These posters are for trade purposes only and are not for sale. Please refer to my want list for things that are of interest.
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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|OLYMPIA (1938) - Original Austrian program.
Probably Riefenstahl's true masterpiece, despite the Nazzy nonsense. Using what she had learned under Fanck in his mountain movies, Riefenstahl translates ski jumps into high dives and creates a series of beautifully choreographed studies of movement, power, and speed. The program is profusely illustrated with exceptional photographs from the '36 Olympics, including Jesse Owens and Shicklgruber.
|START CHEERING (1938) - One of the rare appearances of the Three Stooges in a feature length film, they were unfortunately not the stars and were relegated to just a couple of sequences. Shown here on the scene card is Charles Starrett as a movie idol who tires of the glamorous life and enrolls in Midland College to get away from it all, Joan Perry as the object of his affections, Raymond Walburn as the Dean of the College (and Joan’s movie father), plus local hometown girl who made good, Minerva Urecal as Miss Grimley, matron of the girls dormitory. All of the boys are pictured, although Larry is tucked away behind Moe, and it is strangely prescient of what would be one of their last appearances in a feature film, also as firemen, in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” some 25 years later.
Starlet Joan Perry was the object of Columbia head man Harry Cohn’s deepest desires. Their relationship was an open secret in Hollywood while she was under contract (and apparently Harry as well), although it wasn’t until Cohn’s first wife Rose finally granted him a divorce in 1941 that they could be married.
Original release lobby card, copyright 1937, even though the film wasn’t actually released until 1938. Restoration has attempted to deal with staining in the lower left corner. It is somewhat rare for ‘30s Stooge material to be in color, so even with the condition issues, I’m still overjoyed to have this.
|WAGES OF SIN (1938) - Original release one sheet.
More sleaze from un-sung master Willis Kent. One night's fun leads to a life of prostitution for a good girl gone oh so very bad. Poster is doubly shocking for the photographic nudity shown. This wouldn't become "common" until the '60s. As always, Willis was way ahead of his time.
|WAJAN (aka INSEL DER DAMONEN) (1938) - Exploitationeers once again take advantage of topless foreigners to line their pockets with
piles of cash. Based on the 1933 German film by Dr. Friedrich Dalsheim, Insel der Dämonen, Wajan tells the tale of the unfortunate son of the village witch who has fallen in love with the local beauty. Needless to say, the witch’s curses on the settlement don’t endear her (or poor Wajan) to the natives, so until he proves himself by retrieving virgin water from the forest for the big trance dance – and mom’s timely extermination – love proves elusive.
Not being bound by the Hollywood Production Code because “[n]udity among … savages is regarded as proper, but not among nudists of the white race," roadshow men were allowed to include the scantily clad Balinese beauties shown in these original US release lobby cards.
|SAFARI (aka NEGRESCO SCHIMPANSI) (1939) - Long after most of the US ethnographic movies dried up, the Germans
continued on with their strong tradition. One would like to believe that these National Socialist era films were...shall we say,
tasteful, but in '39 the dementia was pretty much in full force. Who knows though? It's possible this was a sincere study of
African cultures. If it wasn't for the timing, that would actually be the likeliest story.
It's possible this poster is for German speaking Switzerland, but it does have a Nazzy censor's stamp. Regardless, it is almost certainly from the opening moments of World War 2.
|SINFUL SOULS (aka UNBORN SOULS) (1939) - Birth control and abortion was as touchy a subject in the early days of film as it remains today. What may be surprising is that it was not completely taboo and several early films dealt with it at least peripherally, none more than Sinful Souls which was devoted to the controversial subject for its entirety. Created by documentary filmmaker Del Frazier, the story revolves around a crusading doctor and District Attorney who take on the local back alley abortionist. Set up for a murder he didn’t commit, the doctor eventually clears things up and the baddies are appropriately dispatched and decency prevails. Sinful Souls marked one of the last films to deal with birth control for decades, as the mere mention of it would bring on immediate censorship.
