Vintage Pulp Jan 15 2013
PSYCH WARDH
Vice and virtue in Vienna.

So, quite by coincidence there’s another movie we watched recently that also premiered today, though thirty years later than The Shanghai Gesture (see below). The movie is Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh, which would translate as “The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh,” but was released in the U.S. as Blade of the Ripper. This flick is considered one of the best gialli ever made, and it’s tough to argue the point. It’s intricate, absorbing, unpredictable, colorful, and shot in an array of amazing external locations and inside one of the greatest mid-century modern apartments ever conceived. It also has Edwige Fenech, whose gifts are well known. Taking place mainly in Vienna and climaxing in Sitges, Spain (which happens to be one of our favorite towns in Europe) Signora Wardh is a taleof obssession and infidelity wrapped in a murder mystery. Mrs. Wardh does indeed have a strange vice, but that’s just window dressing. It’s her that’s being hunted throughout the movie—either by a serial killer, a demented ex-lover, or both. Or neither. They say that the only way to keep a secret is if no more than two people know it and one of them is dead. But the only way to commit murder is if the killer has an iron clad alibi, and for that he often needs help. Rule one conflicts with rule two, and that’s the fun of Signora Wardh. Above you see a rare and wonderful Italian promo poster painted by Giuliano Nistri, the younger brother of equally talented Enzo Nistri. We'll get back to both Nistri brothers a little later. Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh opened in Italy today in 1971.

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Hollywoodland Apr 10 2010
M MARKS THE SPOT
Mitchum contemplates Spanish Easter decorations, and what it's like to be the coolest guy on Earth.

We've been on the road this week, and right now we're in Sitges, Spain, which is a Mediterranean resort town not far south of Barcelona. To us, it was famous for being the location of the very first Pacha nightclub, but this morning we discovered this awesome photo of Robert Mitchum from 1950, standing on a spot we've walked on probably ten times a day since being here. We don't know who shot it, where it originally appeared, or whether we're risking a cease and desist order, but we just had to post it.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 28
2000—Montgomery Ward Shuts Down
After 128 years as one of America's most recognizable retail outlets, dry goods chain Montgomery Ward announces it is shutting its doors. It had been the country's first mail order business, and at its height the Montgomery Ward catalog was 240 pages long and contained more than 10,000 items for order. Four years after the chain's closure, its intellectual assets, including its name, are bought, and it reopens as an Internet retail outlet.
December 27
1981—Hoagy Carmichel Dies
American singer and songwriter Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichel, composer of such American classics as "Stardust," "Georgia On My Mind," and "Heart and Soul," and actor in films such as To Have and Have Not, dies of heart failure in Rancho Mirage, California.
December 26
1919—Ruth Goes to Yankees
Boston Red Sox pitching star Babe Ruth is sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee. After moving to the Yankees, Ruth's transition from a pitcher to a power-hitting outfielder becomes complete. In his fifteen year Yankee career, consisting of over 2,000 games, Ruth rewrites the record books in terms of his hitting achievements, while making only five widely-scattered token appearances on the mound, winning all of them.

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