A COLLECTION OF 20 BROCHURES (INCLUDING 1 DUPLICATE) DEDICATED TO SOME OF THE MOST FAMOUS SOVIET AND FOREIGN MOVIE STARS AND DIRECTORS OF THE 1920S.
The 1920s was a pivotal point in the history of Soviet film industry: the decision to import foreign movies into the Soviet Union resulted in the Hollywood completely taking over the Soviet market. American films dominate, inundate, glut, overwhelm the Russian motion picture houses today. Clara Kimball Young has a theatre devoted solely to her in Moscow. In the Arbat, centre of the workers’ quarters of the Russian capital, a new building celebrates the glory of Douglas Fairbanks in electric letters three feet high... It is a bit depressing, - wrote an American journalist visiting the Soviet Union in the summer of 1925.
Obsession with the Hollywood movie industry was bolstered by the Soviet state publishing house, Kinopechat [i.e. Cinema Press], which issued a series of booklets focusing on the popular foreign film idols and, very reluctantly, on the domestic ones. In 1926-1927, the number of the booklets dedicated to European stars reached one and a half million, compared to only 260,000 copies sold of the biographies of Soviet personalities.
While American films retained their appeal right through to 1931 when imports ceased, it was not long before the profits made on the distribution of foreign movies were used to recover domestic film production. Enthusiastic work of the new avant-garde Soviet film-makers (Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (1925), Ten Days That Shook The World (1927); Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929); Vsevolod Pudovkin’s Mother (1926), etc.) marked the beginning of the new Soviet cinema.
The focus had finally shifted to the Soviet movie industry, and Kinopechat kept abreast of the Soviet audience’s new preferences. From 1926, the number of booklets dedicated to the domestic actors gradually began to increase. Prominent art theorists and film directors narrated the stories of extremely popular movie industry stars (Soviet, American, European) in the small brochures distinguished with the constructivist design and photomontages. With the print run of approximately 20,000 copies, Kinopechat’s pamphlets became a manifestation of El-Lissitzky’s words: The (painted) picture fell apart together with the old world which it had created for itself. The new world will not need little pictures. If it needs a mirror, it has the photograph and the cinema.
1) Tolkachev, Ye. Standartnyy geroy Charl’z Khetchinson [i.e. A Standard Hero - Charles Hutchinson]. Moscow: Tea-Kino-Pechat’, 1928. 16 pp.: ill. 17,5x12,9 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Few damp stains. Otherwise near fine.
Second edition. First edition published in 1927. An interesting brochure dedicated to the American film actor, director, and screenwriter Charles Hutchinson (1879-1949). Although Hutch directed numerous independent silent features (Hurricane Hutch in Many Adventures (1924), The Winning Wallop (1926), etc.), he is best remembered as Pathé’s leading male serial star from 1918 to 1922. Hutchinson’s most famous movies include: The Golden God (1917), Hutch Stirs ‘em Up (1923), Hurricane Hutch in Many Adventures (1924). The brochure was written by Evgeniy Tolkachev (1896-1960), a Soviet journalist, publisher, and translator.
2) Oganesov, K., Yutkevich, S. Milton Sils [i.e. Milton Sills]. Moscow: Kinopechat’, 1926. 16 pp.: ill. 15x11.5 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Mild stains on the wrappers, tear of the spine. Otherwise in very good condition.
Second edition. First edition published earlier that year. A booklet dedicated to the American leading man of silent pictures Milton Sills (1882-1930). Starting out as a philosophy professor, Sills debuted as an actor in the movie The Pit in 1914. By the early 1920s, Sills had achieved matinee idol status and was working for numerous film studios. His most famous works are: The Making of O’Malley (1925), The Knockout (1925), Puppets (1926), etc. Sills died suddenly of a heart attack while playing tennis at the age of 48.
