Original Movie Posters to Trade

These posters are for trade purposes only and are not for sale. Please refer to my want list for things that are of interest.

1900-1919 1920-1929 1930-1945 1946-1964 1965-1979 1980-Present

1921 - 1929:

The 1920s saw it all, from unparalleled economic growth to deepest depression (hmmm, why does that sound familiar?), and the movie industry also experienced as radical a change. Artists and craftspeople like F.W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, and others (not forgetting about those early women directors like Olga Preobrazhenskaya) proved silent cinema to be a legitimate form of artistic expression with films like "Sunrise," "Metropolis," and scores of other masterpieces.

The decade closed not only with the start of the Great Depression, but with the advent of talking pictures. And boy, did they talk. Burdened by enormously clunky cameras, microphones, and sound recorders, all the progress made in the previous years virtually disappeared as the early talkies were stagebound and enamored with the sound of their own newly audible voices.

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Photo Title/Description Price

CIRCE, THE ENCHANTRESS - (1923) - The first story written directly for the screen by superstar ‘20s writer, Blasco (Blood and Sand, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) Ibáńez and directed by Robert Z. Leonard, the then husband of star Mae Murray, it updates the Greek legend of Circe the enchantress, (and unrelated to the English Tim the Enchanter), who turned men into swine – what a stretch – and places her in the middle of the Jazz Age where the lads swarm the lovely Cecilie at her swank European villa. Alas, the film is now missing in action.

Mae Murray was another of Flo Ziegfeld’s Follies girls to make the leap from Broadway stage to silent films. A talented dancer, she was known as “The Girl With the Bee-Stung Lips” but like many of her contemporaries was unable to make the transition to talkies once sound films took hold. Disastrous ‘negotiations’ between her fourth husband and MGM put the final nail in her acting coffin while a nasty divorce from the same creep sentenced her to eventual poverty.

This original release window card is in absolutely stunning, looks-like-it-was-printed-yesterday condition, likely since it was used as backing for a pictured that was framed in 1927.

T.O.

DAUGHTERS OF PLEASURE - (1924) - Epitomizing the Jazz Age, Daughters of Pleasure is a twist on the immensely popular flapper dramas that were all the rage in the ‘20s. In this case, Marie Prevost’s father is the cad who is stepping out on the town with a French sweetie. As it turns out, the belle femme is non-other than Marie’s former school chum and, needless to say, the plot thickens.

By this time Prevost had her formula down pat and this film certainly fit that mold. What is perhaps more remarkable is that Papa’s ho is none other than future It girl, Clara Bow, in one of earliest roles of any significance. Alas, she didn’t make it onto the poster.

Original Swedish one sheet.

T.O.

HERITIERS DE L'ONCLE JAMES, LES - (aka THE HEIRS OF UNCLE JAMES) (1924) - A rural "half grande" poster, typically used for 16mm releases outside of the large cities, featuring the original monkey's uncle. Downright Darwinian, and strangely appropriate imagery for estate planners.

The rest of the program features a film highlighting an ascent of Mont Blanc and Mont St. Michel, a comedy, and some travelogues.

T.O.

BRONENOSETS POTYOMKIN (aka BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN) (R. 1963) - A film at the core of modern cinema, Sergei Eisenstein's "BP" added volumes to the language of film. Famed for the montage of the valiant proletariat fleeing the Tsar's troops down the Odessa Steps, "Potemkin" won admirers throughout the west for its virtuoso technique.

This is a 1963 re-release, country of origin, Russian release, intended for use in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

T.O.

DANCE MADNESS (1925) - The more things change...

Set in the glamorous world of Paris nightlife, this lobby card just goes to prove that there have always been certain questions that need to be asked when partaking of the big city party animal lifestyle. "Is that a he, she, or it" indeed! Who says gender identity issues are a construct of modern society?

The card is just as politically incorrect today as it was at the height of the flapper era, but it's hard not to enjoy it. Concerns of LGBT activists are duly acknowledged.

T.O.

FRONTIER TRAIL, THE (1925) - Harry Carey stars in a film with a story that was already becoming a bit retro even in the 1920s. By this time audiences were more into the white hat vs. black hat type stories, but The Frontier Trail is full on cowboys and injuns fun, just like in the good old days. After some low down treachery from a rival cavalry scout, Harry is arrested for treason after a squad of soldiers is wiped out by a renegade band of Sioux warriors. Only after saving the lovely Dolly (Mabel Julienne Scott), her father and the cavalry Captain, Harry proves his innocence and gets the girl in the end.

