Category: Blog

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Marlene Dietrich - George Hurrell Photographer

Hollywood Portrait Photography came into existence at the beginning of the 20th Century following the relocation of the film industry to Hollywood from the east coast. These fledging studios needed to create interest in their motion pictures by promoting the actors that stared in them. From 1910 – 1970, there were six individuals that became the photographers of choice for “shooting the stars,” and each, in their own way (as seen above in George Edward Hurrell’s stunning portrait of Marlene Dietrich), helped define the look of the Golden Age of Motion Pictures and the Hollywood star: Albert Witzel, George Hurrell, Clarence Bull, Ruth Harriet Louise, Milton Greene and Cecil Beaton.

As the New York Times reported on September 6, 1936,

The cinema’s glamour machine that takes waitresses, debutantes, actresses, school-girls and their masculine parallels and by adroit veneering makes of them the dream children of the silver screen… Its product thunders from newspaper and magazine pages, from billboards and theatre lobbies. Its prime purpose is to make the customer go to the ticket window and lay down money. It must give the appearance of genius to very ordinary people. It must conceal physical defects and give the illusion of beauty and personality should none exist. It must restore youth where age has made its rounds. It must give warmth to neutral or rigid features. It is in short, the still department.

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Our New Catalog

As an addition to our WalterFilm.com website, we are delighted to announce that Walter Reuben Inc. has expanded its marketing profile to include a portfolio of catalogs that will consist of exceptional items, as exampled above. This first catalog in this series (#42/2018) is 126 pages and encompasses the breadth and depth of our collecting and connoisseurship.

Its cover is graced by a stunning photograph of Audrey Hepburn in the “little black dress” designed by Hubert de Givenchy and worn by her in the opening scene of the 1961 romantic comedy Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Here are two additional photographs of that scene from our collection.

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Curating A Business

WalterFilm is in the business of providing our clients, both private collectors and institutions, with the finest selection of original vintage movie postersmovie star photoslobby cardsmovie scripts & rare books and Hollywood movie memorabilia. We also deal in sub-specialties of theater and stage, African American cultural history and LGBTQ film, stage, art, and social history. In all instances, our objective is to search out and offer the most outstanding pieces we can find.

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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari – Two Visitors Examine Cesare

These two vintage original lobby cards from THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920), show the extraordinary detail and design that went into the visual creation of what is considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema. As described by the film critic, Roger Ebert, in his review:

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Created to feed the Hollywood studio publicity machine, Hollywood and movie star photos have become the visual record of the history of motion pictures and the era of the great motion picture studios. As a result of the increasing interest in its history and the people who made the movies, the images that captured that magic have become recognized as an art form in themselves and are becoming an important and vibrant part of collecting vintage Hollywood movie memorabilia. To learn more about collecting Hollywood and Movie Star Photographs, please check out this video:

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Once Upon a Time at MGM

Vintage Original Hollywood Movie Memorabilia, as an investment-worthy collectibles category, came of age in 1970 when MGM sold the contents of seven sound stages to auctioneer David Weisz for the ridiculous sum of $1.5 million. Included in the lot were over 350,000 costumes, furniture and decorative-art related items, automobiles, busses, trains, tanks, boats, ships, airplanes and space capsules that had been designed and built or purchased to create the background tapestry of hundreds of the studio’s productions.

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Collecting vintage original film scripts, movie scripts or screenplays (however you choose to call them) can not only be a fascinating study in the production of motion pictures but the act of collecting last century’s contribution to a major art form and a unique form of literature.

Film scripts come in many formats and each genesis of script is a look into the process from page to screen.

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African Americans have made an enormous contribution to American culture as actors, dancers, singers, and musicians. Whether it’s African American movie posters, movie star photographs, lobby cards, marketing materials or film scripts, these visual affirmations of their artistry and success have grown ever more popular as objects to be collected by both private and institutional collectors.

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Collecting vintage original movie memorabilia is a great way to enjoy the movies that you love and have made an impact on your life. And there are so many ways you can go about it. Many collect favorite vintage original movie star photographs, or a film genre or movie scripts, movie posters, lobby cards or a whole range of motion picture marketing materials and move related merchandise.

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