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Auction History Result

3k0018 DOWNSTAIRS 1/2sh 1932 close up photo & art of servants John Gilbert & Virginia Bruce, rare!

Date Sold 2/20/2020
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.

An Original Vintage Theatrical Half-Sheet Movie Poster (1/2sh; measures 22" x 28" [56 x 71 cm]) (Learn More)

Downstairs, the 1932 Monta Bell Germany servant romantic love triangle melodrama ("The return of the Gilbert of 'Merry Widow' and 'Big Parade'!"; about a group of servants in the household of a German Baron, and the butler marries another servant, and then a new chauffer is hired, and he is a ne'er-do-well who disrupts the entire household and tries to seduce the butler's wife) starring John Gilbert (as the ne'er-do-well chauffeur), Paul Lukas, Virginia Bruce, Hedda Hopper, and Reginald Owen. Note that the "downstairs" of the title refers to the servants' living quarters (much as the later English series "Upstairs, Downstairs" used the term in the same way). Also note that this John Gilbert sound movie, like all his sound movies, completely dispels the myth that he had a high-pitched speaking voice, which ended his career! Actually, he had a fine speaking voice, and there is much speculation as to what it was that actually ended his career, and that can be found in various places on the Internet, but it was definitely not his voice! This movie had an interesting genesis. John Gilbert was having trouble getting parts, and he wrote the original story this movie was based on, and he sold the rights to MGM for $1.00, with the provision that he played the lead role (much as Sylvester Stallone did decades later!). Also, after the movie was done filming, Gilbert married the leading lady, Virginia Bruce, which led MGM to advertise the stars of the movie as "Mr. and Mrs. John Gilbert".
NOTE: Click on linked names to see a biography.
If you know who did the art (if any), please let us know.
Important Added Info: Note that we have only previously auctioned two examples of this style half-sheet, and the last one was 9 years ago! Also note that this poster was gel backed, and while it could be rolled and sent in a tube, we would worry that doing so would either damage the poster or bring back the folds. Therefore, we would much prefer to send it in a large flat package. However, if the new buyer insists, we will send it in a tube, but only if they accept responsibility for doing so.

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Condition: very good. The poster was never folded. It had tiny pinholes and some smudges around the edges. It had a pinhole in the "O" of the title at upper left. Overall, the poster was in very good condition prior to restoration. A talented restorer gel backed the poster (meaning they backed the poster onto a gel material) and they then performed excellent restoration to the above defects, and then removed the gel backing, so that the poster still exactly looks and feels like an original poster (and it is!), with no backing at all. The poster displays really well!
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