Hollywoodland Dec 28 2019
INSIDE HOLLYWOOD
The more things change the more they stay the same.


Above is a cover of the U.S. tabloid Inside Story published this month in 1955. There's a lot in this magazine, but since we keep our write-ups short we can't cover it all. One story of note concerns Betty Furness, an actress and pitchwoman whose squeaky clean image Inside Story claims is false. This is a typical angle by mid-century tabloids, the idea that a cinema or television sweetheart was really a hussy, lush, ballbreaker, or cold fish. Furness receives slander number four, with editors claiming she has “ice bound emotions,” “a cold, cold heart,” and is, “tough and tightfisted.” It's interesting that sixty years later resistance to a woman being anything other than a nurturer really hasn't diminished all that much, as many women with high public profiles would confirm.

Another story concerns the death of actress Virginia Rappe and the subsequent arrest of Fatty Arbuckle. In short, Rappe died after attending a party thrown by Arbuckle, with the cause of death attributed to either alcohol induced illness or rape and sodomy with a Coke bottle. Arbuckle went to trial three times before winning a final acquittal, though certain details of the death remained murky. The case was muddied by the influence of sensationalistic journalism, as publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst's nationwide chain of newspapers deemed sales more important than truth. The Coke bottle, for example, was entirely fabricated, but Hearst was unrepentant. He'd fit into the modern media landscape perfectly today, because for him money and influence justified everything.

And speaking of money, a final story that caught our eye was the exposé on the record business, namely the practice of buying spins on radio. The term for this—“payola”—was coined in 1916 but not widely known until the ’50s. Inside Story helps spread the terminology with a piece about pay-for-play on national radio stations. Like the previous two stories, this one feels familiar, particularly the idea that the best music rarely makes it onto the airwaves. Those who engaged in payola understood that people generally consumed whatever was put in front of them, therefore what was the point of worrying about quality or innovation? This remains a complaint about entertainment media today, but repetition still rules. To paraphrase the famed colloquialism: If you ain't going broke, don't fix it. We have thirty-plus scans below.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 11 2016
DUTCH LOVIN'
Parolee skips the halfway house and goes straight to the all-the-way house.


Yes, we're doubling up on the ’70s sexploitation today because we have this nice poster for a movie that premiered in Japan today in 1972—Blue Movie, aka Das Porno-Haus von Amsterdam, aka Blue Movie Session in Amsterdam. Dutch produced and initially released in Germany as Das nackte Gesicht der Pornographie during the summer of 1971, it starred Hugo Metsers in a tale that mirrors the above-mentioned Vanessa.
 
Instead of a sex starved woman released from a nunnery, this one features a sex starved man released from prison. He moves into an apartment building and gets to know the resident women intimately, a process helped by the fact that they're all desperately horny. We're talking about Cary Tefsen, Ursula Blauth, and the lovely Ine Veen, so this is a pretty sweet deal for a new parolee. Eventually he goes from single sexual encounters to arranging orgiastic parties, complete with interpretive dance performances.
 
When the film hit Holland in the fall of ’71 viewers were shocked by its subject matter and frankness, but it was a huge hit and it's still remembered as a groundbreaker today. It's also a bit of a bore. Director/co-writer Wim Verstappen had serious intentions, and those show in the social commentary and abundance of dialogue he's loaded into the movie. We'll say this, though—the Dutch don't do sexploitation one-way, which means there are plenty of swinging dicks here, literally, along with chest hair and pork chop sideburns. We're fine with all that, but we're not fine with the movie being such a yawner. Pass.
 


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Vintage Pulp Feb 18 2016
LIGHTS OUT
When the sun goes down in the city.

Hotels, museums, and restaurants are all important aspects of travel, but what you really need to know is where to score hookers and cocaine, right? Or is that just us? Above, assorted covers from MacFadden-Bartell’s famed sleaze series After Dark, published late 1960s and early 1970s, and which purports to tell readers where and how vice can be found in different cities, as well as the unique variations that exist in each place. Don’t leave home without one. And a pack of condoms.

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Musiquarium Oct 16 2014
SEXUAL HEARING
Spread-eagled Aslan art helped cure the guilt of buying pirated music.

We said we were done with France for the moment, but we’re veering back there briefly today to show you this Cure album sleeve featuring art from the French painter Aslan. Live at Paradiso is a bootleg, same as the other Aslan-fronted Cure record we showed you back in January. The people who pressed this weren’t messing around, either—they opted for one of the artist’s more explicit paintings. No complaints here, but we bet Aslan was a bit annoyed when he saw his work appropriated yet again. It wouldn’t be the last time. We’ll get to more bootleg sleeves a bit later.

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Femmes Fatales Apr 6 2013
SECRET ADMAIER
We suspect she’s about to reveal what she’s hiding.

This provocative shot features German adult actress Brigitte Maier from the Dutch magazine Chick, sometimes referred to as Chick Amsterdam. Back in October we featured a poster, which you can have a look at herefrom Maier’s famous 1975 X-rated hit Sensations. This image was made the previous year.

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Femmes Fatales Jul 14 2012
KRISTEL VISION

Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel was without a doubt one of the most divine women to ever appear on a movie screen. She gained fame with her starring role in 1974’s erotic classic Emmanuelle, which ran in one French cinema for thirteen uninterrupted years. Kristel has had health problems, including a bout with throat cancer. Today she’s fighting for her life in an Amsterdam hospital after a stroke in late June and the revelation that she had developed liver cancer. Only time will tell if she’ll recover, but the above photo, which came from the same session as these, shows her timeless beauty. 

