Vintage Pulp Apr 16 2014
PARIS WHEN IT'S GREY
Even when it’s drab it’s beautiful.

This issue of Paris Plaisirs goes back farther than any we’ve featured—to 1924. But the pulp era officially began in the late 1800s, which means this art deco influenced publication fits right in. It debuted in 1922, lasted into the late 1930s, and was published out of Rue Georges-Berger in the Plaine de Monceaux quarter, fashioning itself as a specialty publication for Parisian music halls. Though this issue is very grey, the magazine became more colorful as time went by, which you can see in our other posts. That’s about all we can tell you about Paris Plaisirs because the mastheads in these are not exactly packed with information. We’ll find out more eventually, but in the meantime we’ll just enjoy the racy photographic vignettes and many ink drawings evocative of the Jazz Age. 

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Vintage Pulp Apr 8 2014
LITTLE RED GAZETTE
The National Police Gazette packs a bigger punch than its size would suggest.

This April 1944 National Police Gazette totals a mere sixteen pages, including both covers. During the early 1950s the page count would rise, pretty much doubling and remaining that way for most of the next three decades. But small though this issue may be, it still contains some interesting items, such as blurbs on singer Frank Sinatra and baseballer Bob Feller, as well as an attractive cover featuring Betty Duval, and interior photos of other beauty queens. The most notable item is probably the centerfold, which is reserved for Marjorie Tallchief, a full-blooded scion of the Osage Nation who as a ballerina rose to the lofty position of première danseuse étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet. Some online sources say Marjorie Tallchief was aka Maria Tallchief, while others say the two were sisters. It’s the latter group that have it correct—Marjorie and Maria were separate people, and both were acclaimed ballerinas. They were also part of a generation of Native American ballet dancers—including Yvonne Chouteau and Rosella Hightower—to achieve widespread fame around the same time. Scans below.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 30 2014
UP THE CREEK
You said we were going fishing, cherie, so I wore my fishnets.

We found this special Nus d’été (summer nudes) issue of Paris-Hollywood back in 2009, and every year on the day of the summer solstice we seem to be too otherwise occupied to post images from it. So finally this year we decided posting on the actual first day of summer is less important than simply sharing the images, so here you go—a dozen pages to warm your heart and possibly your loins. If you squint at the one just below she could almost be Ingrid Bergman. Almost. See another Paris-Hollywood special here.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 16 2014
BAMBOO SHOOT
Take... picture quick. Can’t hold this pose… much longer.


Above, a familiar looking but as yet unidentified model posing for one of Corp. Fox A.’s Technicolor pin-ups. This makes the eleventh one of these we’ve shared and you can see the others by clicking its keywords below.

Update: It's Madeline Castle, who was a Playboy Playmate of the month back in October 1954 and a popular pin-up model for many more years. The shot above isn't the most flattering of her, so we've uploaded another one below, from Folies de Paris et de Hollywood #288, 1964. Yes, we know the two look like different women entirely, but they aren't, we promise. She just looks better below, and as a bonus she's smiling instead of grimacing.
 
 
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Vintage Pulp Jan 6 2014
ROUGH PLAY
She just earned herself a major penalty for enticing.

Above is the cover of a March 1932 issue of the French “esthétique, humoristique, théâtral” monthly Paris Plaisirs with cover star Marjorie King cheerfully wielding a field hockey stick from a position that suggests she’s been knocked on her ass. If you tilt your head you can see that she was really striking. When this issue appeared she seemed to be on the cusp of a cinema breakthrough, having appeared in four films in quick succession. But she only made two screen appearances after this cover—1933’s My Weakness and 1936’s J’ai gagné un million. However, she had some Broadway roles and appeared on and in many magazines, so when you add it all up she seems to have had a nice career. Regarding Paris Plaisirs, it launched in 1922 and ran until at least 1938. We’ve shared several of these before and you can see those by clicking here. And we also found another photo of King from the same field hockey session, as well as a nice shot of her by photography legend Alfred Cheney Johnston which we’ll share a bit later. 

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Vintage Pulp Dec 30 2013
MASS SURVEILLANCE
Even in decline Confidential had eyes and ears everywhere.

Liz Taylor and her tan star on this cover of Confidential published this month in 1964. The magazine was just a shadow of its former self by this point, but the inside stories still manage to raise eyebrows and give the impression of tabloid spies in every corner of Hollywood. Simon Lee Garth’s exposé accuses Richard Burton of being an abusive drunk, but that was not a scoop—other tabloids had written the same. But elsewhere, investigative journo Beverly Hillis (nice, right?) shares the amusing story of Elvis Presley throwing a party at which only women were invited. Apparently “swivel hips”, as Confidential refers to him, paraded around in a series of bizarre costumes and generally acted the fool, prompting some (but crucially not all) of his guests to leave in a huff. In another story Jack Asher writes about bottomless swimsuits worn by gay men as a response to the topless women’s suits that had appeared on European beaches, and also tells readers the fashion house Lanvin Paris had begun selling a bottomless suit for women. We don’t buy that one for a minute, but there are some interesting photos of women wearing breast-baring dresses. Elsewhere in the issue you get tabloid fave Jayne Mansfield and her husband Mickey Targitay, Peter Sellers sexing himself into a heart attack with Britt Ekland, Barry Goldwater playing dirty politics, and an impressively tasteless graphic of Malcolm X. All below.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 22 2013
A BANDIT APART
Hand over your cash, your keys, that sack, and your Santa suit.

