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

1930 - 1945:

From the depths of the depression to the end of the Second World War, movies quickly mastered the art of sound and created some of the most timeless films ever made. Spanning the anything goes pre-Production Code era, through the keep-your-shirt-on-bad-people-don't-prosper times, to finally starting to grow up once the realities of World War and the atrocities seen right on the local movie screen begin to seep into the public consciousness.

The re-awakening was still to come, but the groundwork was set.

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Photo Title/Description Price

DANCE GIRL DANCE (1933) – When the going gets tough for the husband and wife song and dance team of Pitter and Patter, old man Pitt dumps his sweet and loyal wife Mrs. Sally Patter (Evalyn Knapp) for a new model. Well, not a new model exactly, a magician’s assistant to be precise. Things turn grim for poor Sally as she tries to make her way on the mean streets of depression era New York until she gets a break in nightclub owner Alan Dinehart’s joint. Things start looking up until she realizes she’s pregnant with former hubby’s child, but happily, before the final reel is over she’s reunited with her jerk husband, has both a hit song and non-bastard baby, and a blossoming career.

I’m clearly a sucker for ‘30s showgirls and this poster is aces for that. Definitely not an A title, it will however suffice as a poor man’s “Our Dancing Daughters.” Original release one sheet, on linen.

Trade Only (T.O.)

FLYING DEVILS (aka CAROUSSEL VOLANT, LE) (1933) - Barnstorming had been popular entertainment since the end of World War I left many vets who needed work quite willing to crash planes into barns just to keep in the air. It follows that films about barnstormers were equally as popular. Which they were.

"Flying Devils" was produced at RKO around the same time as "King Kong" and features one of its stars. This poster nicely catches the romance of a man and a woman plummeting to their doom with only one parachute.

Trade Only (T.O.)

FOOTLIGHT PARADE (1933) - Special deluxe "heralds" (printed on lobby card paper stock).

Very near to the apogee of pre-Code excess, Busby Berkeley's dance numbers for "Footlight Parade" are still capable of sending your jaw to the floor. I'm not sure we're ready for upskirt swimsuit shots today, let alone seeing them in 1933. The third of the classic Warner Bros. musicals from that year, it was the last to completely ignore the upcoming Production Code, and ignore it they did.

Taking major studio poster material to the outer limits of taste, these deluxe flyers are from a set that included 12 different scenes, including a "title card" with the 4 stars, one with the "By a Waterfall" dance number, and the rest featuring barely dressed showgirls in costume for the "By a Waterfall" and "Honeymoon Hotel" numbers. Both "42nd Street" and "Gold Diggers of 1933" had made piles of money for Warners that year, as a result, the promotional material for "Footlight Parade" can only be described as "lavish."

T.O.

KING KONG (R1940s) - Argentinean. Sold to me as from the '40s (and this seems to be generally accepted), but full disclosure must note that it also has the same art as the '52 re-release US material. The '56 release is slightly different in that the buildings are oriented more "horizontally" at their tops, so it's definitely prior to that.

This is an unusual Kong piece and quite beautiful in the larger Argentinean one sheet format.

T.O.

MR. BROADWAY (1933) - Based on the insatiable desire by the public for celebrity gossip and doings, “Mr. Broadway” was cobbled together apparently for the sole purpose of promoting the nightclubs run by former PR man, disc jockey, and all around promoter, Nils T. Granlund (aka “N.T.G.”). Enlisting the aid of up and coming Broadway columnist Ed Sullivan – who would rise to spectacular heights in early television as the host of his eponymous Sunday night variety show that would run for decades and provide America’s first glimpse at both Elvis Presley and The Beatles – the film travels to the “Paradise,” “Hollywood,” and the infamous “Central Park Casino” to spy on Depression era celebrities partying heartily and ogling show girls.

More interesting for cinema buffs is that to pad out the running time of the film about 2 reels of Edgar Ulmer’s first English language directorial debut were incorporated to illustrate one of the many stories Broadway columnists are exposed to. Leaving Hollywood, Ulmer traveled east to become the head of production for Peerless Productions, one of the few remaining companies operating out of New York City and the Astoria studios. The story he chose is vintage Ulmer and it’s easy to see why he would be attracted to it. Telling the tale of wharf prostitutes, down-on-their-luck bums, and a found necklace that leads to treachery and murder, it is just sort the story that Ulmer was so expert at realizing and would be impossible to make once the Production Code was fully enforced, as none of the characters have any uplifting or redeeming qualities at all. Unfortunately, after the film was shot and edited, Peerless was claimed by the Depression and had to file for bankruptcy leaving Ulmer’s movie in the possession of the unpaid film laboratory, where it was somehow liberated by the “Mr. Broadway” team.

