An extraordinary Casablanca six sheet could bring $300,000 when it comes to auction in Heritage Auctions
' Movie Posters Auction Nov. 21-22.
One of just a handful of copies known to remain in existence, the Casablanca (Warner Bros., 1942) Six Sheet (estimate: $150,000-300,000) is an undeniable treasure for collectors of elite movie posters. There are design similarities between this poster and the Style B half sheet for Michael Curtiz's beloved classic film, but the portraits on this poster are of a quality unmatched on any of the other American posters.
"The artwork and color on this poster are exceptional, and that is only magnified by the sheer scale of this masterpiece, which measures nearly eight feet in each direction," Heritage Auctions Vintage Posters Director Grey Smith said. "The dominant images are of two storied actors, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, in their most famous roles. When you have such legendary actors in a timeless classic, featured on a poster as artistic as this one, the demand among serious collectors really takes off."
The original king of monsters makes an appearance when a King Kong (RKO, 1933) Three Sheet Style B (estimate: $125,000-250,000) is offered by Heritage Auctions for just the second time ever. The film holds incredible importance in the history of moviemaking: Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack created a tragic version of the Beauty and the Beast narrative that has captivated audiences for generations. The pair incorporated groundbreaking technological innovations, the most important of which was the work of stop-motion animator Willis O'Brien, whose skilled treatment of Kong and Skull Island's dinosaurs kept viewers' suspension of disbelief in check and thus raised the status of the picture to a true classic. The offered poster is a visual triumph and one of the rarest three sheets in the hobby, thanks to its vibrant stone litho illustration of Kong rampaging about New York City.
Original paper from Charlie Chaplin's first feature-length film as a director and star is exceedingly rare, making this The Kid (First National, 1921) Three Sheet (estimate: $50,000-100,000) a collector's prize. The film marked Chaplin's transition from shorts to full-length films, and also featured his ability to intertwine comedy, emotional drama and social commentary on poverty and the inadequacies of child welfare services. As one of the first to blur the line between comedy and tragedy, it forever altered the cinematic storytelling process. Chaplin's impactful performance is often credited with the loss of his own newborn child, who died only 10 days before filming began. His personal tragedy, combined with the charms of child vaudevillian Jackie Coogan, cemented The Kid as one of the greatest films of the silent era.
AThe Mummy (Universal, 1932) Pre-War Belgian (estimate: $40,000-80,000) bears some significant resemblance to the equally gorgeous American one sheet. After bursting into the spotlight with his performance in Frankenstein, Boris Karloff triumphs in his second role, in a performance that helped boost Universal's horror film genre, prompting a slew of sequels, remakes and crossover appearances over the ensuing decades. The poster lacks the studio's distributor logo, but it can be traced to Universal's original European distribution because of the mention above the title of Max Bosman, who had been in charge of the publicity department at Universal's Dutch office, beginning five years before the release of the film. He undoubtedly played an active role in advertising films across Holland's border into Belgium, making this one-of-a-kind poster an authentic part of Universal's 1933 release.
Another all-time classic, which helped solidify Universal's status with the horror genre, grabs the spotlight in Dracula (Universal, R-1938) One Sheet (estimate: $35,000-70,000). By 1938, Universal had created several horror films that had achieved financial success for the studio as well as cult status with the public. It was time to introduce a new generation of filmgoers to the original horror shows that started it all: Frankenstein and Dracula. The studio released its first reissue of Dracula with green tinting on some of the film prints, and subsequently printed a one sheet that used the same dark greens and black to make the image of Bela Lugosi more menacing. The image of Lugosi is strikingly similar to the original style A one sheet, and no other copies of this 1938 re-release one sheet have surfaced. This copy emerged in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and only when acquired by a collector was its true value recognized as one of the most atmospheric horror posters, capturing Lugosi in his most important role, as Dracula, one of the most famous icons of the cinema.
Other top lots include, but are not limited to:
Casablanca (Warner Bros., R-1953) Italian Locandina, with Luigi Martinati Artwork (estimate: $30,000-60,000)
Casablanca (Warner Bros., 1947) French Moyenne, with Vincent Cristellys Artwork (estimate: $30,000-60,000)
Duck Soup (Paramount, 1933) Three Sheet Style A, Sam Berman Artwork (estimate: $30,000-60,000)
Son of Frankenstein (Universal, 1939) Half Sheet Style B (estimate: $30,000-60,000)
Footlight Parade (Warner Bros., 1933) One Sheet (estimate: $30,000-60,000)