Category Archives: Movie Memorabilia

Classic Movie Posters – Valley of Gwangi

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

Valley of the Gwangi One Sheet

Valley of Gwangi (Warner Brothers, 1969)       27″ x 41″ U.S. One-Sheet

Poster art by renowned western artist Frank McCarthy who has an impressive movie poster resume that includes such minor works as The Ten Commandments, Thunderball and The Green Berets.

I highly recommend you click on the image above to enlarge it and spend some time looking at the incredible level of detail in McCarthy’s painting.  The juxtaposition of the larger-than-life Gwangi against the hordes of battling’ cowboys and fleeing civilians against the backdrop of a dinosaur boneyard is simply awesome.

Filmed in Technicolor with creature effects provided by Ray Harryhausen.  Valley of Gwangi was the last dinosaur-themed film to be animated by Harryhausen, who had inherited the project from his mentor Willis O’Brien.  O’Brien had planned to make The Valley of Gwangi decades earlier but died six years before the film was realized.

The story follows a similar trajectory as O’Brien’s King Kong with the giant beast being captured by greedy men who plan to make a fortune displaying him to the public, only to have the dinosaur break free from his cage and send the masses running for their lives from the rampaging beast.

The poster copy sums this movie up perfectly:

Cowboys Battle Monsters in the Lost World of Forbidden Valley.

Unbelievable!

Fantastic!

Amazing! 

Terrifying!

Synopsis

The discovery of a midget horse, thought to be of a species fifty million years old, prompts members of a Wild West show to venture into Mexico’s Forbidden Valley in search of world-wide fame and untold wealth. But they are met by prehistoric monsters, including “Gwangi,” a giant Allosaurus that decimates their ranks.

Here’s the film trailer for your viewing pleasure:

Poster Value

High-grade copies of this poster are usually priced between $400-$500 but better deals can be found.  The combination of Frank McCarthy‘s gorgeous art for a Ray Harryhausen dinosaur vs cowboys flick make this a poster that will continue to be desirable for collectors and genre fans for a long, long time.

Several current listings on eBay range in price from $150 to $500 with a Near Mint copy priced at $495.

Summary

Dinosaurs fighting cowboys. Lost Worlds inside Forbidden Valleys.  Brought to life in stunning Technicolor by the master Dynamation, Ray Harryhausen… It’s the stuff of Monster Kids’ dreams.  What can I say about this movie without sounding all gushy?  Nothing, so I might as well gush.  I simply love this movie, flaws and all.  And I love the movie poster almost as much as I love the film.  ‘Nuff said.

Top 10 Most Valuable Movie Monster Props

Top 10 Most Valuable Monster Movie Props & Costumes Ever Sold at Auction
Ghostbusters Terror Dog Movie Prop

We love our movie monsters and we love collecting them in al their forms.  From creatures from outer space to beasts from the ocean depths, movie makers have spent decades creating monsters to keep us on the edge of our seats.

Here we take a look at ten of the most fearsome – and valuable – screen monsters to ever cross the auction block.

10) Brain Gremlin Puppet

Brain Gremlin Puppet

Joe Dante followed his hit 1984 horror comedy Gremlins with an anarchistic sequel featuring numerous parodies, slapstick, Chuck Jones animation and fourth-wall breaking humour. A screen-used animatronic puppet for the ‘Brain’ gremlin – given intelligence by a super-potion and voiced by Tony Randall – sold at Profiles in History in 2008 for $13,000. (Image: Profiles in History)

Related: Most Valuable Monster Movie Puppets

9) Ghostbusters Terror Dog

Ghostbusters Terror Dog Movie Prop

Despite featuring a host of less-than-scary spooks such as Slimer and the Marshmallow Man, Ghostbusters does feature two truly memorable monsters – the terror dogs. A stop-motion puppet, used as the demon alter-ego for Sigourney Weaver (“The nice lady who paid us in advance before she became a dog”) sold at profiles in History in 2008 for $13,000. (Image: Profiles in History)

