Enjoy the view while it lasts, pervs. Once I install these on my windows showtime is over for good.
We had to bring back Corinne Calvet to share a shot of her at her most beautiful. And here you have it. This should put to rest any doubts about her being one of the loveliest stars of her era. Simply put, she had it all. We'll get into one or two her movies pretty soon and report back. Meanwhile, here's one of the pervs that made her buy shutters.
A song thought forgotten can always be remembered.
This photo shows Broadway actress Altonell Hines, who performed on the New York City stage during the 1930s in the shows Porgy and Bess and Four Saints in Three Acts. Unfortunately, like many early Broadway performers, after her career she faded into obscurity. However, she was somewhat rediscovered, partly thanks to a photographic portrait shot in 1934 by the famed Carl Van Vechten as part of an unfinished project titled, "Noble Black Women: The Harlem Renaissance and After.” The photo wasn't printed until 1983 when it went on exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute. Hines never saw it—she'd died in 1979.
Nevertheless, she's an interesting example of how obscurity never has to be permanent for stars of yesteryear. Archivists and biographers have always resurrected long dead public figures, but the creation of the internet has accelerated that process, and now hundreds of formerly forgotten personalities from history are restored into the cultural consciousness each year. It's the coolest thing about the internet, if you ask us. The above shot, which is not from the Noble Black Women collection, was made in 1935. You can see a few more images of Hines on the website of the New York Public Library, at this link.
Susan George demonstrates the Fright or fight reflex.
This fraught photo features British actress Susan George, who's not discussed today as much as she should be. She was a bold performer who appeared in movies too envelope pushing for at least 90% of actresses of this day and age. Several of her films are routinely described as controversial. The efforts we're thinking of are Straw Dogs, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Mandingo, and A Small Town in Texas. Not all of those were top notch, but they were all uncompromising. The above photo comes from her also intense 1971 fight-or-flight thriller Fright. We'll get back to George soon.
Sometimes you have to do something to break up the monotony.
For those who don't know, streaking was the fad of running naked in front of surprised witnesses, whether on a street or in a mall or at a football game, and it was reaching its zenith around the time the above photo was made. So imagine you're sitting around your place bored as hell like the guy at bottom—who you didn't even notice until we just mentioned him—and Reiko Ike streaks across the room. That's the theme of this promo image from a 1972 issue of Heibon Punch, which had accompanying text telling readers Reiko suddenly ran free like an innocent child. We don't know about the “child” or “innocent” parts, but we heartily endorse the rest. She's streaked across our website more times than we can count, so feel free to search around for those images and find out a little more about one of the great action stars of her era.
Now begins my violent crusade against all bra designers.
We showed these photos of U.S. actress Joan Vohs to PI-1 and PI-2—aka the Pulp Intl. girlfriends—and they were like, “What the hell is going on with that woman's boobs?” They're of the opinion that bras must have been designed by men. It's actually a French woman who gets credit for the first modern bra, but by the time mid-century fashion was in full swing we wouldn't be surprised if men had major input and/or final control. After all, the torpedo or bullet bra must have come from a man's brain, right? It must have.
This disaster of a bra Vohs is wearing is inexplicable. We won't even try to understand. We like to think her pain and humiliation were somewhat lessened by an excellent show business career. Her best known movies are probably 1954's Cry Venegance and Sabrina, but she was constantly employed from 1949 to 1969, which is no easy feat. Possibly, she had some custom bras made with her earnings. That's what we would've done. Wanna see an astounding example of a torpedo bra? Check here, but be careful, kid—you could put an eye out.
Let's have phone sex. First I'll send you a photo to inspire you. It should be in your mailbox in three or four days.
Above you see a rare image from Players magazine circa 1974 of cinema legend Pam Grier using a device known as a rotary telephone. It's a great shot of both her and the museum piece. A couple of other frames from her hang-out session exist that were used in the offshoot publication Players Girls Pictorial in 1976.
