Vintage Pulp Dec 26 2014
AMERICAN HUSTLE
It should have been a classic but is really just a wasted opportunity.

Paramount execs probably wet themselves when they finally made a deal to get American star Burt Reynolds and French icon Catherine Deneuve together onscreen. The promo poster tells us they’re hot—true, and it especially applies to Deneuve, who probably can't vent heat efficiently while shrouded beneath her enormous helmet of immobile, golden hair. You know those war flicks where a soldier in a ditch has a photo in his pocket of his beautiful girlfriend, and during lulls in combat he gazes at her and mutters about how he can’t wait to get back home to her? In Hustle Catherine Deneuve is a living version of that photo. Instead of being overseas she’s just across town, but she’s no less a signifier of impending doom than if she were a snapshot in someone’s pocket. We think writer Steve Shagan dropped the ball here, and not just by making her purpose in the film so obvious, but by making her role so thin. She has a key piece of evidence (she witnesses the villain making a phone call that leads to a murder) in a case that is never made, which we found bizarre. Hustle is mildly involving thanks to stylish direction and Reynolds’ innate watchability, but ultimately unsuccessful. It premiered in the U.S. yesterday in 1975.

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Vintage Pulp Jun 10 2011
POOL PARTY
Cuz I’m a hustler baby.

A couple of years ago we showed you a couple of vintage French one-sheets for the great poolroom drama The Hustler, and today we have the film’s excellent Japanese poster. This is one of those films that everyone has heard of, but surprisingly few people have actually seen. For those in the latter group, we can’t recommend it highly enough. The Hustler, with Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott, and Piper Laurie, opened in Japan today in 1962. 

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Modern Pulp Jan 15 2009
AMERICAN PIMP
You know it’s hard out here for a pimp.

Above you see blaxploitation-influenced promo art for Craig Brewer’s indie blockbuster Hustle & Flow, starring Terrence Howard, Taryn Manning, D.J. Qualls, and Anthony Anderson. As a bonus, we’ve posted a bright orange one sheet below. The orange art isn’t blaxploitation-influenced, but it’s sweet nonetheless. Hustle & Flow premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this month in 2005, and went on to win the Grand Prize, and later, two Academy Awards.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 12 2009
HUSTLE & FLOW
“Fast Eddie, let’s play some pool.”

The Hustler is doubtless the best movie about pool ever made. Director Robert Rossen’s dark vision of the underground billiard circuit earned the film nine Academy Award nominations. All four major cast members received nominations for their acting, although George C. Scott renounced his. The showdown between Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats, and Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson, ranks as one of the most nail-bitingly tense psychological encounters ever filmed. Fast Eddie has been beating Fats’ brains out for an entire night, and he’s feeling pretty good. Come morning it looks like Fats is whipped. He looks like five miles of bad road. He takes a break, washes his hands, gets his hair-do in order. When he puts his jacket on and adjusts his carnation, Fast Eddie starts grinning. It’s over. Fats is going home. But instead Fats looks at his grinning opponent and says, “Fast Eddie, let’s play some pool.” Like the contest hadn’t even started yet. And Fast Eddie’s smile melted away. The Hustler opened in Paris as L'arnaqueur today in 1962.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
June 18
1928—Earhart Crosses Atlantic Ocean
American aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean, riding as a passenger in a plane piloted by Wilmer Stutz and maintained by Lou Gordon. Earhart would four years later go on to complete a trans-Atlantic flight as a pilot, leaving from Newfoundland and landing in Ireland, accomplishing the feat solo without a co-pilot or mechanic.
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.
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