Speaking of getting the girl in the end, these two original release lobby cards are quite lovely since the majority of these “B” westerns usually only had black and white lobbies. The title card is quite choice, showing Harry, Dolly, and Pops with guns blazing, just the sort of thing you want to have. The scene card is a treat as well, causing one to speculate that since they are already aiming Harry’s gun it would appear that Harry is just plain happy to see Mabel.

T.O.

KISS FOR CINDERELLA, A (aka ASKUNGEN) (1925) – Betty Bronson became an ‘overnight’ sensation after she was chosen for the lead role in the 1924 film of Peter Pan and it then went on to be a fantastic hit for the studio. Hoping to capitalize on the success they quickly went back to the well with another, far less famous play by Pan author J.M. Barrie, based on the beloved fairytale Cinderella for both Bronson and director Herbert Brenon to reprise.

Barrie’s play was quite different from the Disney version known so well today. Cinderella is a desperately poor waif during the desperate days of World War I who barely ekes out an existence by doing odd jobs for her equally destitute neighbors, all the while dreaming of the day when her prince will come searching for her and sweep her off her feet. The film is extraordinarily dark and audiences could not connect with it at the time and it was a financial failure, although it is arguably quite a fine piece of cinema. Unfortunately Bronson’s career never really matched her initial success and she soon became just another Hollywood footnote.

This is an original Swedish poster for the Barrie oddity. Because of its lack of financial success any publicity material for the film is exceedingly hard to come by.

T.O.

KISS ME AGAIN (1925) - One of Ernst Lubitsch’s triumphs of the silent era, the film presents the tale of a romantic triangle that goes horribly, horribly wrong when wife Marie Prevost is given a divorce by the husband she really loves so she can marry a dashing Paris musician who is madly in love with her. Once again Clara Bow joins Marie in the second of their two pairings and is featured in a role that reportedly stole the movie from both Prevost and co-star Monte Blue. This film no doubt helped to push Clara over the edge in gaining the attention that would lead to her super-stardom the next year.

This is one of the Holy Grails for fans of not only Bow and Prevost, but of Lubitsch as well, as it is unfortunately quite lost at the moment.

Original Swedish one sheet.

T.O.

SOILED (1925) - Yes, even decent young guhls from fine families can be ruined by their youthful indiscretions. Film producers were quick to realize that nothing brought in the shekels more than stories of harlotry gone wrong.

This lobby card is a fine specimen from a very early example of just how bad things can go for 1920s good guhls when they start hanging around with the wrong sort.

T.O.

TŠEKA KOMISSAR MIROŠTŠENKO (aka TCHEKA SANGLANTE, LA, or CHEKA COMMISSAR MIROŠTŠENKO) (1925) - The Cheka was a notorious internal "security" branch in the early days of the USSR, noted for their use of violence, murder, and terror to enforce the pogroms of the glorious worker’s revolution. Estonia, at the time this film was made, was still an independent country and not yet in the Soviet sphere, but obviously quite aware of what was happening to its red neighbors, and needless to say had a film industry that was in its infancy.

Tšeka komissar Miroštšenko offers a fascinating glimpse into life between the world wars in the volatile neighborhood between extraordinarily unstable regional powers. Charles and Agnes are trapped in Russia while waiting for their papers to return home to Estonia. Unfortunately Charles’ fiancée Erna grows jealous and rats out Agnes to the Tcheka, where she becomes quite ‘popular’ with the commissars - between their graphic torture routines, including a jaw-dropping screwdriver lobotomy.

Outrageous pre-war Belgian poster and a profoundly rare example of early Estonian filmmaking.

T.O.

MOTHER (R. 1960s) - Vsevolod Pudovkin's tale of heroic workers, strikes, and most of all, the love of a mother for her son and the glorious people's revolution. One of the most important early film theoreticians, Pudovkin was an early adopter of the techniques of montage, and "Mother" is cinematic proof of its validity.

During the early 1960s, in an effort to improve their image in the west, the official USSR distributor, SOVEXPORTFILM, made numerous films available for exhibition to the masses. They also created posters, and this is one of them. Original English language Soviet export poster.

T.O.

