|Intl. Notebook||Sep 16 2021|
Texas legislature finally stops with the half measures and passes law that stamps out all rights for women.
Above: a Paramount Pictures promo image of Janice Logan about to be smashed by a boot much larger than her. It was made for her 1940 sci-fi flick Dr. Cyclops, which deals not with a big man as you might expect, but with a normal sized man who makes those around him tiny. Science fiction movies from the period tend to be a bit silly and this one is no exception, but an efx team probably spent weeks making those boots, so you gotta respect the effort.
|Intl. Notebook||Sep 14 2021|
No knock on Marilyn but even she's not worth this much to us.
In our continuing efforts to document all things Marilyn, we have today a unique piece of Monroe memorabilia, a life-sized cutout bearing her lovely form. This was made in 1953 as a promo for her drama Don't Bother To Knock, and it's fitting, because she was like cardboard in that flick. We already talked about it, and we think she was one of the greatest stars ever, and a brilliant actress too, but not in that particular psychological snakepit of a film. We're not being iconoclastic. We hate when people do that. We simply accept that every star has dim moments. Bogart made The Two Mrs. Carrolls. Michael Caine made The Hand. It happens.
But memorabilia often stands apart from performances. This cutout of Marilyn would have value no matter which film it was associated with—or even it were not associated with any film at all. You can buy it on Ebay but it'll cost you a small fortune—$1,750, plus shipping. For us, because of where we live, the latter would mean $520 additional mailing costs, plus $513 import fees, all to have the oceanfront humidity here wilt fragile Marilyn like she drank too many martinis. So as much as we'd love to have her, it's a hard no. Also, we never pay more for anything than it costs to fly to Thailand. You gotta to have a code.
|Intl. Notebook||Sep 2 2021|
We hear Tarifa is terrific this time of year.
Hello. And goodbye—but only briefly. We're taking a little break, heading to a place called Tarifa. It's not far, but after pondering ambitious ideas about going to Italy, Croatia, and Malta, we decided a short trip was best to get back into the swing of travel for pleasure. It's been a couple of years (the move doesn't count—that was back breaking, shin barking work). We don't know much about Tarifa, just that a few friends like it. Will there be pulp there? Only the kind that comes in a mimosa, we're betting, but you never know.
As we've noted before, Spain is one of the countries that actually did generate a fair amount of pulp style art, and it's also a country where you occasionally stumble upon a used book store that has a lot of old crime novels. About the time the pulp craze was in full swing, Tarifa looked like what you see in the photo below. Even if there's no pulp to befound there these days, and despite it modernizing a bit from its quaint form of yesteryear, we expect to have (careful, socially distanced) fun. We'll be back in four or five days. As usual we're linking to a few posts for your enjoyment, and this time, for a change, they're all books.
A picnic with a special treat.
The shortest car trip ever.
It's true, we like to make fun of sorority girls, as evidenced here, here, and here. Fraternity boys are also favorite targets, as we show here, here, and here.
A match made in pulp heaven: Robert McGinnis and Carter Brown.
Here's a bit of encouragement for job seekers.
And here are thoughts about cowboy fashion, what a real cowboy drinks, what a real cowboy eats, what's a noble ending for a cowboy, whether a cowboy really needs a horse, and whether higher education makes him less of a real cowboy, or more.
Everybody sing along—you know the words.
Kozy books kome back from obscurity.
Knock down drag out fighting in mid-century art.
|Intl. Notebook||Sep 1 2021|
Monroe counts the days for Japanese film fans.
Above is a September/October calendar page printed by the Japanese film magazine Eiga no tomo, or “friend of movies.” And who is that ushering summer out and autumn in but Marilyn Monroe? As you've surely noticed by now, Monroe was a huge star in Japan. This is just one of many unique items we've located, along with this, this, this, and others. Though the calendar is for 1954, the photo dates from 1951, and a dandy one it is.
|Intl. Notebook||Aug 30 2021|
All the best people showed up.
The West German pop culture and celeb magazine Party, which was produced in Hannover by Lehning Press, is an obscure publication. It's very vivid, with bright color, many full page photos, and many film celebrities represented. Equal time is given to unknowns too, for example, the cover features Annelies Niessner, who was... we have no idea, and inside a color page is given to Cornelie, identified only as a “millionärstochter geht eigene wege,” a millionaire's daughter who goes her own way.
In terms of celebs you get Carol Lynley, Jane Russell, Sandra Dee, Stella Stevens, Laya Raki, a beautiful portrait of Jane Fonda, numerous shots of Ursula Andress, and many others. This publication didn't waste words, even on the copyright date. The cover tells us this is issue eight, so we're going to say it came in August, and we're thinking it's from 1967. Though it may be short on info, Party is an appropriate name, because it's a very fun magazine. We have several more issues, so look for those later.