Just for the fun of it we have another French magazine for you. This issue of La Vie Parisienne was published this month in 1967, which makes it a later vintage than other issues we’ve shared. Gone are the drawings of Roger Brand and Jacques Leclerc—in their place are more photographs, typically of nude women. It’s a pattern we’ve seen repeated often. As the seventies neared many magazines eschewed art both on the cover and inside for photography, which was presumably easier and cheaper to produce. Such makeovers rarely helped with sinking sales, and La Vie Parisienne wasn’t one of the exceptions—it died in 1970. But of course, the seventies were the ruin of many traditional approaches to publishing. La Vie Parisienne had charted a course from its founding in 1863 through two world wars and countless shifts in consumer taste, and by any measure had to be considered a roaring success. The striking cover star of this is unidentified, in case you’re wondering, but the rest of the women are showgirls from Parisian cabarets, with the exception of actress Uta Levka. You also get classic art from Ingres, and cartoons from J.P. Monein. Fifteen scans below. 

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Vintage Pulp Dec 21 2013
SHIVER D'HIVER
We’ve heard of freezing your ass off but this is ridiculous.

It’s been awhile since we shared a Paris-Hollywood, so today in honor of the first day of winter we have one of their themed issues—Nus d’Hiver, or Nudes of Winter—and we can’t help but notice that the only model photographed outdoors appears to have frozen her bush off. Well, they say you have to sacrifice for art, so kudos to her. Seventeen scans below. Wanna see more? Click keywords "Paris-Hollywood" at the bottom of the post. Stay warm everyone.

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Intl. Notebook Sep 30 2013
LIFE'S RICH PAGEANTS
Smiles, everyone, big smiles.

The above images show Micheline Bernardini, the former Casino de Paris nude dancer who debuted the garment known as a bikini at a 1946 Paris beauty contest. Technically, hers was not the first. Similar garments appear on figures adorning classical Greek urns—but hey, that stuff is ancient history. The modern bikini is credited to Bernardini and designer Louis Réard. Beauty contests are an interesting phenomenon, don’t you think? They’re ultimately about sex, but nobody is supposed to say they’re about sex—just like the foot massages in Pulp Fiction. But as weird and anachronistic as beauty contests are, we find the photos fascinating, so today we’ve dug up some vintage beauty contest pix. Among the participants below you’ll see Miss Italy winner 1951 Isabella Valdettaro (second photo). The dates on these range from mid-1940s to mid-1950s, except for the final shot which is from around 1935.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 12 2013
SINGING IN THE RAINCOAT
Nothing can dampen your mood when you wear a Suralo.

Here’s a random little something we found a while back—an advertisement for Suralo raincoats by French illustrator Marcel Norsac, printed in Paris by Editions Chantelune. Norsac was a well-known artist who did many book illustrations but also worked extensively in advertising. These days, lithographs of his work can go for two-hundred dollars or more. This piece, part of a long-running campaign showing just how happy a Suralo raincoat could make its wearer, dates from the late-1940s.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 19
1927—Mae West Sentenced to Jail
American actress and playwright Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for the content of her play Sex. The trial occurred even though the play had run for a year and had been seen by 325,000 people. However West's considerable popularity, already based on her risque image, only increased due to the controversy.
1971—Manson Sentenced to Death
In the U.S, cult leader Charles Manson is sentenced to death for inciting the murders of Sharon Tate and several other people. Three accomplices, who had actually done the killing, were also sentenced to death, but the state of California abolished capital punishment in 1972 and neither they nor Manson were ever actually executed.
April 18
1923—Yankee Stadium Opens
In New York City, Yankee Stadium, home of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees, opens with the Yankees beating their eternal rivals the Boston Red Sox 4 to 1. The stadium, which is nicknamed The House that Ruth Built, sees the Yankees become the most successful franchise in baseball history. It is eventually replaced by a new Yankee Stadium and closes in September 2008.
April 17
1961—Bay of Pigs Invasion Is Launched
A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees lands at the Bay of Pigs in southern Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro. However, the invasion fails badly and the result is embarrassment for U.S. president John F. Kennedy and a major boost in popularity for Fidel Castro, and also has the effect of pushing him toward the Soviet Union for protection.

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