Godzilla, Astaire, Rogers and Bogart: The stars come out in vintage movie poster auction

DALLAS — On July 11- 12, 2008, Heritage Auction Galleries will present their current auction of Vintage Movie Posters, featuring nearly 1,600 lots of cinema classics. The auction will be held in their Dallas, Texas, headquarters.
 
"This is almost certainly our biggest offering yet," said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Movie Poster Auctions for Heritage, "spread over five separate sessions. With so many fantastic lots, I can pretty much guarantee there’s something here for everyone."
 
"One of the most exciting aspects of this auction is the incredible selection of midget window cards," Smith said. "Midgets were a format produced for a relatively brief period, mainly from 1932 to about 1947, and designed to be displayed in the glass counters of small retail outlets, like candy and cigar stores. Very often, they are small-sized versions of the one sheet, but occasionally you’ll find midgets with entirely original art."
 
"Midget window cards are rare to begin with," Smith continued, "and we’re pleased to offer some of the most desirable pieces ever created in this format, such as the exceptionally beautiful Flying Down to Rio, with Dolores del Rio, notable as the first film in which Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced together. Other fine examples of this wonderful format are Ex-Lady, an early picture in the filmography of Bette Davis, The Maltese Falcon, the movie that made Humphrey Bogart a superstar, and Sons of the Desert, perhaps the finest film ever to star the legendary comedy team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy."
 
"As marvelous as the midget window cards are," Smith said, "they’re only the tip of the iceberg in this exciting auction. Collectors can also look forward to bidding on a glorious Italian 4-folio for Salome, starring Rita Hayworth, with breathtaking art by Anselmo Ballester, widely considered the father of the Italian movie poster, as well as an exceptionally scarce set of four door panels from the Beatles’ second feature film, Help!. Although these panels were part of the promotional campaign, as seen in the pressbook, they were rarely ordered by theaters due to their high cost and the lack of a place to display them. Those theaters that did order them typically gave them away, one at a time, to fans once the film’s run was over. Consequently, one rarely, if ever, sees a whole set of these fabulous pieces offered together. We’re very pleased to offer a complete set."
 
Smith said, "There’s also an very rare one sheet for Chapter Five of Universal’s landmark serial, Flash Gordon, starring Buster Crabbe. Widely hailed as one of the finest chapter plays ever produced, paper from this important title is exceptionally elusive. Unlike many serial posters, which used a stock image with a different inset photo for each chapter, Universal typically created entirely different artwork for each chapter. Many collectors consider this particular image to be the best of the lot.
 
"Film noir fans will have a lot to choose from," Smith said, "including fantastic one sheets for The Glass Key, This Gun for Hire, The Blue Dahlia, and Out of the Past, some of the most desirable pieces from this hotly collected genre. We’re also offering some exceptional Marx Brothers paper, including classic lobby cards from such early films as Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, and Duck Soup. If you’ve ever laughed at these classic Depression-era comedies, you owe it to yourself to take a look at these wonderful pieces of cinema history."

"Of course, the ever-popular categories of science fiction and horror are well represented," Smith said, "by such desirable items as an original, country-of-origin Japanese B2 for the original Godzilla movie, a beautiful Attack of the 50 Foot Woman one sheet, with art by Reynold Brown, a rare British Quad for The Day the Earth Stood Still, featuring artwork seen on no other paper for this title, a classic pressbook for the 1931 film Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, picturing all the posters and promotional items created for this great movie, a rarely-seen British Quad for Ghost of Frankenstein , a window card for The Invisible Man, and a seemingly-unused, Near Mint/Mint example of the classic one sheet for The Creature from the Black Lagoon."
 
"Last, but certainly not least," Smith said, "I’d like to mention the incredible selection of two sheets we’re offering. The two sheet, which measures 41 inches by 54 inches, is, perhaps, the rarest of any poster style ever created, as it was designed specifically to be utilized in subway displays in New York City and the surrounding area. Due to the limited distribution, it’s rare for vintage posters in this size to surface. The examples we have were saved by the artist, Harold Seroy, and include Design for Living, starring Frederic March, Miriam Hopkins, and Gary Cooper, Hoopla, with Clara Bow, Midnight Club, with George Raft, and Flying Down to Rio, a lovely companion piece to the midget window card for the same title."
 
For more information on this auction and complete lot details, visit www.HA.com/MoviePosters.

For more information about Heritage’s auctions, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, visit www.HA.com.

COMMENT