Kätzchen naschen gern, known in English as All Kitties Go for Sweeties, or alternatively The Blonde and the Black Pussycat. All three of those are terrible names for a film. It was later titled in English The Sweet Pussycats, which is a little better. Obviously, it's a comedy, and if you were to guess it's too stupid to be funny you'd be right. However, anything with Fenech is worth a little something.
 
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Femmes Fatales Dec 3 2022
FIREPOWER WITH FIREPOWER
Something about being overwhelmingly armed always puts me in a great mood.

Above: Peggie Castle has a laugh in a promo image made for her 1956 western titled—unsurprisingly—Two-Gun Lady. She plays a woman who teaches herself how to be a marksman and trick-shot artist in order to avenge the murders of her parents. We don't share many western images (though we should, since westerns were a major part of the pulp market), but Castle's winning smile in this one caught our eye. 

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Femmes Fatales Nov 28 2022
RETRO VISION
If only you could see the world the way I see it.


Above: an amazing shot of Austrian actress Marisa Mell made while she was filming the Italian drama Una sull’atra, aka Perversion Story in 1969.

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Femmes Fatales Nov 23 2022
CLOAKED IN MYSTERY
She's always been considered a very capable woman.

What's the difference between a cloak and a cape? Is it that capes are short and cloaks are long? Is it that cloaks always have hoods? Those distinctions don't stand in the way of companies looking to sell the things. We found many capes with hoods in online stores that were called “hooded capes,” and we found many long garments we thought would be called cloaks but which were categorized as “long capes.” Well, whatever you call it, Rosalind Russell makes good use of it in this shot made for her 1936 drama Trouble for Two.

Russell was one of the great actresses, winning, amazingly, every Golden Globe Award for which she was nominated—five. Conversely, she was nominated for four Academy Awards and got shut out. Such is life. But she received a special Oscar in 1978 for her humanitarian work. She specialized in comedies such as the 1940 smash hit His Girl Friday, but she also starred in several notable dramas. The most interesting for our purposes is probably the 1948 murder tale The Velvet Touch. We plan to check that out and report back. 

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Femmes Fatales Nov 18 2022
MURDER MOST REGRETTABLE
It's not that I want to do it. It's that I have to do it.

Above is a photo of American actress Nancy Coleman made for her 1947 thriller Violence. She starred in the film with Michael O'Shea, but it was her vehicle all the way, as she plays a reporter out to expose a fascist group called United Defenders that uses populist and militaristic propaganda to fill its ranks with veterans. Coleman had a pretty nice career, appearing in such films as Dangerously They Live, Edge of Darkness, and Mourning Becomes Electra before making the usual transition into television roles. We'll probably revisit the subject of Violence, so you may see Coleman here later. 

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Femmes Fatales Nov 13 2022
KAFTAN MARVEL
You wouldn't believe the mischief I get up to inside this thing.


This wonderful 1973 promo image of U.S. actress Gloria Hendry demonstrates the adage “less is more,” as in less skin. We've shown you shots of her in a bikini, with her six-pack abs and muscled arms, but this voluminous kaftan does something special for her. It's like she's hiding a secret. We'll have more of Hendry later. 

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Femmes Fatales Nov 9 2022
ISO METRICS
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. 

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Femmes Fatales Nov 5 2022
GOING ALL LYNN
I've kissed a helluva lot of frogs looking for my prince, but today I feel especially lucky.


This weird photo showing U.S. actress Lynn Borden cuddling a frog was made as a promo for her 1972 horror movie titled—wait for it—Frogs, which was one of those nature-turns-on-humans flicks popular during the period, a genre later dubbed eco-horror. It had the amusing tagline: Today the pond, tomorrow the world. Borden had about the same luck with her film career as she had looking for her prince—i.e. she kissed a lot of frogs. But some of those frogs are guilty faves of ours, like 1973's White Mama, Black Mama, and 1974's Dirty Mary Crazy Larry. Below, even though her frog didn't turn into a prince she married it anyway. You can tell because she has it on a short leash.

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Femmes Fatales Oct 31 2022
HOWLOWEEN NIGHT
Always make sure to brush after wolfing down your treats.


Above: Elisabeth Brooks in character as Marsha from the 1981 horror film The Howling, which remains one of the better werewolf movies ever made, thanks to its unique vision and practical effects. For werewolves, every day is sort of like Halloween, so we think they'd prefer maybe July 4th or Christmas as holidays or festivals go. Sort of makes sense, right? The same way Santa probably prefers spring break. Anyway, this shot is a slight variation on one we shared several years ago. You can see that, and read a bit about The Howling, at this link

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Femmes Fatales Oct 29 2022
MALIBU GOLD
The spear gun? I don't fish with it. It's for keeping men away. I get my seafood at Safeway like everyone else.


This photo shows U.S. actress Carol Lynley striking a beautiful pose on Malibu Beach, and in our opinion a woman with a spear gun hasn't looked this good since Elke Sommer in 1967. This was made for Lynley's 1969 thriller Once You Kiss a Stranger. We're going to talk about the movie in a bit, but rather than save this image for that purpose we thought it was special enough to deserve its own post. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 10
1935—Downtown Athletic Club Awards First Trophy
The Downtown Athletic Club in New York City awards its first trophy for athletic achievement to University of Chicago halfback Jay Berwanger. The prize is later renamed the Heisman Trophy, and becomes the most prestigious award in college athletics.
1968—Japan's Biggest Heist Occurs
300 million yen is stolen from four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Ginko bank in Tokyo when a man dressed as a police officer blocks traffic due to a bomb threat, makes them exit their bank car while he checks it for a bomb, and then drives away in it. Under Japanese statute of limitations laws, the thief could come forward today with no repercussions, but nobody has ever taken credit for the crime.
December 09
1965—UFO Reported by Thousands of Witnesses
A large, brilliant fireball is seen by thousands in at least six U.S. states and Ontario, Canada as it streaks across the sky, reportedly dropping hot metal debris, starting grass fires, and causing sonic booms. It is generally assumed and reported by the press to be a meteor, however some witnesses claim to have approached the fallen object and seen an alien craft.
December 08
1980—John Lennon Killed
Ex-Beatle John Lennon is shot four times in the back and killed by Mark David Chapman in front of The Dakota apartment building in New York City. Chapman had been stalking Lennon since October, and earlier that evening Lennon had autographed a copy of his album Double Fantasy for him.
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