A stunning never-before-auctioned 1932 Mickey Mouse three sheet stock poster from United Artists, scarcely four years removed from Mickey's creation by Walt Disney, brought $35,850 from a determined bidder on Saturday, March 26, to lead Heritage Auctions
' $1,500,950 Signature(r) Vintage Movie Poster Auction.
"Overall we're very pleased with the results," said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Movie Posters at Heritage. "We've seen prices realized on the top examples steadily rising over the last few months and holding strong the deeper you go into the catalog."
The auction realized a more than 86% sell through rate by value on 1,258 lots with 1,249 bidders competing for the offerings.
The second spot on the auction podium went to a 1953 Paramount Style B half sheet from The War of the Worlds, one of the most iconic of the genre, and certainly the most elusive, when it realized an impressive $31,070. Close on its heels was a gorgeous 1938 Universal three sheet from Frankenstein, depicting the great Boris Karloff as the most famous monster to ever stalk the silver screen in fine style reminiscent of German Expressionism. The poster realized $29,875.
"To this day, the image of Boris Karloff as the Monster is recognized around the world and his name will be forever associated with Mary Shelley's classic character," said Smith. "To date, this is just one of two known three sheets from any release of Frankenstein to ever surface, and well worth the price."
A poster from one of the unsung gems of Edward G. Robinson's long and storied career, a 1933 First National one sheet from The Little Giant, featuring artwork from master portraitist Irving Sinclair, realized $22,705, almost tripling its $8,000 pre-auction estimate. A 1931 Warner Brother's one sheet from James Cagney's Blonde Crazy proved wildly successful, realizing $21,510, almost four times its pre-auction estimate, while a 1942 Universal half sheet to The Ghost of Frankenstein, one of the best examples of this piece to ever come through Heritage, matched that same $21,510 price.
Further highlights include, but are not limited to: Creature From the Black Lagoon (Universal International, 1954), six sheet: This horror classic is one of the finest from the era and was an immediate sensation, spawning two top sequels. Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, and Whit Bissell star as a group of paleontologists who travel to the Amazon and find the famed Black Lagoon and its most unusual inhabitant. The gil-man was played by Ben Chapman and Ricou Browning. This thrilling poster features Reynold Brown's superb artwork of the Creature and lovely Adams. Realized: $17,925.
The Hockey Champ (RKO, 1939), one sheet: Donald Duck arrogantly takes on all three of his nephews - Huey, Dewey, and Louie - in a game of hockey in this excellent Technicolor cartoon. When he beats them, he offers to play another game - blindfolded - and chaos ensues. This beautiful cartoon one sheet features spectacular art and is one of the more rare Disney Duck posters Heritage has ever offered. Realized: $15,535.
Dracula's Daughter (Universal, 1936), three sheet: Countess Marya Zaleska, Daughter of Dracula, is played to the hilt by Gloria Holden in a spectacular sequel to Universal's sensational hit Dracula (1931). Paper from this early horror classic is difficult to find, and offered here is the larger-than-life three sheet, which is the only known copy to exist, and a stunning beauty to behold. Realized: $14,938.
A Clockwork Orange (Warner Brothers, 1971), alternate one sheet: When Clockwork was slightly altered to achieve an R rating, Stanley Kubrick wanted to call attention to the change with another image, as the original Philip Castle artwork had already become iconic. He liked the design by David Pelham of the Canadian paperback edition of the Anthony Burgess novel and had it adapted as the new poster for an "R" revised release. It was displayed in theaters only for a short time before the original image was again used, this time with an R rating. This alternate style poster had a very limited print run and, as it was directly tied to the US rating, it was only seen in North America, whereas the original design was used throughout the world. It is therefore the rarest of all official Clockwork Orange posters. Realized: $14,340.