Archive for 1950s

Sin Doll by Orrie Hitt (Beacon Signal)

Posted in Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

hitt - sin doll

hitt - sin doll 2

The covers above are the 1959 and 1963 editions.  There is a 1971 photo cover edition that I will skip posting.

Still not sold on being an Orrie Hitt fan, but close.  I have a few more here to read, and I have ordered some with great covers and titles, like Love Princess and Tramp Wife.

Sin Doll is one of Hitt’s young-woman-exploited-in-the-50s books.  Cherry lives in a small town, is 20, has adopted parents and dreams of New York or Hollywood — anything.  She can sing and she has a killer body. 

She also has trouble making good money — she has a $40/week receptionist job at a photo developing lab and sings several nights a week at a cafe for $15/set.  She needs at least a grand or two in the bank to move to NYC.

She loses both jobs and all she can find is factory work.  Her ex-boss at the photo lab lets her in on his real business: he takes nude pictures of women, and makes stag reel films, for buyers. He says he can pay her $200 week to pose nude.

She has other problems: the buy who has been bugging her to marry him forced sex on her without a condom, so she would get pregnant and forced to marry him, stuck in this town.

She does the photos…she drinks to deal with it…she becomes an alcoholic…she has a lesbian affair with another model/stripper, and she styarts sleeping with the photographer, her married ex-boss who wants to get a divorce and marry her.

Then they all get busted by the police for lewd acts of sin.

True to Beacon Books, there is a happy ending where she and her boss/lover learn that they must reprent from this sleazy sin, and when he gets out of jail, she will marry him and have his babies.

Sometimes these quaint cheesy happy endings are funny — they come out of the blue, like in Loren Beauchamp’s Connie or Sheldon Lord’s April North. People who hardly know each other fall in love and run off to the chapel and live good mid-American Christian lives after wallowing in the gutter of filth and sin.  Ah, the 1950s.

Party Girl by Don Elliott (Robert Silverberg) Nightstand #1509)

Posted in Don Elliott, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Party Girl

One of the early books Silverberg wrote, as it is the ninth one of the line: 1509 — he wrote the first one, Love Addict: 1501.

Love Addict A novel about heroin and sex and what a woman will do for her dope.

There are no drugs in Party Girl, except booze, but it’s about what women will do for money, small money, large money — women come to New York in the late 50s looking to dance or sing or act on Broadway, and get suckered by shady sleazy agents and promoters. Money becomes a drug later on…

In Party Girl, all sex leads to tragedy. There is no love — there is only desperation, fear, loneliness, loss of hope, loss of humanity.

Laura Haynes is a gorgeous Kansas farm girl who comes to the Big Apple looking for her chance on Broadway.  She’s 22, full-figured, a virgin and naive. That all goes away when the first agent she has a meeting with has her get into a skimpy outfit and then rapes her.

Shocked, Laura wanders around NY, in pain from the rape, and collaspses. A girl helps her. The girl, Marilyn, is a streetwalker.  Laura roomates with Marilyn.  After a week of looking for work, Laura decideds to become a streetwalker.

But she’s too good-looking for $10 tricks.  She soon gets the attention of a powerful, high class pimp who runs an upscale call girl service. He puts her up in a Westside apartament, buys her clothes and jewrely, gives her a $500 advance.  He promises her $500 a week (about $5K in 1959 money) plus whatever tips she makes;  and she has to work every night, with four days a month off; each afteroon she gets a call where to meet a cleint — bankers, lawyers, businessmen in town.

Within months, she is wealthy, putting money away…with tips, she is making $30K a year, and figures she can retire by 27.

Of course, she meets a fella whom she falls in love with — not a client, just a guy…typical call girl story falling for a common joe who falls for her too…

…and he finds out the truth about her and kills himself over the pain of it all…

…and Laura has a gun…

It’s a damn fine story — professionally paced, with a few illogical parts that the writer didn’t think out right, but that’s okay.  The sex is cold and sad, even the drunken lesbian sex between Laura and Marilyn.  I would nto say this novel is not “erotica” but a morality play on the sins of the flesh, a la 1950s morals.

The dialogue reads like a 1950s black and white movie too, with the sweeping soundtrack, but an ending akin to Sunset Boulevard.

Meg by Loren Beauchamp and Backstage Sinners by Don Elliott

Posted in Don Elliott, Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Nightstand Books, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Beauchamp - Meg

elliott - backstage sinner

Both Meg (Midwood Books) and Backstage Sinners (Nightstand) are similar stories — young women seeking fame and having to sleep with certain men to get it.  Meg is about the cimb to supersardom in Hollywood and Backstage Sinners is about New York theater and grindhouse films in L.A.  Both were published in 1961 so probably written around the same time (if not the same month), and meg was following on the success of Connie.  What a drag it must be for a writer to have a hot seller under a pen name and no one knows whose behind the mask — or maybe it’s fun?

Meg is big, busty redhead from a small Idaho town with stars in her eyes. She saves $1000 and takes a bus to New York, after having lost her virginity to Jack, a potato farmer’s son and an ox of a boy.  Since she gave up her virtue, he expects they will get married so Meg high-tails it out of town.

In NY, she meets a talent agent, Bonaventura, a short middle aged slimeball who knows he can make Meg into a star.  He doesn’t require her to sleep with him — he does not mix buisiness with pleasure — buit she does have to sleep with certain men to get places: beauty contest promotoers and judges, money men, directors, producers, actors.  Bonaventura moves Meg around like a puppet — every act is pre-planned and for publicity.  This is the Marilyn Monroe/Jayne Mansfield story re-told.  Meg does’t mind sleeping with the men, she just isn’t into anything kinky like spanking and whips.  She also gets into a faux marriage to an aging Hollywood hunk who is a lot like Rock Hudson or Raymond Burr — ladies men on the outside, gay in secret. The marraige is for publicty to help both their careers.

Meg’s family and friends back home disown her for all the semi-nude photos and the racy films she makes.  Within two years sibce her arrical to NY, she is a superstar with a large Beverly Hills mansion and a satff of four waiting on her.

The sex is often glazed over and not much — you can find more action in a Harlequin romance.  This is pure guilty pleasure soapopera reading. It seems to end too quickly, as if Silverberg was reaching his word limit (all Midwood seem to clock in at 158-164 pages) and had to wrap his story up.

In Backstage Sinners, Jean Bruce is a young actress who is serious about her craft, but in Hollywood, she makes grindhouse junk films where she showsa lit of her body, and has slept with 40 men in a year to get where she is, which seems to be nowhere.  With a year’s money saved, she moves to New York to get away from sleaze Hollywood and study Sid Reinfheld, a method actor who is a lot like Brando but quit acting in his 30s and now coaches hot young actors and actresses. There is a lot of interesting and insightful discussion about acting tecnique, Checkov’s Uncle Vanya and other plays that makes me think Silverberg had some theater background, or had friends who were actors — since he lived in NYC and went to Columbia, no doubt he did, as you could spit on the street and hit three actors in the 1950s, and now.

Jean sleeps with her Svengali teacher, of course.  She wanted to from day one, although he is twice her age and twice her size.  She falls for him and his teaching, as many young actresses have, only to regret it, as most do from a Svengali.  Hollywood beckons for her return, and she cannot decide between a career or living a destitute, artistic life in the theater.

Reed Nightstand (Greenlead Classics) reprinted the book a decade later as The Bed and the Beautiful.

elliott - bed and beautiful