Vintage Pulp Jul 20 2020
ONE-TWO PUNCH
Technically it's a two-three punch but who's counting?


Above are Japanese posters for two Hong Kong martial arts actioners from the immortal Bruce Lee—1971's Tang shan da xiong, aka The Big Boss, and 1972's Jing mo mun, aka Fist of Fury. You notice the numbers on these, 2, and 3. They didn't premier in Japan until 1974, which meant they showed there after 1973's worldwide hit Enter the Dragon. So when these two films finally traversed the East China Sea, they were cleverly marketed as Lee's second and third karate epics to fans rabid for more high kicking adventure. There's an alternate Jing mo min poster of far lesser quality than what you see above, but we've included it anyway, below. We have plenty more Lee in the site, so if you're interested click his keywords.
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Hollywoodland Jun 29 2020
RIGHT ON! TARGET
If you're impressed by my backhand you should see my wing chun double punch.


We bet you didn't know martial arts icon Jim Kelly was also a proessional tennis player. In 1975 he joined the USTA Men's Senior Circuit and reached a number two ranking in men's doubles. Later in life he owned a tennis club in San Diego. Here you see the Enter the Dragon star working on his court moves in a shot published in the African-American celeb magazine Right On! in 1979. Kelly was not a great actor, but in those quickly made, low-budget actioners from the '70s, who was? You can count the top talents on ten fingers. But he was the first black martial arts star, and a serious stud, which means his legacy is assured. He died today seven years ago.

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Hollywoodland Jun 28 2013
LORD JIM
Mr. Han, I suddenly wish to leave your island.

We didn’t get a chance to acknowledge it last week due to our travels, but we could never fail to pay tribute to American actor and martial arts star Jim Kelly. Before the movies Kelly ran a karate dojo in Los Angeles, and he came to the widespread public attention in 1973’s smash actioner Enter the Dragon, in which he appeared with Bruce Lee. He didn’t last long in the film, but he made a strong impression with his 6’2” frame, physical prowess, and larger-than-life cool. He had some good lines, including the one we quoted above—“Mr. Han, I suddenly wish to leave your island.” A lot of blaxploitation stars used bits of martial arts in their fight scenes, but Kelly was legit. Before getting into acting he had won many competitive martial arts championships—including four in the year 1971. His movie career includes blaxploitation classics such as Three the Hard Way, Black Samurai, and Black Belt Jones. After a battle with cancer he left the island for good yesterday at age 67. 

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Intl. Notebook Jul 28 2011
BRUCE ON THE LOOSE
The man with the Dragon kung fu.

We found something quite cool yesterday—six Enter the Dragon lobby cards produced in Hong Kong and featuring the one and only Bruce Lee. Looking at them, we aren't sure they're all actually from Enter the Dragon, but that's the way they were packaged. Five of the cards are printed film frames and feature him in full ass-kicking action, but the last one, at bottom, is the true winner, showing a smiling Lee during a break in filming. Assuming these are indeed all from the set of Dragon, it would have been the spring of 1973, when Lee was on top of the world. And in that last shot he looks like it. Just a few months later, in July, he would be gone.  

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
May 22
1942—Ted Williams Enlists
Baseball player Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox enlists in the United States Marine Corps, where he undergoes flight training and eventually serves as a flight instructor in Pensacola, Florida. The years he lost to World War II (and later another year to the Korean War) considerably diminished his career baseball statistics, but even so, he is indisputably one of greatest players in the history of the sport.
May 21
1924—Leopold and Loeb Murder Bobby Franks
Two wealthy University of Chicago students named Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. murder 14-year-old Bobby Franks, motivated by no other reason than to prove their intellectual superiority by committing a perfect crime. But the duo are caught and sentenced to life in prison. Their crime becomes known as a "thrill killing", and their story later inspires various works of art, including the 1929 play Rope by Patrick Hamilton, and Alfred Hitchcock's 1948 film of the same name.
May 20
1916—Rockwell's First Post Cover Appears
The Saturday Evening Post publishes Norman Rockwell's painting "Boy with Baby Carriage", marking the first time his work appears on the cover of that magazine. Rockwell would go to paint many covers for the Post, becoming indelibly linked with the publication. During his long career Rockwell would eventually paint more than four thousand pieces, the vast majority of which are not on public display due to private ownership and destruction by fire.
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