These are the original release title card and 2 scene cards showing a glimpse of the Ulmer footage. The first shows star Dita Parlo, who was retreating back to Europe from an ill-fated attempt to gain traction in Hollywood that was derailed by the coming of sound when she crossed paths with Ulmer in New York, who cast her in his premiere American effort. The derailment of the film was no help to Parlo's career in the US, but upon returning to France she found employment in some of the major films of the era, including Jean Vigo's L'Atlante and Jean Renoir's La grande illusion.

In the second, Arthur Housman slips some cash into the stocking of a wharf rat just prior to getting into a fight with one of the bums who would later be caught up in the necklace affair. After a significant career in silents, Housman was eventually typecast as a drunk in soundies, which unfortunately also mirrored his personal life.

T.O.

MONKEY'S PAW, THE (1933) - Quite possibly one of the most lamented "lost" horror movies this side of "London After Midnight." If there is a cinema god, one day He/She/It/They will bring this back from the abyss.

Reportedly the scene in this lobby card is the climactic finale, in which the old "be careful what you wish for" maxim proves its underlying truth. The monkey's paw throws a nice shadow on the old lady's face, which really makes the scene. The super pre-Code border art is phenomenal, although it does make one wonder whether the barely clad young lady is enjoying that monkey's paw altogether too much. This card just has everything going for it.

The original 8x10" still may be a little rough, but frankly any scenes are more than we've got now, and it does explain the girl in the lobby card border art. She's dancer Nina Quartero, who along with Nick Shaid gained screen time when the original cut of the film came in at about a half an hour and more footage had to be shot adding some backstory.

T.O.

NARCOTIC (1933) - Dwain Esper discovers the moneymaking possibilities of drugs - and not a moment too soon. Telling a cautionary tale designed to inform the local citizens of the town theaters Dwain showed up at the horrors of drug addiction, "Narcotic" is really the first strike in the reefer mania motherlode that would lead to the late '30s rush.

An extremely rare, first release lobby card. The needle graphics have begun.

Original release still with description and date on back. The girl who just can't stop talking when she's on the ding.

There's always one...

T.O.
ROMAN SCANDALS (1933) - With the spectacular success of the Warner musicals of 1933 everybody wanted to jump on the money train, including producer Samuel Goldwyn. With top Broadway star Eddie Cantor leading the way, Goldwyn also got the genius behind the Warner films, Busby Berekely, to handle the choreography, and what choreography it is! Lavish sets, nearly nude chorines, and over-the-top excess, Roman Scandals is equal in every way to Berekely’s pre-Code accomplishments at Warner Bros.

This is an original release lobby card, infamous for showing aspiring starlets Lucille Ball and Paulette Goddard among the chorus girls. Both were working their way from the Hollywood casting couches onto actual film sets at the time, so being chained naked to a film set in the middle of the night probably seemed like a step up for the future stars.

T.O.

SAMARANG (aka SHARK WOMAN) (1933) - One of the early sound ethnographic films, although it was mostly music and effects, to be released by one of the major studios, "Samarang" sank almost instantly, not showing up again until it was re-released in the first part of the 1940s as "Shark Woman." Filmed on location in Malaysia, it tells the tale of native pearl divers who love above (or below) their station, get trapped on cannibal infested islands, and fight to the death with killer sharks and 'giant' octopi.

Despite their complete lack of ethics regarding their animal stars, we can certainly thank the filmmakers for this wonderful original release lobby card. As Ahmang tenderly fingers Sai-Yu's expectant clam, the young princess deftly probes her way toward the pearl hidden inside that will be the spark that frees their passion.

T.O.

S.O.S. ICEBERG (1933) - Filmed in both an English and German version, this is for the US release which had Tay Garnett co-directing with Dr. Arnold Fanck. The last major "mountain movie" (even though it's set in Greenland ice fields) from Dr. Fanck before he got in trouble with Joeseph Goebbels. This would also be star Leni Riefenstahl's last film with Fanck before she was off to bigger things in the Reich.

This rolled 22x28" is in absolutely stunning condition and is one of those "pictures don't do it justice" posters, as the colors are as fresh as they were in 1933.

