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    Spies (MGM-UFA, 1928). Signed One Sheet (27" X 41").
    One of the architects of the cinematic style known as German Expressionism, Fritz Lang was also one of Europe's most important and innovative directors during the silent era. His impressive early filmography includes such classics as The Spiders (1919 & 1920), two chapters of an unfinished serial about a quest for a priceless diamond: Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922), the first appearance of Lang's nefarious crimelord, and an ambitious two-part adaptation of Richard Wagner's Die Niebelungen (1924). Of course, the film for which he is most remembered is the landmark science fiction epic, Metropolis (1927), a film that revolutionized the silent cinema. Due to the massive budget on Metropolis - a budget that had brought UFA Studios to the brink of bankruptcy - Lang was forced to scale back his next production, an espionage thriller titled Spies (1928), a film that would influence virtually all espionage thrillers to come, including the ultra-popular James Bond franchise. The story, by Lang's wife Thea von Harbou, concerns a Russian spy ring operating in London, run by the criminal mastermind Haghi (Rudolf Klein-Rogge, who played Rotwang the Inventor in Metropolis). Opposing Haghi is British agent 326 (Willy Fritsch), who eventually enlists the aid of Sonya (Gerda Maurus, who would become Lang's lover and would star in his next feature in 1929, Woman in the Moon), a Russian agent who defects to the side of the good guys. The climax takes place in a circus, where Haghi, disguised as Nemo the Clown, obtains his just reward. A fast-paced and exciting film, paper for this film is almost non-existent, with this being the only known copy of this particular style stone litho one sheet (a rotogravure style was sold several years ago by Heritage). It came from the estate of the artist who created it - Glen Cravath - and is in superb condition given its age. The poster had light border wear, minor chipping in the upper horizontal fold, and a small hole in the eyeball at the top, but expert restoration has rendered these defects nearly invisible, giving this remarkable poster an exquisite appearance. This is a piece of film history that may not become available again for quite some time, as we're confident that this will be held for many years in an advanced private collection. Bid today to win this unique treasure. Fine+ on Linen.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    11th-14th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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