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Movie Poster of the Week: “Le Dos au Mur” and some lesser-known French paper

In the world of movie poster collecting, title trumps everything. A mediocre half-sheet for Casablanca or a lobby card for The Wizard of Oz will sell for thousands whereas an exquisite piece of graphic design for an obscure Czech drama can be picked up for peanuts. For good reason of course: people want movie posters to remind them of the movies they love. But I am always endlessly impressed by the bottomless well of superb design and illustration that is out there for films that have been all but forgotten. As a random example, this week the French poster dealer Dominique Besson released 171 posters for auction on eBay, and, though many of them are for well-known films I was struck by the fact that many of the most eye-catching designs were for quite obscure French films from the 40s and 50s. And all can be picked up for a song.

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