Zoë Mozert original poster artwork of Jane Russell for The Outlaw.

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Zoë Mozert original poster artwork of Jane Russell for The Outlaw.
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39. Zoe Mozert original poster artwork of Jane Russell for The Outlaw used extensively in publicity for the film from the personal collection of Howard Hughes. (Hughes Productions, 1943) Pastel on board, measuring 44 x 30 in. (housed in original 50 x 35.75 in. Hughes Productions frame bearing stamped brass "Property of Hughes Productions" property tag on back). The stunning pin-up style artwork depicts Russell reclined seductively on a pile of hay with shoulder strap slipped below her left shoulder and red skirt pulled high on her thigh, while holding her hair with one hand and a six-shooter with the other. Hughes, displaying his disdain for censorship of free expression, as well as his keen publicity skills as he had done with Hell's Angels and Scarface, stirred worldwide attention and controversy with The Outlaw. The Western was based loosely on the life of Billy the Kid, who is portrayed as a romantic hero rather than ruthless outlaw. Hughes cast two unknown actors for the leading roles: Jack Beutel played Billy and Jane Russell played love interest Rio McDonald. Director Howard Hawks quit after two weeks of filming due to Hughes' interference, so Hughes took over to direct the film himself. The movie was completed in 1941, but not released until 1943 in a limited release due to censorship of the "production code" over the way Russell's ample cleavage was displayed in the promotion of the film, as well as several racy scenes, one in particular, finding Beutel and Russell in bed together (for purely "medicinal purposes"). For the film, Hughes famously employed his engineering skills to design a special cantilevered bra to accentuate Russell's natural curves (Russell later went on record stating she found the bra to be uncomfortable and ended up wearing her own brassiere, padding it with tissue and pulling down the straps). During his legal and media censorship battle, Hughes turned Jane Russell into a household name and she quickly became one of Hollywood's leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 50s. Finally passing through censors, The Outlaw was released widely on April 23, 1946 and it became a box office hit.

Zoe Mozert (1904-1993) remains as the most famous female pin-up artist. Her paintings are best known for their pastel style and realistic depiction of women with recognizable individual features and personalities. Her cover portraits of Hollywood starlets in Romantic Movie Stories and Screen Book magazines were particularly popular. In 1941 publisher Brown & Bigelow bought Mozert's first nude and signed her to an exclusive contract to create pin-up artworks for their calendars. During World War II, her pin-up series Victory Girls was published in both calendars and Mutoscope cards.

A milestone artwork used extensively for creating the promotional materials for this controversial film. Artwork is exceptionally well preserved in original Hughes frame featuring protective glass (not examined out of frame). From the personal collection of Howard Hughes.
$20,000 - $30,000