1924 Rudolph Valentino Movie Poster 'The Sainted Devil'

This example is a modern reproduction of the original Paramount Pictures studio poster for their 1924 film, "The Sainted Devil" starring Rudolph Valentino. Be advised that some distributors of reproduction film posters may advertise they are selling 'original movie' items, but more often than not this is just a play on words. They may indeed have taken the images they offer for sale from original movie posters. But even if new copies are taken from the old original posters made to promote a film to moviegoers long ago, this fact cannot make the brand new copies 'originals,' too.

On the market today there are untold numbers of reproduced copies of old movie ephemera representing every film genre. While poster size and the type of paper on which it is printed can help to identify a non-authentic piece, reproduction items will quite frequently be found wrapped in plastic for 'protection' at point of sale in an antique shop or mall, making it next to impossible to feel the paper or to look for other aspects of production correctness prior to making a purchase. In addition, because many mass reproduced pieces are from the 60's and 70's they may have attained some patina. They may bear evidence of use and age, such as edge chipping, creases, foxing and stains. Condition characteristics frequently expected to be found on older paper items can fool the eye into believing a copy might just be the real thing.

Luckily on this particular item collectors can spot a visible anachronism that easily identifies it as a later copy. The company who distributed it, Portal Publications, saw fit to add their name and address in the footer text, complete with zip code. Zip codes did not exist in the time of Rudolph Valentino.

But Portal Publications is not the only company that has produced these kinds of items, and many other makers of reproduction movie memorabilia unfortunately did not and do not mark their copies in the same obvious way. Often a reproduction of a particular old lobby card or poster is so good at replicating the original only specific copyright text, studio release information, numbers, logos or letters that should be present, but aren't, can identify it as non-authentic.

Not all early film posters are dated, either. But after 1940, many were. A National Screen Service code is generally present in footer text on post-1940 posters and similar film associated advertising pieces, as well. And if the size of a piece does not match a size in which originals were known to be issued, expect it to be a fake.

Some original sizes for real Paramount Pictures film articles are:

Standard one sheet (poster) - 27 by 41 inches Half sheet (poster) - 22 by 28 inches Insert (poster) - 14 by 36 inches Lobby card - 11 by 14 inches

This reproduction poster was made in the late 20th century and it measures 21 inches by 29 inches, which is not a correct size.

Item ID: 2007RP000249

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies


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