6.0/10
1,946
41 user 36 critic

Pulp (1972)

PG | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 3 May 1973 (Sweden)
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.

Director:

Mike Hodges

Writer:

Mike Hodges
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A British Agent's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Pleasence, Delphine Seyrig
Play Dirty (1969)
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During the Desert War in North Africa, a group of British commandos disguised in Italian soldiers must travel behind enemy lines and destroy a vital Nazi oil depot.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Davenport, Nigel Green
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Black anti-apartheid activist and a British engineer are forced to run from South African secret police.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Michael Caine, Nicol Williamson
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A former British spy stumbles into in a plot to overthrow Communism with the help of a supercomputer. But who is working for whom?

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Michael Caine, Karl Malden, Ed Begley
Peeper (1975)
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Set in the 1940s, the story follows a private eye on a case to find a long lost daughter of an oddball client. Two goons are on a mission to stop him.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Michael Caine, Natalie Wood, Kitty Winn
Kidnapped (1971)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In 18th century Scotland, during the Jacobite Rebellion, David Balfour claims his inheritance from his uncle who has him shanghaied on a ship where David meets fugitive Jacobite rebel Alan Breck.

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Lawrence Douglas
X, Y and Zee (1972)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The venomous and amoral wife of a wealthy architect tries, any way she can, to break up the blossoming romance between her husband and his new mistress; a good-natured young widow who holds a dark past.

Director: Brian G. Hutton
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine, Susannah York
Get Carter (1971)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.

Director: Mike Hodges
Stars: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland
Deadfall (1968)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Cat burglar Henry Clarke and his accomplices, the Moreaus, attempt to steal diamonds from the château of millionaire Salinas. However, Henry's partners in crime aren't the most emotionally stable people.

Director: Bryan Forbes
Stars: Michael Caine, Giovanna Ralli, Vladek Sheybal
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A war veteran tries to investigate the murder of his son who was working as a Russian translator for the British intelligence service during the Cold War. He meets a web of deception and paranoia that seems impenetrable.

Director: Simon Langton
Stars: Michael Caine, James Fox, Nigel Havers
Certificate: GP Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A reluctant hero, American Lieutenant Sam Lawson, is secunded to a motley British unit tasked with destroying a Japanese radio on a Philippine island.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Michael Caine, Cliff Robertson, Ian Bannen
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Four men who were involved in the investigation of a German millionaire at the end of the Second World War are found murdered with tiny dolls left next to their corpses.

Director: Freddie Francis
Stars: Patrick Wymark, Margaret Johnston, John Standing
Edit

Cast

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 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)
Edit

Storyline

Michael King is a seedy writer of sleazy pulp genre novels under a half dozen sensational pseudonyms whose ambition is to dictate 10,000 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 hit man, 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 himself while interacting with a variety of idiosyncratic characters including an ersatz princess, a henpecked clairvoyant, and a cross-dressing hit man. Written by G. Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 1973 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Memoirs of a Ghostwriter See more »

Filming Locations:

Malta

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Spike Milligan wrote a letter to producer Michael Klinger following a TV screening of " Pulp " in 1977. Milligan was considering sending a missive to Animal Cruelty organisations until he was reassured that a pig hunting scene involved no actual harm to the pigs. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mickey King: [voice-over] I am famous for such books as "My Gun is Long". I have many aliases. I am authors Susan Eager and Paul S. Coming. I am those and others. I am Paul Strong, Gary Rough and Les B. Han.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Pink Panther (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Grand Hotel
(uncredited)
Music by Johnny Hawksworth
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An unregarded gem.
13 February 2003 | by j.pasteurSee all my reviews

"Can you walk a little faster?" said the whiting to the snail. "There's a porpoise right behind me, and he's treading on my tail..."

Michael Caine had a pretty good year in 1972. GET CARTER was one of his best-ever films, but he was also nominated, along with Laurence Olivier, for an Academy Award for his rôle in the film adaptation of Anthony Shaffer's stage play SLEUTH (neither of them got it, though - that year it went to Marlon Brando in THE GODFATHER).

