Author: Bolen High

The Essence of was never meant to be a large website, it was intended to be an exclusive boutique featuring some of the greatest objects Walter Reuben could find. A website that would appeal to him as a collector of “movie memorabilia” – reflecting his own personal tastes and interests. 

He deliberately chose to go after only the best original vintage film collectibles: posters, lobby cards, photographs, even costume designs. Today, that boutique has grown to include movie scripts, rare books, assorted memorabilia, African Americana, and LGBTQ related material.  

The following videos explore the essence of what has come together to create – now one of the foremost dealers in providing museums, universities, libraries, and private collectors around the world, with an ever-changing collection of exceptional original vintage material.

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Introduction To WalterFilm

Collecting The Silent Era

Collecting Lobby Cards

Collecting Movie Photographs

Collecting Movie Posters

Collecting Saul Bass Posters

Collecting Literature To Film

Collecting Oscar Posters

Collecting Film Noir

African Americana In 1930 + 1940 Films

We Purchase Film & TV Scripts, Story Boards, Photographs, Posters & Memorabilia

FEATURING: Walter Reuben, Woolsey Ackerman, Ira Resnick, author of STARSTRUCK, Kevin Johnson – Royal Books, Roy Simperman – Collector

African-American Memorabilia, Hollywood Movie Memorabilia, Original Vintage Film Posters, Original Vintage Lobby Cards, Original Vintage Movie Posters

Walter Film Catalog 52/2023

Catalog 52 presented a collection of material represented by these six categories: FEATURED SELECTIONS, AFRICAN AMERICANA, LGBTQ, FILM NOIR, DIRECTORS and PHOTOGRAPHY. Here are five samples:

Jim Sharman and Richard O’Brien’s July 18, 1974 film script for the THE ROCK HORROR PICTURE SHOW,

Robert Mapplethorpe 1974 portrait of Phillip Glass

The revised final draft screenplay for THE EXORCIST, 1972

Two vintage photos from Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS, 1927

The original screenplay for Orson Welles’ unfinished film THE DEEP, ca 1967


Celebrity Photographs, Movie Star Photos For Sale, Original Vintage Film Posters, Original Vintage Movie Posters, Vintage Original Film Scripts, Vintage Original Movie Scripts

4 Hollywood Leading Ladies from 1930s & 40s

Here are four extraordinary women, MARY ASTOR (above), JEAN ARTHUR, CLAUDETTE COLBERT and MYRNA LOY, who moved from silent film actors to famous leading ladies in the “talkies”. You name it, they did it, from exotic “oriental goddess” to screwball commedian; helping turn hollywood into… HOLLYWOOD.

Movie Star Photos For Sale, Original Vintage Movie Posters

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Hollywood Movie Memorabilia

When it comes to Hollywood Movie Memorabilia, much of WalterFilm’s vintage original stock might be considered “Hollywood” because a substantial amount of material either comes from Hollywood or references it. And when it comes to “Movie Memorabilia”, a large portion of what we offer could fit that description as well. But we do try to clearly define, describe and date each object we present as a vintage original poster, photograph, script, etc.

However, sometimes items come along that are difficult to define and ‘Hollywood Movie Memorabilia” provides an excellent catch all.

MGM Advertising Pull-Outs

The first three items are of particular note: they are vintage original 9 x 12″ (22 x 30 cm.) Metro-Goldwin-Mayer advertising pull-outs on card stock for three movies starring Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. 

They were created for the industry publication The Lion’s Roar by the famous  caricature artist Jacques Kapralik, They each were created in three dimension using elements of yarn, fabric, paper, buttons, sequins and miniature creations to highlight the themes and elements found in the film’s story.


See above photograph.

The film’s “let’s put on a show” theme was presented at its most spectacular in this Busby Berkeley extravaganza produced by Arthur Freed.


Life Begins For Andy Hardy

The two stars are featured in a New York City setting when Betsy Booth (Garland), daughter to a Broadway actress, shows “Smalltown, USA” Andy Hardy (Rooney) the ropes of making it in the big city.


Girl Crazy

The last and likely the finest of the grand MGM Mickey and Judy musicals featured a superb score by George and Ira Gershwin and a story set at a dude ranch college.


[Los Angeles, 1972]. Vintage original artwork on illustration board, 8 1/2 x 9 5/8″ (21 x 24.5 cm.) on 13 7/8 x 15 1/2″ (35.5 x 40 cm.). 

