A magnificent and massive Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1942) six sheet (81″ X 81″) large format movie poster, one of just two copies known, is expected to bring $60,000 when it comes across the auction block as the centerpiece of Heritage Auctions’ March 23-24 Vintage Movie Poster Signature Auction.
“There are few films as beloved as Casablanca,” said Grey Smith, Director of Movie Posters at Heritage Auctions, “and few titles that collectors covet more. Given the status of the film and the rarity of this particular poster — there is only one other known to exist — and you have the makings of something special.”
Another rarity that is just one of two copies known, and should also prove exceedingly popular with collectors is the one sheet for MGM’s 1932 classic Tarzan the Ape Man, by far the rarest Tarzan poster known. Tarzan the Ape Man also represents the first film that starred Johnny Weissmuller in the title role that would go on to become his most famous. The poster is expected to bring $25,000.
There are few films as equally controversial and influential as D.W. Griffith’s 1915 classic silent drama Birth of a Nation (Epoch Producing, 1915), known for its epic scope, top notch acting and overtly racist themes, and a one sheet poster in the auction, in very fine condition, is expected to capture bidder’s attention to the tune of $20,000.
“Whatever your feelings may or may not be about Birth of a Nation, there is no denying its cinematic heft,” said Smith. “As such, collectors go after available copies of the poster with verve when they show up. In condition this fine, I would expect them to double their efforts to obtain it; there’s no telling when a copy as nice as this will show up again.”
For animation and Disney collectors, Heritage is offering an extremely rare Mickey Mouse one sheet from 1932 — the first release under the United Artists banner. It was United Artists that gave Walt Disney the freedom and money he wanted and sent him on his way to creating one of the biggest and best loved brands in history. It is expected to bring $15,000.
Also, up for auction the very first time, an incredible 1938 reissue King Kong (RKO, R-1938) one sheet, much rarer than the original poster to the film, and the only copy known to exist, carries a pre-auction estimate of $15,000.