(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot. Similar introduction to “The Naked City.”)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot. Deserted Times Square.)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot. Spoiler alert: portrait photographer helps solve the crime; nice camera in background.)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)

Entirely irrelevant to the focus of this blog… but shockingly relevant to real life, New York now…


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshots)

“The Killer That Stalked New York” (1950) maybe it’s not the best movie ever made… But there’s something for everyone: Vaccinations! Press cameras! Hand washing! Cool science photos! And there’s “shot-on-the-spot realism!”


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshots. Even the mayor gets vaccinated.)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshots… 20 seconds forever…)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshots… Yes! It’s…)


The Killer That Stalked New York

‘Killer That Stalked New York,’ About a Diamond Smuggler, Opens at Palace Theatre

By Bosley Crowther

January 5, 1951

An interesting complicating factor is introduced into a routine hunt for a pretty young diamond smuggler in Columbia’s “The Killer That Stalked New York.” This factor is merely that the lady has smallpox, which she has brought into the country along with the gems, and, without knowing what she has, she is spreading it while remaining a fugitive in New York.The peril, of course, is obvious—as it literally was a few years ago when an actual smallpox carrier brought the dread disease to this city. And it is in a pictorial demonstration of the scope and the health problem of this peril that the one virtue of this picture, now at the Palace, resides.By bringing his cameras to New York and filming realistic hospital scenes, mass vaccinations and local details. Director Earl McEvoy has achieved a respectable simulation of the anxiety of a community when confronted with a possible plague. And he has managed to get some fascination into the desperate devices by which the health authorities, headed by a young physician, attempt to pinpoint the fatal carrier.But, unfortunately, the script of Harry Essex, based on a factual magazine piece, has a bad tendency to ramble and to confuse two separate hunts. And the performances of the principal characters, while adequate, have little punch. Evelyn Keyes, as the fugitive smallpox carrier, manifests great discomfort and distress, but she is no more than a melodramatic cipher in a loosely organized “chase.” William Bishop is blankly youthful as the physician and Charles Korvin is conventional as the lady’s no-good husband who tries to give her the brush. Others are moderately effective in a potentially but not sufficiently intriguing film.


PM, May 23, 1941, p. 10

There’s something for everyone on this “Record of a New York Day”… Bowery news, bridges, scattered pies, dough, ice cream, crime in Brooklyn, the Bronx, hot weather, tenements, the Lower East Side, kids, a kitten, euthanasia… And more apple news… If the Civil War ended in 1865, then… in 1941 the Civil War was more recent, more contemporary, then 1941 is to us today, in 2020. (A mere 76 years versus 79 years ago…)

A photo that is similar to Weegee’s photo of kids and kitten on a fire escape appears in Weegee’s recently republished book Naked City


Naked City, pp. 22-23

(Speaking of a Naked City:)


PM, May 23, 1941, p. 13 (Photo by Gene Badger)

“Scene: East River. Time: 3 p.m. Temperature: 90.7

Yesterday’s 90.7 degrees made it the hottest day of the year… The Bronx was bombarded by a freak hailstorm… Cvek, the convicted strangler asked Sing Sing officials why the prison wasn’t air-conditioned.”

May 22, 1943. (Published)

No mention of a portable darkroom in the (possible) first publication of this amazing selfie; (self) portrait of the photographer as an author. (Arthur the author:-) A “candid camera”?

Of course two years later that photo was an end page in the recently republished “Naked City”!!!

(To be continued…)


PM, July 22, 1940, pp. 16-17

Yesterday at Coney Island… Temperature 89… They Came Early, Stayed Late…

Cameraman Reports On Lost Kids, Parking Troubles

Weegee, whose real name is Arthur Fellig, took this picture at four in the afternoon. The temperature was 89 degrees. The Coney Island Chamber of Commerce guessed there were 1,000,000 people. Nobody really knows.

