Vintage Pulp Sep 15 2014
ASSASSIN'S CREED
Sonny Chiba is the Duke of hazard.

Above, a poster for Golgo 13: Kûron no kubi, aka Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon, starring Sonny Chiba, who is better known as Shin’ichi Chiba in his native Japan and the rest of Asia. Chiba plays an assassin named Duke Togo, but codenamed Golgo 13, whose latest contract proves more complex than he imagined. The movie, based on a popular manga, was a Japanese production set in Hong Kong, and was an influence on the excellent crime thrillers that came out of Hong Kong in the 1980s, particularly those by John Woo. Plenty of reviews online so we won’t go into detail, except to say that this one is well worth a viewing, in our opinion. Golgo 13: Kûron no kubi premiered in Japan today in 1977.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 21 2014
CULTURE CLASH
It’s my way, Chuck, or the highway.

Above is a cover of Martial Magazine from Hong Kong featuring Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. Save for their devotion to martial arts, it’s very possible that two people could not be more different—Bruce Lee was a philosophical atheist who wrote poetry and preached peace, while Norris is a fundamentalist science skeptic. Strange bedfellows indeed. The photo is from the climactic battle of 1972’s The Way of the Dragon, a pretty cool movie set mostly in Rome.

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Intl. Notebook Dec 6 2012
MODERN 1947
It was a year to remember.


Above is a photo of Manhattan, New York City, in the year 1947, looking from Battery Park toward midtown. Here you see everything—the Staten Island Ferry Building at bottom, Wall Street to the right, the 59th Street Bridge crossing Welfare Island at upper right, and in the hazy distance, the Empire State Building—at that time arguably America’s most recognized symbol. In the aftermath of a war that had destroyed Europe’s and Japan’s industrial capacity, the U.S. was the unquestioned power on the planet, with massive economic might, a military that had taken up permanent residence in dozens of countries, and a growing stock of nuclear weapons. Two years later the Soviets would detonate their first nuclear bomb, shaking the American edifice to its core. Meanwhile, all around the world, the seeds of change were taking root. Below is a look at the world as it was in 1947.


Firemen try to extinguish a blaze in Ballantyne’s Department Store in Christchurch, New Zealand.


American singer Lena Horne performs in Paris.

The hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, and the aftermath of the execution of Hisakazu Tanaka, who was the Japanese governor of occupied Hong Kong during World War II.


Sunbathers enjoy Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, and a military procession rumbles along Rua Catumbi.


Assorted Brooklyn Dodgers and manager Leo Durocher (shirtless in the foreground) relax at Havana, Cuba’s Estadio La Tropical, where they were holding spring training that year. Second photo, Cuban players for the Habana Leones celebrate the first home run hit at Havana’s newly built Estadio Latinoamericano.


Thousands of Muslims kneel toward Mecca during prayer time in Karachi, Pakistan.


A snarl of traffic near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.


The city hall of Cape Town, South Africa is lit up to celebrate the visit of the British Royal Family. Second photo, during the same South African trip, the royals are welcomed to Grahamstown.


A wrecked fighter plane rusts in front of Berlin’s burned and abandoned parliament building, the Reichstag. Second photo, a shot of ruins in Berlin’s Tiergarten quarter, near Rousseau Island.


A crowd in Tel Aviv celebrates a United Nations vote in favor of partitioning Palestine.

Men and bulls run through the streets of Pamplona, Spain during the yearly Festival of San Fermin.


Fog rolls across the Embarcadero in San Francisco; a worker descends from a tower of the Golden Gate Bridge.


Detectives study the body of a woman found murdered in Long Beach, California. Two P-51 Mustang fighters fly above Los Angeles.


Danish women from Snoghøj Gymnastics School practice in Odense.


Tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo demonstrate against the United Nations vote in favor of partitioning Palestine.


A beauty queen draped with a sash that reads “Modern 1947” is lifted high above the boardwalk in Coney Island, New York.


A woman in Barbados holds atop her head a basket filled with fibers meant for burning as fuel.


Mahatma Gandhi, his bald head barely visible at upper center, arrives through a large crowd for a prayer meeting on the Calcutta Maidan, India.


Major League Baseball player Jackie Robinson is hounded for autographs in the dugout during a Brooklyn Dodgers game.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 6 2012
GREAT EXPECTATIONS

We’re all about the Hong Kong vintage, as you know if you’ve spent much time on this site. A while ago we found the below 1952 issue of Hong Kong’s The Great Wall Pictorial and thought today would be a good day to share it. While many Hong Kong cinema publications showcased western stars, this one is 100% Asian talent. We can’t definitively identify anyone, but we suspect the cover star is Meng Xia, aka Hsia Moon. Could be wrong on that, though. As always, feel free to correct us if you have better info. We have fifteen scans below, and more issues that we’ll upload later.

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Vintage Pulp Jul 16 2012
MARILYN EFFECT
Just one look was all it took.

