Femmes Fatales Oct 29 2023
HOLT HER FIRE
She's a mean green fighting machine.


This photo shows German actress Renate von Holt, who appeared in a grand total of four films during her short cinema career, including Heißer Sand auf Sylt, which we wrote about here. The shot came from the West German magazine Caballero, and according to those folks von Holt was in reality Baroness Renate von Holzschuher. We checked it out and the gents at Cabellero are correct. She was minor royalty, a famed presence in society circles, a denizen of the hottest nightspots in Europe, fluent in six languages, and for ten years the companion of Prince Johannes von Thurn und Taxis. Even royalty can become obscure with the passage of time, though. There isn't much on von Holt even on German sites. Well, we're happy to raise her profile. The photo is from 1968.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 12 2011
MATING SEASON
There's nothing like a summer romance to make an old man feel young.


This poster for Nudisti all'isola di Sylt was made for the Italian run of a West German movie called Heißer Sand auf Sylt, known in English as The New Life Style (Just to Be Love) and Naked and Free... The New Life Style. It's about a group of hipsters who head to the British seaside for some partying, drugs, and good clean promiscuous sex. The group is surprised when Renate von Holt hooks up with middle aged square Horst Tappert and the two hit it off. Their romance is genuine and idyllic, but Tappert doesn't like von Holt's friends, and they don't like him. Eventually the counterculture clique is exposed as shallow and uncaring, but at the same time von Holt's and Tappert's May/December romance starts to develop generational cracks.

The movie makes attempts at comedy, but the plot is mostly serious, and comes with a moral: youth will reject what it's offered in favor of kicks and thrills. Pretty obvious. The point is really to show lots of skin. That skin is notable because the women are uniformly gorgeous. Von Holt, Babsi Zimmermann, and Uschi Mood are major beauties. There's also a quick peek at Solvi Stubing, who later became more famous than all of them. This roster of lovely women is the only reason to expend any time here (though Jake la Motta and Rocky Graziano appear in the U.S. version, which could be a draw for boxing fans). Nudisti all'isola di Sylt doesn't have an Italian release date, but it premiered in West Germany today in 1968. Von Holt, Zimmermann, Mood, and Stubing appear, in that order, below.
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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
May 18
1926—Aimee Semple McPherson Disappears
In the U.S., Canadian born evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappears from Venice Beach, California in the middle of the afternoon. She is initially thought to have drowned, but on June 23, McPherson stumbles out of the desert in Agua Prieta, a Mexican town across the border from Douglas, Arizona, claiming to have been kidnapped, drugged, tortured and held for ransom in a shack by two people named Steve and Mexicali Rose. However, it soon becomes clear that McPherson's tale is fabricated, though to this day the reasons behind it remain unknown.
1964—Mods and Rockers Jailed After Riots
In Britain, scores of youths are jailed following a weekend of violent clashes between gangs of Mods and Rockers in Brighton and other south coast resorts. Mods listened to ska music and The Who, wore suits and rode Italian scooters, while Rockers listened to Elvis and Gene Vincent, and rode motorcycles. These differences triggered the violence.
May 17
1974—Police Raid SLA Headquarters
In the U.S., Los Angeles police raid the headquarters of the revolutionary group the Symbionese Liberation Army, resulting in the deaths of six members. The SLA had gained international notoriety by kidnapping nineteen-year old media heiress Patty Hearst from her Berkeley, California apartment, an act which precipitated her participation in an armed bank robbery.
1978—Charlie Chaplin's Missing Body Is Found
Eleven weeks after it was disinterred and stolen from a grave in Corsier near Lausanne, Switzerland, Charlie Chaplin's corpse is found by police. Two men—Roman Wardas, a 24-year-old Pole, and Gantscho Ganev, a 38-year-old Bulgarian—are convicted in December of stealing the coffin and trying to extort £400,000 from the Chaplin family.
May 16
1918—U.S. Congress Passes the Sedition Act
In the U.S., Congress passes a set of amendments to the Espionage Act called the Sedition Act, which makes "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the United States government, its flag, or its armed forces, as well as language that causes foreigners to view the American government or its institutions with contempt, an imprisonable offense. The Act specifically applies only during times of war, but later is pushed by politicians as a possible peacetime law, specifically to prevent political uprisings in African-American communities. But the Act is never extended and is repealed entirely in 1920.
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