She's an architectural marvel.
This long tall pin-up stars famed 1950s model Madeline Castle and was printed by an outfit based in Redstone, New Hampshire that called itself Life-Size. They were just Life-Size—no Inc. or Co., as far as we can tell. It's the same operation that printed a rare life-sized Marilyn Monroe pin-up we showed you a while back. We didn't mention then that we had located more, but we had, and we'll show you those later, including a life-sized Anita Ekberg we know you'll enjoy. In the meantime you can see more from Miss Castle here, here, and here.
Don't just turn over a new leaf. Turn over twelve of them.
Let's start the year right. Everyone is hoping for a better 2021 than 2020. That's assuming you adhere to constrained, non-scientific ideas about time—for cynics and realists it's just another day. But in any case, above you see the cover of a 1959 nudie calendar that came inside an issue of the U.S. magazine Cocktail, a creation of Beacon Publications. The interior is below, and those with sharp eyes will spot a few notables—burlesque dancer Candy Barr in June, Madeline Castle in July (her pose is the same as from the famed promo poster for the sci-fi film The Astounding She-Monster, though Shirley Kilpatrick played the monster), Shirley Kilpatrick in August (what a coincidence), and Jean Nieto, aka Ramona Rogers, in November. The other models may be well known too, but not by us, at least not today. When the cava hangover wears off, maybe our brains will work better. Then again, maybe the damage is permanent. Only time will tell. Happy New Year.
Greetings, humans—take me to your leading erotic dancing establishment.
This poster for The Astounding She-Monster is beyond a doubt one of the best mid-century sci-fi promos ever. The illustrator Albert Kallis was responsible for numerous top notch works like The Brain Eaters and Terror from the Year 5000, but we think this one is his masterpiece. He used famed nude model Madeline Castle as his inspiration for the monster, though she wasn't in the film. We'll get back to Kallis a bit later.
As far as the movie goes, the plot is simple: an alien that looks a lot like nude model Shirley Kilpatrick in a zipback jumpsuit lands on Earth and crosses paths with a group of kidnappers, who with their hostage have invaded a geologist's house. Though Kilpatrick is wardrobed like a stripper or go-go dancer, the filmmakers have a serious goal, which is to show how a celestial emissary immediately sees humans at their most basic—in pointless conflict. When the She-Monster is forced to defend herself she does so, like all strippers do, with her lethal radioactive touch.
This effort from American International Pictures is ’50s sci-fi at its worst yet most earnest. The underlying anti-nuclear, anti-violence messages are laudable, but undermined by an $18,000 budget and a four-day shoot rife with terrible execution and unintentional comedy. The stock bear footage alone will have you rolling your eyes. And Marilyn Harvey screaming in panic... ...as she bolts out of the geologist's house is such a funny sight we had to watch it over and over. We're talking fall-on-the-floor hilarious. Even so, when is the last time you saw an anti nuclear movie? All these cheesy peacenik flicks from the ’50s and ’60s cared, which makes them—in that way at least—far superior to most of the cynical films being produced today. The Astounding She-Monster premiered this month in 1957.
I call this the dreaded claw.
Oh yeah? I call this the dreaded fist!
Does anyone want a lap dance?
Oh my freaking God! Let's get the fuck out of here!
Kilpatrick, during calmer times, catches some rays and practices making creepy space hands.
Something wicker this way comes.
Back in March we shared a Technicolor lithograph of an unknown model we later found out was Playboy centerfold Madeline Castle. A few days ago we stumbled upon this photo from the same shoot (which we’ve dubbed the Wicker Sessions). We knew nothing about Castle just three months ago, and now we’re seeing her everywhere. Have to say, after nearly six years of doing this we have learned so much about mid-century celebs it’s astonishing. Anyone need a pub quiz teammate? We would absolutely kill this category.
Update: as with any worthwhile castle there's always more to discover.
Take... picture quick. Can’t hold this pose… much longer.
Above, a familiar looking but as yet unidentified model posing for one of Corp. A. Fox’s Technicolor pin-ups. This makes the eleventh one of these we’ve shared and you can see the others by clicking its keywords below.
Update: It's Madeline Castle, who was a Playboy Playmate of the month back in October 1954 and a popular pin-up model for many more years. The shot above isn't the most flattering of her, so we've uploaded another one below, from Folies de Paris et de Hollywood #288, 1964. Yes, we know the two look like different women entirely, but they aren't, we promise. She just looks better below, and as a bonus she's smiling instead of grimacing.
Update on our update: Turns out she was under our noses the entire time. We shared a
Man's Life featuring Castle back in January 2013. You know when you have so much stuff you can't keep track of it? Yeah, exactly.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1919—Volstead Act Passed
The U.S. Congress passes the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson's veto, paving the way for alcohol Prohibition to begin the following January. The Act, named for Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Andrew Volstead, was supposed to create a better society but instead helped lead to the rise of violent organized crime gangs. The law wouldn't be repealed until 1933.
1922—Mussolini Comes Into Power
During the second day of the event known as the March on Rome, Fascist leader Benito Mussolini officially takes control of the Italian government when King Victor Emmanuel III cedes power. Supported by a coalition of military, business, and right-wing leaders, Mussolini remains in power until 1943, when defeat in World War II begins to look inevitable.
1994—U.S. Prison Population Reaches Milestone
The U.S. prison population tops 1 million for the first time in American history. By 2008 the U.S. Justice Department pegs the number of imprisoned at 2.3 million, and the overall U.S. correctional population, i.e. those in jail, prison, on probation or on parole, at 7.3 million, or 1 in every 31 adults.
1951—Churchill Becomes Prime Minster Again
The Conservative Party wins the British general election, making Winston Churchill prime minister for the second time. Churchill is nearly 76 at the time, making him the second oldest prime minister in history after William Gladstone. Churchill remains PM until 1955, when he steps down at 81 due to ill health.
1964—The Night Caller Is Executed
In Australia, Eric Edgar Cooke, who had earned the nickname Night Caller, is hanged after being convicted of murder. He had terrorized Perth for four years, committing 22 violent crimes, eight of which resulted in deaths. He becomes the last person to be executed in Western Australia.
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