NORTH KOREAN FORCES capture Seoul in the opening phase of the Korean War. President Harry Truman sends military personnel to Vietnam to aid French forces. In Washington, Sen. Joseph McCarthy claims large numbers of communists and Soviet spies have infiltrated the government and Hollywood. Small appearances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve draw attention to starlet Marilyn Monroe (above). Movie theaters show Cinderella, Samson and Delilah and Father of The Bride. Beetle Bailey and Peanuts are first published in newspapers. The New York Yankees sweep the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series, and Ben Hogan wins the U.S. Open.
The story of a hack screenwriter who writes a screenplay for a star who has faded into obscurity, Sunset Boulevard was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and often ranks among the greatest films of the 20th century. Starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden, it premiered on Aug. 10, 1950, at Radio City Music Hall. A one sheet poster from the original theatrical release realized $20,912 at a July 2013 Heritage auction.
The Golden Age of pin-up girls was in full swing, and Gil Elvgren (1914-1980) was among the genre’s greatest artists. In addition to illustrations for magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping, Elvgren painted for the Brown & Bigelow calendar company. This 1950 oil on canvas, titled High and Shy, sold for $161,000 at a May 2015 auction.
Two years before Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999) asked a friend to arrange a date with Marilyn Monroe, the New York Yankees center fielder wielded the most dangerous bat in the American League. He drove in 122 runs with 32 homers and 75 extra base hits to pace the league with a .585 slugging percentage. A Yankees jersey DiMaggio wore during that 1950 championship season sold for $89,625 at a February 2014 auction.
Four years before the U.S. Senate opened hearings on the link between juvenile delinquency and comic books, readers were snatching up The Crypt of Terror. The hearings, however, eventually forced EC Comics to cancel the series (which was renamed Tales From the Crypt). The original cover art by Johnny Craig (1926-2001) for The Crypt of Terror #17, dated April-May 1950, sold for $37,950 at a July 2002 auction.