This is the week that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will bestow their Best Picture statuette to the movie they see as most deserving.
In a review comparing the Best Pictures with the Top Grossing films of all time, there didn’t seem to be a relationship. But what did become obvious was the relationship between pulp fiction and the top box office hits.
It was during the 1920s, 30s and 40s that pulp magazines provided the bulk of entertainment to roughly 30 million Americans each month. With authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Raymond Chandler, Lester Dent, Dashiell Hammett and L. Ron Hubbard, stories were published that allowed the audience to temporarily escape from the stresses and worries of life, even if only for a few hours.
The heroes of the day included Doc Savage, Tarzan, Sam Spade and Ole Doc Methuselah. Today you know such characters as Batman, Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones and Spider-Man.
And so today you have the top box office hits The Dark Knight, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man and Indiana Jones which story lines owe no small thanks to pulp fiction. But what of the original stories, the ones written in the 1920s, 30s and 40s?
Various book publishers are dedicated to keeping these pulp fiction heroes alive through the stories written in the Golden Age of pulp fiction and include Galaxy Press , Adventure House and Vintage Library.
One publisher in particular, Galaxy Press, is making it possible for people to discover for themselves the lure of pulp fiction by offering a free ebook download of the story The Cossack or the free audiobook download of The Devil’s Rescue, produced like the old time radio theater by going to www.goldenagestories.com and clicking either on FREE eBOOK or FREE AUDIO.
So while we wait to find out who wins the next Best Picture Oscar, perhaps it is a good time to have a read or a listen to one of these stories from that Golden Age of storytelling and find out for yourself why it captured the hearts of America and why it still today continues to capture the heart of Hollywood.