ROAD TO MANDALAY, THE (1926) - One of the 8 pairings of director Tod Browning and actor Lon Chaney, The Road to Mandalay has all of the deviant plots twists that made both men so famous. Lon is a deformed no-goodnik who sends his daughter away to be raised by priests in Mandalay while he runs a den of depravity in Singapore. As is the custom, eventually dear daughter, Lois Moran, falls for Lon’s former henchman (who has conveniently reformed), but Lon, having none of it, attempts to kidnap her back.

The scene shown in this original release lobby card is where Lois is about to be ravaged by the local Chinese pimp, English Charlie, (who is naturally played by Japanese actor Kamiyama Sojin, which at this stage of the game is certainly better than an actor in yellow face). Lon looms behind the screens ready for a little knife action on the unsuspecting Charlie.

Sadly, this film only partially survives. One hopes that a full copy is eventually found next to reels of the other Browning/Chaney lost grail, London After Midnight.

T.O.

WHEN LOVE GROWS COLD (1926) - Winifred Shaughnessy had one of the most extraordinary lives in an era of extraordinary lives. Born in Utah and a descendant of Mormon royalty, Winifred became a talented dancer eventually earning a degree of success when she hooked up with ballet madman Theodore Kosloff and took on the far more exotic name of Natacha Rambova. Finding her way into the arty circle of Nazimova through her spectacular set and costume designs, Natacha met and married silent superstar Rudolph Valentino. The relationship was stormy at best, and outsiders accused Natacha of leveraging her influence with Rudy to further her own career. While this may well be true, what is certain is that Rambova was uncomfortable as a shadow talent and aspired to her own – not undeserved - successes away from Valentino’s sphere.

Finally separating from Rudy, Natacha fled to New York, where, needing money, she agreed to star in her first (and ultimately only) film. Based on a story by romance writer Laura Jean Libbey, the producers were obviously trying to exploit the publicity associated with Natacha’s failed romance, and recognizing this she only agreed to make the film if the title was changed to Do Clothes Make the Woman?, which it was known by throughout its production in late 1925. It goes without saying that once they had Rambova on film the title immediately switched back to its original, much more exploitable, When Love Grows Cold, not to mention calling her Mrs. Rudolph Valentino when that relationship was clearly over. This experience with sleazy movie producers, combined with vicious reviews which savaged not just her performance but even her looks, so soured Natacha that she swore off the film business for good.

Extremely rare original release lobby card shows co-star Clive Brook being wooed by Broadway gold digger Kathryn Hill as part of a plot to separate Brook from Rambova by an evil oil company executive. After changing her name to Carver, Hill would later become the second wife to super suave Adolphe Menjou.

T.O.

WHITE MICE (1926) – When a cadre of reds kidnap the former presidente of a Latin American country William Powell and the men of the White Mice Club spring into action to rescue him, and not coincidentally win the devotion of the Generalissimo’s beautiful daughter, star Jacqueline Logan.

Filmed on location in Fort Lee, New Jersey as well as Cuba, it appears that Morro Castle is the setting for Powell and Logan on the poster, White Mice was supposed to be the first feature film to be shot using the short lived Kelley Color colorization process. Alas, it doesn’t seem to have come to pass though as virtually everybody connected with the production of the film was soon in dire need of money and it went through several hands before finally being released, most likely sans any color.

The film was something of a breakthrough for William Powell however. Despite being required by the producers to shave off his even then famous mustache – and missing the birth of his son while on location - it was Powell’s first major role where he was the hero instead of the villain. Up until this point he had made his mark in a long string of highly popular bad guy roles. The respite was short lived though as he was soon back to his no good ways in later films, really only moving into the light with the coming of sound, when he became a much sought after leading man.

Sound wasn’t as kind to Jacqueline Logan. She had become a major talent after emerging from the New York stage to star in dozens of movies throughout the 1920s but was inexplicably unable to make the transition to talkies. She may also have been a little too influenced by her experience being fake-traumatized by dirty commies in White Mice as in later years she became a spokesperson for the ultra-right wing lunatic fringe, reds-under-the-bed John Birch Society.

Original release one sheet.

T.O.

OCTOBER (aka OKTYABR, aka TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD) (R. 1957) - Wonderful French poster for the Sergei Eisenstein classic history of the final days of the Russian revolution. Re-released on the 40th anniversary of the Revolution, "October" was just the sort of film to get the kids fired up and ready to do some revolutioning. Take to the streets comrade!

Original French reissue.

T.O.

