Harry Petry (Hollywood Harry)

Created by Curt Allen "Fast women, Hard Liquor. And a detective without a clue." -- the tagline "I am not a character out of a god damn book". -- Harry gripes about his lot in life The always reliable Robert Forster (Banyon, Jackie Brown, Karen Sisco, etc.) dishes out another solid performance, this time as … Continue reading Harry Petry (Hollywood Harry)

Whispering Smith

Created by Frank H. Spearman (1859-1950) Cowboy and railroad detective GORDON "WHISPERING" SMITH first showed in in a 1906 novel by celebrated Western author Frank H. Spearman. Supposedly, Smith was modeled on real-life Union Pacific Railroad detectives Timothy Keliher and Joe Lefors (though his name was taken from another UPRR policeman, James L. "Whispering" Smith. … Continue reading Whispering Smith

Pulp Fiction: The Golden Age of Storytelling

This cheesy 2009 documentary offers a brief but fascinating overview of the writers who sweated out stories for the pulps from the 20s right through to the early 50s, across all genres, although it leans heavily towards sci-fi and fantasy -- in fact, its alternate title is "Pulp Fiction: The Golden Age of Sci Fi, Fantasy … Continue reading Pulp Fiction: The Golden Age of Storytelling

Pulp Fiction Art: Cheap Thrills & Painted Nightmares

This 2005 documentary by filmmaker Jamie McDonald is the first documentary I've heard of dedicated exclusively to the world of pulp art: those gloriously tawdry two-fisted illustrations of sneezing roscoes, hulking ghouls, granite-jawed dicks, slimy space monsters, scantily clad babes in distress and other wild and wonderful miscreants that graced the covers of the pulps … Continue reading Pulp Fiction Art: Cheap Thrills & Painted Nightmares

Harry Angel

Created by William Hjortsberg William Hjortsberg's 1978 novel Falling Angel is a strange one: a weird, um, cross between The Exorcist and The Maltese Falcon. It's also just one hell of a read; a pushy and head-spinning, shape-shifting romp through some of the most beloved clichés of hard-boiled crime fiction, laced with a healthy dollop … Continue reading Harry Angel

Al Hickey & Frank Boggs (Hickey & Boggs)

Created by Walter Hill    At the time, circa 1998, my original entry on this much loved but definitely bleak cult film had a lot of fun suggesting it was rarely shown because it might contradict Bill Cosby's squeaky clean image as America's favourite TV dad. That was such a long time ago... Actors Robert … Continue reading Al Hickey & Frank Boggs (Hickey & Boggs)

My Scrapbook: Chinatown Poster by Genzo

My Scrapbook Chinatown Poster by Genzo Recently, our pal J. Kingston Pierce of The Rap Sheet posted Digging the Art of Chinatown, a mind-blowing array of alternative posters for the 1974 classic, Chinatown, and I have to confess: I was gobsmacked. The variety was startling, and the audacity of some of the twelve posters displayed was staggering. … Continue reading My Scrapbook: Chinatown Poster by Genzo

Vicki Anderson/Catherine Banning

Created by Alan Trustman VICKI ANDERSON is the hotshot insurance dick called in to investigate a high-stakes Boston bank heist in Norman Jewison's stylish romantic suspense thriller The Thomas Crown Affair (1968 ). She soon finds herself pitted, both romantically and professionally, against the caper's mastermind, a successful, but bored, multi-millionaire Thomas Crown, played by … Continue reading Vicki Anderson/Catherine Banning

Florian Slappey

Created by Octavus Roy Cohen (1891-1959)     Man, those were different times... One of the first black detectives, and an early proto-eye, FLORIAN SLAPPEY was a tall, slim drink of water, a "colored gentleman," a well-dressed and well-known man about town who decides to leave "Bumminham", Alabama" for the bright lights and big city … Continue reading Florian Slappey

My Scrapbook: Newspaper Ad for Roadhouse Nights

My Scrapbook Newspaper Ad for the 1930 film Roadhouse Nights Based on Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest This ad was from the March 12, 1930 issue of The Sheboygan Press, from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and proudly proclaims that Roadhouse Nights was declared to be the best picture of the month by Milwaukee papers. The pre-code gangster flick, … Continue reading My Scrapbook: Newspaper Ad for Roadhouse Nights