Femmes Fatales Oct 11 2021
CAT SCRATCH FEVER
Don't believe the folk tale. Crossing my path is the very best luck.


Lee Meriwether poses in costume as Catwoman in this shot made during the filming of the 1966 movie Batman: The Movie, one of the goofiest products of the era. It also produced one of the funniest extended gags in cinematic history, involving Batman trying to dispose of a bomb. We go into more detail on that classic comedy moment here. Meriwether also appeared on the Batman television show, and though known mainly for playing Catwoman, amassed more than one hundred film and television credits during her career, which was still going strong up until 2019. With that kind of résumé it's certainly possible she'll show up here again. 

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Vintage Pulp Jan 12 2010
EXALT & BATTERY
Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.

Is the original Batman movie cheesy? Well, let's just say that’s like calling a truffle mildly flavorful. In one scene Batman needs to dispose of a smoking bomb. He runs along a wharf, but no matter which way he speeds with this thing he cannot unload it. Everywhere, innocent people are obliviously threatening to become collateral damage. Nuns stroll, lovers neck, marching bands play, women walk with babies. The Caped Crusader is blocked on all sides as he runs every which way like mad, and the scene just goes on and on. Thwarted at last by a school of ducks, he sighs and says to himself—but also to his audience—“Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.”

More than any other, that line sums up Batman. Plot? Sure, there’s a plot. Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, and Riddler join forces to rid Gotham of the Dynamic Duo. Cast? Absolutely. You’ve got Lee Meriwether, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Cesar Romero, and the immortal Adam West as Batman. But don’t worry about that stuff—just watch the film. Its cynicism-free humor is almost unrecognizable as such in our modern, jaded age, but even so, it will knock you out of your chair laughing at least once. We guarantee it. And if it doesn’t? Well then, you’re a soulless zombie. Batman was released in the U.S. today in 1966. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 23
1935—Four Gangsters Gunned Down in New Jersey
In Newark, New Jersey, the organized crime figures Dutch Schultz, Abe Landau, Otto Berman, and Bernard "Lulu" Rosencrantz are fatally shot at the Palace Chophouse restaurant. Schultz, who was the target, lingers in the hospital for about a day before dying. The killings are committed by a group of professional gunmen known as Murder, Inc., and the event becomes known as the Chophouse Massacre.
1950—Al Jolson Dies
Vaudeville and screen performer Al Jolson dies of a heart attack in San Francisco after a trip to Korea to entertain troops causes lung problems. Jolson is best known for his film The Jazz Singer, and for his performances in blackface make-up, which were not considered offensive at the time, but have now come to be seen as a form of racial bigotry.
October 22
1926—Houdini Fatally Punched in Stomach
After a performance in Montreal, Hungarian-born magician and escape artist Harry Houdini is approached by a university student named J. Gordon Whitehead, who asks if it is true that Houdini can endure any blow to the stomach. Before Houdini is ready Whitehead strikes him several times, causing internal injuries that lead to the magician's death.
October 21
1973—Kidnappers Cut Off Getty's Ear
After holding Jean Paul Getty III for more than three months, kidnappers cut off his ear and mail it to a newspaper in Rome. Because of a postal strike it doesn't arrive until November 8. Along with the ear is a lock of hair and ransom note that says: "This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits." Getty's grandfather, billionaire oilman Jean Paul Getty, at first refused to pay the 3.2 million dollar ransom, then negotiated it down to 2.8 million, and finally agreed to pay as long as his grandson repaid the sum at 4% interest.
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