This is the top two thirds of an original release three sheet. Ordinarily I would avoid such a poster but I think this is the rare case where it succeeds as a complete work on its own, despite missing the rest of the harlot from the bottom 1/3.
|TELEVISION SPY (1939) - An inventor perfects a television transmitter that can broadcast coast to coast, but is beset by spies determined to steal it for their master race. Directed by Hollywood’s loosest lips, Edward Dmytryk, the film is distinguished by the headline from its review in the Independent Exhibitors Film Bulletin, to wit: “Paramount should be ashamed!”
That sums it up nicely.
Still, this is an original release “Other Company” title card that is an appropriate memento to my time in teevee land.
|JUD SÜSS (aka JEW SÜSS) (1940) - One of the most notorious films of World War II, perhaps second only to the particularly odious Der ewige Jude, Jud Süss was sent to the silver reclamation heap as soon as the war was over. Telling the tale of a Jewish businessman who works his way into a prominent position in the government – a feat that was against the law at the time – and then squanders it all over his love of a prime Aryan frau, it was actually a remake of an earlier Conrad Veidt version, which was told much more sympathetically.
Disavowed by virtually everyone associated with its production, including director Veit Harlan, everybody was apparently coerced into making it by Reich Minister of Propaganda, Josef Goebbels, but some needed less coercion than others. Dr. Caligari himself, Werner Krauss, an ardent Nazzy who played nearly every Jewish role in the film besides Süss, only required publicity to the effect that he was specifically not a Jew. ‘Cause, you know…
Thought lost, prints were eventually recovered, but to this day the film can only be shown in Germany accompanied by an appropriate discussion.
This exceedingly rare original release Terra Film German lobby card shows the pivotal scene where Süss begins his destruction by forcing himself on Kristina Söderbaum, (real life wife of director Harlan), the noble Aryan frau who only assents to the outrage to save her equally noble Aryan husband. Trimmed, but who cares?
|ON A TROUVE UNE FEMME NUE (c. 1940-1945) - Occupied France re-release of the 1934 classic.
In addition to being superb Roland Coudon art, this poster has the distinction of being printed on 1/4 of the back side of a larger four panel, due to wartime paper shortages. A real history lesson in a piece of paper. All said, she's a pretty good looking survivor.
|CHAINED FOR LIFE (c. 1951) - Hot off the success of their appearance in Tod Browning's "Freaks" (OK, so it was 20 years later...They were
busy!), notorious Siamese (or conjoined if you prefer) twins, the Hilton sisters star in this exploitation masterpiece. Pondering the ethical questions
involved in punishing Siamese (or conjoined if you prefer) twins, when only one of them is guilty of murdering HER no-account husband. Worthy of
Original Belgian release (14 1/2x21 3/4"), with tax stamp.
|CONFESSIONS OF A VICE BARON (1942) - More from sleazemeister Willis Kent, in what is essentially a compilation of other Willis Kent productions
spliced into a new "story." This was a favorite tactic of the roadshow men, whether it was hacking early ethnographic films into jungle adventures, or
re-purposing silents into dubbed sound masterpieces, anything that would run through a projector was fair game.
Fantastic poster that baits the trap with sex slaves and seals the deal with easy money, light 2 1/2" separation in the upper left horizontal fold.
|DREIMAL HOCHZEIT (aka GACKANDE BRUDEN, aka THRICE MARRIED BRIDE) (1942) - A supremely rare example of harlotry from the middle of the
war years of the Nazzy reich, this is about as wild as things would have gotten outside of a Goebbels love nest. No doubt less about sleeping around
than comical misadventures of a poor bride who finds herself married 3 times; as the bombs were beginning to fall on Germany, this would certainly have
been mindless entertainment for a country that was getting ready to be pulverized. By this time, UFA was a fully government controlled production entity,
and could be counted on to toe the party line.
