Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    St. Louis Blues (Sack Amusement, 1929). Fine/Very Fine on Linen. One Sheet (28.25" X 41").
    Bessie Smith makes her only film appearance as the star in this musical short directed by Dudley Murphy (Emperor Jones 1933). Smith, who never played in a "white" club, was earning $800 a week, in addition to $1,000 a recording in the 1920s. This seventeen-minute short film shot in Astoria, Queens, in New York City, is "the Empress of the Blues'" only screen role. She plays a wronged wife. Co-produced by W.C. Handy, author of the title song, the film also features Isabel Washington (sister of actress Fredi Washington) who plays the "other woman." The music was provided by James P. Johnson and The Hall Johnson Choir. The overwhelming pathos and emotional interpretations of Smith's singing makes this a true film classic. The Depression forced Columbia Records to cancel her contract effectively ending her career. In 1937, a car accident in Mississippi claimed her life, silencing one of the the all-time greatest stars of the gramophone record. Of particular note is her cover of the title track, "The St. Louis Blues," which Smith recorded with the great Louis Armstrong. Although RKO produced the film, Sack Amusement Enterprises, known for their connections to a network of black cinemas, took over the film's distribution. There is no known RKO paper for this film. Heritage is proud to present this scarce one sheet for the first time, one of only three copies known to exist. Exceptionally rare, this poster had edge wear, slight fold wear and separation, creases, and pinholes. Also present were small tears, minor chips, as well as a reattached chip near the bottom right corner. Other signs of use included smudging and scattered stains. Fine/Very Fine on Linen.


    Estimate: $5,000 - $10,000.

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

    View movie details on IMDB
    View movie details on AllMovie


    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    July
    27th Saturday 5:20 pm CT
    Auction Dates
    July
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    3 Days 23h 9m 26s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: 28
    Page Views: 219

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    This lot is in: 2 - Signature® Floor Session (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 86215-86424) - 5:30 PM Central Time, Saturday, July 27, 2019.
    (Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session.)

    Show All Session Information

    Show Auction Type Info

    Exhibition Viewing Times, Title Page, Floor Session and License Information

    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions - Dallas
    3500 Maple Ave
    17th Floor
    Dallas, TX 75219

    Current Bid:
    $2,500
    Bid Protection
    w/ Buyer's Premium (BP) : $3,000.00 Minimum Next Bid: $2,600 ($3,120.00 w/ BP)
    Track Item