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    Description

    Underworld (Paramount, 1927). Title Lobby Card (11" X 14"). Predating such genre classics as Little Caesar and The Public Enemy, this landmark picture is widely considered to be the first modern American gangster film, setting the stage for many significant movies to follow. Directed by Josef von Sternberg, with a script by Ben Hecht - who would script another gangster classic, Scarface, several years later - the movie is about Bull Weed, a brutal crime boss eventually brought low by his own weaknesses. Starring George Bancroft as Weed, Clive Brook as "Rolls Royce," a derelict who becomes Weed's confidante, and Evelyn Brent as "Feathers" McCoy, Weed's girlfriend. When one considers the enormous popularity of gangster pictures in the 1930s, and the considerable influence those films had on the film noir movement of the 1940s, it's impossible to overestimate the importance of this film, as the foundation upon which virtually all the rest was laid. Actors like James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, George Raft, and Paul Muni, all of whom, to one degree or another, built their early careers on portrayals of tough guys and criminals, owe a debt to this groundbreaking film. The striking, unrestored title card offered here, picturing top-billed actor Bancroft, is virtually unimprovable. It shows a single pinhole in each corner, and a small crease in the upper right, but is otherwise as fresh and unmarred as the day it was printed. Paper from this film is very rarely offered, especially in such pristine condition, so don't pass up this chance to add this scarce and historically significant title card to your collection. Very Fine/Near Mint.

    Please see full-color, enlargeable images above for more details.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2008
    11th-12th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
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