Saucy Movie Tales, July 1936.
This issue has eight stories, a cartoon, and a few short pieces of non-fiction filler. The illustrations, which sometimes fill an entire page, usually feature young women in scanty clothing. Bare breasts do appear, but only in the cartoon-like sketches that surround the table of contents. Four of the stories, scarcely over half of the magazine’s content, are set in California. Not surprisingly, they all feature people who work in the film industry. In the first story a studio detective solves an on-set murder while dealing with three hot babes. In the second a studio troubleshooter helps a sexy newcomer by hinting that she’s an incognito heiress. In the third a newsreel cameraman frees a Japanese hottie held captive by a Chinese tong. Finally, in the fourth an aspiring actress finagles her way into a film star’s movie and bed.
The cover promises titillation. The racy, full-color picture conjures up all sorts of naughty behavior. The title uses the code word “saucy” to indicate that risqué activities are portrayed. And the price, topping that of standard pulp mags by ten or fifteen cents, suggests something worth paying extra for. By modern standards it’s all pretty tame stuff. Explicit sex scenes are non-existent. When implied, sex is usually something that happens after the story ends. There’s no nudity, either, though the authors take every opportunity to describe the beauteous features of their female characters. For example, here’s a description (from pp. 57-58) of the woman rescued by the cameraman: “Her patrician, Oriental features were softly rounded, delicate, fascinatingly feminine. Large liquid brown eyes, half-closed, were slumbrous and passionate, her cerise lips full-blown and pouting. The pointed cones of her young breasts, arched incredibly upright and firm like twin, dawn-kissed mountain peaks of perfection. Her body was warmly curving; her hips swelled out in delicate, sweeping contours. . . .” How satisfied readers were with this sort of stuff is anybody’s guess. Today’s fans of Hollywood fiction, as long as they aren’t seeking literary merit, might find the stories amusing. This and other issues of Saucy Movie Tales, incidentally, have been republished by Adventure House and are now in print.