8) Bruce the Shark Jaws 

Bruce the Shark from Jaws

Despite its status as a cinema classic, Jaws almost never made it to the screen. During production the mechanical sharks failed to work, or looked ridiculous, hugely delaying the shoot to the point the studio almost pulled the plug. Spielberg was forced to show the shark – nicknamed Bruce by the crew – as little as possible, which actually improved the film. An original 4ft prop shark used for close-up scenes sold for £16,675 at Christie’s in 1996. (Image: Christie’s)

 Related: Collecting Jaws Memorabilia

7) Bat-Dracula from Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Bram Stoker's Dracula Bat Movie Prop

Despite featuring some of the worst English accents in cinema history, Bram Stoker’s Dracula also provides one of the most intense performances as Gary Oldman inhabits the Count in Oscar-winning effects make-up. One of the most terrifying scenes features Dracula transformed into a gigantic bat, and the original suit and mask worn during the scene brought $30,000 at Profiles in History in 2011. (Image: Profiles in History)

 Related: Collecting Dracula

6) Creature from the Black Lagoon Mask

Creature from the Black Lagoon Mask

Man-in-a-suit monsters don’t come much more famous than the Creature from the Black Lagoon, who first appeared on the silver screen in 1954. He resurfaced again in 1955, in Revenge of the Creature, in which he fell in love with Lori Nelson, although their relationship ended in a hail of bullets. The original screen-worn mask from the film sold for $70,000 at Profiles in History in 2009. (Image: Profiles in History)

Related: Creature from the Black Lagoon Collectibles

5) Predator Suit 

Predator Suit

Stan Winston created the now-iconic design for the Predator whilst on a plane ride with director James Cameron, after Cameron commented he’d like to see a creature with mandibles. The 1986 film went on to spawn a franchise, starting with Predator II in 1990, and a full screen-worn mask and suit from the sequel brought $80,000 at Profiles in History in 2010.(Image: Profiles in History)

4) Starship Troopers Warrior Bug Puppet

Starship Troopers Bug Puppet

Paul Verhoeven’s satirical sci-fi classic features a wide range of monsters in the shape of gigantic alien bugs. Created using a mix of CGI and practical effects, the film earned an effects Oscar nomination in 1998 but was defeated by the all-conquering Titanic. A 72” tall screen-used warrior bug puppet sold at Profiles in History in 2012 for $85,000. (Image: Profiles in History)

 

3) Jurassic Park T-Rex Head

Jurassic Park T Rex Prop

Spielberg’s Jurassic Park may have featured some of the greatest CGI ever seen on film, but it also included practical dinosaurs made by effects maestro Stan Winston – for which he won an Oscar in 1994. An enormous, life-sized animatronic T-Rex head from the film sold for $110,000 at Profiles in History in 2007. (Image: Profiles in History)

 

2) Xenomorph Alien Suit

Xenomorph Alien Suit

One of the most famous movie monsters in cinema history, the creature from Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic was created by Swiss artist H.R Giger who also helped design the look of the film. Giger won an Oscar for his work, and the Xenomorph went on to become a true icon of horror. The original screen-worn suit from the film sold at Profiles in History in 2007 for $110,000. (Image: Profiles in History)

 

1) King Kong Armature

King Kong 1933 Armature

The most famous movie monster of them all, King Kong captured the imagination of movie goers when he roared to life in 1933. The film featured state-of-the-art stop-motion effects by Willis O’Brien, with three Kong models built from mechanical frames, foam and rabbit fur. One of the original 22” armature skeletons – used during the climactic scene on top of the Empire State Building – sold at Christie’s in 2009 for a record £121,500. (Image: Christie’s)  Another  armature skeleton resides in the monstrous collection of Bob Burns

This article is provided courtesy of Picollecta.com – read the original article on their site

CLASSIC MOVIE POSTERS – Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

Beast from 20000 Fathoms One Sheet Movie PosterBeast from 20,000 Fathoms (Warner Brothers, 1953) 27″ x 41″ Style A One-Sheet

With Jurrasic World stomping through the box office,  I thought it would be fun to look back at classic movie posters of a film genre that is so near-and-dear to my heart, dinosaur movies.  Also, “lost worlds” and “giant atomic beasts.”  I love them all!