T.O.

TAKE A CHANCE (1933) - Desperate to cash in on the success of Warner Bros' three monster musical hits from that year, Paramount tried their darndest to out pre-Code the masters, at a minimum resulting in this wonderfully lurid original release, paper-backed window card.

While clearly lacking the assured and smutty hand of Busby Berkeley, the film has a lot going for it nonetheless. For proof, simply watch Lilian Roth's absolutely smoking hot version of "Come Up and See Me Some Time," that makes Mae West's version seem downright tame. Roth tragically started hitting the booze heavily following some personal tragedies, although she later became involved with Alcholics Anonymous, and wrote a best selling autobiography "I'll Cry Tomorrow" about her besotted adventures.

Outstanding Great Depression era imagery.

T.O.

WHITE ZOMBIE (R1938) - Basically the same poster as the original release, albeit with less color.

"White Zombie" is arguably Bela Lugosi's best film, and it is certainly one of the only ones that have withstood the ravages of time. As genuinely creepy today as it was when it was first released, it is also one of the most difficult titles to obtain original material for. I'm afraid I will likely only ever be able to include this version as representative for one of the best classic horror films ever made.

T.O.

CHAPAEV (aka CHAPAYEV, TCHAPAIEF, TXEPAIEV) ("R"1936) - Directed by brothers Georgi and Sergei Vasilyev, "Chapaev" was the "Star Wars" of the 1930s Soviet Union. It received considerable play in the west as well, and was one of the few Russian sound era films to gain any notoriety, being named one of the 10 best foreign films of 1935. Even Tovarich Stalin loved it. Not since the days of Eisenstein and Pudovkin had Soviet films been given such critical attention.

This is an original "double-sided" broadside advertising a benefit for victims of the fascists, to be held on the 29th and 30th of August, 1936, created by one of Spain's most important artists, Josep Renau. Franco and his rebels had started what turned into the Spanish Civil War just one month earlier, and there was still time for such humanitarian benefits. The screening was to take place in the town of Gavà, just outside of Barcelona, a Republican stronghold. The co-feature seems to have been the 1935 British classic, "Turn of the Tide."

Renau was a leader in the Spanish arts community and also in the government as Director General of Fine Arts. After dabbling with art deco, Renau dove deeply into photomontage and other constructivist techniques pioneered by pre-Stalin artists in Russia. Around this time, he designed several posters in the style seen here for pro-worker subjects and films, at least two of which ("Chapaev" and "We Are From Kronstadt") depict the humble proletariat defending themselves from fascist invaders. It seems likely these films were made available by the USSR and were shown to buck up the spirits of the country in the midst of their counter-revolution.

Renau did at least three different designs for "Chapaev" posters, with a couple of printing variations for one of the alternate designs. The simplest is about handbill size, while the version with the variants seems to have been for the broader country-wide release, as city information is both on, and off the alternate designs. It's possible the art I have here was only used for these sorts of benefits, with the printed information on the back changing as required, as evidenced in this example, which has a different printer credited on either side. Unfortunately, I don't know of any other cities where this poster was used, but then I'm hardly an expert on Spanish Civil War carteles.

Like Buñuel, Renau fled to Mexico after the Republic fell, where he became one of the top designers of Mexican movie posters.

This poster is an incredible artifact from a very tumultuous time in European history, by a very influential artist.

T.O.

IT'S A GIFT (1934) - Very possibly one of the greatest comedies of all time, certainly of the 1930s, W.C. Fields cements his persona as the ultimate henpecked husband and beleaguered family man. Teamed once again with his personal bête noire, the detestable Baby LeRoy, and the best harridan this side of Margaret Dumont, the delightful Kathleen Howard, Fields stars as a shopkeeper who dreams of taking his family to California where he hopes to buy an orange grove he can call his own. Naturally the universe conspires against his plans, throwing everything from sleep robbing insurance salesmen to land swindlers at poor Harold Bissonette.

Material for Fields’ films, this one in particular, is especially hard to come by in any format. This is an original release Swedish one sheet with art by Gösta Åberg.

T.O.

GOLD (1934) - Original German UFA release.

