Sinister Cinema: Tussling Atop Pulps

Last week John Locke brought us the first installment of Pulps in the Movies (!), featuring Fight Stories.

How about another one?

“I actually have 250+ of these screen grabs,” John says. “New ones turn up in proportion to the amount of old movies I’m watching. Newer movies, with expert production design, will have them as well.

“Naturally, I’m a connoisseur of pulp sightings. There are commonplace ones — a railway station newsstand, someone reading an Argosy.

“The primo sightings have a little depth to them, like this one — out-of-the-mainstream title, story interest. A star reading a pulp would qualify.”

While you can’t say that Lee Marvin is reading the pulp, he’s definitely in the close vicinity of pulps.

For his second installment (and because “I know you like hobos”) John sends along some snaps of the tussle in the hobo jungle in the 1973 classic Emperor of the North.

Lee Marvin stars as the hobo A-No. 1, and Ernest Borgnine plays his nemesis, Shack, the railroad bull.

“By the way,” John adds, “it’s the January 31, 1931 Detective Fiction Weekly. Haven’t identified the Western Story.”

(You may recall that Hammett cracked the wood pulp pages of Detective Fiction Weekly.)

And finally John says, “I’ve heard that the scene was based on a regrettable event from the first Pulpcon, when two collectors got into a fistfight over who had the right to pay $10 for a beat-up copy of DFW.

“And $10 was a lot of moolah in those days.”

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