Intl. Notebook Nov 20 2023
CRAZY ABOUT PARIS
The sights are incredible there.


The photo series above was made to promote the famed Parisian nightclub Le Crazy Horse and its featured dancers. Posing on a terrace with a line of sight to the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, and Arc de Triomphe are Anna Portobello, Rosa Fumetto, Bonita Super, Maria Tuxedo (who we've featured before), Eva Wowor, Sophia Palladium, and Prima Symphony. That was today in 1968.

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Intl. Notebook Oct 8 2023
CIRCUS MAXIMUS
Welcome to the greatest show on Earth


Renato Casaro was a celebrated Italian movie poster artist, but he worked in other media, including album sleeves and portraiture. Above he's created an advertising poster for Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione, a Parisian circus that traces its roots back to 1852, when Charles de Mornay, commonly referred to as Duc de Morny, undertook its creation and named it after his half brother Prince Louis-Napoléon III. When the circus finally opened in 1859 it featured equestrianism, animal acts, and aerial acrobatics from the famed Jules Léotard. After being interrupted by World War I, the business passed over to Gaston Desprez in 1923, and again in 1934 to the Bouglione Brothers, who were Italians who'd made a name for themselves traveling France with a menagerie and wild cat act. The circus was halted during World War II and the occuptation of its buildings by the Nazis, but emerged post-war to continue its growth and fame, known by then as Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione, the name it bears today. Casaro's lovely poster dates from 1970.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 27 2023
ANATOMY OF AN ASSASSINATION
A murder by any other name would kill as dead.


This is a rather pretty cover painted by Charles Copeland for E.M. Harper's 1960 novel The Assassin, the story of Alec Jordan, who's spared the guillotine in an Algerian prison but must repay the shadowy government operatives who freed him by murdering an Arab political figure. We've seen convicts turned into assassins a couple times in vintage literature. What sets this story apart is its many flashbacks to Jordan's youth, from the time he was witness to his moonshiner father's killing by cops, to being sprung from reform school to play high school football (seems someone always wants to put his skills to use), to his various war experiences.

The story begins in Paris, from which Jordan pursues his target to London and Vienna, world weary, haunted by the past, and hounded by the people who are operating him. There's, unsurprisingly, the requisite woman-from-his-past for whom he still has feelings—a beauty named Renée who married an Austrian count while Jordan was hors de combat. Conveniently, she's now a widow, but is reclaiming the past an option for Jordan? To survive but lose your soul, to resist corruption but be killed, to find redemption in love. You've read it before, and though Harper breaks no new ground plotwise, he wrote a contemplative iteration of the story that offers some enjoyment.

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Femmes Fatales Jun 13 2023
SHOOTING STAR
Happiness, anger, and ballistics.


These two promo images of famously thin actress Audrey Hepburn were made for her 1964 film Paris When It Sizzles. It's another movie in her romance/adventure mold, along with Charade, How To Steal a Million, and others. There's a Hollywood commandment: Thou shalt not mess with success. For a while, following that rule made Hepburn one of the biggest stars of all.

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Vintage Pulp May 28 2023
IN DUE TIME
They're willing to hustle, side-hustle, and even hustle on their backs to get what they want.


When we stumbled across this Italian poster and saw that it was for a film starring the lovely Catherine Deneuve and her unbeatable hair, we felt a screening was needed. Due prostitute a pigalle is a French/Italian co-production that was originally titled Zig-Zig, with the name changing to Zig-Zag for the U.S. The movie is about two Parisians played by Deneuve and Bernadette Lafont who work as cabaret entertainers, bookies, and prostitutes in order to raise enough money to buy a chalet in the mountains. Their signature song and dance number “Zig Zig” earns them a small measure of fame around Paris, and the dream home seems closer by the day.

However, Deneuve has no idea that Lafont is involved with a gang of cross-dressers who've kidnapped the wife of a prominent politician. When she finds out, she freaks out, and it looks like her friendship with Lafont is cooked and their house will never come to be. The movie has its moments, but jarring shifts of tone from serious to farcical and an insistence upon an ironic and unrealistic ending definitively sink it. Even so, it has Deneuve, and her hair can't be sunk under any circumstances. Due prostitute a pigalle premiered in France in early 1975, and in Italy today the same year.
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Intl. Notebook Apr 30 2023
SIGHTS OF PARIS
Because the Louvre and Versailles don't stay open late.


