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    The Outlaw (United Artists, 1943). Six Sheet (81" X 81").
    The Outlaw has come to have the reputation of being the most controversial film made during the 1940s. It almost wasn't even released, as the Motion Picture Production Code office refused to approve the original script and then, after seeing a rough cut, deemed the film indecent for its close-up shots of Jane Russell's cleavage. Howard Hawks, the film's original director, left the project and Howard Hughes had to take over the shooting. 20th Century Fox, the original distributor, dropped the picture from its release schedule in late 1941 to avoid the controversy. After trying without success to get his original version released, Hughes finally decided to release the cut version of the film himself. On February 5, 1943, the film opened at San Francisco's Geary Theater to a national furor. People turned out in droves to see the film and it became a commercial success for Hughes's and made Jane Russell a national sensation. The poster campaign was as controversial as the movie. Hughes' publicity man, Russell Birdwell, created provocative posters of Russell and plastered them all over San Francisco. Some of the posters used the tagline, "How would you like to tussle with Russell?" while others billed it as, "The picture that couldn't be stopped!" It was a sensation. Some of the posters also advertised that Jane Russell could be seen in person at the theater, which was the truth. Hughes had been so incensed at the Production Code's changes that he had Russell and her co-star Jack Beutel perform a live, twenty minute scene that had been cut from the film following each screening! This went on for the entire six week run of the film at the Geary. Here then is a fantastic opportunity to acquire one of the most spectacular and most controversial six sheets ever created! This poster is from that six week run at the Geary when Jane Russell was appearing in person, giving it a historical significance. It is also the ultimate pin-up, as Russell reclines in the hay (an iconic image if there ever was one), even bigger than life. Since these posters were only used in the San Francisco area and it was normal for six sheets to be posted outdoors, subject to the weather, it is amazing that any survived. Offered here is a linen-backed example, which, prior to restoration, had a tear and a small chip in the top border, a tear in the right border, and fold wear with crossfold separation and paper loss in the folds. The restoration is exemplary, giving this incredible poster an outstanding appearance. Fine/Very Fine on Linen.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    11th-14th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 13,999

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