Sunday, November 12, 2006



Auction news plus some web site recommendations make up the bulk of this issue. First, Bonham’s L.A. will be holding a movie memorabilia sale on 17 December. Along with the usual Hollywood high end garage sale detritus is a selection of movie posters. Most are the last batch from the Louis Leithold holdings (this is part III of the disposal of the late collectors’ hoard.) They will be offered without reserve and many in batches that should tempt some dealers to add to their inventory. Also featured is yet another 6 sheet ( 81 x 81 inches ) for The Outlaw starring Jane Russell. This one, as with the several others that have surfaced over the past few years, is from the furtive1943 showing of the film in San Francisco. Controversy has plagued this poster since its first appearance at Christie’s South Ken when it was declared the only known copy until it was revealed that the consignors had five more copies and then further rumored that the owners had destroyed the other four to preserve the value of the one being offered. On the day of the auction a lawyer crafted statement stating that this was the only copy “known to the consignors” was read out to the audience. It sold that day for $80,000. Another version showed up at Christie’s New York (in poor condition) and sold for $33,000. As with the one on offer in December (which bears a pre sale estimate of $15,000 to $20,000), this was stated as being from a different source than the Christie’s South Ken version. For further information: Go here

November 14 and 15 are the dates for the Heritage movie poster auction in Dallas. The sale contains over a thousand lots and its 300 page catalog is an excellent reference work (its annotated listings contain reams of off-beat and valuable information.) Among the highlights: the style B half sheet (28 x 22 inches) for War Of The Worlds (1953.) It carries an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000 and it the only U.S. art on the film that portrays the invading Martian space craft. There is also an amazing half sheet form Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956); an insert ( 14 x 36 inches) for The Thing (1951), perhaps the best art on this title; a lobby card (14 x 11) for the U.S. release by Paramount of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927); the one sheet ( 27 x 41) for Forbidden Planet (1956) and the large format (23 x 33) lenticular of the space wheel image from 2001 (1968.) These are just a handful of listings from the sci-fi section of the sale. There is a whole section of major horror titles, some super Disney material (including the one sheet (27 x 41) lenticular for Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), plus Marx Brothers material, film noir, westerns, silent material and on and on. The sale also contains the only known one sheet for the original 1941 release of The Outlaw. The film was pulled just before hitting theatres because Hughes would not allow the cuts that were demanded by censors. The official release was in 1946 (and there’s a one sheet for that also in the sale), but, as stated above, there were abortive attempts to put it before the public in between those dates.
Detailed information on the sale and the entire catalog with images, can be viewed here

One of the new found joys of the internet are blogs and one of the best movie blogs around is here Dave is a well known film critic and historian who writes the DVD column for the NY Times. This weekly screed on new releases had become a must read for those interested in older films. He presents a wealth of detail about the films, directors and stars featured in the increasingly sophisticated and arcane packages being put out by a handful of companies who have gone to heroic lengths to preserve and present some major movie material. Those columns are presented on his blog plus reviews of recent releases and a fascinating chain of comments by some pretty savvy cineastes. Dave is also a long time movie poster collector and author on the subject. His book on the Italian film paper fills a huge gap in the literature on our hobby.

Having sold my business last year, finished my novel, done with Roadshow until late next Spring and seeking some way to avoid starting the sequel to the first book, I launched a web sitehere that offers free evaluation of movie posters (as well as war, travel, music and advertising posters.)

We’re back in L.A. after a two month stay in London. This weekend we are off to Las Vegas. Daughter Regina is doing some promotional work on the Comic Relief taping and Barbara and I get to see the Beatles show, Love. We are going to spend the Holidays in California, visit DisneyWorld in January and then head back to London so as not to miss the misty, damp and chilly British Winter I enjoy so much. Regards, until next time, rudy franchi