New York: [Arthur Hammerstein], . Quarto (11 5/8 x 9 inches; 295 x 225 mm),  pages, in beautifully illustrated wrappers (soft cover).
A rare souvenir program for the U.S. première of "The End of St. Petersburg," a silent film by the Russian director Vsevolod Pudovkin (rendered here as Pudowkin). The film opened on May 30, 1928, at the Hammerstein Theatre in New York and depicts the struggles of ordinary people in the years leading up to the Bolshevik Revolution. The film had been scheduled to open on May 28, but the première had been delayed while awaiting approval from New York state censors.
The program features a fabulous photo montage on the cover (indeed, Pudovkin was famous for pioneering the use of montage in Soviet films). It's illustrated throughout with black-and-white photos of scenes from the film, along with descriptions of the scenes. There's also an essay by Pudovkin describing the making of the film, as well as a précis, excerpts from favorable reviews, and some PR for Arthur Hammerstein and his Hammerstein Theatre. The program also includes a full page devoted to Herbert Stothart, who composed music accompanying this silent film.
The New York Times critic, Mordaunt Hall, very much enjoyed the film. Noting that the film contained almost no professional actors, "... the persons who act the different parts are true to life in their actions and expressions. In fact one feels sometimes as though this film were a remarkable news reel of the Russian Revolution." (The New York Times, May 31, 1928, page 21).
This program is rare. OCLC shows no institutional holdings. Nor do we find any in commerce. RARE.
CONDITION: Covers lightly worn, rubbed, and soiled, sizable splits in both covers where they meet the spine (although still holding), vertical crease throughout, rusting to one of the staples. Internally, clean and unmarked. About Very Good. Item #2315