3) Tatarova, A. Adol’f Menzhu [i.e. Adolphe Menjou]. Moscow: Kinopechat’, 1927. 16 pp.: ill. 15x11.5 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Former bookshop stamp on the verso of the front wrapper. Otherwise near fine.
First edition. A brochure about American actor, Academy awards nominee, and the best dressed man in America Adolphe Menjou (1890-1963). Adolphe made his movie debut in 1916 in The Blue Envelope Mystery. After toiling in small roles for a few years, Menjou gained notoriety in Charlie Chaplin’s A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate (1923). In 1931, Adolphe starred in the Front Page for which he received a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Menjou’s exceedingly conservative political views and his drastic comments (Hollywood is one of the main centers of Communist activity in America) eventually tarnished his reputation to a degree.
4) Korolevich, V. V. Malinovskaya. Moscow: Kinopechat’, 1927. 16 pp.: ill. 15x11.5 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Fine.
First edition. A short brochure about Soviet actress Vera Malinovskaya (1900-1988). She debuted in 1924 in a film To Everyone’s Joy where she had a small part. But already next year she was casted in the successful The Stationmaster based on Pushkin’s novel. It made her famous. In 1927, after her return from Soviet Russia, Mary Pickford gave a lengthy interview in which she had such a passage: In Russia, I met a charming young Russian star - a tall girl with long blond hair - she was the heroine of the best picture I’ve seen there, The Stationmaster.
The brochure was compiled by Vladimir Korolevich (1894-1969), a Soviet poet, actor, and movie director.
5) Trauberg, I. Vil’yam Khart [i.e. William Hart]. Moscow: Kinopechat’, 1926. 16 pp.: ill. 15x11.5 cm. In original photomontage wrappers by M. Getmanskiy. Fine.
First edition. A small brochure about American actor, director, and the biggest money making star in the United States (1915/1916) William S. Hart (1864-1946). William entered movie industry at the age of 49. After playing supporting roles in two short films, His Hour of Manhood and Jim Cameron’s Wife, Hart achieved stardom as the lead in the feature The Bargain. Making over 70 silent films by the time he was 60, Hart quickly became America’s most important cowboy. He made his last movie, Tumbleweeds, in 1925, amid dwindling popularity, partly due to his disintegrating marriage to the Hollywood actress Winifred Westover, who accused Hart of extreme cruelty. If Cohen (Westover’s attorney) claims I was physically cruel to my wife… I’ll drill a hole in his stomach so big you can drive a twenty-mule-team borax wagon through it, - said Hart in his retort. Once the biggest money making star, Hart was no longer Hollywood’s favourite - the actor retired to his Newhall ranch home in 1928.
The brochure was compiled by Ilya Trauberg (1905-1948), a Soviet movie director and screenwriter.
6) Abramov, A. Garri Pil’ [i.e. Harry Piel]. Moscow: Kinopechat’, 1927. 16 pp.: ill. 15.2x11.5 cm. In original photomontage wrappers by Naum Sokolik. Fine. Fourth edition.
First edition was published in 1926. A short brochure about Harry Piel (1892-1963), a prolific German actor, film director, and the Nazi activist, whose extreme popularity in the Soviet Union became a major concern for the Bolshevik authorities.
Establishing the «Art Film Publishing House Company» in 1912, Harry Piel was only 19 years old when he directed his first feature Black Blood. In 1916, Piel got a leading role in a science fiction adventure, Die Grosse Wette. After directing eight “Joe Deebs” detective films, he created Harry Piel adventure series, performing his own stunts and becoming an internationally recognized star. German Douglas Fairbanks, as Harry was often referred to, was especially popular in the Soviet Union. A survey conducted in Krasnoiarsk suggested that Piel’s screen persona appealed to children in particular. The anonymous reporter indignantly noted that quite a few of the girls answered the question What has cinema taught you? by saying: [That] I would like to marry Harry Piel, while the boys expressed their hope of being Harry Piel. The popularity of this actor was so great that the factories and Komsomol cells often organized discussions on how Communists should fight Harry Pielism (garripilevshchina).
