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Walter Reuben

SPELLBOUND (1945)
SCARLET EMPRESS

SCARLET EMPRESS, THE (1934)

Sternberg, Josef (von) (director); Banton, Travis (costume designer) Vintage original 8 x 10" (20 x 25 cm.) black-and-white gelatin silver print still photo, USA. Marlene Dietrich, Sam Jaffe, John Loder, C. Aubrey Smith, Gavin Gordon, dir: Josef von Sternberg; Paramount. A fine image for one of film history’s most truly bizarre movies. Perhaps this was Von Sternberg’s answer for Dietrich to her great competitor Greta Garbo’s QUEEN CHRISTINA. While that film attempted to tell an accurate historical account of a historic queen, this film was a major experiment in style. The basis was the story of Princess Sophia of Germany, who is taken to Russia to marry half-wit Grand Duke Peter (played with aplomb insanity by Jaffe). The Princess is repulsed by him, finds love with a Russian soldier, and produces a son. No one asks questions, and she moves on to become Catherine the Great. Much of the film was silent and drenched in gothic sets, set pieces, and artifice, shot through diffusions of all kinds and lit in expressionistic ways which have never been duplicated. It became an homage by von Sternberg (who was by now obsessed) to Dietrich. Dietrich is swathed in a fur creation by Travis Banton and surrounded by Rococo statues and candles thanks to the art direction of Hans Drier (statues by Peter Ballbusch). This is still number 1495-74 and includes the Paramount credit material at the bottom margin. There is a European ink stamp on the verso. ABOUT FINE
SAUL BASS SILKSCREEN / ADVISE AND CONSENT (1962)

SAUL BASS SILKSCREEN / ADVISE AND CONSENT (1962)

Bass, Saul (poster artist) Vintage original 35 x 25" (87 x 62 cm.) silkscreen poster, USA. Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Henry Fonda, Walter Pidgeon, Charles Laughton, Don Murray, Gene Tierney, dir: Otto Preminger; Otto Preminger Films. The first Hollywood studio film to feature a main character who is bisexual. Based on Allen Drury’s Pulitzer Prize-winning political shocker of 1959 (but detached from the novel’s Cold War agenda) about how American government functions in a free society. Robert Leffingwell is the president’s candidate for Secretary of State who must go under investigation to determine his qualifications. The man leading the investigation, Senator Brigham Anderson, discovers Leffingwell’s past affiliations with the Communist Party, but upon testimony Leffingwell is proven innocent. It is later discovered that he lied under oath and Senator Anderson pleads with the president to denounce his affiliation with Leffingwell, even as Anderson himself is blackmailed for his own past (being a closet homosexual). Our friend, poster collector and dealer Daniel Strebin, provided this information: About a decade ago, he received consignments of Saul Bass silkscreens from the Bass estate. He personally saw invoices for some of them which were printed around 1965. Most of the silkscreens were produced at Art Krebs Studio in Los Angeles. Bass continued to have silkscreens created up until around 1980. All of the silkscreen editions appear to have been in editions of between 50-150. It also seems that once an edition was exhausted, Bass did not make a second edition; as a result, all of these art silkscreens are very rare indeed. Bass never intended for these posters to be sold — they were intended to be given away. Since he was frequently frustrated with the compromises the film studios inflicted on his magnificent modernist designs, the silkscreens were intended to represent his imagery in its purest possible form. This poster is unused and has a minor bit of creasing along the left edge and one tiny left edge tear, JUST ABOUT FINE
RITA HAYWORTH / TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT (1945)
RHYTHM IN A RIFF (1945)

RHYTHM IN A RIFF (1945)

Alexander, William (producer) Vintage original 11 x 14" (28 x 35 cm.) lobby card no. 3, USA. Billy Eckstine, Babe Wallace, Ray Moore, Sarah Harris, Ann Baker, Garfield Love, Hortense Allen, Producer: William Alexander; Astor Pictures. Not only is this an extremely rare card, but the film itself is nearly impossible to view. It was made in 1945 as a short made up of musical acts, the entire film lasting less than 30 minutes and with a slight plot. Billy Eckstine played Billy Martin, whose band is rebelling against him for a lack of playing gigs. He scores an audition with Joe Corwin ("Babe" Wallace) who needs a new act for his club. Billy falls for Joe’s companion Helen and the band makes a huge success with Billy’s hit song "Rhythm in a Riff". The rest of the film consists of the various great African American song artists who each do a number. A year after its initial showing (with actual limited release), the film was broken down into various three-minute "soundies" (consisting mostly of the musical acts) which would be played on Panorama visual jukeboxes. Since there were a dozen numbers packed into the short, this made for quite a variety. Billy is featured as vocalist with his trademark scatting on the title song. As the title card states, the film was "Produced by Associate Producers of Negro Motion Pictures Inc." It is unlikely that the full version of this film exists. Very minor handling, very clean card. ABOUT FINE.
REBECCA / BEHIND-THE-SCENES (1940)

REBECCA / BEHIND-THE-SCENES (1940)

