Scarface (United Artists, 1932). Half Sheet (22" X 28").
    Producer Howard Hughes united with director Howard Hawks to create one of the most bullet-riddled, violent and impressive gangster films ever made. The genre had been around since the early days of the cinema; with Josef von Sternberg's Underworld in 1927 and Warner Brothers' sensational entries Little Caesar and The Public Enemy. In June 1931, Hughes went into production on his pseudo-biopic of Chicago gangster Al Capone, under the working title Scarface, a nickname that was associated with Capone. Both the director Hawks and screenwriter Ben Hecht would use real-life events in the shaping of the film's script and spend hours interviewing actual gangsters for accuracy. The title Scarface caused an immediate sensation and got the attention of Will Hays, the president of the MPPDA, the cinema's self-censorship bureau. Hays wanted the film's title changed and recommended The Shame of the Nation. To avoid trouble, United Artists, the film's distributor, registered this title on December 4, 1931. The film was completed in October 1931, but due to its strong images of violence, sexual innuendo and semi-glorification of gangsters, it had trouble passing the various censors and getting an official release. The film met with strong objection and went through three official versions. Hughes, who had given in to many of the suggested changes, drew the line on the title change. After forcing the issue, by Hughes threatening a lawsuit, a compromise was made and the film was finally and officially released with the title Scarface, the Shame of a Nation. This wonderful and original release half sheet is from the earliest known release of the film. Of this wonderful format poster, two others are known. At least one of those has the tagline Shame of a Nation printed on it. This copy was never overprinted and displays beautifully. The poster had several very small holes present, one in Raft's hands and had some color loss. There was a tear in the bottom border extending through the "A" in the title. It has had some color enhancement done and the borders have been touched up. The poster has been beautifully restored to its original glory and would be the cornerstone to any great cinema poster collection! Fine+ on Paper.

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