Design by the Soviet painter, poster artist, and member of the Society of Moscow Artists Naum Sokolik (1897-1944).
7) Ven, S. Amo Bek-Nazarov. Moscow: Kinopechat’, 1927. 16 pp.: ill. 14.8x11 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Fine.
First edition. A booklet about Amo Bek-Nazarov (1892-1965), father of Armenian cinematography and one of the greatest film directors of all time. Amo entered the movie industry as an actor in 1914 and soon became one of the major stars of the pre-Soviet Russian cinema. He directed his first films The Patricide (1923), In the Pillory (1923), and The Lost Treasure (1924) in Tbilisi. In 1924, Amo returned to his native city of Yerevan, where he directed the first full-length Armenian feature film, Namus (1925), and the first Armenian sound film, Pepo (1935). In 1950, Bek-Nazarov directed Erkrord karavan. However, the film was canceled half-way through its production on direct orders from Joseph Stalin, a move that personally hurt Amo, who refused to direct any more films until the death of Stalin. After Bek-Nazarov’s death in 1965, Armenfilm adopted his name to their full, official title in his honor.
8) Shebuyev N. Sofia Zhozeffi. Moscow; Leningrad: Kino-izd-vo RSFSR Kinopechat’, 1927 ([Moskva]: tip. Gosizdata «Krasnyy proletariy»). 16 pp.: ill. 11.4x15 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Tear of the spine. Otherwise fine.
Second edition. First edition published earlier that year. A booklet dedicated to the famous Soviet silent film actress Sofia Zhozeffi (1906-1997). Sofia started her career as a child as a circus performer and gained widespread acclaim after starring in Ivan Perestiani’s adventure film Krasnye dyavolyata [i.e. Red Devils] in 1923. In the following years, the actress played in numerous movies, among which the most famous is Legenda o Devich’yey bashne [i.e. The Legend of the Maiden Tower] (1923). In 1992, Sofia emigrated to the United States of America, where she lived until the end of her life.
The booklet was written by Nikolay Shchebuev (1874-1937), a Soviet writer, journalist, and poet.
9) Abramov A. Olga Tretyakova. Moscow: Kino-Izd-vo RSFSR Kinopechat’, 1927. 15,  pp.: ill. 11.3x14.7 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers by N.S. Fine.
Second edition. First edition published in 1926. Wrapper design most likely by Naum Sokolik. A brochure about the Soviet silent movie actress Olga Tretyakova (1902-). Olga debuted in Dmitri Bassalygo’s adventure movie Borba za Ultimatum [i.e. The Fight for the Ultimatum Factory] in 1923. In the period from 1923 until 1928, she played in more than 10 movies, with the most popular being Aleksei Popov’s Dva druga, model’ i podruga [i.e. Three Friends and an Inventation] (1927). During the Soviet repressions, Olga was arrested and exiled to a camp where she spent the rest of her life (date of death unknown).
10) Shklovsky, V., Eisenstein, S. A. Khokhlova. M.: Kinopechat’, 1926. 16 pp.: ill., portr. 11.5x15.1 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Tear of the spine, tiny hole in the rear wrapper. Otherwise in very good condition.
First edition. This is a booklet dedicated to the Russian actress, theatre director, and writer Aleksandra Khokhlova (1897-1985). She debuted as a supporting actress in the film Uragan [i.e. Hurricane] directed by Boris Sushkevich in 1916. After 7 years, Aleksandra married the famous Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov and appeared in a number of his movies: Luch smerti [i.e. The Death Ray] (1925), Vasha znakomaia [i.e. Your Acquaintance) (1927), Velikii uteshitel’ [i.e. The Great Consoler], etc. Khokhlova’s career in film was cut short when she fell out of favour because of her family’s wealth and connections with Tsar Nicholas II.
