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

INGAGI (1930) - The ultimate ethnographic exploitation film, Ingagi made hundreds of thousands of dollars for its makers before being crushed by Will Hays, the National Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission. Purporting to tell the story of African women who have, um, relations with gorillas (called “Ingagi” by the natives), the film was a cash cow of controversy in a nation that, at the time, didn’t much care for different races mixing in public, let alone different species.

Pieced together from earlier jungle pictures, primarily 1915’s The Heart of Africa, it was punched up by gorilla suit ape man extraordinaire, Charles Gemora, with scenes filmed at the Selig Zoo in East Los Angeles. Along with the ape/woman miscegenation, such classics as the extremely rare African armadillo (heretofore thought only to be a creature of the Americas) and the EXTREMELY rare tortadillo – a cross between the African armadillo and a tortoise - merely added to the woes of the filmmakers as it was these exaggerations of the truth that caused them the troubles which eventually took the film out of circulation.

This is an original release window card and Austrian program.

Trade Only (T.O.)

PARTY GIRL (1930) - Outstanding original flyer.

The graphics on the exterior alone make one want to see this film, but some of the extremely pre-Code photos on the inside seal the deal. Just what poor Marie Prevost needed around this time, another drink. Early talkie.

T.O.

VOLUNTAD DEL MUERTO, LA (alternate language version of THE CAT CREEPS) (1930) - Original, first release lobby card. Extremely rare Universal horror.

Due to the emerging technological difficulties associated with sound film production (primarily an inability to dub over lines, as all the recording was done "live"), in the earliest days of sound many of the studios chose to make their movies in two completely different versions, one for the English language markets and one for Spanish or French markets. European companies were also doing this as a matter of routine for their films in an effort to leave no market unexploited. Prior to filming "Dracula," Universal did a sound remake of the silent classic "Cat and the Canary" called "The Cat Creeps," "Voluntad del Muerto" was shot on the same sets at night after the English speaking company went home.

This lobby card turned up at the same time as the Spanish "Dracula" lobbies did, along with another "dead" cast card. If the US "Cat Creeps" lobby set was similarly recreated for the Spanish set, it seems likely this is the only "monster" card that "Carlos" Laemmle used. It features the iconic "hand about to grab" scene that these films are famous for.

T.O.

TIKHIY DON (aka AND QUIET FLOWS THE DON ) (c. 1931) - Swedish poster for the Russian film, with playdate info in pencil.

Olga Preobrazhenskaya and Ivan Pravov direct the first filmed version of the Nobel prize winning novel. Films from the early days of the Soviet Union were occasionally given releases in the west, although Sweden, with it's proximity to the USSR, seemed to get a few more than usual. Still, it's a minor miracle that anything exists from this Russian classic by the famed woman director.

T.O.

TEN NIGHTS IN A BAR-ROOM (1931) - A string of movies have been based on the omnipresent stage melodrama, this 1 sheet is from the 1931 sound version.

There are at least two styles for this poster, a version showing the drunken lout carrying his dead daughter, and this, the drunken lout in a fight. It should be no surprise that shlockmeister Willis "Pace That Kills" Kent has his lurid claws well into this. The inset shows such a fine upstanding man, what powers of destruction demon drink holds over once decent citizens!

Whudderyoolookinat?

T.O.

BEHIND OFFICE DOORS (1931) - Original US lobby card.

The slide towards full tilt, pre-Code debauchery has gotten well underway. Sound recording equipment has improved, freeing up directors from the stagebound talkathons they had been forced to produce. With the Great Depression in full collapse, the unwashed masses needed distraction, and saucy films were just what the doctor ordered.

Good girl and loyal, loving secretary Mary Astor helps her ingrate cad of a boss with his career, while he womanizes everybody but her. Shown here is a delightful pre-Code scene where Mary compares gams with the boss' latest fling. For folks who only have "The Maltese Falcon" as a Mary Astor reference point, it's worth remembering that she was one of the most striking beauties (and talents) of the silent and early sound era. This sight of thigh would most certainly be a shocking moment for her audience.

