UNDERWORLD (1927) Photo ft. Evelyn Brent, George Bancroft, Clive Brook



[Los Angeles]: Paramount Pictures, [1927]. Vintage original 8 x 10″ (20 x 25 cm.) black-and-white print still photo, light crease and rippling from descriptive paper snipe on back, near fine.

A portrait of Evelyn Brent, George Bancroft and Clive Brook from Josef von Sternberg’s gangster film, often cited as a proto-film noir. Grant, p. 675: “Important precursor of the 1930s US gangster movie and, as such, significant to noir’s ancestry.” Silver and Ward, p. 301: “Enhanced immeasurably by the exotic visual preoccupations of… Sternberg, which encompass a range of original symbols and imagery… The script, as written by ex-newspaperman Ben Hecht, realistically details the personalities populating the sordid speakeasies and dingy dwellings of the gangsters.”

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