Published: October 11, 2022
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Premier Auction Galleries
CHESTERLAND, OHIO – On October 2, Premier Auction Galleries, partnered with the Last Moving Picture Company, to host the 30th Annual Hollywood Poster Auction, an offering of 800 lots on Hollywood-related movie posters, lobby cards and thousands of original movie stills from some of the iconic actors. The collection was not only attractive to collectors of midcentury décor and home theater rooms, but also for vintage movie fans as well.
Top among the results was $12,000 paid for a Flying Down To Rio half sheet, 22 by 28 inches, produced for the 1933 US RKO musical starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Dolores Del Rio and Gene Raymond. The musical film is famous not only for being the first screen pairing of Astaire and Rogers (although del Río and Raymond received top billing and the leading roles) but also for del Río becoming the first major actress to wear a two-piece woman’s bathing suit on screen.
A great sci-fi flick from 1951 that carried a very deep message was The Day The Earth Stood Still, featuring the alien Klaatu who lands in Washington DC and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets. The one sheet for the 20th Century Fox movie starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe and Sam Jaffe sold for $8,100. In B+ condition, the sheet on linen measured 27 by 41 inches.
Considered a lost film, Babe Comes Home, a 1928, U.S., First National sports film released in the short-lived Vocafilm sound-on-film process, presumably a music and effects soundtrack but no dialogue, and centering on Babe Ruth and Anna Q. Nilsson was evoked by a half sheet, 22 by 28 inches, that had some expert restoration. It brought $7,200.
Fetching $2,400 was a window card for the 1933 American pre-Code musical black comedy Duck Soup. Written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby and directed by Leo McCarey, it was released theatrically by Paramount Pictures on November 17, 1933, and starred the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo, in his final Marx Brothers’ movie). Paperbacked with some bottom border restoration, the card measured 14 by 22 inches.
Vincent Price fans vied for an insert for The Invisible Man Returns, a 1940 American horror science fiction film starring Price, Cedric Hardwicke, Nan Grey and John Sutton. The film was a sequel to the 1933 film The Invisible Man, and the second film in the Invisible Man film series. In this film, Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe (Price) is condemned for a murder he did not commit, and that leads to him begging Dr Frank Griffin (Sutton) to inject him with the invisibility serum despite Griffin’s warning that the serum will drive him mad. Measuring 14 by 36 inches, the insert earned $2,160.
A 1937 film noir classic, Charlie Chan At Monte Carlo featured the exploits of main character Charlie Chan, a Chinese-Hawaiian detective played by Warner Oland. A one sheet for the film, 27 by 41 inches, went out at $1,920. This was the 16th and final Charlie Chan film with Warner Oland portraying Chan. The film also featured Keye Luke as Charlie’s son Lee, and this sheet was enhanced by having been autographed by Luke. A bit of trivia: a year after this film was made, Oland contracted bronchial pneumonia during his visit to Sweden and died there on August 6, 1938, at age 57. The series continued at Fox for another 11 entries with Sidney Toler in the lead role.
Surpassing its high estimate to sell for $1,800 was a one sheet for the horror classic The Mummy’s Tomb, the 1949 Realart film starring Lon Chaney Jr, Elyse Knox and George Zucco. The 27-by-41-inch sheet had some minor border tears and pinholes. 1949 RR, U.S., Realart, horror Lon Chaney Jr, Elyse Knox, George Zucco, Turhan Bey, B condition, minor border tears and pinholes.
Finally, a one sheet for The Blue Dahlia, 1946, Paramount crime film starring Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake and William Bendix, 27 by 41 inches, found a buyer at $1,800.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For information, www.pag4u.com or 440-688-4203.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm