Femmes Fatales Jul 22 2017
UNUSUAL SUSPECT
No I won't turn to the left. This is my good side.

Above you see the legendary Jean Harlow in an awesome MGM promo shot made for the pre-code gangster film The Beast of the City, a movie often (but mistakenly) called a film noir. Harlow plays a gun moll who gets involved in an affair with a cop. The movie came out in 1932, which dates the photo as from that year or the end of the previous year.

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Vintage Pulp May 23 2014
BURNETT AFTER READING
Sometimes a single adaptation won’t get the job done.

In February we showed you a very cool art deco style cover by Edna Reindel for W.R. Burnett’s 1930 novel Iron Man. Here they’re paired again for Burnett’s Saint Johnson, also published in 1930, because the guy wrote hella fast. The book was turned into a movie called Law and Order in 1932, co-scripted by a young John Huston and starring his dad Walter Huston. It was also filmed that same year as The Beast of the City, and that one also starred Walter Huston. Apparently neither version was quite good enough, because it was made into a movie again in 1937 called Wild West Day, and in 1940, called once again Law and Order, and once more in 1953, yet again called Law and Order. For those who think Hollywood has run out of ideas and just makes the same movies over and over, well, it’s always been that way. So what is this amazing book that needed five film versions about? Maybe the cover character’s crazy eyes and bushy mustache can offer a hint. Give up? He’s supposed to be Wyatt Earp. Anyway, the cover has Reindel’s trademark art deco style, which mixes with the standard Old West tableau of a gunman at a card table and ends up looking a bit like Mexican folk art. We love it. See the other Reindel cover here. 
 
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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 18
1912—Piltdown Man Discovered
A hominid fossil known as Piltdown Man is found in England's Piltdown Gravel Pit by paleontologist Charles Dawson. The fragments are thought by many experts of the day to be the fossilized remains of a hitherto unknown form of early man, but in 1953 it is discovered to be a hoax composed of a human skeleton and an orangutan's jawbone. The identity of the Piltdown forger remains unknown, but suspects have included Dawson, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Arthur Conan Doyle and others.
December 17
1967—Australian Prime Minister Disappears
The Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt, who was best known for expanding Australia's role in the Vietnam War, disappears while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria and is presumed drowned.
1969—Project Blue Book Ends
The United States Air Force completes its study of UFOs, stating that sightings are generated as a result of a mild form of mass hysteria, and that individuals who fabricate such reports do so to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, or are psychopathological persons, or simply misidentify various conventional objects.
December 16
1985—Gotti Ascends to Mafia Throne
In New York City, mafiosi Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, paving the way for Gotti to assume leadership of the powerful Gambino crime family. Gotti is eventually arrested by federal authorities in 1990, and dies of throat cancer in 2002 in a federal prison hospital.
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