T.O.

BRAVE SUNDER, DER (aka GOOD SINNER, THE) (1931) - Original German release. Linen backed.

If a scene could possibly sum up Weimar Germany, this might be it. Featuring popular Jewish dancehall performer Max Pallenberg and an African dancer just before Jewish dancehall performers and African dancers became an endangered species in Germany, the poster catches a time when Berlin nightlife was second to none, the more exotic, the better.

Pallenberg didn't have to make the decision to stay in Germany or emigrate after the rise of the Nazis, tragically he was killed in a plane crash in Czechoslovakia just 3 years after this was released.

T.O.

IM GEHEIMDIENST (1931) - Original German release. Linen backed.

Fantastic pre-war poster featuring "Metropolis" actress Brigitte Helm, German superstar Willy Fritsch, and Oskar Homolka. Directed by famed artist Gustav Klimt's son, Gustav Ucicky. Artwork by "H." (possibly Alfred Hermann).

A positively beautiful image of the lovely Ms. Helm.

T.O.

M (1931) - Original German program.

Fritz Lang's masterpiece, with Peter Lorre at his most demented as the unrepentant child murderer who is hunted down by his fellow criminals. "M" is perhaps even more ahead of it's time than Lang's "Metropolis," you really have to fast forward to the post-war film noirs before anything as grim has dared to be put in a movie.

T.O.

MAEDCHEN IN UNIFORM (aka GIRLS IN UNIFORM) (1931) - "Long" Australian daybill.

The classic film that is so much more than just a naughty bit of early lesbian cinema. Dealing with very Prussian issues during the time period just after World War I when having a militaristic society was no longer allowed, but the entire Prussian culture hinged on having a military. Sure, there is "The Kiss," (well represented on the poster), but there are also issues of abandonment, acceptance, and childhood fantasy.

But yeah, a girl kisses a girl for one of the first times in a major cinema production.

T.O.

DRACULA (1931) - While making the Bela Lugosi classic Universal horror film "Dracula" during the day, at night the sets were turned over to the crew making the Spanish language version starring Carlos Villarias as the Count, and also the lovely Lupita ("Voluntad del Muerto") Tovar. For a brief period after the introduction of sound, films could not be dubbed and had to have their dialogue, effects, and music recorded live along with the picture, and these alternate language versions were the solution to how to sell these films in foreign markets.

Material for these Spanish versions, particularly "Dracula" is very hard to come by. This flyer is reportedly from Uruguay and is stamp dated 1932 on the back.

T.O.

BLONDE CAPTIVE, THE (1932) - Originally filmed by a group of Hawai’ians in 1929, The Blonde Captive had a tortured route to the cinema screen. With the coming of sound, it had to be redubbed at least twice before it hit theaters, but it turned out to be well worth it. The randy gorilla movie Ingagi proved that the public had an almost insatiable desire for bare-breasted heathens and William Pizor, who had offices in the same building as the Ingagi crew, must have jumped at the chance when he was offered the picture by original cameraman and owner of the negative, Ralph King, (who unsuccessfully tried to release it on his own as Found). The gamble paid off handsomely. Pizor released it in a single New York theater with radio legend Lowell Thomas providing the narration, where it was a smash, if not critical, hit. He quickly sold it to an appreciative Columbia Pictures, which went on to make millions with it. The implementation of the Production Code finally forced them to pull the picture since it was impossible for the film to be certified.

Original William Pizor release three sheet on linen, prior to being picked up for worldwide distribution by Columbia.

T.O.

DOCKS OF SAN FRANCISCO (1932) - This wonderful original release lobby card pictures wharf rats Mary Nolan and Marjorie Beebe haunting the docks of San Francisco, where, when they weren’t clipping sailors of their paychecks, they spent their boozy evenings in the company of a gang of bad influences. Mary thinks her luck is about to change when the gang boss proposes marriage – that’s why she’s waiting for him with her luggage – but like all denizens of the B Movie depths, things go awry after the gang gets nabbed by the cops during a robbery at a waterfront bank.