Above are the cover and various interior pages from Cancans de Paris issue thirty-three, which hit newsstands this month in 1966. The magazine was one of several that explored Parisian burlesque, along with Folies de Paris et de Hollywood, Paris Frou Frou, Regal, and others. For more from Cancans just click the keywords below and scroll.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 9 2023
LOUVE STORY
She's one cool cat burglar.


We have bit of tasty French style for you with this poster for La louve solitaire, a film that premiered today in 1968 and starred Danièle Gaubert. The movie is sourced from a series of novels by Albert Saine-Aube, and plotwise Gaubert plays a Parisian real estate agent by day/leotard wearing cat burglar by night. When she's caught in the act of a robbery by two government agents who've been lying in wait for her, she's blackmailed into working for them. The government duo want her to make a daring theft that will help bring down an international drug smuggling network. She's assigned a helper in the form of Michel Duchaussoy, so the movie becomes a sort of partners-in-crime adventure with a side of romantic tension. Gaubert, of course, finds herself in more danger than she expected, and after the caper the crooks she's robbed are hellbent on revenge.

Just looking at the poster, which you may have noticed is actually a French- and Dutch-language promo from Belgium, you can tell that the movie provides high style in a similar vein as cult flicks such as Danger: Diabolik and Modesty Blaise. Like those films, La louve solitaire features nice outfits, hip lingo, and nightclub scenes, plus Gaubert rolling around in a blood-red Pontiac Firebird that qualifies as pure car porn. Also like those other movies, La louve solitaire isn't fully successful from an execution standpoint, however because it's among a group that was at the forefront of portraying women as physically dangerous ass-kickers with specialized skills (Gaubert's thief character is a trapeze artist), it's worth seeing for historical perspective alone.
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Femmes Fatales Nov 9 2022
ISO METRICS
100 pounds of trigger pull weight.


Above is reedy Iso Yban, here pictured with a toy machine gun and not much else. Her various bios say she was born in Essen, Germany, but moved to Paris, where she became a dancer at Le Crazy Horse, and as a model posed under the aforementioned name, as well as Yso Iban, Isi Yban, Marlène Funch, Christina Madison, Belinda, et al. This bold shot was made by French lensman Serge Jacques and it dates from the late 1960s. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 30 2022
A MAN'S LIKES
No surprise. Number one on the list is sex.


Below: Man's Conquest, October 1967. The issue is quite sex focused: there's an alleged seduction school for spies, a look at naughty Europe after dark, sin cruises in the Caribbean, and more. We have twenty-eight scans, and we'll try to get back to this publication later.

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Intl. Notebook Sep 14 2022
BEAUTY AND TALENT
Cancans de Paris is always uncanny.


Above: a few pages from the French burlesque publication Cancans de Paris, the seventh time we've taken a look at this mag, with this example dating from September 1965. As always there are mainstream celebrities mixed in with the peelers, including Carroll Baker, Brigitte Bardot, Elke Sommer, Kim Novak, Sean Connery, Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, and French born ballerina Ludmilla Tchérina. At the top of panel two there's also a minor Raymond Brenot illustration. See some major ones here, and just click the Cancans keywords below if you want to see more issues. 

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Next Page
History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 03
1964—Mass Student Arrests in U.S.
In California, Police arrest over 800 students at the University of California, Berkeley, following their takeover and sit-in at the administration building in protest at the UC Regents' decision to forbid protests on university property.
1968—U.S. Unemployment Hits Low
Unemployment figures are released revealing that the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to 3.3 percent, the lowest rate for almost fifteen years. Going forward all the way to the current day, the figure never reaches this low level again.
December 02
1954—Joseph McCarthy Disciplined by Senate
In the United States, after standing idly by during years of communist witch hunts in Hollywood and beyond, the U.S. Senate votes 65 to 22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for conduct bringing the Senate into dishonor and disrepute. The vote ruined McCarthy's career.
December 01
1955—Rosa Parks Sparks Bus Boycott
In the U.S., in Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott resulted in a crippling financial deficit for the Montgomery public transit system, because the city's African-American population were the bulk of the system's ridership.
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