Kenneth Anger (filmmaker, artist) Original artwork used for the opening shot of Kenneth Anger’s experimental film LUCIFER RISING, which was his attempt to depict the age of the hippies. In this film, Egyptian gods summon the angel Lucifer to usher in a new occult age.


Las Vegas: Hotel Sahara, [1953]. Vintage original 9 1/2 x 8 1/8″ (24 x 21 cm.) die-cut promotional flyer. A holograph note indicates that someone attended this show on Monday, November 16, 1953. Near fine.

“A New York Daily News article in late ’52 that brought instant notoriety to Christine Jorgensen, the first person in the US to become famous for having sex reassignment surgery. Celebrity agent Charles Yates teamed with Jorgensen to turn this notoriety into an unlikely nightclub act. The Sahara booked Jorgensen for a summer 1953 engagement with singer Marguerite Piazza and dancer Gene Nelson, but was fired when both Piazza and Nelson protested the co-billing.

Jorgensen sued the hotel.“Jorgensen was a controversial figure in the press, treated with sensationalism, praise, respectful curiosity, and indignantly. The Sahara’s firing was done with a public letter that began, ‘Dear sir’. Despite this, Jorgensen was rescheduled at the Sahara and opened in November that year. A mostly-positive column about the show in the Las Vegas Review Journal commented that Jorgensen was ‘either an opportunist of supreme magnitude or an individual of indescribable courage.’ Jorgensen returned to Las Vegas later for a show at Silver Slipper. 

ED EMSHWILLER (ca. 1980) Signed letter

[Los Angeles, ca. 1980] Original two page autograph signed letter, 11 x 8.5″ (28 x 22 cm.), folded once for mailing, near fine.

A letter from pioneering experimental filmmaker Ed Emshwiller to Doug Edwards, who was at that time the leading figure in Los Angeles for the showing of avant-garde film. In this fascinating letter, he lists each of the four films which he has selected for Edwards to screen, with a succinct paragraph describing each one: LIFE LINES (1960); THANATOPSIS (1962); RELATIVITY (1966); and SCAPE-MATES (1972).


[East] Berlin, Deutsche Akademie der Künste zu Berlin, 1968. Printed wrappers, 24 pp. Light wear to wrappers, VERY GOOD+.

A pamphlet issued to honor Paul Robeson’s seventieth birthday. Contains photos documenting Robeson’s varied visits to the USSR and then-East Germany, as well as commentary on his artistic and political careers.

SHE’S A HE – Lynn Carter (1957) Vinyl record

New York: Fiesta Records, [1957]. Vintage original 12 x 12″ (31 x 31 cm.) vinyl LP record. Very good+ in pictorial sleeve.

The front sleeve states “Introducing Mr. Lynn Carter, America’s foremost female impersonator.”

Lynn Carter was a headliner in the Jewel Box Revue, a racially inclusive traveling revue of what were then dubbed female impersonators. The show was staffed almost entirely by gay men and one lesbian. OCLC only records one known copy.

AGNÈS VARDA (ca. 1965-77) Archive

Portrait of Varda (ca.1965) 7 x 5″ (18 x 13 cm.) black-and-white print still photo;

Collection of vintage original French promotional materials, all just about fine or better.

  • LE BONHEUR [HAPPINESS] (1965)  Pressbook
  • LES CRÉATURES [THE CREATURES] (1968) Pressbook
  • LION’S LOVE (1969) US two-sided poster, 23 x 19″ (59 x 49 cm.)
  • L’UNE CHANTE, L’AUTRE PAS (1977) Promotional book

female impersonator, George and Ira Gershwin, Hollywood Movie Memorabilia, Hollywood Musicals, Judy Garland, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, Mickey Rooney, sex reassignment surgery

Lon Chaney ­­– Man Of Many Faces

THE ABOVE PHOTOGRAPH – Vintage original 27 x 38″ (70 x 98 cm.) poster, Sweden. Lon Chaney, Loretta Young, Nils Asther, Gwen Lee, dir: Herbert Brenon, MGM. In the role of the circus clown who could not laugh, known as Pagliacci, Lon Chaney, in perhaps his finest film performance, ran the gamut in the story which spanned a 25-year period in the his life. 

Regarded as one of the most versatile and powerful actors in both silent films and talkies, Lon Chaney  (April 1, 1883 – August 26, 1930) was renowned for his characterizations of tortured, often grotesque and afflicted characters, along with  his groundbreaking artistry with makeup.

Chaney had a breakthrough performance as “The Frog” in George Loane Tucker‘s The Miracle Man (1919). The film displayed not only Chaney’s acting ability, but also his talent as a master of makeup. Critical praise and a gross of over $2 million put him on the map as America’s foremost character actor.

