Category: Blog

The default category for blog posts.

Miles Davis Jazz Musicians

by Bill Reed

In the first half of the 20th Century these eight, great jazz musicians, who helped to create one of America’s unique contributions to the musical canon, come alive in the wonderful posters, photographs and promotional pieces that are part of Walter Films’ collection of African Americana. Jazz, a music genre that originated in the African American community, is known for its soulfulness and complex musical variations. Click on an image to view offering.

MILES DAVIS

Background

One of the greats in the pantheon of African Americana is Miles Davis (seen above). Davis picked up the trumpet at age 13. Before it was all over, he’d won just about every honor and glory a jazz musician can achieve, including six Grammys and numerous best-selling albums. The Grammy Hall of Fame inducted ten of his releases, including 1949’s Birth of the Cool, and, from a decade later, Kind of Blue. *

The groundwork above and much more was laid down when, in 1944, he relocated to New York City. He soon became part of the wellspring of the new jazz sound, known as be-bop. His contemporaries included the likes of bandleader Billy Eckstine, alto sax giant Charlie Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

Before long, Davis became well-known enough to start up his own small music group. It included name musicians, like Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey. Its descriptive title . . . “The New Sounds.”

Tags: ,

Continue reading

2020 New York International Antiquarian Book Fair

Rare & Valuable Books, Manuscripts, Autographs, Graphics, Photographs, Print Ephemera & Much More

From March 5-8, 2020, Walter Reuben Inc. can be found in Booth D20 at the 60th Anniversary New York International Antiquarian Book Fair located, as always, in the  legendary Park Avenue Armory, Manhattan at 643 Park Avenue (between 66th and 67th Street).

Our focus is on the glorious history of the European and Hollywood motion picture business as well as African American cultural history, black memorabilia and LGBTQ social history. As a result, we will be featuring the finest selection of vintage original movie postersmovie star photoslobby cardsmovie scripts & rare books, Hollywood movie memorabilia, African Americana and LGBTQ cultural history.

Here is a sampling of the areas that Walter Reuben represents:

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Continue reading

Liberace - Five Gay Actors in Mid-Century Hollywood

by David Ehrenstein

Now that gay actors like Nathan Lane, Jim Parsons, Victor Garber, Jonathan Groff, and Neil Patrick Harris are “out of the closet” and on the rise, it’s hard to imagine just how different things were in the relatively recent past. Not only was the notion of being openly gay and having a viable career unimaginable, but gayness itself was also a concept polite society couldn’t countenance. “Homosexuals” subsisted on society’s margins, mentioned only in whispered gossip, fearsome psychiatric studies, and Conservative diatribes decrying perversion.

Hiding In Plain Sight

Still, in spite of it all, gay men managed to make their way to very top of the acting profession in the gilded closets of Hollywood. In this covert context, bigtime careers and personal lives proceeded with a calculated risk that can fascinate us today. Here are five of the most noteworthy examples of gay actors in mid-Century Hollywood.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Continue reading

Hollywoods Golden Season - 1938 Hollywood Dolls

Imagine it’s Christmas 1939 and you, as a movie aficionado, or just someone who loves going to the pictures, have enjoyed a year of groundbreaking brilliant entertainment.  You have no idea that in 80 years “1939” will be the year that the world will crown as, “Hollywood’s Golden Year.”

Also, just imagine that under your Christmas tree there are a plethora of toys and dolls created in the likeness of those Hollywood movie characters presented as marketing tools and designed by those who would become legends in their fields.  Well, child or adult wishing for such and looking at the Christmas store windows or under the tree— it did happen.

Hollywood's Golden Year - The Movie Dolls of 1939

Hollywood’s golden year of movies also became the golden year of movie merchandising and today those dolls and toys created for that season represent the apex in that arena of movie and doll related collecting.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Continue reading

Walter Reuben Blog Cover

WalterFilm.com’s third catalog (#44/2019) contains 84 pages that include vintage original photographs, posters, programs, pressbooks, lobby cards and film scripts. The categories encompassed are: Warhol, LGBTQ, Movie Musicals, African Americana, Pre-Code Hollywood, Literature, Film Directors and Women.

The catalog’s cover (above) is graced by a in-flight image of a dancing Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth (attributed to photographer George Hurrell) from the 1942 poster of Columbia Picture’s You Were Never Lovelier” (see below).

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Continue reading

Walter Film Catalog Cover - Belle de Jour

WalterFilm.com’s second catalog (#43/201) contains 84 pages and encompasses ten categories that include The Saint Poster Collection , (33 posters (1982-2004) from one of New York City’s most notorious gay discos) and a Katharine Hepburn Archive of 230 vintage photos chronicling her 62-year motion picture career.

The catalog’s cover (above) is graced by a stunning Japanese poster of Luis Bunuel’s masterpiece of erotica “Belle De Jour” focusing on a collage of images of the film’s star, Catherine Deneuve.

Below are several catalog pages and description of its contents or CLICK HERE if you’d like to view the entire catalog as a Flip File.

Walter Reuben Catalog - The Saint Poster Collection

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Continue reading

Walter Film: Items Of LGBTQ Cultural History

Since the Stonewall Riot in June of 1969, there has been a growing interest in LGBTQ social history as is describe here in the Queer History Social Media Project of the Society of American Archivists.

          The Queer History Social Media Project is an initiative aimed at bringing the skills and insights of professional archivists, librarians, historians, and other social scientists involved in the study of LGBTQ history to bear in the improvement and enrichment of Wikipedia articles on topics, individuals, and organizations related to the LGBTQ experience throughout history.

And so, in 2011 – forty-two years after Stonewall –  Walter Reuben Inc. made its first sale  to a major institutional library of relevant items of LGBTQ cultural history, which includes: vintage original star photographs, film and theater posters, lobby cards, film and play scripts, newspaper articles, rare books and advertising or marketing collectibles and LGBTQ memorabilia. The sales continued to be made to an ever growing number of institutions and now Walter Reuben Inc. is an essential resource for material related to LGBTQ Cultural History and Memorabilia.

To view the material we have on our website please click: WalterFilm LGBTQ

LGBTQ items from our 2018 and 2019 Catalogs.


Tags: , , ,

Continue reading

Marlene-Dietrich in Shanghai-Express

1930s movie posters proclaimed, week after week, what Hollywood had to offer to an eager world during the days of the great movie studios and the Great Depression. No better example of this is the above exquisite 1932 vintage original Belgian poster of Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express.

The Beginning

In the beginning, as the fledgling studios began to grow, and knowing that a portion of their potential audience was illiterate, they took their cue from vaudeville, fairs and the circus to create colorful artwork that depicted scenes from their movies in order to promote their films.

From the mid 1920s through the 1940’s, movie studios developed their own artwork styles for their posters, lobby cards and other marketing materials. They hired well-known artists and illustrators, such as Al Hirschfeld, John Held Jr., Hap Hadley, Ted Ireland, Louis Fancher, Clayton Knight and Armando Seguso, to create the illustrations and graphic designs.

The introduction of the color offset lithography printing technique in the 1920’s changed the artistic quality of posters, sharpening the image and, over time, shifting the emphasis from illustration to photography.

At the same time, Hollywood Portrait Photography evolved as a result of the work of six individuals that became the photographers of choice for “shooting the stars:” Albert Witzel, George Hurrell, Clarence Bull, Ruth Harriet Louise, Milton Greene and Cecil Beaton.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Continue reading

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Continue reading

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.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Continue reading