I went to a memorabilia show last weekend, and one of the dealers had a copy of this 1962 Popular Library paperback movie tie-in edition of The Phantom of the Opera. That cover offers a nice pulp fiction come-on, even if it is a photograph instead of a painting.
It was too expensive to buy and scan for myself (the dealer wanted $18, and even if I negotiated down to probably $12, it would have been too much), but I found an image of it at the site of the horror film magazine Rue Morgue here.
I had a copy of this edition back in 1962 when I was eleven. It was inadvertently lost when my mother sold the family house many years later. I never finished reading the book, but this cover was of endless fascination to me in my early teens. The bold way the otherwise demure Heather Sears looks at the camera–the bold way her decolletage exposes two inches of cleavage and the top of the spherical terrain of her momentous tatas–kept me coming back to admire in hallowed secrecy this treasured volume.
It was just two inches, but a little cleavage went a long way in those days. Come to think of it–it still does. I have a bit of a fetish for cleavage, and I actually find it more sexy than bare breasts (not that I don’t like bare breasts a whole lot too).
I didn’t see the movie until years later. It was a minor version of the story, but both Heather and Herbert Lom were good in their roles. As was Decolletage in the role of Decolletage! 😉
Hmm, this is all making me rather silly…I better stop while I’m still ahead.