Herewith is Weegee’s own story of his visit to Coney Island…

PM, July 22, 1940, p. 16.

To enjoy this PM page spread (printed 80 years, two months, and one day ago) as an interactive, customizable puzzle, please click here.


PM, May 20, 1943, p. 18. (Photo by Weegee, PM)

Potatoes au Bay Rum

If you think the potatoes you buy during the next few days smell like hair tonic, chances are they are part of the batch of 17,000 pounds Mayor LaGuardia, the cops, Market Dept. inspectors and the Office of Price Administration found in a midtown barbershop. Yesterday the jobber who brought them here agreed to sell them. They are being taken to Bronx Terminal market for distribution to retailers. The jobber is out on $300 bail for having put the potatoes in bags labeled wheat, oats and bran. PM, May 20, 1943, p. 18

Speaking of apples… Seventy-seven years ago today:

Potatoes with Cologne and Aftershave Lotion
might be a contemporary version of the title of this story. (“Bay rum is the name of a cologne/aftershave lotion. Other uses include as under-arm deodorant and as a fragrance for shaving soap, as well as a general astringent.” Wikipedia.) Why in the world were there tons of starchy, perennial nightshades in a midtown Manhattan barber shop? Why did Weegee take a few photos of the edible tubers leaving a midtown Manhattan barber shop? The Charles Barber Shop was at 1221 Sixth Avenue. And why was this newsworthy?

We wanted to get to the root of this potato mystery, or at least chip away at the truth. After spending a fruitful few hours planted in front of a microfilm reader at the NYPL in Midtown Manhattan, we now (our salad days) know a little more about the spuds in sacks on Sixth…


Daily News, May 20, 1943 (front page of two different editions)


Daily News, May 20, 1943 (NEWS foto)

Next! Some 18,000 pounds of tough-skinned potatoes, that haven’t even been shaved, get the vagabond’s rush from a barbershop at 1221 Sixth Ave. yesterday. The spuds, headed for a Bronx market, eventually will have their eyes picked out by New York housewives. City bought them. Benjamin Caplan, custodian of the potatoes, won a parole… $49.95 profit.


New York Herald Tribune, May 20, 1943, p.20, Herald Tribune-Acme

Sixth Avenue Barber Shop Loses Its Potatoes
Some of the 17,000 pounds of potatoes found in the barber shop of Charles Falcone at 1221 Sixth Avenue on Tuesday being removed yesterday by Bronx Terminal Market wholesalers for resale to the city’s closed markets.

The wayward potato story was front page news in The Daily News and New York Herald Tribune, while The New York Post covered the story, sadly it was photo-free. The Herald Tribune’s coverage was more digestible as it was a little more factual and less tongue-in-cheek. (The photos published in the News and Tribune are not credited to a photographer, were they made by Weegee?)

Apparently the potatoes, described as “scarce, more valuable than diamonds, and vital to the war effort” by Magistrate Anna Kross, were bought by Benjamin Caplan from a farm outside of Plattsburgh, New York, for 2 cents a pound (about 29 cents today) or $343.75 (about $5,036.21 today), where they were at risk of spoiling. Anthony Zubinsky drove them down to Manhattan, for $120 (about $1,758.10 today). Caplan asked his friend Charles Falcone, the barber, if he could store the spuds in Falcone’s barber shop while he tried to sell them, presumably legally, and not on the black market.


PM, May 20, 1943, p. 19

Apparently unloading 157 bags of the scarce, luxury food, in mislabeled bags, in the middle of the afternoon in midtown Manhattan caught the eye and ire of passersby who notified the authorities. The authorities came raining down on the Charles Barber Shop. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia (1882-1947), with a chip on his shoulder, the Commissioner of Markets , the Commissioner of buildings, (due to the weight of the potatoes, the barber was charged with violating a building code), fire and police departments, and members of the press, descended on the Charles Barber Shop, on Sixth Avenue, near 48th Street.