While not the first dinosaur/lost world film by a long shot, Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is the first in a long-line of movies in the “Giant Atomic Beast” genre, pre-dating even the venerable Godzilla by one year.  The importance of the film isn’t limited to simply being first.  This movie was also the first solo project for our beloved Ray Harryhausen and the only time in cinematic history that Harryhausen and his lifelong friend, Ray Bradbury, appeared in the film credits together.  The movie was loosely based on a short story Bradbury published in the Saturday Evening Post.

The one-sheet poster for this movie is simply great, including  no less than 5 tag lines:

The Seas’ Master Beast of the Ages – Raging Up From the Bottom of Time!

They Couldn’t Believe Their Eyes! They Couldn’t Escape the Terror! And Neither Will YOU! 

You’ll See It Tear a City Apart!

CASTS OF THOUSANDS! Over a Year in the Making!

Synopsis

A group of scientists and military men are in the remote far reaches of the Arctic Circle, testing a nuclear device. The detonation sets free a prehistoric “Rhedosaurus”, a giant carnivorous dinosaur that walks on four legs.  The Beast makes its way south toward old nesting grounds, sinking a ship along the way.  The Beast destroys a lighthouse along his route and eventually comes ashore in New York City, wreaking havoc. As if his ferocity and size were not enough of a menace, it is discovered that when wounded, the Beast drips blood that contains deadly amounts of radioactive bacteria. The military decides that the Beast will have to be taken out by a grenade rifle armed with a radioactive isotope leading to a final showdown in an unlikely setting – a closed amusement park.

Enjoy the movie trailer:

Poster Value:

This poster simply doesn’t show up at auction very often.  Heritage Auctions sold one way back in 2008 for $1,553.  There is one current eBay listing for a nice copy of the poster for $1,450.

Summary

This movie is simply great and it’s importance can’t be understated to fans of genre movies.  Not only did this film give Harryhausen is break-out opportunity, the film’s director, Eugene Lourie went on to become specialize in the genre of giant atomic beast invasion films.  In 1959 he directed The Giant Behemoth, which featured stop-motion effects by Willis O’Brien and his assistant Pete Peterson, using many of the same low-budget methods that Harryhausen had pioneered. This was followed in short order by Gorgo (1961), which Lourie directed in England, this time featuring a man-in-a-suit monster.

The commercial success of Beast from 20,000 Fathoms led other Hollywood studios to jump on the bandwagon.  The following is from Turner Classic Movies tribute to Ray Harryhausen:

Meanwhile, the influence of Harryhausen’s first solo creation was being felt around the world. In Japan, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka of Toho Studios read a synopsis of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms in a trade magazine, and it inspired him to create a homegrown monster-on-the-loose. The first script for what would become Gojira (1954) even included an attack on a lighthouse. Gojira was a fearsome scaly-spined dinosaur brought to life as a man-in-a-suit by effects expert and longtime Kong fan Eiji Tsuburaya. (The edited film received added footage featuring Raymond Burr and a new title for its American release as Godzilla, King of the Monsters in 1956).

Warner Bros. also took note of the success of Beast and immediately put into production Them! (1954), which would feature an invasion of giant ants and a copycat release pattern of saturation bookings and a massive advertising campaign. Other studios would launch their own giant insect films as a result. So two entire movie sub-genres, the Japanese daikaiju (giant monster) film, and the American “Big Bug” movie, can be traced back to the twin successes of the 1952 reissue of King Kong and its Atomic-Age imitator, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.