We’re back to the Hong Kong shelf today, for the first time in a while. Hollywood-centric Hong Kong produced a large number of movie magazines during the mid-century. The cover of this one from 1955 is beautiful of course, because of Marilyn Monroe, but the inside is nothing great. Along with Monroe (in the same shot as on the cover) you get Silvana Mangano, Anna Magnani, Lili St. Cyr and others, but like many HK mags from the 1950s, it was printed on cheap paper via a substandard process. A few scans below give you the idea. 

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Vintage Pulp Mar 27 2012
MYSTERIOUS WORLD
Looking for love in all the Wong places.

This is the cover of a Chinese language promotional pamphlet published in Hong Kong for the 1960 American movie The World of Suzie Wong, which starred William Holden and Nancy Kwan as star-crossed lovers from different worlds. He was an office worker who had run away to Hong Kong to become a painter; she was a hooker in a sex hotel who offered herself to him but instead became his model. The film has all the shortcomings of love stories involving squares and hookers, but it’s really just a question of accepting the premise. Anyway, people who love Suzie Wong seem smitten by the exotic setting just as much as the characters, so when we saw this item we had to snag it. Thirteen more scans below. 

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Vintage Pulp Jan 8 2012
TAO OF COOL
The boy with the dragon kung fu.

Above you see a prized part of our collection—five vintage Bruce Lee promo posters produced in Hong Kong from 1971 to 1973. We still have probably ten more Lee posters, which we’ll get uploaded sometime in the near future. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 4 2011
WESTERN POINT OF VIEW
Britain may have colonized the island, but it was Hollywood that colonized the film culture.

Above are six issues of Hong Kong’s West Point magazine, named for a geographical feature of Hong Kong Island. The insides of these are not as visually interestings as the outsides, owing mainly to the poor quality printing and coarse paper stock, but if you’re curious you can see some interior pages here. You may also be wondering if West Point had coverage of Asian celebs. Yes, but unfortunately they weren’t allowed within light years of the magazine’s cover, as far as we can tell. These issues, top to bottom, date from the early-’50s to 1967 and feature Barbara Lang, Ann-Margret, Rock Hudson, Jeanne Crain, Michèle Girardon, and Julie Andrews. 

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Vintage Pulp Sep 1 2011
WAKING THE DEAD
Your kung fu is indeed impressive, but I fear that to demonstrate it on this random dude’s gravestone is the worst possible karma.

Vintage Shaolin comic books are items we see often and the cover art always catches our eye. This one dates from the 1960s, we’re guessing, and it came from Hong Kong. Unless you read Chinese the specifics will be lost, but there are swords, and boats, and horses, and flames, which means it’s great. Thirteen interior scans below. We'd have posted more, but that's where the laziness thing comes in.

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Intl. Notebook Jul 28 2011
BRUCE ON THE LOOSE
The man with the Dragon kung fu.

We found something quite cool yesterday—six Enter the Dragon lobby cards produced in Hong Kong and featuring the one and only Bruce Lee. Looking at them, we aren't sure they're all actually from Enter the Dragon, but that's the way they were packaged. Five of the cards are printed film frames and feature him in full ass-kicking action, but the last one, at bottom, is the true winner, showing a smiling Lee during a break in filming. Assuming these are indeed all from the set of Dragon, it would have been the spring of 1973, when Lee was on top of the world. And in that last shot he looks like it. Just a few months later, in July, he would be gone.  

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 01
1910—Los Angeles Times Bombed
A massive dynamite bomb destroys the Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, California, killing 21 people. Police arrest James B. McNamara and his brother John J. McNamara. Though the brothers are represented by the era's most famous lawyer, Clarence Darrow, of Scopes Monkey Trial fame, they eventually plead guilty. James is convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. His brother John is convicted of a separate bombing of the Llewellyn Iron Works and also sent to prison.
1975—Ali Defeats Frazier in Manila
In the Philippines, an epic heavyweight boxing match known as the Thrilla in Manila takes place between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. It is the third, final and most brutal match between the two, and Ali wins by TKO in the fourteenth round.
September 30
1955—James Dean Dies in Auto Accident
American actor James Dean, who appeared in the films Giant, East of Eden, and the iconic Rebel without a Cause, dies in an auto accident at age 24 when his Porsche 550 Spyder is hit head-on by a larger Ford coupe. The driver of the Ford had been trying to make a left turn across the rural highway U.S. Route 466 and never saw Dean's small sports car approaching.
1962—Chavez Founds UFW
Mexican-American farm worker César Chávez founds the United Farm Workers in California. His strikes, marches and boycotts eventually result in improved working conditions for manual farm laborers and today his birthday is celebrated as a holiday in eight U.S. states.
September 29
1916—Rockefeller Breaks the Billion Barrier
American industrialist John D. Rockefeller becomes America's first billionaire. His Standard Oil Company had gained near total control of the U.S. petroleum market until being broken up by anti-trust legislators in 1911. Afterward, Rockefeller used his fortune mainly for philanthropy, and had a major effect on medicine, education, and scientific research.

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