Mr. Caplan appeared before Magistrate Anna Kross at the Jefferson Market Court. In the end, the Office of Price Administration exonerated Benjamin Caplan, he sold his spuds for a legal price, they were brought to the Bronx Terminal Market, and were sold at the city’s markets below the maximum of 6 cents a pound.

A quote, almost like dessert, from The Herald Tribune, May 20, 1943: “You probably never want to see another potato,” a reporter said to Mr. Caplan.
“I’ll be back up there tomorrow,” he replied wearily, referring to his upstate source of supply, “and if there aren’t any potatoes, I’ll get apples.”


PM, May 20, 1943, p. 19


Screen shots from “Thieves’ Highway” (1949).

The movie Jules Dassin (1911–2008) made after “The Naked City” (1948) was “Thieves’ Highway” (1949). There’s no (known) direct connection or involvement by Fellig in this film. Nevertheless… it takes place in California, largely in San Francisco and Oakland, it was filmed largely on location and at night, (it’s perhaps a bit more exciting than “The Naked City”); the depth of the actors goes a long way. (And who doesn’t love apples.) (Richard Conte, an indirect and semi-important player in Weegee’s film-world, will return to our imaginary movie club/imaginary film series in a few more movies.) The WeegeeWeegeeWeegee free moviee club begins with “Thieves’ Highway.”


Screen shot from “Thieves’ Highway” (1949).

Thieves’ Highway” (1949).


Naked City (1945)

It is with great pleasure and excitement, on this International Day of Museums, May 18, 2020, that we officially announce the creation of the WeegeeWeegeeWeegee Museum of Weegee Photographee (WMoWP). (Unofficially known as WoWee.)

WoWee will exhibit excerpts from obscure newspaper articles, too many “On this day” days, listless listicles (20,000 Weegee photos to restore your faith in photography in chronological order), an almost limitless interest in insignificant and inconsequential information (obscurity is the key), plenty of PM, games, movies, merch, maps, and so much more… WoWee will be open 24 hours. Admission is free…


Weegee’s People (1946)

“Weegee the fabulous photographer whose book “Naked City” helped inspire the late Mark Hellinger to produce the exciting screen opus of the same title, sits in Lindys and waves a card he received from India, a belated greeting from Photographer Margaret Bourke-White. “She’s been back for months and it arrived today,” announced the disheveled Weegee.”

(A series of blog posts that contain “Naked City” related material to commemorate the fabulous new printing of the book “Naked City.”)

Weegee’s Naked City

Arthur Fellig, dit Weegee, photographe ukrainien immigré aux États-Unis au début du XXème siècle, s’est fait connaitre pour ses clichés des bas-fonds de New York, qu’il arpentait de nuit, appareil photo en main, de scènes de crimes en cabarets érotiques. Publié pour la première fois en 1945 et tout juste réédité, Weegee’s Naked City réunit des dizaines de clichés pris entre les dernières heures de la nuit et les premières heures du jour : des amants sur la plage, des gens observant une scène de meurtre depuis leurs fenêtres, le service de Pâques dans une église de Harlem… avec le style cru qui l’a rendu célèbre. Une oeuvre fondatrice dans l’histoire du photojournalisme.
Weegee’s Naked City, éditions Damiani, 292 pages, 36 €

vogue.fr

Weegee’s Naked City

Arthur Fellig, known as Weegee, a Ukrainian photographer who immigrated to the United States at the start of the 20th century, became known for his shots of the New York shallows, which he surveyed at night, camera in hand, scenes from crimes in erotic cabarets. First published in 1945 and just reissued, Weegee’s Naked City brings together dozens of shots taken between the last hours of the night and the early hours of the day: lovers on the beach, people watching a murder scene from their windows, Easter service in a Harlem church… with the vintage style that made it famous. A founding work in the history of photojournalism.
Weegee’s Naked City, éditions Damiani, 292 pages, 36 €

vogue.fr via google translate