It goes without saying that examples of German World War II combat era films are pretty darn rare. The fact that this is from the film's Swedish release is likely the only reason it survives. Rolled, with slight horizontal folds, 27 1/2x39 1/2".
|RAVAGED EARTH (c. 1942) - Ghastly racist imagery was perfectly acceptable during the war, although a part of me
hopes that it wasn't totally acceptable. A de-humanized enemy is far easier to wish death on than one who makes breakfast for their
kids in the morning.
Perhaps the film is best described by none other than Eleanor Roosevelt, who wrote in her October 7, 1942 "My Day":
In the afternoon, my daughter and I saw a picture which was taken in China by Mr. Mark L. Moody, an American businessman who has spent some 25 years in the Far East. He had exceptional opportunities for taking pictures when the Japanese took Shanghai and various nearby cities.
The film is called "Ravaged Earth," and he tells me his desire is to awaken the people in this country to a knowledge of the kind of adversary they have in the Japanese. They are certainly appalling pictures. If we need any awakening, this film should certainly open our eyes.
Appalling pictures indeed.
|DEVIL'S HARVEST (1942) - The last, but certainly not the least of the great reefer madness films. Original release, on linen.
Along with "M:WWRiH", this is THE classic reefer madness poster. I certainly can see that degradation, sin, vice, insanity, and debauchery would be distinctly unappealing, but clearly the fact that it is SATAN HIMSELF leading the fine young woman into the smoke of Hell is just icing on the cake.
|DEVIL'S HARVEST (c. 1940s) - Roadshow lobby card for the reefer classic.
Young reefer freaks forced to buy their tea from two of the slimiest pushers this side of the CIA (Note: I kid, I kid). Scenes showing the wacky tobaccky are always desirable.
|DEVIL'S HARVEST (c. 1940s) - Roadshow lobby card for the reefer classic.
It's clear that the so called "tea parties" can only lead to mayhem. Obviously the first thing that pops into the minds of these poor deluded creatures is the urge to batter each other. If only modern movies would show these truths, our women would be safe from hep cats and jazz musicians at last.
|VISITEURS DU SOIR, LES - (R1960s?) Original French re-release grande, 47x63". On linen.
Marcel Carne classic made during France's World War II occupation by the Nazis. On a par with "Children of Paradise". Spectacular decorator piece, perfectly appropriate for your vampire obsessed, emo-weirdo teenager.
|BEHIND THE RISING SUN (1943) - Even the studios were willing to jump on the race baiting train, although happily, to a
slightly less rabid degree. Directed by HUAC squealer, Edward Dmytryk, the all star cast attempts to add some degree of credibility.
RKO had the ability to come up with some truly inspired posters, and this is one of them. Poor Margo's decency is clearly at stake, while there's nothing like clubbing and bayoneting prisoners in the background to set just the right the mood.
|APE MAN, THE (aka EL HOMBRE BESTIA) (c. 1943) - While the US "Ape Man" posters are good, I've got to give the win to this
Argentinean one sheet. It is truly inspired.
Bela Lugosi gives up any shred of dignity by putting on the makeup that previously he so scrupulously avoided, to the point of turning down the Frankenstein monster role at Universal. To his defense, that morphine didn't pay for itself.
|JUNGLE CAPTIVE (1945) - Never catching on to the degree of the Larry the Wolf Man films, at least the Paula the Ape Girl series
offered posters that are just as, if not more, entertaining. Complete with a fine image of creepy Rondo Hatton, a shot of Paula in both monster ape girl
and sultry human girl incarnations, overall a fine piece of lesser Universal Horror.
In amazing condition, original release insert.
|ZOMBIES ON BROADWAY (1945) - Around this time, RKO was cranking out some amazing posters, this one included. A superb image of
zombie veteran, Bela Lugosi, with a genuinely eerie zombie-with-girl. From the film's first release.
Brown and Carney were RKO's attempt at cashing in on the success of Abbott and Costello at Universal. Had they not been painfully unfunny, it might have worked. To the positive, we are left with this poster.
Anybody familiar with Broadway theater will find a refreshing truth to the title as well.
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