Vintage Pulp Jun 10 2019
CRIME AMERICAN STYLE
Four U.S. authors make their mark on France and on film.


Above, four covers from Éditions Ditis for its La Chouette collection, circa late 1950s. All of these were originally published in the U.S. and translated into French after being adapted into films. The first three were turned into the film noir classics Sudden Fear, A Kiss Before Dying, and Black Angel, while the fourth became the French crime thriller Bonnes à tuer, which is known in English as One Step to Eternity.

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Femmes Fatales Apr 17 2015
CONSTANCE PRESENCE
Ah, I see it now. It rolled under the sofa.

First we had Danielle Darrieux showing her flexibility on a trapeze, followed shortly thereafter by Joey Heatherton attempting a more advanced contortion, now today American actress Constance Dowling—older sister of reliably awesome actress Doris Dowling—shows she needs no device at all to turn herself into a pretzel. Dowling got her start on Broadway and later appeared in films such as Black Angel, Stormbound, and the unforgettable sci-fi thriller Gog. This pose is called a backbend today, but when the photo was made in 1944, it was known as a backstand. In either case, it looks like a pretty useful position.
 
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Vintage Pulp Jul 28 2012
SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS
In pulp, nights of impulse are always followed by mornings of regret.

Above is a nice cover for Elick Moll’s suspense novel Night Without Sleep, the story of a playwright whose violent temper and love of drink lead to a serious dilemma—he awakens from a binge with vague memories of a woman screaming, leading him to suspect he may have committed murder. There are three women in his life—his wife, his mistress, and the woman he would like to be his new mistress—and he tracks them down one by one, praying that his suspicions are wrong. A pretty good read, all in all, even if certain elements do resemble Cornell Woolrich’s earlier The Black Angel. We noticed this book mainly because the title was familiar—a film version starred the luscious Linda Darnell, one of our favorite old actresses. You can see a great photo of her here. 1962 on this cover, by the way, with art by uncredited. 

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Vintage Pulp Nov 10 2008
BONE COLLECTOR
Double double toil and trouble...

The Italian shockumentary Angeli bianchi … angeli neri—which translates into English as White Angel, Black Angel—was released in the United States under neither title, but as Witchcraft ’70. The film, which featured Anton and Diane LaVey, purported to be a Mondo Cane-style exposé of contemporary witchcraft, voodoo cults, and pagan rituals shot via hidden camera. But its sonorously narrated segments showing naked exorcism, a nude girl drenched in boar’s blood and other lurid rituals, were staged by veteran italo-director Luigi Scattini. Nevertheless, the film enjoyed a wide release, playing in far-flung locales such as Sweden and Japan. It premiered today in the U.S. in 1970.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
June 17
1939—Eugen Weidmann Is Guillotined
In France, Eugen Weidmann is guillotined in the city of Versailles outside Saint-Pierre Prison for the crime of murder. He is the last person to be publicly beheaded in France, however executions by guillotine continue away from the public until September 10, 1977, when Hamida Djandoubi becomes the last person to receive the grisly punishment.
1972—Watergate Burglars Caught
In Washington, D.C., five White House operatives are arrested for burglarizing the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate Hotel. The botched burglary was an attempt by members of the Republican Party to illegally wiretap the opposition. The resulting scandal ultimately leads to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, and also results in the indictment and conviction of several administration officials.
June 16
1961—Rudolph Nureyev Defects from Soviet Union
Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defects at Le Bourget airport in Paris. The western press reported that it was his love for Chilean heiress Clara Saint that triggered the event, but in reality Nuryev had been touring Europe with the Kirov Ballet and defected in order to avoid punishment for his continual refusal to abide by rules imposed upon the tour by Moscow.
June 15
1978—Hussein Marries Halaby
King Hussein of Jordan, who had claimed direct lineage from the Prophet Muhammad and the most ancient tribe in the Arab world, marries American Lisa Halaby, who renounces her American citizenship, converts to Islam, and takes the name Queen Noor. Noor soon becomes one of the most glamorous and recognized royals in the world.
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