Grier saw nudity as liberating and empowering. In a Rolling Stone interview she said, about the choice to appear unclothed in films, “I wanted to make people start seeing women of color, because we weren’t the epitome of sexual attraction for the male audience, in movies, magazines, anything. I said, How come we don’t see women of color in Hollywood and see them beautifully, like Fellini and Bertolucci and Bergman see women?”
With her boldness Grier helped change the paradigm of onscreen sexuality a bit, and today her images are among the most coveted out there, with magazines in which she appeared nude often auctioning for more than a hundred dollars. Tall, angular, and lovely, she went from actress to cultural icon and maintains that status today. You can see all kinds of Grier in the website. Just click her keywords below.
Oh, don't be such a chicken. I'm a nice girl, I promise. Now get that sweet ass of yours up there.
Ukrainian actress Anna Sten looks so femme fatale in this promo image made for her 1934 movie Nana that you could easily think it's satirical. In fact, she reminds us of the unknown model from Whitey Schafer's famous polemical image “Thou Shalt Not.” Maybe the photo even influenced Schafer a little, considering it predates his by six years. You never know about stuff like that. In any case, Sten may look shady but bad girls need love too. See a little more of her here and here.
I was going to have a dry month, but instead I decided to have a dry white wine month.
Above is a killer photo of U.S. actress Barbara Nichols posing in an overcoat and little else. She made numerous memorable promo images, but this one may be tops. She's also posed next to a bottle of Dopff au Moulin riesling, which is a French wine from a family estate that's been active since 1574.
We didn't have a copyright on the photo, so we spent some time tracking down the same Dopff label thinking it would be dated, but the moment we saw that wasn't the case, it simultaneously occurred to us that the wine couldn't have helped us because Nichols could be posing with a bottle from years earlier. But since we did the work, and we like its cute little windmill, the label appears here too. If we had to guess on a copyright on the shot we'd say 1958.
What was her real name? It's a Short story.
Above are three photos of British-Burmese actress Seyna Seyn, who in our view has one of the greatest names in show business history. But as we asked above, could such an exotic and alliterative handle be real? Sadly, no. She was born Sylvia Short, which strikes us as a perfectly serviceable show business name, but when you come up with something like Seyna Seyn you have to go with it. Seyn's filmography includes Casanova 70, I marziani hanno 12 mani, aka The Twelve-Handed Men of Mars, Agente segreto 777 - Operazione Mistero, and Se tutte le donne del mondo... (Operazione Paradiso), aka Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die. As those titles suggest, she mostly worked in Italy. We figure we'll get around to one or two of her movies pretty soon.
She always manages to make a solid point.
French actress Corinne Le Poulain, who you see here armed and pleased with herself, is a bit obscure due to acting largely on television, however, she did make such cinematic efforts as 1969's Un jeune couple, aka A Young Couple, 1970's La provocation, and 1973's Les anges. This photo was made for her hit show Sam et Sally in 1978. The beautiful madmemoiselle Corinne will return soon.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1936—Crystal Palace Gutted by Fire
In London, the landmark structure Crystal Palace, a 900,000 square foot glass and steel exhibition hall erected in 1851, is destroyed by fire. The Palace had been moved once and fallen into disrepair, and at the time of the fire was not in use. Two water towers survived the blaze, but these were later demolished, leaving no remnants of the original structure.
1963—Warren Commission Formed
U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson establishes the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. However the long report that is finally issued does little to settle questions
about the assassination, and today surveys show that only a small minority of Americans agree with the Commission's conclusions.
1942—Nightclub Fire Kills Hundreds
In Boston, Massachusetts, a fire
in the fashionable Cocoanut Grove nightclub kills 492 people. Patrons were unable to escape when the fire began because the exits immediately became blocked with panicked people, and other possible exits were welded shut or boarded up. The fire led to a reform of fire codes and safety standards across the country, and the club's owner, Barney Welansky, who had boasted of his ties to the Mafia and to Boston Mayor Maurice J. Tobin, was eventually found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
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