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    Napoleon (Gaumont-Metro-Goldwyn, 1927). Lobby Card (9.75" X 12.75"). Director Abel Gance was a landmark filmmaker, constantly experimenting with ways to expand the language of film in the early days of the silent cinema, such as pioneering the use of dolly shots and close-ups. His first smash hit was the powerful anti-war drama J'Accuse (1919), the first movie to explicitly document the horrors of war, as it was shot on the battlefields of World War I. It also utilized a groundbreaking editing technique of rapid cutting that influenced other experimental filmmakers, including Sergei Eisenstein. Hailed by such cinema luminaries as D. W. Griffith, the success of J'Accuse allowed Gance to make his masterpiece, Napoleon. Shot in an early widescreen process involving three cameras and a curved screen, it gave the film a unique panoramic look. Several scenes were also shot in color, and a few in 3-D, but these were not incorporated into the final print. Hailed at its premiere at the Paris Opera, the film, which chronicles the life and early career of Napoleon Bonaparte, was only shown in a handful of European cities due to the massive expense and advanced equipment needed to show it as Gance intended. When MGM bought the distribution rights, the decision was made to extensively cut and rearrange the picture, drastically altering it from the director's original vision and leading to its failure here in the States (recently, a long-term effort led by film historian Kevin Brownlow has restored the film to close to its original state). This was to have been the first part of a massive trilogy telling Napoleon's complete story, but the realities of time and budget meant that the final two parts were never made. The film stands today as an incredible and historic achievement, one of the most important movies in cinema history. Offered here is an extremely rare country-of-origin French lobby card for this landmark film. It shows some light foxing in the right border, a small chip in the bottom right, a tiny tear in the bottom border, a small corner bend in the bottom left, and a very light dust shadow in the top edge, but these are extremely minor considerations, none of which detract from the extreme attractiveness, importance, and desirability of this rare piece. Very Fine.

    Estimate: $700 - $1,500.

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    Auction Dates
    July, 2008
    11th-12th Friday-Saturday
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