“High Society Wager” Film Poster by the Stenberg Brothers

This is a poster for the 1923 film “High Society Wager,” also known as “The Weather Station,” by German director Carl Froelich. Not much is known about the plot of the film because it was produced during a time when movies were mass produced and lost relevance easily. However, what is known about the movie is made evident in this poster designed by the Stenberg brothers, Vladimir and Georgii, in 1927 for Soviet cinemas. Though the film was German, the brothers designed posters for both Russian films and foreign films such as this, which were both popular during this era of film. The Stenberg brothers portray the main characters climbing an abstract spiral staircase, symbolic of the film’s plot about a couple climbing up in social status through seemingly successful gambling experiences that inevitably lead to their demise by the antagonist, who is pictured wielding a gun at the bottom of the staircase, following them up.

The use of bright colors such as white, red, and yellow contrasted with solid black is a distinct characteristic of Russian constructivist art at the time. The spiraling stairs create a sense of ascending movement, which can be compared to their early work as constructivist sculptors. For example, their 1919 collection of sculptures entitled “KPS 11: Construction of a Spatial Apparatus no. 11” features tall, spindly architectural sculptures of a similar style to this staircase and its usage of lines. The use of typography is also very exemplary of the Russian constructivist movement, with thick, sans serif letters arranged in a dynamic, asymmetrical way on the page. To artists in this era, constructivism was a rejection of fine art, and this is a great example of accomplishing all of the unique qualities associated with the movement.



Curry, Adrian. “Movie Poster of the Week: The Posters of the Stenberg Brothers.” MUBI, 24 July 2011, mubi.com/notebook/posts/movie-poster-of-the-week-the-posters-of-the-stenberg-brothers.

Webb, Poul. Stenberg Brothers Posters – Part 1, 10 Dec. 2013, poulwebb.blogspot.com/2013/12/stenberg-brothers-posters-part-1_10.html.