The brochure was compiled by the noted Soviet literary theorist Viktor Shklovsky (1893-1984) and Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948), who went down in history as one of the greatest Soviet film directors and the pioneer in the theory and practice of montage.
11) Levidov M. Lev Kuleshov. Moscow: Kino-izd-vo RSFSR Kinopechat’, 1927 (tip. Gosizdata «Krasnyy proletariy»). 15 pp. 11.3x14.9 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Fine.
First edition. An interesting booklet dedicated to Lev Kuleshov (1899-1970), a Soviet filmmaker and one of the founders of the world’s first film school, the Moscow Film School. Kuleshov played an instrumental role in the development of Soviet montage and a principle known as the Kuleshov effect (the use of editing and the cut to emotionally influence the audience) . He was active as a movie director in the period from 1917 until 1943, during which he directed 19 films. For the next 25 years, Kuleshov served as artistic director and academic rector at The Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography.
The brochure was written by Mikhail Levidov (1891-1942), a Soviet writer, playwright, and journalist.
12) Garri, A. Ivan Mozzhukhin. Moscow; Leningrad: Kino-izd-vo RSFSR Kinopechat’, 1927 (Moskva: tip. Gosud. izd-va «Krasnyy proletariy»). 15,  pp.: ill. 11x14.5 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Stamp of the former bookshop on the verso of the front wrapper. Otherwise near fine.
First edition. A booklet dedicated to the legendary actor of Russian silent films Ivan Mozzhukhin (1889-1939). He launched his screen career with the adaptation of Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata in 1911. After playing in more than 40 Russian movies, Mozzhukhin escaped the October revolution and moved to Paris, where he had a stellar career. By 1939, Mozzhukhin had made over 100 films in the Soviet Union, France, Italy, the US, Germany, and Austria. The actor continued starring in the talkies of the 1930s, although not as successfully as he had during the silent era. Mozzhukin was banned in the Soviet Union after his emigration.
The brochure was written by Alexey Garri (1902-1960), a Soviet journalist and writer.
13) Zhatkin, P. Zhizneva. Moscow; Leningrad: Kino-izd-vo RSFSR Kinopechat’, 1927 (Moskva: tip. Gosud. izd-va «Krasnyy proletariy»). 16 pp.: ill. 11.4x14.9 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Stamp of the former bookshop on the verso of the front wrapper. Otherwise fine.
First edition. Our collection includes a duplicate of the edition. Fine condition. This brochure is about the famous Soviet actress Olga Zhiznyeva (1899-1972). She started her acting career in the movie industry in the mid-1920s. Zhizneyva’s most famous works are: Podkidysh [i.e. The Foundling] (1940), Neobyknovennoye leto [i.e. An Unusual Summer] (1957), etc. The brochure was written by the Soviet writer Petr Zhatkin (1894-1968).
14) Shershenevich, V. Igor Ilyinsky. M.: Kinopechat’, 1926. 16 pp.: ill. 11x15.1 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Fine. First edition.
Shershenevich, V. Igor Ilyinsky. M.: Kino-izd-vo RSFSR Kinopechat’, 1927. 16 pp.: ill. 11x15.1 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Fine. Third edition.
A booklet dedicated to Igor Ilyinsky (1901-1987), a famous Soviet and Russian film and stage actor, director, and comedian. In 1920, Ilyinsky joined the Vsevolod Meyerhold Theatre, where he soon became the central figure. From the mid-1920s, the actor started to appear in movies, overall playing in more than 20 films during his career. Among his most famous works are: Kukla s millionami [i.e. The Doll with Millions] (1928), Volga-Volga (1938), Gusarskaya ballada [i.e. Hussar-Ballad] (1962), etc.
The brochure was written by Vadim Shershenevich (1893-1942), a Russian poet and one of the founders of the theory of Imaginism. Together with Vladimir Mayakovsky he wrote texts for the ROSTA posters. Vadim also participated in the creation of the All-Russian union of poets and was the group’s chairman for more than a year.
