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Outlaw, The (1941)
Six Sheet - 1943 Release (1943)6S

(LAMP stock photo
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Image courtesy of Heritage Auction

Details
Countries:
United States

Additional Info:
measures 81x81 and issued folded. Without a doubt, "The Outlaw" was the most controversial film made during the 1940s. The film wasn't even finished being shot when trouble started. The PCA (Production Code Authority) wouldn't give approval to the script until changes were made. Howard Hawks, the film's original director, left the project and Howard Hughes had to take over the shooting. When Joseph Breen at the PCA finally saw a rough cut of the film, he labeled it salacious for the number of overt shots of Jane Russell's breasts and cleavage. Hughes was forced to re-edit the film and after cutting 40 minutes out of the movie, the PCA finally gave the film a certificate of approval. But Hughes kept trying to get his version released and submitted his own cut of the film to various state censor boards, but had even worse results. Some of the states out-right banned the film from release! 20th Century Fox, who had been set to distribute the film, dropped the picture from release in late 1941 to avoid the controversy. Finally, Hughes had had enough of trying to get his version released and decided to release the PCA version of the film himself. On February 5, 1943, the film opened at San Francisco's Geary Theatre to a national furor. People turned out in droves to see the film and it became a commercial success for Hughes 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 theatre, which was the truth. Hughes had been so incensed at the PCA's changes in the film 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. The poster is historical as it is from that six-week run at the Geary when Jane Russell was appearing in person. 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. These posters were only used in the San Francisco area.

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