One of the rarest posters from Universal Studio's golden age of movie monstrosities, a scarce insert for the 1935 horror classic Werewolf of London could sell for $35,000+ Nov. 16-17 in Dallas. The wide-ranging Vintage Movie Posters Signature® Auction offers 1,100+ diverse lots ranging from original title cards to a fine collection of pre-war travel posters.
"The interesting thing about Werewolf of London is that studio execs thought Jack Pierce's original wolf makeup was too scary to be used on screen," said Grey Smith, Director of Movie Posters at Heritage Auctions
. "The makeup was put away until Lon Chaney, Jr., wore a toned down version of it for The Wolf Man, but many movie aficionados believe the makeup in Werewolf of London was much better and much scarier!"
The auction's top lots may very well be dominated by a rogue's gallery of famous villains and monsters. A rare half sheet from the 1932 bullet-riddled gangster flick Scarface is estimated to sell for $25,000+. The original half sheet is from the earliest known release from the film, which initially had trouble passing censors because of its extreme violence and strong content.
A classic King Kong Style B one sheet depicts the rampaging primate clutching a terrified Fay Wray in his hairy grasp. The poster, with its vivid depiction of a panicked populace and a flaming background, rarely appears at auction and as such it's expected to sell for $25,000+. Another Kong rarity, a massive, 1933 three sheet Style B poster for Son of Kongis among the few to feature the monster himself, is expected to bring $20,000+.
Leading a strong selection of Italian language movie posters is a "2-foglio" for the 1948 The Lady from Shanghai, which measures 39" by 55" and features the work of artist Anselmo Ballester. The poster makes its auction debut at Heritage with a $22,000+ estimate. A 4-foglio poster for Federico Fellini's 1960 classic La Dolce Vita could sell for $18,000+. The rare poster rarely appears at auction and this specimen has been professionally mounted on linen to preserve artist's Giorgio Olivetti's daring images.
Early one sheet posters for the silent films of Buster Keaton hardly surface, which makes the appearance of Three Ages, from 1923, just the second time this only-known example has been sold at auction in more than 15 years. It's expected to sell for $15,000+.
Considered one of the greatest movie posters ever designed, a one sheet for This Gun For Hire, presenting bright images of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, is also estimated to sell for $15,000+.
A 1936 insert from the first release of The Walking Dead, a Boris Karloff vehicle, marks the first time Heritage has offered an insert from the film. It could sell for $15,000+, as could a 1947 one sheet for Dracula, a rare reissue poster of the classic Universal horror film.
Highlights include, but are not limited to:
A World War I propaganda recruitment poster, with art by Harry R. Hopps depicting a German soldier in the form of a massive, drooling, uncontrollable ape, is estimated to bring $8,000+.
A scarce one sheet Style A for the original 1940 release of Walt Disney's Fantasia is expected to hammer for $6,000+.
Chamonix travel poster advertising the Paris Lyon Mediteranée Rail Line and featuring the art of Roger Broders could fetch $5,000+.
A French double grande poster measuring 62" by 94-1/2" for the 1926 film The Son of the Sheik could sell for $4,000+.