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Pulp (1972)

A seedy writer of sleazy pulp novels is recruited by a quirky, reclusive ex-actor to help him write his biography at his house in Malta.


Mike Hodges


Mike Hodges




Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Mickey King
Mickey Rooney ... Preston Gilbert
Lionel Stander ... Ben Dinuccio
Lizabeth Scott ... Betty Cippola
Nadia Cassini ... Liz
Dennis Price ... The Englishman
Al Lettieri ... Miller
Leopoldo Trieste ... Marcovic
Amerigo Tot ... Partisan
Robert Sacchi ... The Bogeyman (as Roberto Sacchi)
Giulio Donnini Giulio Donnini ... Typing Pool Manager
Joe Zammit Cordina ... The Beautiful Thing
Luciano Pigozzi ... Clairvoyant
Maria Cumani Quasimodo ... Office Manageress (as Maria Quasimodo)
Liù Bosisio Liù Bosisio ... 1st Typist (as Liu Bosisio)


Michael King is a seedy writer of sleazy pulp genre novels under a half-dozen sensational pseudonyms whose ambition is to dictate ten thousand words per minute to stenographers a la Earle Stanley Gardner. He's recruited by the agent of Preston Gilbert, a quirky ex-Hollywood star currently living reclusively in exile in Malta, to help him write his biography. Despite being pursued by an enigmatic hitman, Gilbert has a large entourage of eccentrics and remains an inveterate practical joker. After Gilbert is eventually murdered by an apparent Priest, King tries to stay alive while interacting with a variety of idiosyncratic characters including an ersatz Princess, a henpecked clairvoyant, and a cross-dressing hitman. Written by G. Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Pulp means paperback books and pulverized bodies. Mickey King writes pulp, lives pulp and very soon could be pulp. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Mickey Rooney's brown sedan was a 1953 Chrysler Windsor. See more »


When Mickey Rooney is singing Italian songs with a band at an outside banquet, the band calls out for "Sorrento...Torn'a Sorrento." Rooney accedes --- "OK, let's go back to Sorrento," whereupon the band and he break into a rendition of "Santa Lucia" instead !. See more »


Mickey King: Suddenly I was a cop lover. They couldn't keep me at that station long enough. I needed time to think and a place to do it. The killer had tried to get me as well. I wasn't a joke anymore. Gilbert didn't laugh all the way to the mortuary.
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Crazy Credits

The final credits play over the top of extra scenes, with dialogue and action completing the story of the film. See more »


References The Pink Panther (1963) See more »


Santa Lucia
Music by Teodoro Cottrau
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User Reviews

10 July 2003 | by erol_galipSee all my reviews

Great film that doesn't take itself too seriously. For me, the parts played by Dennis Price and Lionel Stander kind of steal the show. Narrated in the first person throughout, if I remember rightly, I guess it could also have been called "An Innocent Abroad" or something similar, as Micheal Caine finds himself "up against it" and completely out of his depth in comfortable surroundings he feels uncomfortable in as violence hovers just beneath the surface. So, for those reasons it's a bit like "Get Carter", only this time around there's no personal crusade he's on; he's just a writer of pulp fiction out for what he can get from an ageing Hollywood actor (played by Mickey Rooney) who wants him to ghost-write his autobiography. I suppose this film is a bit like "Chinatown" in some respects as it deals with the futility of attempting to tackle corruption on a grand scale - only unlike the Polanski movie, it never won any awards because it never really took itself too seriously. How can one take Caine as a tough, gritty Londoner, when he swans around Malta in a white suite and sunglasses - smoking through a cigarette holder like a Cockney Noel Coward?

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Release Date:

5 April 1973 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Memoirs of a Ghostwriter See more »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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