West GermanyHannoverParty MagazineAnnelies NiessnerChristiane MaybachCarol LynleyUrsula AndressShirley MacLaineMichael CaineLaya RakiPamela RodgersWende WagnerDeanna LundJoan SutherlandBarbara HelmFrances CrawfordTerri MartineJane RussellSandra DeeNatalie WoodAnn-MargretDany SavalElke SommerElizabeth TaylorDoris DaySophia LorenStella StevensBeverly AdamsDean MartinJane Fonda
|Intl. Notebook||Aug 26 2021|
She didn't make it to the top of Hollywood just to accept being second banana in Monaco.
Yes, people were stupidly fawning over the rich long before 2021, as this issue of the tabloid Exposed published this month in 1957 proves. There are stories on one percenters ranging from Princess Grace of Monaco on down. Of course, there's an aspirational innocence to these old stories, because very few people, if any, begrudged the rich anything in this era. Those times have gone. Companies make hundreds of billions now and pay zero taxes. The rich have a thousand ways to hide their income, to the tune of 40 trillion dollars in cash hidden in tax havens around the world.
Something else different about the rich of yesterday—they didn't have dick-shaped rocket ships. Instead they had dick shaped yachts. And that's what the feud hinted at on the cover between Grace Kelly and Tina Onassis was about—in part at least. It was also about who threw the best parties, who had the richest and most influential friends, who had the best designer clothes, and who was the greatest beauty. Of course, Kelly was legendarily lovely, but because beauty marries money even when the money is as butt-ugly as Aristotle Onassis, Tina was no slouch.
Exposed tells us of one competitive episode the night Kelly was celebrating the birth of her daughter Caroline, which had happened a day earlier. Kelly lived in Grimaldi Palace, overlooking Monaco harbor, where Aristotle Onassis lived on an 1,800 ton former Canadian navy destroyer retrofitted as a luxury yacht. The night of Kelly's celebration Onassis left his boat totally dark in the harbor, then at one point flipped a switch that illuminated hundreds of light bulbs strung from prow to stern. Kelly's clan took it as an attempt to show her up. Sounds petty, right? Well, Exposed was a tabloid, and its readers absolutely devoured stories showing that they and the next door neighbor they hated weren't so very different from the one percent.
After that boat episode, according to Exposed, Kelly and Onassis barely saw each other in tiny Monaco, such was their determination to avoid each other. Again, the half-century old public obsession with these two seems quaint compared to people's interest in the Musks and Bransons of today. There are opinions and facts, and here is a fact—the U.S. is falling apart and miniscule taxes on the rich and corporations are the reason. During the year this issue of Exposed was published, a year many people now cast their misty eyes toward with longing and nostalgia, the tax rate for top income earners was 91%. No wonder things functioned so well, eh? High taxes kept the government flush and the rich weak.
But the highlight of the issue as far as we're concerned is Vikki Dougan, who we told you would return to Pulp Intl. soon, and who shows up at a party thrown by Hollywood astrologer Carroll Righter wearing one of her infamous buttcrack baring backless dresses. Exposed indeed. Since this is about as low as her gowns went, we zoomed in a bit so you can get a good look at the San Fernando Valley. Dougan by the way, is still around at age 92. Elsewhere in Exposed you get Joan Collins and her romances, restaurateur Mike Romanoff and his legal troubles, Paulette Goddard and her love of money, and vice in New York City. Thirty scans below.
MonacoExposedGrace KellyTina OnassisAristotle OnassisPrince Rainier IIIJoan CollinsPaulette GoddardJoanne ConnellyMike RomanoffCarroll RighterVikki DouganMaxwell ReedArthur Loew Jr.Charlie ChaplinBurgess MeredithSydney ChaplinNela BogackiSid Rosstabloid
|Intl. Notebook||Aug 21 2021|
So many choices, so little time.
We found this interesting photo on Reddit. It shows an actual pulp rack at the Detroit Metro Airport in 1959. It's amazingly full. We had no idea the racks offered this level of choice. Jonathan Latimer once famously described his books as being about, “booze, babes and bullets,” and the choices shown here certainly reflect the simple enticements of popular mid-century fiction. We were surprised and pleased to find that we own three of those shown. Carter Brown's The Dame and None but the Lethal Heart, and Edmond Hamilton's The Star of Life, are currently in our holdings. Seeing them on an actual spinning rack circa late-1950s is cool. It gives them new life for us.
Speaking of new, the international mails have been working flawlessly of late, and we've received some very choice items, including a stack of digest novels from Uni, Rainbow, and similar imprints, and some Dell and Signet crime paperbacks. We've already begun posting some of this stuff, for example The Nude Stranger and Dirt Farm. We also got our hands on the novelization of the blaxploitation film Coffy. Look forward to that. And on top of everything else, we also bought some fun French nudie mags, and a fresh lot of periodicals from Australia, including more issues of Adam, Man, and Man Jr. We'll get to scanning and you can expect those to start popping up pretty soon.
|Intl. Notebook||Jul 9 2021|
Color, form, and function in the nuclear age.
