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The Atomic Bombshell

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Mynx Devlin

In 1935, F. Scott Fitzgerald was in deep trouble. His latest novel, Tender Is the Night had just failed. No major film studio would hire him. Daughter Scottie was in a pricey private school. Wife Zelda was in a pricier sanitarium. How could he save himself? Mynx Devlin’s memoir, The Atomic Bombshell, reveals the surprising…

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Francois Truffaut In Love

In episode #9 of The Atomic Bombshell serial podcast, Mynx Devlin meets Francois Truffaut. This was 1962, right after he’d directed his breakthrough global smash hit, The 400 Blows. Truffaut was a famous (and famously waspish) film critic in the 1950s. He had a sweet tooth for American “termite art” films: gangster films, thrillers, B-musicals,…

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Vampira: Before Mynx Devlin Was Mynx

The Los Angeles Times recently ran a feature about a new biography, Glamour Ghoul, that reveals the wild life of Maila Nurmi. If you know her at all, you know her as “Vampira” from the hideous-sublime cult classic, Plan Nine From Outer Space. Nurmi rocketed to fame in the early 1950s as the original “Ghoul…

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Mynx Devlin Meets Elvis Presley

In episode 8 of “The Atomic Bombshell,” Mynx Devlin saves the free world from nuclear destruction. She does this by revealing the truth about Soviet intentions in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Then JFK needs cover for an arms build up in South Florida. What if the Cold War turns hot? That’s why he asks Mynx…

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The 40 Thieves and Mynx Devlin

In episode #7 of The Atomic Bombshell, Mynx tells us how she got into the exploitation film business. She meets threadbare movie producer Herbert W. Zoozman in a graveyard (!) where he asks her to star in his latest quickie, Jail Bait Baby. Zoozman is one of a notorious group of exploitation film producers called……

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Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll

In episode #6 of “The Atomic Bombshell,” Mynx Devlin becomes the first actor to break the blacklist when she teams up with Producer Herbert W. Zoozman to make 18 movies in 18 months—9 double features pitched at drive-in movie theaters. This moment in film history echoes the remarkable rise of American-International Pictures. AIP was founded…

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Fidel Castro and Mynx Devlin’s Cuban Holiday

Episode #5 of The Atomic Bombshell finds Mynx on the run from the blacklist. Like a number of blacklisted writers, Mynx heads for Mexico, but this turns out to be only a stopping off point. She meets the Spanish surrealist master Luis Buñel. He offers her a part in his latest movie, a ‘lucha libre’…

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Mynx Devlin and the Red Scare

In episode #4 of The Atomic Bombshell serial podcast, Mynx Devlin faces her greatest challenge yet. It’s the height of the Red Scare. The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) calls her to testify. This committee, under the sway of demagogue Senator Joseph McCarthy, wants to know if she “is now, or has ever been”…

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The Crazy World Of Howard Hughes Movies

In the third episode of The Atomic Bombshell serial podcast, Howard Hughes tries to win the heart of Clara “Mynx” Devlin. How? By making “the greatest goddam movie ever made.” Could Hughes really have done this? Of course. Hughes bought his own film studio (RKO), in 1948. In the eight years he ran the studio…

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Mynx Devlin and the Birth of Film Noir

In episode #2 of “The Atomic Bombshell,” our heroine Clara “Mynx” Devlin rides a “Rocket to Stardom” when producer Herbert W. Zoozman casts her in “Thrill Queen” and then “Jive Crazy,” two proto film noir movies that catch a violent updraft in the cultural zeitgeist. Why did film noir become such a sensation right after…

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