NEW YORK, NY.-
On Tuesday, December 18 Swann Galleries
will offer an eye-grabbing single-owner auction devoted to Monsters & Maidens: A Film Poster Collection, which focuses on images of monsters with helpless girls in their grasp.
The theme of a beautiful woman slung over the art of some villain is campy iconography sure to capture imaginations for a number of reasons, said Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann President and Director of the Poster Department, from the psychological to the primal.
While not all of the posters depict monstersthere are robots and even some heroes, toomost people will recognize Destroy This Mad Brute / Enlist, the circa 1917 recruitment poster employing a fierce gorilla to represent an impending German invasion, holding a helpless maiden in one arm and a wooden bat marked kulture in the other ($12,000 to $18,000); which closely resembles the beast in a French version of the classic 1933 King Kong poster for the film starring Faye Wray ($20,000 to $30,000); as well as posters for 1949 and 1966 re-releases, the 1970s remake, and knock-offs including King Kong vs. Godzilla.
Godzilla grabs a few girls himself in some of the posters, such as Les Envahisseurs Attaquent [Destroy all Monsters], 1969 ($700 to $1,000); Godzilla / Le Monstre de lOcéan Pacifique, 1957 ($600 to $900) and Les Monstres de lIle en Feu, circa 1960 ($700 to $1,000).
Another green baddie is the Creature from the Black Lagoon, who appears in a 1954 poster for one of the earliest 3-D movies, designed by Reynold Brown the well known science fiction magazine and book cover illustrator ($15,000 to $20,000); in addition to an Italian version of the poster for Revenge of the Creature, a 1955 sequel, by an unknown artist, which appears on the cover of the auction catalogue ($2,000 to $3,000).
Science fiction film fans will also appreciate the many outer-space related posters, among them a French version of The Day the Earth Stood Still, by Boris Grinsson, 1952 ($1,500 to $2,000); two Italian posters for the same film designed by Giam, 1952 ($2,000 to $3,000 and $2,500 to $3,500); Roger Soubies poster for the French release of Forbidden Planet, with a buxom blonde in the grips of Robby the Robot, 1956 ($7,000 to $10,000); another classic robot, Tobor, billed as the Man-Made Monster with Every Human Emotion, 1954 ($2,500 to $3,500); and b-movies out of Japan, including Prisonnières des Martiens, 1959 ($500 to $750) and Odissea sulla Terra, 1969 ($400 to $600).
Among the most beloved b-movies made in the U.S. are those by Ed Wood, and this sale includes a poster for his La Novia del Monstruo [Bride of the Monster], which features Bella Lugosis last speaking role, circa 1955 ($500 to $750). Lugosi also appears in a French poster for Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, 1954 ($2,000 to $3,000), which starred Lon Chaney, Jr., another famed movie monster actor. Chaney is also featured in Man-Made Monster, 1941 ($1,500 to $2,000) and La Casa del Terror, 1960 ($600 to $900).
Peter Cushing, an actor known for his sinister roles in Hammer Films releases, makes his mark in Grinssons LEmpreinte de Frankenstein [The Evil of Frankenstein], 1964 ($400 to $600); Le Cauchemar de Dracula [Horror of Dracula], 1958 ($3,000 to $4,000); and Les Maitresses de Dracula [The Brides of Dracula], 1960 ($400 to $600).
Fiery embraces of a more romantic nature include Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich in Morocco, titled Coeurs Brulés, in the French release, 1931 ($12,000 to $18,000); Roger Soubies design for Autant en Emporte le Vent, or Gone With the Wind, 1950 ($2,500 to $3,500); and Humphrey Bogarts film noir Il Diritto di Uccidere [A Lonely Place], 1951 ($4,000 to $6,000)..
The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 18. The items will be on public exhibition Friday, December 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, December 15, from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, December 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Tuesday, December 18, from 10 a.m. to noon.