This photo looks like a shot of the northern lights, but it's actually an image of the Starfish Prime nuclear test, which was conducted today in 1962 as part of the test series codenamed Operation Dominic. The photo was shot from a high flying airplane, which just goes to show that at a sufficient distance anything can look beautiful. You can just see the wing of the aircraft at the lower right of the shot. This test was unique in U.S. history up to that point because the warhead was mounted on the nose of a Thor rocket launched from Johnston Atoll, and the subsequent suborbital nuclear blast occurred two-hundred fifty miles above the Pacific Ocean. People from Hawaii to New Zealand saw the sky turn red. The electromagnetic pulse from the blast knocked out electrical service, telephones, streetlights, set off burglar alarms as far as a thousand miles away, and damaged satellites.
The test alarmed many, and had been protested in advance in various cities around the world, yet those protests achieved nothing. As the decades have worn on treaties have been signed and broken, hopes for abandoning these weapons raised and dashed, even as they've been steadily upgraded. Today there are nukes that make Starfish Prime look like a bottle rocket, including hypersonic missiles developed by both the U.S. and Russia that fly at up to 15,000 mph, which is too fast to be shot down or even reliably detected due to the incredible speed creating a plasma cloud that baffles radar. Of course everyone knows that there's no way to win a nuclear exchange, and the only outcome of even a half dozen nuclear blasts would be the destruction of civilization in its current form, yet the race to build planet killers by the dozen goes on because of the immense profits involved. Humans are truly a mad species.
|Intl. Notebook||Jul 8 2021|
Demongeot heats up and cools down.
There are Bardot people and there are Demongeot people. We're Demongeot people. Well, not really, because there's no need to make a choice. But we like French actress Mylène Demongeot quite a bit. Like Bardot, she made many romantic comedies, but also succeeded in dramas and was nominated for a BAFTA in 1957 and two César awards in 2005 and 2007. What's more she's still working. Her latest film is this year's Maison de retraite. The above issue of the French pop culture magazine Cinémonde features Demongeot on the cover keeping cool with a Spanish fan. She's one of the hottest stars in French cinema at this stage, in July 1960, with hits like 1961's Les trois mousquetaires and 1962's Copacabana Palace just around the corner.
The magazine also offers four pages of Demongeot inside, including a photo with the interesting caption, “Mylène Demongeot – une flamme pure de l'enfer,” which means “a pure flame of hell.” We assume that's a compliment. Another of the photos is our favorite of Demongeot. It shows her in some sandy niche of Torremolinos, Spain playing guitar (or seeming to) during the filming of The Singer Not the Song. Are you feeling a sense of déjà vú with her and this magazine? That may because we've featured her in two other issues. You can see those here and here. If you aren't Demongeot aficionados we recommend watching Bonjour Tristesse or Upstairs and Downstairs. Also, for those of an aesthetic mindset, you can see her at her most beautiful here and here.
FranceSpainTorremolinosCiné-RevueBAFTA AwardBonjour TristesseUpstairs and DownstairsLes trois mousquetairesCopacabana PalaceThe Singer Not the SongMylène Demongeotcinema
|Intl. Notebook||Jul 6 2021|
She could have simply gone to the grocery store to get them, but where would be the fun in that?
Back in 1924 the Florida Citrus Growers industry group decided they needed to do more to promote the Florida citrus industry. Getting people to drink more orange juice obviously meant more profit, so they created a goodwill ambassador known as the Florida Citrus Queen, who extolled the virtues of Florida citrus products nationwide. She was always beautiful and young, often a show business hopeful, and appeared at trade shows and fairs, hobnobbed with celebrities and politicians, and ruled over the annual Citrus Expo & Florida Citrus Festival. Above is a photo of Francis Layton, the 1957 Florida Citrus Queen, acrobatically reaching for an orange while speeding along on waterskis.
This photo is so strange. In fact, we aren't even sure how it was made. Did Layton actually waterski while reaching for low hanging fruit? It seems unlikely. How many attempts would that have taken? How many wipeouts? For that reason, we suspect the orange branch was held by someone standing on the same platform as the photographer, and the perspective sells the illusion. Or maybe the oranges were superimposed later. What's doubly interesting, Layton went on to marry champion water skier Dick Pope, Jr., a pioneer of barefoot skiing. Notice Layton is barefoot here. Was Pope somehow associated with this photo session? Possibly, but there's no info to that effect, so we'll have to mark this as another minor vintage mystery. What a cool shot.