[Los Angeles: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, ca. 1926]. Vintage original 10.5 x 13.5″ (26 x 33 cm.) sepia toned double weight glossy silver gelatin print still photo, USA. Minor border wear. Minor crease at bottom right corner, near fine.
This striking portrait of Lon Chaney is most likely to publicize his 1926 film THE BLACKBIRD. The film gave him the opportunity to play contrasting dual personalities: as the villainous deformed Blackbird and the saintly Bishop.

How Many Faces?

Makeup in the early days of motion pictures was almost non-existent, except for beards and moustaches to denote villains.­ Most of what Hollywood studios knew about makeup stemmed from the theater and actors were expected to do their own. Studio makeup departments were not yet in place prior to the mid-20s, 

In the absence of such specialized professions, Chaney’s knowledge and skill with makeup gave him a competitive advantage over other actors. He was the complete package. Casting directors knew that they could place him in virtually any part, and he would thrive. An extreme case of this was the film Outside the Law (1920), where he played a character who shot and killed another character, whom he also was playing. This ability to create elaborate makeup and prosthetics to completely transform himself earned him the nickname “The Man of a Thousand Faces.” 

A Heart Beneath The Horror 

As Quasimodo, the bell ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, and Erik, the “phantom” of the Paris Opera House, Chaney created two of the most grotesquely deformed characters in film history. “Phantom … became a legend almost immediately,” wrote the Los Angeles Times in 1990. “The newspapers of the day reported that women fainted, children bawled, and grown men stepped outside for fresh air after the famous unmasking scene.” “The unmasking of the titular Phantom is one of the most well-known moments in silent film,” wrote Meg Shields in 2020. “Arguably, it’s one of the most horrifying images ever put on screen.” However, Chaney’s portrayals sought to elicit a degree of sympathy and pathos among viewers not overwhelmingly terrified or repulsed by the monstrous disfigurements of these victims of fate.

Ray Bradbury once said of Chaney, “He was someone who acted out our psyches. He somehow got into the shadows inside our bodies; he was able to nail down some of our secret fears and put them on-screen. The history of Lon Chaney is the history of unrequited loves. He brings that part of you out into the open, because you fear that you are not loved, you fear that you never will be loved, you fear there is some part of you that’s grotesque, that the world will turn away from.”

Learning From The Master

He also earned the respect and admiration of numerous aspiring actors, to whom he offered mentoring assistance, and between takes on film sets he was always willing to share his professional observations with the cast and crew. During the filming of The Unknown (1927), Joan Crawford stated that she learned more about acting from watching Chaney work than from anyone else in her career. “It was then,” she said, “I became aware for the first time of the difference between standing in front of a camera and acting.”

MGM At The End

In the final five years of his film career (1925–1930), Chaney worked exclusively under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, giving some of his most memorable performances. His portrayal of a tough-as-nails marine drill instructor in Tell It to the Marines (1926), one of his favorite films, earned him the affection of the Marine Corps, who made him their first honorary member from the motion picture industry.

And The Finale

During the filming of Thunder in the winter of 1929, Chaney developed pneumonia. In late 1929, he was diagnosed with bronchial lung cancer. Despite aggressive treatment, his condition gradually worsened, and he died of a throat hemorrhage on August 26, 1930, in a Los Angeles, California hospital.

His funeral was held on August 28 in Glendale, California. Honorary pallbearers included Paul BernHunt StrombergIrving ThalbergLouis B. MayerLionel BarrymoreWallace BeeryTod BrowningLew Cody, and Ramon Novarro. The U.S. Marine Corps provided a chaplain and Honor Guard for his funeral. While his funeral was being conducted, all MGM studios and offices observed two minutes of silence. 

Chaney was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, next to the crypt of his father. His wife Hazel was interred there upon her death in 1933. Ever the private man, In accordance with his will, Chaney’s crypt has remained unmarked.

A Legacy

His dedication to his craft and his unique ability to physically transform himself on screen set a remarkable precedent for future actors, particularly within the horror genre. His collaborations with directors like Tod Browning helped define the horror genre and laid the groundwork for future horror films. Chaney’s legacy continues to inspire actors and filmmakers today, reminding them of the power of exceptional performances and the importance of pushing the boundaries of character portrayal.

Approximately 102 of the 157 films made by Chaney are currently classified as lost films. A number of others exist only in extremely truncated form or suffer severe decomposition.