Mary Nolan’s luck wasn’t much better in her personal life. Like many starlets of the era she got her start in Ziegfeld’s Follies, but her career was temporarily derailed when she was exposed as “the other woman” to fellow Broadway star, Frank Tinney. After a stint in Europe she returned to Hollywood where she almost made a go of it starring opposite Lon Chaney in West of Zanzibar and other juicy roles. Things quickly disintegrated though and Docks of San Francisco was her last film, whereupon Mary descended into a world of drink, pills, and morphine, never to return.

T.O.

FREAKS (R1949) - The match made in cinematic heaven, I suspect "Freaks" is the picture Dwain Esper always really wanted to make. Sadly, he had to acquire the rights from an all too willing MGM before he could screen it as his own. Needless to say, material from the original release comes dearly, I suspect MGM was only too happy to rid itself of everything to do with this monstrous abomination.

This is what I think is the best scene card.

T.O.

FRISCO JENNY (1932) - Who let the giant pre-Code harlot out? She's destroying the set!

Ruth Chatterton made a career out of playing hard luck dames from the other side of the tracks, Frisco Jenny is no exception. When her babydaddy is killed in the San Francisco earthquake (the scene depicted here, I was just kidding about the harlot destroying the set), Ruth is forced to give up her baby and take up the life of a hooker/madam with a heart of gold. As luck would have it, her son becomes the District Attorney who wants to bring down mama and searing drama ensues. These were the sorts of film that inspired tumescence in Production Code supporters.

T.O.

LOVE ME TONIGHT (1932) - One of the seminal musicals of the pre-Code era, Rouben Mamoulian’s Love Me Tonight once again paired Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier, this time singing Rogers and Hart numbers against a backdrop of between-the-wars France. Maurice is a tailor who unwittingly finds himself a guest at the estate of his largest debtor’s uncle, which is also host to princess Jeanette who is mourning her elderly prince’s demise. The two naturally fall in love but can the huge class difference between them be overcome?

This is an original release Swedish one sheet. Artist Eric Rohman has chosen to portray one of the scenes which gave the censors such a fit when Paramount attempted to re-release the film after the Production Code was being vigorously enforced. Once Maurice offends Jeanette’s tailor he takes over and completely redesigns her hunting outfit, and before doing so he naturally has to take her measurements to get a proper fit. Apparently Joe Breen – and no doubt Jeanette as well, as her contempt for the grabby Frenchman was well known – found Chevalier measuring MacDonald’s breasts and hips a little too indecent and demanded the scene be removed before it could be released again.

Material for this film is incredibly hard to come by, which is unfortunate as it’s one of my favorites. So despite some edge damage and older linen backing, I’m grateful to finally have something on this title.

T.O.

TARZAN THE APE MAN (1932) - While not the first Tarzan films to be made, the Johnny Weissmuller series are indisputably the best. Reveling in the pre-Code era, both Tarzan the Ape Man and its sequel, Tarzan and His Mate set the standards – and even invented the famous Tarzan yell – for any subsequent films.

This original release lobby card features not only the lovely Maureen O’Sullivan and human archetype C. Aubrey Smith, but a fabulous guy-in-a-gorilla-suit ape that is about to meet his simian maker after Smith mistakes its intentions towards Maureen/Jane. While the card does not feature Weissmuller, this noble ape seems an appropriate substitute, as they are virtually equals in the acting department.

T.O.

VAMPYR (1932) - Original German program for Carl Th. Dreyer's vampire masterpiece.

One of the true masters of early cinema, Dreyer's take on the vampire legend is almost unsurpassed. It's visual and thematic artistry rivals his magnificent Passion of Joan of Arc. Original release promotional material is decidedly hard to come by. Truly marvelous and profusely illustrated.

T.O.
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