That profile could only belong to one actress - "Metropolis" star Brigitte Helm. By this time a superstar, Helm was actually winding her career down prior to retreating to Switzerland with her husband for the duration. One of her last movies was this science fiction classic that featured such futuristic sets that after the war, intelligence officials gave it a viewing to make sure the Nazzies weren't doing anything (else) that we should have known about. The scenery was so effective that it was later re-used in the '50s sci-fi film, "Magnetic Monster." Virtually unknown today...

A little thing called the Second World War ensures the rarity of original German release material, this is no exception.

T.O.

MOTH, THE (1934) - Sally O'Neil stars as a spoiled rich girl who is cut off from her fortune after she is scandalously arrested at a party dressed only in her bare unmentionables. C'mon, who hasn't been there at least once?

O'Neil was on the downward side of her career at this point, and in spite of her almost crippling stage-fright, was probably just glad to have the work, even if it was at a bottom of the barrel studio. Happily, these small-time producers were not as beholden to Will Hays and his Production Code, although when this was made, it still wasn't fully enforced. This is a wonderful 22x28" card showing the horrific moment of poor Sally's disgrace, plus it has an inset of evil jewel thief, "The Moth," and '50s TV Cisco Kid, Duncan Renaldo, in an early role.

T.O.

SIX OF A KIND (1934) - One of the lesser W.C. Fields vehicles (get it?), Six of a Kind was more of an ensemble piece that featured radio stars George Burns and Gracie Allen in one of their early feature roles. Memorable for Fields’ amazing pool shooting scene the film is barely remembered today, which is a shame.

Original release Swedish one sheet with art by Gösta Åberg featuring nice caricatures of the cast.

T.O.

TOMORROW'S CHILDREN (1934) - A young woman is faced with the prospect of forced sterilization because she comes from a family of defectives – or does she?

Coming near the peak of the eugenics movement of the ‘20s and ‘30s, this film offers a fascinating glimpse at the thought processes of the adherents of the movement and the quackery behind their pseudo-science. Believing that society could breed its way out from the burden of undesirables by preventing them from reproducing, forced sterilization was an actual thing for many years and these sorts of films were a reaction against the practice. The problem, of course, is who gets to decide who is undesirable? In Tomorrow’s Children that role belongs to the uptight and decidedly corrupt town leaders and the defectives seem to be a bunch of drunken louts and their basket case progeny. While on the surface there might seem to be little to argue against the overall concept, less than 5 years later a fellow in Germany took the premise to its obvious and disastrous conclusion. Clearly the eugenicists needed to think it through a little more.

The film was produced by Bryan Foy. Originally one of Broadway’s Seven Little Foys, a huge act in the vaudeville era, Foy jumped feet first into film - acting, directing, and producing scores of them across all genres over his long career. During this period Foy was particularly interested in exploitation films and he produced some of the classics of the era, including the nudie Elysia, and bad girl titles like What Price Innocence?, and High School Girl.

Original release US one sheet.

T.O.

PACE THAT KILLS, THE (1935) - Willis Kent made two versions of the kocaine klassic "The Pace That Kills," one silent and one sound. I have no real idea which version this is from, but I believe in my gut it's from the sound release. Pressbooks for films such as "Assassin of Youth" show two distinct sets of posters available for use, one a "straight," or traditional type posters (floating heads and standard scene cards), while the other set is more lurid and clearly designed for roadshow exploitation. I'm thinking this is the exploitation version of the one sheet. Of course, there's also the distinct possibility that this is a later, "independent" roadshow man's poster, or even for the silent version. It's all guessing at this point.

Regardless, there's little confusion about the quality of image. Less is more conservation has preserved this treasure into the next century.

T.O.

PACE THAT KILLS, THE (1935) - Definitely an original release group of 3 lobby cards for the Willis Kent sound version.

Poor country bumpkin has taken to the opium pipe in one of the scenes depicted. Curse the city slickers who lure such wholesome youngsters into their dens of ethnic depravity! O, what can be done?

T.O.

COCAINE, THE THRILL THAT KILLS (c. 1930s-1940s) - It's impossible to know, but this is possibly some version of "The Pace That Kills."

This poster represents a true exploitation stock poster. Essentially printers would have a supply of a certain generic poster with the title area blank, when a roadshow man would need some posters for his next outing he could have the title of his movie printed in the opening. I have seen this stock art also used for "Human Wreckage" (aka "Sex Madness") so the printer who created it was definitely on the regular route of fourwallers. The artwork is decidedly 1930s, and while it has the same title as a c. 1951 US release, I don't think this is a one sheet for "Lettera all'alba."

T.O.
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