Dwight Cleveland’s pursuit of the very finest movie posters of all time have led him on a journey that spans 20 different countries, six continents, has had him digging in abandoned theaters, the forgotten corners of dusty antique shops and amidst the chaos of flea markets. Cleveland’s journey is worthy of a movie in and of itself, but it’s more likely that he would simply opt for a movie poster instead of the full big screen treatment, given his passion for the form. To a man like Cleveland the movie poster is the very essence of the film itself distilled into one central image, which – if done correctly – transcends its boundaries and becomes high art.
Heritage Auction Galleries, based in Dallas, Texas, is currently offering a few selections from the Cleveland Collection, chosen by the collector himself, as a special holiday offering to the movie poster collecting community. Bidding on Part One will end this Sunday, Dec. 14. Included in the sale are foreign versions of the posters of some of the greatest films ever made, chosen for their superior graphic quality. True aficionados of the form know that posters for non-domestic markets often featured more dynamic artwork, which often makes them more highly desirable.
“Dwight understands that just seeing a movie poster immediately connotes why a film was great,” said Grey Smith, Director of Movie Poster Auctions at Heritage. “He understands the posters as art, not just merely as paper ephemera, or an investment, but as high art.”
The examples provided in this sale are "special selections" from Dwight’s archive representing some of the most memorable films spanning 80 years of cinematic history. Care was taken to select a variety of poster sizes, film genres and price points to offer a broad range of interesting graphics. Highlights of the first and current auction include: a rare Ocean’s Eleven one sheet, a Rebel Without a Cause three sheet, a 1927 window card for The Black Bird, starring Lon Chaney, a 1972 Czech poster for Cabaret, an expressionistic 1968 Polish Planet of the Apes poster, and a Japanese version of the Sean Connery Bond classic, Goldfinger.
Highlights of the second week include: a 1937 original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs one sheet, a stunning 1934 jumbo window card for Cleopatra, starring Claudette Colbert, the British Quad for A Fistful of Dollars, a style B one sheet for Fred Astaire’s You Were Never Lovelier, a highly sought after Fantasia jumbo window card and a Japanese B2 From Russia With Love.
Part two of the auction begins on Sunday, Dec. 14, after the conclusion of Part One. Bidding continues through Dec. 21. The highlights above are just a fraction of the more than 1,100 lots of spectacular American and International posters being auctioned over the next two weeks, all with no reserves.
To view this sale online, go to www.ha.com/58122.
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