And on top of all that, the movie poster is simply awesome,

Classic Movie Posters Gallery – Dracula Has Risen from the Grave

Classic Movie Posters Gallery

Dracula Has Risen From the Grave 1968 One-Sheet

 

Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (Hammer; 1968) 27″x 41″ One-Sheet

This week’s entry in our Classic Movie Posters Gallery, we pay tribute to Christopher Lee in one of his many iconic roles, Count Dracula.  I admit, my original intent was to feature a classic movie poster with Mr. Lee actually on it but I was, shall we say, attracted to this unique poster from the 1968 Hammer Film.

The combination of cheeky humor and magnetic sexuality is perfectly aligned with where Hammer‘s films were at this time.  The black and white photograph with the bright pink band aids and the word (Obviously) beneath the film title aren’t consistent with how dark this horror movie is, but fit right into a cynical period in our culture.

When you look at other posters of the period, this one truly stands out…and not just for the obvious reasons.  It’s singular image differentiates it at a time when posters were still usually montage of characters and scenes from the movie.  And, yes, its use of skin was also quite unique for its time.  I can picture it on a theater marquee causing quite a stir alongside the other more traditionally style posters of the time.

Christopher Lee added an animalistic sensuality to his performance of Dracula and Hammer certainly pushed boundaries in their movies, combining horror and sex in a way not seen in mainstream movies before.

Collector Value

This poster is highly collectible but not terribly expensive.  A F/VF 7.0 unrestored copy sold last year on Heritage Auctions for $143. Current listings on eBay start at $249 for VF copy.  Not sure I could convince my wife to let me hang this one in our family room, though. At least, not until our son has gotten through puberty…

Classic Movie Posters Gallery – Frankenstein 1931

 

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

Frankenstein 3-Sheet Movie Poster 1931

Frankenstein (Universal, 1931)                                      3-Sheet (41″ X 78-1/2″)

Most collectors secretly dream of finding the proverbial ‘golden ticket’ of items that are so rare, so unbelievably valuable, that they can afford to spend the rest of their days enjoying their collection without a pesky job getting in the way.

Well, The most valuable Frankenstein movie poster ever sold at public auction is one such item.  The only 6-foot example from the 1931 Universal horror classic known to exist sold for $358,000 in Heritage Auctions’ March 2015 Vintage Movie Posters Auction.

The poster was discovered by Steve Wilkin, who found the poster back in the 1970s in a long closed and boarded-up projection booth in a Long Island theater where he worked as a teen.

A spokesman for Heritage Auctions said: ‘Only a small handful of one sheets including one teaser, one six sheet, one insert, and a restored half sheet are all that have appeared of the posters, not including lobby cards,’ the spokesman said.

‘Offered in this lot is the only known copy of either of the two styles of three sheets created for the debut of the film.

‘This is the Style C and is arguably the best graphic of the two styles.

‘It underwent professional restoration and the poster now displays beautifully.’

The spokesman said posters for the film had always been ‘infamously difficult to find’.

The Style C three sheet measures a hulking 41-inches by 78-1/2-inches and had apparently been used by the theatre as a display for reissues of the movie in the decades following its release  ‘It had apparently been used as a display for a number of reissues of the film with its counterpart Dracula, as was so often the case throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

Bidders also pushed the sale price of an 11-inch by 14-inch lobby card from the film to $40,630, making it the most valuable example of its kind from the movie.

Frankenstein is one of the first, and most important, monster movies and prices of original collectibles of the film reflect that importance.  I’ll never own one, but I sure enjoy looking at them!

CLASSIC MOVIE POSTERS GALLERY – JAWS

Classic Movie Posters Gallery

Jaws Movie Poster One-Sheet

Jaws (Universal, 1975). One Sheet (27″ X 41″)

This week’s installment in our Classic Movie Poster Gallery celebrates it’s 40th anniversary this week, the movie that turned a day at the beach into a national nightmare, Jaws.

