Hollywood is seen without its face on.
We have something a bit different today, a cover of Pete Martin's tinseltown tell-all Hollywood without Makeup. What you get here are tabloid style bios of various cinematic luminaries, including Greer Garson, Ava Gardner, and Maria Montez. The info on the stars probably makes this one worthwhile by itself, but as a bonus you get tabloid style writing in long form. It's a type of prose that isn't practiced anymore, but it can be quite entertaining to read. Here's an example:
“When first stumbled upon, the conception of the lady sounds as if those who are promoting it are deliberately plying a fire extinguisher to quench the flames of publicity that might singe her career.”
We don't even fully understand what that means, really. Here's a more straightforward passage:
“She operates on the theory that standing up on her two eye-filling legs and yelling for her rights, while at the same time clubbing people over the head with her overpowering personality, will bring home a choice brand of bacon generously streaked with lean. The head screwed on her decorative shoulders is not stuffed with goofer feathers or idle girlish vaporings. The mind behind her velvet-textured Latin facade closes on an opportunity like the jaws of a bear trap.”
Aside from being incredibly condescending, it's an interesting style. You find this type of baroque writing in all the high budget tabloids, such as Confidential, Hush-Hush, and Whisper. It's self-indulgent, but fun to read. Does it sound like your cup of tea? Then go for it. Regarding the cover art, we aren't sure whether we're dealing with a painting or a photo-illustration, but in either case it's uncredited.
Robert Mitchum’s records are still crazy after all these years.
Robert Mitchum was considered one of the coolest guys in cinema, but he didn’t take his craft very seriously. He said that stage passed around the time he “made a film with Greer Garson and she took 125 takes to say no.” Perhaps that disdain toward his chosen craft is why Mitchum didn’t hesitate to branch out and risk his image releasing two albums of whimsical music. His first, 1957’s Calypso Is Like So, offers up the normally baritone-voiced Mitchum singing in a lilting Caribbean accent. The album charted a modest hit in the countrified galloper “The Ballad of Thunder Road,” and also contains the ditty “From a Logical Point of View,” in which he comically shares a recipe for marital happiness:
But if you make an ugly woman your wife,
you can be sure you will be happy in all your life.
She will never do things in a funny way,
to allow the neighbor to have things to say.
She wouldn't disregard the husband at all,
by exhibiting herself too bitter and cold.
Man, from a logical point of view,
better marry a woman uglier than you.
Mitchum’s second record, entitled That Man Sings, aka That Man, was recorded in 1967. This one was mostly country music, and charted two singles. As time passed, the calypso album became the more renowned of Mitchum’s platters, probably because of its unrepentant cheese factor, but we think album two is far superior to the first. It’s less of a novelty album, and has what we think is his best song, a version of the Bobby Hebb classic “Sunny.” We have a feeling it'll brighten up your Monday.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1947—Edwin Land Unveils His New Camera
In New York City, scientist and inventor Edwin Land demonstrates the first instant camera, the Polaroid Land Camera, at a meeting of the Optical Society of America. The camera, which contains a special film that self-develops prints in a minute, goes on sale the next year to the public and is an immediate sensation.
1965—Malcolm X Is Assassinated
American minister and human rights activist Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam, who shotgun him in the chest and then shoot him sixteen additional times with handguns. Though three men are eventually convicted of the killing, two have always maintained their innocence, and all have since been paroled.
1935—Caroline Mikkelsen Reaches Antarctica
Norwegian explorer Caroline Mikkelsen, accompanying her husband Captain Klarius Mikkelsen on a maritime expedition, makes landfall at Vestfold Hills and becomes the first woman to set foot in Antarctica. Today, a mountain overlooking the southern extremity of Prydz Bay is named for her.
1972—Walter Winchell Dies
American newspaper and radio commentator Walter Winchell, who invented the gossip column while working at the New York Evening Graphic, dies of cancer. In his heyday from 1930 to the 1950s, his newspaper column was syndicated in over 2,000 newspapers worldwide, he was read by 50 million people a day, and his Sunday night radio broadcast was heard by another 20 million people.
1976—Gerald Ford Rescinds Executive Order 9066
U.S. President Gerald R. Ford signs Proclamation 4417, which belatedly rescinds Executive Order 9066. That Order, signed in 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, established "War Relocation Camps" for Japanese-American citizens living in the U.S. Eventually, 120,000 are locked up without evidence, due process, or the possibility of appeal, for the duration of World War II.
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