The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hard Boiled Cartography

How is this for a visual aid?  Boing Boing referred to a post on Strange Maps about a publisher of pulp fiction books that printed maps of the crime scenes on the back covers of the paperbacks:  Maps of Murder.   

Dell Books, the American series of pulp fiction books, featured many genres, but most of all the detective story. A prominent feature were the maps on the back cover, setting the scene for the adventures experienced and crimes committed within the covers. An amazing 577 grand total of ‘Map Backs’ would be published during the lifespan of the series, from 1943 to 1952.
The example above is Rope, which is an excellent movie.  Aside from the interesting plot, every scene in the movie takes place in the apartment, and the movie plays out in real time.  Every minute of film is a minute in the story.  Hitchcock also shot the film in such a way that it appears to be one, long, continuous shot.  There are no cuts or jumps.  A real intense thriller, even though you know who did it from the very start.

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