Sunday, August 07, 2005


Fear and Trembling in the World of Movie Stills: two major firms that deal heavily in 8 x 10 glossies, both originals and re-strikes, have been hit with major lawsuits from Corbis, the mega image library personally owned by Bill Gates (known to us Apple users affectionately as The Borg.) Movie Star News, the Wal Mart of film stills, has been hit with a $3 million suit and the British based web site,’s insurance company made a settlement in a $million suit. Corbis has been buying up every image in sight, from the murals in the Sistine Chapel to studio discarded negs featuring Pauly Shore. They not only buy the actual photos, but once they are in their vast archive, they claim ownership of all reproduction rights (though one could sincerely hope that Pauly Shore never reproduces.) I find it difficult to believe one can claim total ownership to all uses of Michaelangelo’s masterpiece, but whose going to go up against 60 billion dollars. For those of you out there who deal in stills in a major way, I suggest you consult wit h your lawyer or at least watch Judge Judy on a daily basis.

Heritage movie posters has had two one million dollar sales in a row and they are going for a hat trick this November with yet another massive sale. This one will feature posters from Red Dust ((1932), a Bogart collection including a rare African Queen (1951) U.K. quad (40 x 30 inches) plus two major Disney one sheets( 27 x 41 inches): a mid 20’s Alice poster and the seldom seen Wayward Canary (1932.) Heritage is also picking up the pace with its monthly internet auctions ( and the quality of material being offered seems to be ticking up a few notches. I guess a rising tide of movie paper lifts all one sheets.

Speaking of the internet movie sellers, Bruce Hershenson has resumed his furious pace of mass auctions one eBay. This week he announced that he will be auctioning the GREATEST AND LARGEST COLLECTION OF GLASS MOVIE SLIDES, etc. , etc. Of course Barnum Bruce is always selling THE GREATEST of everything, but as for the largest: the 2800 slides he is offering pales in comparison to the 4000+ we bought a few years ago and have been offering for sale on eBay. We took a hiatus because of our move to L.A,. and we’d like to let all our regular customers know that we will soon be resuming weekly sales of these late teens and early 20’s slides. I’d send everyone an e-mail message, but I don’t have 10,000 copies of our book to give away, since we had a publisher rather than just a printer.

Speaking of eBay, over the years we’ve usually used this venue for more off-beat items that weren’t listed on our web site, such as the glass slides mentioned above plus movie promo items and a large selection of material from the long period before we specialized in just movie posters (orange crate labels, vintage t ravel and war posters, political items, etc.) Now we have started to offer a few items from our web site ( such as a rolled Scarface advance (1963), rolled poster of John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) plus BFI quads (Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Singin’ In The Rain, Some Like It Hot.) To view the auctions, just click on the eBay box. There are a few posters up now, but a lot more will go up on Monday (Aug 8) night. Regards, rrudy franchi