Hitchcock, Alfred (director); du Maurier, Daphne (adapted from) Vintage original 9 ¾ x 7 ¾" (24 x 19 cm.) black-and-white single weight glossy silver gelatin print still photo, USA. Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce, Reginald Denny, dir: Alfred Hitchcock; Selznick International Pictures. The classic Academy Award-winner for 1940. The story of the haunting Rebecca who looms over Manderlay, the mansion to which Max DeWinter (Olivier) has brought his new naive bride (Fontaine). She learns of the strange hold the deceased first wife has over the house, particularly over the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. Daphne du Maurier’s book was originally bought for Carole Lombard, but Selznick could not secure Ronald Colman as her leading man. Those tested included Vivien Leigh (who campaigned for the role), Loretta Young, Maureen O’Hara, Anita Louise and Anne Baxter. Selznick wanted Olivia de Havilland but she had too many conflicts. He settled on sister Fontaine after seeing her play the timid wife in The Women. She would receive an Academy Award nomination. The cinematography by George Barnes, which utilized deep focus before Citizen Kane, also won an Academy Award. Still labeled "SIP-110-P-34" depicts Laurence Olivier and Nigel Bruce on the Manderlay interior set, dressed in their costumes for the masquerade ball. Still borders have been trimmed, slight crease at top left corner. NEAR FINE.
PINOCCHIO (1940)

PINOCCHIO (1940)

Vintage original 13 x 15" (33 x 38 cm.) deluxe lithograph card set with inset and envelope, USA. Mel Blanc, Cliff Edwards, Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Evelyn Venable; dir: Hamilton Luske, Ben Sarpsteen; Walt Disney Productions/Distributed by RKO. The beautiful Walt Disney Academy Award-winning classic. Story of a marionette whose creator wishes he were a real boy. Encountering many adventures and learning lessons of life, he eventually does — with the help of his friends Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy — become a real boy. This exquisite set was made in very limited numbers for the film’s New York City premiere on Feb. 7, 1940, at the Center Theatre. The theatre was located at 1230 Sixth Avenue, the southeast corner of West 49th Street in Rockefeller Center. Seating 3500, it was originally designed as a movie palace in 1932 and later achieved fame as a showcase for live musical ice-skating spectacles, premiering with Sonja Henie’s show later in 1940. It was demolished in 1954, the only building in the original Rockefeller Center complex to have been torn down. The theatre and outside marquee was decorated with enormous and spectacular items of promotional art that eve for Disney’s second animated feature. The set, with its presentation envelope, is stunning, including a brochure about the film and the four stunning lithographs, all in unused condition. Minor wear and tanning to the envelope only with top right edge split about one-inch (2.5 cm.) and a few tiny tears to the right edge. FINE.
PEEPING TOM (1960)

PEEPING TOM (1960)

Powell, Michael (director) Vintage original 30 x 20" (76.2 x 50.8 cm.) advance double crown teaser poster, UK. Karlheinz Bohm, dir: Michael Powell; Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors. British advance teaser poster for the classic 1960 film. The British double crown format poster for the film turns up from time to time, but this advance issue — which does not state the film’s title — is an extreme rarity. Noted director Powell’s most controversial film, about a serial killer who films his female victims as they are dying. Reviled by critics on its release and today considered a masterpiece, it is the second of three feature films the director made after parting ways with his longtime filmmaking partner Emeric Pressburger. Ostensibly a film about a killer with serious Freudian issues, but later reassessed as much more conceptual and complex. Roger Ebert pointed out famously in his 1999 review of the film that the audience is implicated as much as the killer. "Movies make us into voyeurs. We sit in the dark, watching other people’s lives. It is the bargain the cinema strikes with us, although most films are too well-behaved to mention it." Martin Scorsese is probably the most famous fan of the film, and takes Ebert’s argument further, saying "I have always felt that Peeping Tom and 8 say everything that can be said about film-making, about the process of dealing with film, the objectivity and subjectivity of it and the confusion between the two. 8 captures the glamour and enjoyment of film-making, while Peeping Tom shows the aggression of it, how the camera violates. From studying them you can discover everything about people who make films, or at least people who express themselves through films." On linen, there has been some skillful touch-up to a few abrasions in the blank black top of poster, and some routine fold line conservation, poster is overall very nice, NEAR VERY GOOD.
SCARLET LETTER

SCARLET LETTER, THE / BEHIND-THE-SCENES with GISH, SJÖSTRÖM (1926)

Hawthorne, Nathaniel (adapted from); Sjöström, Victor (director) Vintage original 8 x 10" (20 x 25 cm.) black-and-white single weight glossy gelatin silver print still photo, USA. Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Henry B. Walthall, Karl Dane, dir: Victor Sjöström; MGM. The famous Nathaniel Hawthorne story of Hester Prynne, the seamstress punished for playing on the Sabbath. A young minister takes pity on her, and they fall in love. Hester’s husband has gone missing for several years, and though the couple’s love is forbidden, they cannot help themselves. A baby is born and Hester is branded with a scarlet "A" for adulteress. The townspeople who condemn her are shocked when it is revealed who the father is. A brilliant silent film, perhaps the finest interpretation on film of this novel, with script by Frances Marion, costumes designed by Max Ree and set decoration by Cedric Gibbons and Sidney Ullman. Gish was perfectly cast as the demure yet sensual Hester, one of her finest performances. She campaigned heavily to have the film made and won the battle against the studio and American civic morality groups to have it approved. Many of the locations were filmed at the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, near Los Angeles. In this rare behind-the-scenes moment, we witness a tense exchange between Gish and director Victor Sjostrom. The filming was intense when Gish learned that her mother had a stroke in London and she needed to leave. The schedule was rearranged and two weeks of filming were completed in three days. Still is coded 256-x-46. There are a few tiny creases at the left edge blank white margin. ABOUT FINE.