15) Shershenevich, V. A. Ktorov. Moscow; Leningrad: Kino-izd-vo RSFSR Kinopechat’, 1927 (Moskva: tip. Gosizdata «Krasnyy proletariy»). 16 pp.: ill. 11.2x14.7 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Fine.
First edition. This is a brochure about the famous Soviet film and theatre actor Anatoli Ktorov (1898-1980). He rose to prominence with the leading role in the silent movie Zakroyshchik iz Torzhka [i.e. The Tailor from Torzhok] (1925) by the director Yakov Protazanov. His filmography includes such noted Soviet movies as Prazdnik svyatogo Yorgena [i.e. St. Jorgen’s Day] (1930), Bespridannitsa [i.e. Without a Dowry] (1937), etc. From 1933 until the end of his life, Ktorov was a permanent member of the troupe at Moscow Art Theatre (MKhAT).
16) Krasnov, P. Ivan Mikhaylovich Moskvin. M.: Kino-pechat’, 1926. 14,  pp.: ill. 11.7x14.9 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Fine.
First edition. A booklet dedicated to the Soviet film and theatre actor Ivan Moskvin (1874-1946). In 1898, he was invited by Nemirovich-Danchenko to join the newly formed Moscow Art Theatre, where Moskvin appeared in a number of famous productions, including Czar Fyodor Ioannovich (1898). He started his movie career in the late 1910s with the leading role in the film Polikushka (1919). Overall, Moskvin starred in more than 7 movies and 35 theatre productions.
The brochure was written by the Soviet poet and journalist Petr Krasnov (1895-1962).
17) Dombrovskiy, L. N. Rogozhin. Moscow; Leningrad: Kino-izd-vo RSFSR Kinopechat’, 1928 (Leningrad: tip. «Krasnoy gazety»). 16 pp.: ill. 16.8x13 cm. In original constructivist wrappers. Fine. First editoon.
This is a brochure dedicated to the noted Soviet theatre and movie actor Naum Rogozhin (1879-1955). He debuted as an actor in the movie Aelita in 1924. He is best remembered for his roles in the films: Kashtanka (1926), Posledniy attraktsion [i.e. The Last Attraction] (1929), Alexander Nevsky (1938), etc. At different times, Rogozhin performed on the stages of theatres in Leningrad, Moscow, and Kiev.
18) Eisenstein. Bronenosets Potemkin: [Sb.] / Viktor Shklovskiy, Lev Kuleshov, Eduard Tisse [i.e. Eisenstein. Battleship Potemkin: [A Collection] / Viktor Shklovsky, Lev Kuleshov, Eduard Tisse]. M.: Kinopechat’, 1926. 16 pp.: ill. 11.4x14.6 cm. In original photomontage wrappers by the Soviet actor and artist Pyotr Galadzhev (1901-1971). Fine. First edition.
An interesting booklet dedicated to one of the greatest Soviet filmmakers Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948) and his epic silent movie Bronenosets Potemkin [i.e. Battleship Potemkin] (1925). The film was shot to commemorate the revolutionary events of 1905 and was distinguished for its use of violence. The movie starred some of the most famous actors of the time: Aleksandr Antonov (1898-1962) and Grigori Aleksandrov (1903-1983). Bronenosets Potemkin went down in history as one of the first Soviet movies to use the practice of montage developed by Eisenstein earlier. The production was named the greatest film of all time at the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958.
The booklet was written by Viktor Shklovsky (a Soviet literary theorist and Eisenstein’s close friend), Eduard Tisse (a Soviet cinematographer who worked together with Eisenstein on numerous films, including Battleship Potemkin), and Lev Kuleshov (a noted Soviet film director, who along with Eisenstein developed the theory of montage). The booklet features Eduard Tusse’s interesting article on the movie techniques that were used during the production of the film.