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Modern Pulp Nov 18 2009
THE ART OF WHORE
A little Amsterdam goes a long way.

The National Gallery in London has just opened a new art exhibit based on one of our favorite cities—Amsterdam. The exhibit is stirring up quite a controversy because of its explicit content, which critics describe as tasteless and “designed to shock.” The artists responsible, Ed and Nancy Kienholz, created partial versions of some of Amsterdam’s famous brothels back in 1983. Their new installation, “The Hoerengracht,” or the Whore Canal, features these pieces arranged to replicate a realistic walk through Amsterdam’s famous De Wallen red light district, complete with mannequins dressed as prostitutes and garish neon lights.

These were among the final pieces worked on by Ed Kienholz, who died in 1994. By that time he had achieved widespread acclaim, but even so, this is perhaps the first time his and his wife’s work has been featured in a venue as conventional and respected as the National Gallery. It is the venue’s break from its traditional roots that has generated both criticism and publicity. Now that the exhibit is open, it’s the public’s turn to decide. “The Hoerengracht—the closest thing to Amsterdam without going thereruns through February 2010.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 17 2009
EXCLUSIVE SKOOP

Skoop movie magazine from our recent trip to Amsterdam, with cover star Jean Seberg, and stories on Jean-Marie Straub, Paul Newman, and others.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 6 2009
KALEIDOSKOOP
The brightest smile in town.

Here's one of our Amsterdam finds, a 1967 copy of a Dutch cinema magazine called Skoop. There was a giant stack of them, but we liked this one because its cover featured a shot of Audrey Hepburn we’ve never seen before. It also had a twenty-page interview with Alain Resnais, as well as a long feature on the 1967 Cannes Film Festival. We can’t read any of it, but the pictures sure are pretty. Below are a few interior pages, including images of Julie Andrews, Lex de Bruyn and Delphine Seyrig.

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Sex Files Sep 4 2009
AMSTERDAM AFFAIR
De Wallen is ground zero of the international sex trade.

It’s been a great vacation, folks. We’ve been in Amsterdam for ten days, and now we’re headed back to Paris for one more night there before returning home. Last night we finally got around to checking out De Wallen, aka the main Red Light District. You probably already know that the ladies (and a few ladyboys, as well) display themselves in windows, while the potential johns parade past checking the wares. Like strippers, the girls use eye contact to both entice and control the men. You don’t just get to ogle them up and down for a cheap thrill—they are ogling you as well. Men are basically cowardly herd animals, so this has the effect of keeping them moving quickly through the area as a group. If you stop for a really good look, you have to deal with the pressure of the woman staring right back at you. Not many guys do well with that.
 
According to official sources, about 75% of sex workers are foreigners, and according to our unofficial visual survey, very few are the types you would pay special attention to if you saw them on a tram or in a bar. But allure isn't all just a matter of physical beauty and, like sex workers the world over, the ones here exude that intangible quality of availability that supercedes all other considerations. If you take photos, do so at your own risk. Anonymity for both the johns and pros is considered of paramount importance, and if you aim a camera prepare to discover that the dude lounging on a nearby stoop is actually a bouncer. However it is still possible to shoot pictures if you’re careful—just make sure to do it from a distance, or on the fly. Our attempts resulted in unsatisfactory results, so we borrowed the photos here from Wikipedia and Pbase.
 
 
The Dutch government is making a push to clean up the area, so De Wallenand the other districts scattered around townmay soon be gone, or at least considerably reduced in size. This move, we’re told, is not so much about the business of sex as it is about the numerous shady fuckers who inevitably profit from it. Though the system is set up so that girls can work as independent contractors, in practice most of them are controlled by Eastern European and Moroccan pimps involved in human trafficking. A recent investigation by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime revealed that Amsterdam is the world’s number one destination for trafficked girls.
 
We could talk about this for pages, but let’s just say we can cross another item off life’s to-do list. It was worth the excursion, and as pulp hunters we’d have felt remiss if we hadn’t done it. Amsterdam is a lovely town, and even in the Red Light District there’s a beauty, an otherworldiness thatgives the down-and-dirty commerce of sex a storybook surface sheen. Nothing makes this clearer than when you see swans bobbing in the canal next to Voorburgwal, pure white on the neon splashed waters, as women trade their bodies for money.
 
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Next Page
History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
June 03
1968—Andy Warhol Is Shot
Valerie Solanas, feminist author of an anti-male tract she called the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men), attempts to assassinate artist Andy Warhol by shooting him with a handgun. Warhol survives but suffers health problems for the rest of his life. Solanas serves three years in prison and eventually dies of emphysema at San Francisco's Bristol Hotel in 1988.
June 02
1941—Lou Gehrig Dies
New York Yankees baseball player Henry Louis Gehrig, aka The Iron Horse, who set a record for playing in 2,130 consecutive games over the course of fourteen seasons, dies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, two years after the onset of the illness ended his consecutive games streak.
June 01
1946—Antonescu Is Executed
Ion Antonescu, who was ruler of Romania during World War II, and whose policies were independently responsible for the deaths of as many as 400,000 Bessarabian, Ukrainian and Romanian Jews, as well as countless Romani Romanians, is executed by means of firing squad at Fort Jilava prison just outside Bucharest.
1959—Sax Rohmer Dies
Prolific British pulp writer Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward, aka Sax Rohmer, who created the popular character Fu Manchu and became one of the most highly paid authors of his time writing fundamentally racist fiction about the "yellow peril" and what he blithely called "rampant criminality among the Chinese", dies of avian flu in White Plains, New York.
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