$1.7 million Heritage movie poster sale spans historical epics to classic horror
From history to horror, the most recent Heritage Auctions movie poster sale featured a cast list of classic pictures.
The sale in Dallas achieved a total of more than $1.7 million, led by a rare one-sheet poster for the controversial silent epic The Birth of a Nation.
D.W. Griffith's 1915 film is widely considered one of the most explicitly racist films of the early 20th century, but its innovative camera techniques, storytelling and the sheer scale of the production make it both historically important and highly influential.
Featuring a depiction of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the one-sheet poster exceeded its estimate of $25,000 - $50,000 to sell for $74,687.
"Despite being one of the most influential motion pictures of all time, posters from The Birth of a Nation movie are almost never seen at auction," said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Posters at Heritage. "I'm not surprised it did well, but I was pleased to see it surpass expectations three times over. The entire auction was a success from start to finish."
As always, collectors were eager to snap up the selection of horror movie posters on offer, with top lots including a rare 1939 one-sheet for Son of Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Basil Rathbone, which fetched $43,020, and a one-sheet for Universal's 1939 sequel Dracula's Daughter which sold for $35,850.
There were also strong results for classics such as a one-sheet for the 1930 film Morocco, starting Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich, which sold for $40,630; a rare insert format poster for the timeless Casablanca, which sold for $33,460; and a one-sheet for Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps which realized $31,070.
Further notable lots included a one-sheet for Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton's 1918 comedy The Bell Boy, which sold for $35,850, more than ten times its estimate; a set of three Italian premier posters for the iconic 1966 Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which achieved $31,070; and a poster advertising the original 1948 Superman serial, which sold for $20,315.
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