I VITA SLAVHANDLARNAS KLOR (aka WEISSE SKLAVIN, DIE(?), aka IN THE CLAWS OF THE WHITE SLAVE TRADE) (c. 1927) - Nothing spells box-office smash like white slavery. Some of the century's earliest hit films depicted the sad story of poor white wimmin who are lured into harlotry by (usually) non-white savages. This is no exception. Almost certainly Germany's "Die Weisse Sklavin," this tale involves evil arab sheiks against the fair maidens.

This fabulous Swedish poster boils it all down to the literal basics.

T.O.

IT (1927) - Nobody personified the Roaring ‘20s better than Clara Bow. What’s even better is to have a poster from the film that made her a huge star, 1927’s “It,” featuring lowly shop girl Clara exiting from a glistening Minerva Town Car (the Rolls Royce of Belgium!) about to enter a swanky eatery where she’s got her sights set on the wealthy best friend of her current feckless escort.

Bow was the living embodiment of “It,” the concept popularized by writer Elinor Glyn in a series of tawdry (for the day) ‘romance’ novels which became the de facto standard for jazz babies and flapper girls around the world. Glyn even makes an appearance in “It” when she pontificates on the exact notion in the same restaurant. Rumors that she had a facelift especially for the occasion have not been confirmed, but there’s no doubt that Glyn had a bit of a wild streak in her earlier years cavorting with all sorts of minor royalty, creating scandals wherever she went. Moving briefly to Hollywood to write for pictures, she had a profound influence on both the culture and in helping to create some of the biggest stars of the era, which in addition to Bow included Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino.

Original release jumbo lobby card.

Trade Only (T.O.)

TAMILLA (c, 1927) - This poster is a bit of a puzzle. Created for an as yet unidentified film by Turkish director Muhsin Ertugrul (aka Mukhsin Bey), it has a distinct lack of standard soviet era distributor markings, but the Vufku film collective is given a credit. Susan Pack's seminal "Film Posters of the Russian Avant-Garde" shows a different style "Tamilla" poster created by the Stenberg Brothers. When I bought this, it was attributed to Iosif Gerasimovich, and interestingly, Pack's book shows a photo of Gerasimovich with Georgii Stenberg working beneath a copy of the Stenberg version. It is unsigned and could certainly be by Gerasimovich, but the Stenberg Brothers influence is clearly visible.

Muhsin Ertugrul was quite literally, the only film director in Turkey from 1923 to 1939 and is generally credited with creating the Turkish film industry. This film was probably made in the Ukraine, which might explain the poster as well. It could possibly have been created for the SSRs, outside of the usual Russian distribution channels.

T.O.

BABY RYAZANSKIE (aka VILLAGE DU PECHE aka THE WOMEN OF RYAZAN) (1927) - Original French release for the Soviet era Russian film.

Olga Preobrazhenskaya was one of the earliest woman directors to achieve consistent success. It perhaps goes without saying that she started as an actress, but she was also able to direct or co-direct a number of films from the earliest days of the revolution right up to the start of the Great Patriotic War. This film (along with her original version of "Quiet Flows the Don") is probably the pinnacle of her career. The story concerns a traditional (and no doubt loyal to the revolution) young girl who is brutally raped and impregnated by her (clearly counter-revolutionary) father-in-law. Tough stuff, handled convincingly.

Preobrazhenskaya can perhaps be compared with Hollywood's Alla Nazimova, operating around the same time and with the same need for personal artistry that allowed them both to compete with the old comrade's network. For a time.

T.O.

LOVE (1927) - Restored borders and portion of Garbos hat and curtain.

In the midst of her mad affair with co-star (and sometime director) John Gilbert, Greta Garbo takes her first crack at Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina." Rapidly becoming an icon of the silent screen, Garbo scandalized the nation with her torrid romance with equally popular leading man Gilbert, and they did a series of films together. Material from "Love" is surprisingly hard to come by, and this is certainly one of the better lobby card scenes showing their first meeting.

Maybe it's just me, but John Gilbert's leer sort of skeevs me out, but to his defense, the youthful Garbo is extraordinarily beautiful.

T.O.

WINGS (1927) - Restored window card.

An early Oscar winner, "Wings" straddled the silent and sound cinemas. Clara Bow, the decade's "It" girl, in one of the most exciting World War I aviation films of all time sent audiences wild and was a smashing success.

This image of Clara Bow is nearly iconic.

SOLD
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