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    The Circus (United Artists, 1928). One Sheet (28.5" X 41.25") Hap Hadley Artwork & Locally Produced One Sheet (28" X 42.5").
    Often lauded as one of Charlie Chaplin's best films, The Circus represents more than just an achievement of excellent slapstick comedy and talented stunts, it was a triumph of sheer determination. Originally, the film gained Academy Award nominations in a total of four categories, slotted in the running for Outstanding Picture, Best Actor, Best Director of a Comedy, and Best Writing of an Original Story. However, the Academy pulled the title out of the nominations list and instead awarded Chaplin a Special Award for specifically "writing, acting, directing, and producing The Circus." Despite these accolades, this picture coincided with one of the darkest times in Chaplin's career, making it a near miracle that the film ever saw its way to release. The production fell victim to several major difficulties, ranging from ruined film negatives that had to be reshot, an entire circus train being stolen by drunken college boys, to a fire ravaging Chaplin's studio and destroying all of his sets and props. Compounding all this was Charlie's scandalous divorce of actress Lita Grey, who attempted to seize the company assets of the studio, halting production for ten months and forcing Chaplin to smuggle reels of film out of the studio in secret. Any of these crises would snuff out any hope of a picture seeing the inside of a theater, had the mastermind of the project been anyone with less zeal and determination than that of Charlie Chaplin. It goes without saying that original one sheets for Chaplin titles are at the top of many a collector's list, especially this incredible stone litho piece illustrated by the one and only Hap Hadley, which Heritage has only had the opportunity to offer once before. As an added bonus, this lot features a locally produced one sheet, also done in stone litho printing, advertising the picture at one of the massive chain of Keith-Albee theaters. The studio release poster looks terrific after the conservation process repaired light edge and fold wear, tears in the borders, and a few diagonal creases. Some of the creases in the upper half of the poster go from the left border to the right border through Chaplin's hat. There was a tear from the top border into the "A" of "Chaplin" and a horizontal tear in the lower image with a few small vertical tears in his pants. The poster also had paper loss from the right border into the rightmost red circus tent above Hap Hadley's credit, which has been wonderfully restored. Prior to restoration, the locally produced poster had small tears in the borders, pinholes in the outer background, and a few mild creases. The borders have been airbrushed, rounding out its lovely appearance. Overall Grade: Fine on Linen.

    Estimate: $15,000 - $30,000.

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