The notorious Howard Hughes often battled with the Hayes Office (the censors) over his productions such as Hell's Angels (1930), Cock Of The Air and Scarface (both 1932). These always resulted in Hughes having to edit scenes or negotiate with the authorities. This battle came to a head with his production of The Outlaw. In 1943, anticipating trouble from the censors, Hughes released The Outlaw independently and without their consent, hence the poster's tagline 'The picture that couldn't be stopped', a fact of significant enough importance for Hughes to refer to it in his autobiography. The film was premièred at the Geary Theatre in San Francisco, where it was shown for only a week before the censors withdrew it due to it's sexually explicit nature, which has the legendary story of Billy the Kid and Doc Holiday overshadowed by Hughes' focus on Jane Russell's bosom. The posters for this brief San Francisco release were printed in Ohio, the original plates and art-works were reclaimed and are now in the possession of Hughes' estate.
The poster included in this lot is the property of the grandchildren of the owner of the Outdoor Advertiser, a small bill-posting business in San Francisco which operated between 1912-1970. From this particular release, only two other posters have surfaced, two different style one-sheets, neither of which shows the famous image of Jane Russell on the haystack. It is the first time this première poster has been seen, and it is the only copy known to exist.
In 1946, The Outlaw had a limited release through R.K.O. in selected parts of the U.S., but it was not until 1950 that it came out on general release through United Artists.