The Black Cat Audition in Hollywood (1961)

Hollywood, 1961. Following a newspaper casting call, black cats are waiting for audition for a low budget horror movie adaption of ‘Tales of Terror’ by Edgar Allan Poe. The film was released as a double feature with Panic in Year Zero!

In the film Montresor Herringbone (Peter Lorre) hates his wife Annabelle (Joyce Jameson) and her black cat. One night on a ramble about town, he happens upon a wine tasting event and challenges the world’s foremost wine taster, Fortunato Luchresi (Vincent Price), to a contest. Herringbone becomes drunk.Luchresi escorts him home and meets his wife.

Time passes, and Annabelle and Luchresi become intimate. The cuckolded Herringbone then entombs them alive in an alcove in the basement. The authorities become suspicious and two policemen (John Hackett and Lennie Weinrib) visit the house to investigate.

Hearing screeching behind a basement wall, they knock the wall down to discover the dead lovers — and Annabelle’s black cat, which Herringbone had accidentally walled up with the lovers.

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Ralph Crane, Black Cat Auditions In Hollywood, 1961. Source: LIFE Photo Archive via

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Ralph Crane, Black Cat Auditions In Hollywood, 1961. Source: LIFE Photo Archive via

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Ralph Crane, Black Cat Auditions In Hollywood, 1961. Source: LIFE Photo Archive via

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Ralph Crane, Black Cat Auditions In Hollywood, 1961. Source: LIFE Photo Archive via

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Ralph Crane, Black Cat Auditions In Hollywood, 1961. Source: LIFE Photo Archive via

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Ralph Crane, Black Cat Auditions In Hollywood, 1961. Source: LIFE Photo Archive via

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Ralph Crane, Black Cat Auditions In Hollywood, 1961. Source: LIFE Photo Archive via

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Ralph Crane, Black Cat Auditions In Hollywood, 1961. Source: LIFE Photo Archive via

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Ralph Crane, Black Cat Auditions In Hollywood, 1961. Source: LIFE Photo Archive via

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Ralph Crane, Black Cat Auditions In Hollywood, 1961. Source: LIFE Photo Archive via

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Ralph Crane, Black Cat Auditions In Hollywood, 1961. Source: LIFE Photo Archive via

Ann Pennington teaching Felix the Cat how to dance the “Black Bottom” (1927)

The “Black Bottom” refers to a dance which became popular in the 1920s, originating among African Americans in the rural South. It was adopted by mainstream American culture  and became a national craze in the 1920s.

The dance was most famously performed by Ziegfeld Follies star Ann Pennington (1893 – 1971) , who danced the Black Bottom in a Broadway revue put on by Ziegfeld’s rival George White in 1926. The dance was first popularized in New York by the African American show Dinaah that had been staged in Harlem in 1924, after Pennington performed the Black Bottom on Broadway, the dance became a national phenomenon, overtaking The Charleston in popularity.

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Ann Pennington teaches Felix the Cat the Black Bottom, 1927 via

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Ann Pennington teaches Felix the Cat the Black Bottom, 1927 via

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Ann Pennington teaches Felix the Cat the Black Bottom, 1927 via

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Ann Pennington teaches Felix the Cat the Black Bottom, 1927 via

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Ann Pennington teaches Felix the Cat the Black Bottom, 1927 via

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Ann Pennington teaches Felix the Cat the Black Bottom, 1927 via

A Collection of Photos Feat. Princess Irina Alexandrovna of Russia (1895-1970)

Princess Irina Alexandrovna (1895-1970) was a niece of Tzar Nicholas. She was a daughter of his sister Grand Duchess Xenia and Grand Duke Alexander. Before her marriage, Irina was considered one of the most eligible women in Imperial Russia.

In 1914 she married Felix Yussupov the wealthiest man in Imperial Russia, one of the men who later murdered Grigori Rasputin in 1916. He was an unexpected bridegroom, amongst other things, he was bisexual and an occasional crossdresser. Not that this mattered. The couple enjoyed a very happy marriage that lasted fifty-three years until his death in 1967. They spent most of their lives living in Paris devoting much energy to Russian relief work.

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Princess Irina Alexandrovna on her wedding day, wearing her mother’s veil and the Cartier tiara that was a present from her bridegroom, 1914 via

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Princess Irina Alexandrovna, ca. 1924 via

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Princess Irina Alexandrovna via

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Princess Irina Alexandrovna via