Rare Film Posters



Original 1927 British 17 1/4 inch x 11 7/8 inch Trade Advertisement from Kinematograph Weekly for the 1926 Jean Kemm French Comedy WHAT FOR? (SON PREMIER FILM) starring Grock, Pierrette Lugand, Gaston Dubosc, Roger Hoguenet and Valentine Lugand.

Céleste Noménoé, a provincial actor, comes to Paris for an inheritance. He also gets a part in a movie. The managers of a music-hall notice him. He takes the stage name of Grock, becomes famous and even gets married. It’s very well-made, there are a few Chaplinesque moments of pathos, and a number of deus ex machina plot manoeuvres that propel Grock through the thin storyline

Grock (born Charles Adrien Wettach: January 10, 1880 – July 14, 1959) was a Swiss clown, composer and musician. Called “the king of clowns” and “the greatest of Europe’s clowns”, Grock was once the most highly paid entertainer in the world.

Max Wall was on the same bill as Grock at the Empire Theatre in Paris as a tiny dancing act – “Grock was marvellous. I worked with him – really I was only a young kid and I acted in the first half of the show and then got my greasepaint off and went in front every night and saw Grock, who did the entire second half, working with a man called Max van Embden. Grock was a wonderful man because his soul was in it, he was a funny man in his soul. He didn’t use an awful lot of make-up. He was brilliant with everything. He was a brilliant athlete, brilliant with music and he did this wonderful violin routine which I’ll always remember. Well I’ll show you briefly, right from the way he did his violin stance. He had a screen at the back, you see, and he stood there, and then the violin here and the bow here – did this with his feet first and put the bow down and moved this foot up (moves arm and leg together with a whistle sound effect). Then there’s the business of putting the thing (mimes bow to violin) and then he rosins the bow, puts the thing (violin) here and then he took the bow like that and the bow dropped from here (pointing upwards) right through his fingers and there’s a little bit left here (just above thumb) and the rest is down here. So there’s lovely timing isn’t there – goes to play then looks at the little bit of bow showing – looks everywhere for it. Then he went “Aaahhh!”, shy and pulled it up again. Then he went “Daaahhh” and then threw the bow up in the air, described a circle, caught it, didn’t catch it, fell on the deck. Did this three times with the foot and everything. In the end he couldn’t do it. Went behind the screen and he practised. You could hear him practising and you could see the bow going up in the air, yes, you could see the bow going up in the air – wonderful! You could hear the cadenza on the violin (sound effects) three or four times. After he’d done that there was a slight pause and his head came out at the corner of the screen like that (grinning shyly), and he went, grinning shyly, round again and did it. Did it, came to the part, threw the bow up, caught it and he went mad “Aaaahhh! Merveilleux!! Fantastique!!!. Then he tried to do it again and he (about to throw the bow) “Non!!” – Wonderful routine. All his work was wonderful like that and great finesse with it.” Max Wall.

The Advertisement is in very good condition. The advert was originally on 2 separate pages and has now been joined together from the reverse with archival tape.

Trade advertisements are colourful posters aimed at cinema managers, which were either slipped in, or part of, the weekly film trade journals which were available to them by subscription but were not sold to the general public. Most were designed to be pulled out, and some were attached by staples. Most have the date in tiny letters in one of the top corners.

Availability: 1 in stock

Original 1927 British 17 1/4 inch x 11 7/8 inch Trade Advertisement