Description

    Salome (Fox, 1918). One Sheet (28" X 41"). The Biblical story of Salome has been told countless times in literature, art, music, poetry, and film throughout the ages. In the widely-known tale, Salome dances before King Herod on the occasion of his birthday. So pleased is the king that he promises the beautiful dancer anything her heart desires. Angered by the pronouncements of John the Baptist, who claims that her mother's marriage to the king is adulterous and unlawful, Salome demands the evangelist's head on a platter, a wish that is soon granted. As an iconic femme fatale, Salome has been interpreted by such noted actresses as Alla Nazimova, Rita Hayworth, Teresa Stratas, and Kate O'Mara, but perhaps none of these fine artists have been as associated with the role as the silver screen's original vamp, the beautiful, mysterious, and enigmatic Theda Bara. Born Theodosia Goodman in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1885, her first break came with her casting in A Fool There Was (1915), in which she created the "vampire" character she would perfect over the next few years (in this sense, a "vampire" is not an undead creature, but a seductive woman who uses her feminine wiles to sap the energy and resources of otherwise strong, virile men). The first entirely "manufactured" star, studio publicists delighted in sending out wild and highly imaginative releases about her, claiming, for example, that she was the child of an artist and an Arabian princess, that she had spent her earliest years in the Sahara, in the shadow of the Sphinx, and that her name, Theda Bara, was an anagram of "Arab Death," accompanied by photos of the actress surrounded by snakes and skulls. She was even encouraged to discuss mystical and occult subjects in interviews, to further solidify her dark and dangerous image. Some of her early roles included Carmen, Juliet, and, in the film that made her a superstar, Cleopatra. Shortly after filming Salome, Bara began to tire of her outre, gothic image, and tried to remake her character after her contract with Fox was terminated in 1919. She undertook a number of "good girl" roles, but she was never as popular as she had been previously. After making just three films in the 1920s, Bara retired from the screen in 1926. She made a few stage appearances in the 1930s, but lived most of the remainder of her life in comfort and seclusion prior to her death in 1955. She remains an icon of the silent era, and a groundbreaking performer who opened the door for countless femme fatales to come. Offered here is a glorious poster from this now sadly lost film, picturing Bara as she will always be remembered - a beautiful, seductive, and exotic woman who could easily bend the will of any man she met. This exquisite treasure shows light fold wear, pinpoint crossfold separation, light edge wear, a scuff in the right side, some staining and light wrinkling at the bottom border, and a small tear in the top border, but is otherwise clean, bright, and attractive, a wonderful and historic piece from a silent classic. Don't pass this one up, as you may never again have an opportunity to add this gem to your collection. Very Fine-.

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    Auction Dates
    July, 2008
    11th-12th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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