More an off-beat comedy than a drama, PULP is a nice little blend of Alfie and Harry Palmer, and is a sadly unregarded gem that has nevertheless become a bit of a cult film loaded with many inside jokes. The 'three Michaels' - Mike Hodges, Michael Caine and Mike Klinger - may not have hit similar paydirt as with their GET CARTER, but the sheer knowing coolness of pulp writer Mickey King's (Caine) Chandleresque voiceover dialogue is carried off with caustic wit, panache and style ("The day started quietly enough, then I got up."); in fact, there are four Michaels if one adds Mickey Rooney - and a fifth if one includes the main character, Mickey King. Fearing possible stereotyping as a Hard Man, PULP was intended to be the opposite of Caine's hard-hitting Jack Carter character: affecting the relaxed raffish air of the self-satisfied ex-pat (he left London and his lucrative job as a funeral-director, and elbowed the wife and three kids), Mickey King glides about the Mediterranean in a dapper white corduroy suit, churning out cheap gangster fiction paperbacks under ludicrous aliases (Guy Strange, Gary Rough, Dan Wilde, Les Behan, newly-discovered Indian writer Dr. O.R. Gann, and struggling Nigerian author S. Ódomi) and hard-boiled titles (Kill Me Gently, The Kneetrembler and My Gun Is Long). In fact, his voiceover dialogue of heroic action is the opposite of his real-life reaction when confronted with dangerous situations - starting with a succession of taxis completely ignoring his hails!

Neatly filmed on Malta, G.C., the film is an odd joy from beginning to end, with little pastiches that are hommages to John Huston (the FBI agent who appears to be Bogart enquiring from whom appears to be Peter Lorre after what turns out to be a Maltese falcon ...) and wonderful quirky characters. King's publisher, Markovic, is "a Greco-Albanian born in Budapest" with a bladder problem. Obviously vegetarian, the Mysterious Englishman, Mr. Balmoral (Dennis Price), is reading Alice In Wonderland for the 118th time, and so well able to insult steak-eatin' folks from steak-lovin' Texas from it; could he be part of the developing mystery? Lionel Stander puts in a nice turn as a laid-back, ageing wiseguy ("His name was Ben Dinuccio. It was the nicest thing about him."). Starting at the Temples of Zonq, leggy Nadia Cassini (Liz Adams) shows why hotpants were - and still are! - great [Cassini went on to become a 1970s and 1980s starlet in Italian erotica and Trash flics]. Swarthy and moustachioed, Al Lettieri (Ben Miller) plays ... well, Al Lettieri, the stereotyped rôle he can never get away from: the 'heavy' - as he did in The Getaway and Mr. Majestyk - who dons the priest's garb and eventually meets with an undignified (for a heavy, that is) end. One of Gilbert's ex-wives, sexy-voiced Lizabeth Scott (Princess Betty Cippola) shmoozes suggestion as she knows The Establishment are really In Control of events (she calls her husband Dago).

But the real treat is Mickey Rooney as the faded film star, Preston Gilbert, ejected from Hollywood for his Mob associations. In a villa on a private island, with his deaf mother, companion Liz and his PR-man Dinuccio, semi-reclusive Gilbert lives the life of the wealthy idler reliving past glories by playing old 78s and corny soundbites from his Cagneyesque old gangster films, and inflicting practical jokes on unsuspecting tourists. Delightfully hamming it up, his poncing around in his skivvies [I creased-up at the double-mirror bit] and applying his toupée is a marvellous send-up of himself! With the Big Sleep approachin' Gilbert hires King to ghostwrite his lifestory plus a few revelations - "a death-rattle in paperpack, eh?" according to a sceptical King. Preston insists the book come with an opening quote from Samuel Goldwyn, "We all passed a lot of water since then."

Hodge's cutaway scenes show a nice eye for detail. Elections are due, so throughout there are street marches by elderly and not-very-impressive hangers-on of the New Front party of creepy law-and-order politician Prince Frank Cippola - a comment on then-topical real-life Prince Borghese and the quasi-establishment, certainly neo-Fascist, Spada movement. "The wizard ringing in," the dignified pain of ashamed former Partisan Signor Lepri, and the "retired gunman who drew too late - twice" supping cola at the 42nd Street Bar (King sits under a plaque saying Ave Maria) add to the quirky mystery.

Poignant are the closing scenes. Whilst King feverishly hammers out the imagined ending to his own ordeal (in which he re-uses passages from previous novels), Cippola's shooting-party have hounded a wild boar toward his shooting platform (in a scene that would be unacceptable today). Trapped, the wretched beast has nowhere to go. Safe from the boar's frantic attempts to charge the wire, it's an easy shot, no real competition. Having bagged his kill, unassailable aristocrat Cippola raises a glass of champagne to the camera. "I'll get you, you bastards ..." wails King, unable to scratch an itch ...

Yup, a gem.


38 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 41 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed