|image: the front cover of a Czech movie herald released for Marie Antoinette (1938); image is scanned from my collection.|
Vintage movie heralds, programs and other advertisements are an interesting look into the marketing machines that powered many older Hollywood films. Like the modern film industry, old Hollywood took great pains to market and promote films, often curating an experience for moviegoers that could include programs, promises of "reasonable prices," and more.
This particular program for MGM's expensive historical drama Marie Antoinette (1938) was created for the theatrical release of the film in, at the time, Czechoslavakia. The film was released in February of 1939, during the brief Second Czechoslovak Republic, which lasted from September 30th, 1938 through March 15th, 1939.
|image: the interior page of a Czech movie herald released for Marie Antoinette (1938); image is scanned from my collection.|
The interior page, which features a wedding-clad Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette contrasted next to the guillotine, contains a brief plot introduction along with a list of the primary cast. Notably, both Norma Shearer and Gladys George have their names altered in order to added the feminine "-ova" at the end, a practice which was (and in many cases, still is) popular in the region.
|image: the back cover of a Czech movie herald released for Marie Antoinette (1938); image is scanned from my collection.|
The back cover of the herald features a colorized photo of Norma Shearer in the "garden party" gown, which she wears during the scene of a night gathering at the Petit Trianon. Surprisingly, the delicate bird cage on top of her head still exists, and was shown at an Irving Thalberg exhibition in recent years.
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