Credited as the first summer blockbuster, Jaws was a phenomenon and the poster art played a big part in the feeding frenzy.  The poster art, painted by Roger Kastel, originally appeared on the Bantam paperback for the best-selling book by Peter Benchley.  Universal Studios knew this film was going to be huge and looked at numerous designs before ultimately deciding that the book art was simply unbeatable.

Jaws paperback book cover Bantam

Universal smudged out the nudity that had been a controversial on the smaller book cover and enhanced  the impact by changing the title letters from the pale blue of the paperback to the dramatic blood red we all know today.

The resulting poster, with Kastel’s dramatic realistic style, the dramatic use of color and the exaggerated scale of the shark, is simply one of the most iconic images in the history of cinema.

Unfortunately, Kastel’s original 20×30 painting went missing during the book tour for the movie release.  This painting would be extremely valuable today, but it has never been recovered .  Read more about this unfortunate event at Collectors Weekly.

Poster Value

This poster has good availability in higher grades and is not out of reach for serious collectors.  While I found several listed at over $1,000, I also found numerous listings below worth checking out.

Given the iconic design and lasting critical impact of this film, owning an original Jaws one-sheet seems like a pretty safe collectible investment to me.

A couple of these posters are listed on eBay starting at $750

A Private collector is offering a Very Fine poster for $850 at Heritage Auctions


 

Summary

The summer blockbuster season is upon us, as is our annual family trip to the beach.   Jaws is being re-released at the theaters in June, and I plan to be there, re-living one of the great monster movies of the last 50 years and the grandaddy of the summer blockbuster.


CLASSIC MOVIE POSTERS GALLERY – THE ROBOT MONSTER

Classic Movie Posters Gallery

Robot Monster One-Sheet Movie PosterThe Robot Monster (Astor Pictures, 1953) Style A One Sheet (27″ X 41″)

 

In my last post, I reviewed a toy inspired by this movie.  As I was writing that review, I did quite a bit of research on this film and thought it worthy of being this week’s installment in our Classic Movie Poster Gallery.

This 1953 science fiction romp is frequently cited as one of the worst, or at least silliest, movies ever made. Twenty-five-year-old writer/director Phil Tucker made Robot Monster in four days for an estimated $16,000. Most footage was filmed outdoors in Bronson Canyon, the site of innumerable motion pictures and TV settings, including It Conquered the World (1956), Earth vs the Spider (1958) and in more recent times, Army of Darkness (1992) and The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera (2001).

Robot Monster‍ ’​s budget was so low , Tucker couldn’t afford a robot costume as intended, so he hired his friend George Barrows, who had made his own gorilla suit, to play Ro-Man; Tucker then added the space helmet.

Robot Monster‍ ’​s special effects include stock footage used from 1940’s One Million , 1951’s Lost Continent, and Flight to Mars. Also spliced into the film is view screen footage with a brief appearance of the Rocketship X-M (1950) spaceship boarding; a matte painting of the ruins of New York City was also included from Captive Women (1952).

Robot Monster 1953

In spite of the minuscule budget and garage sale monster costume, the 3-D in the film is considered well-crafted, according to Jeff Joseph, organizer of the World 3d Film Expo in Hollywood. “Robot Monster is actually well-shot,’ he says, “and the 3-D is spectacularly good.”

Poster Value

This film flopped at the box-office, grossing $1,000,000 and received extremely limited distribution.  As a result, the posters are quite rare.  Further impacting scarcity and value, most theaters didn’t show the movie in the intended 3-D and the majority of posters have been restored where “3-D” was marked out or taped over with paper.

While not astronomically valued, the rarity of this poster would lead me to believe that it will continue to increase in worth over time and could be a good investment.

A couple of these posters are listed on eBay, starting at $2,000.  I couldn’t find any recent auctions for this poster to benchmark values against, though Heritage Auctions has sold other poster styles from this film in recent years, including:

Half-Sheet (22″ x 28″) VF Sold for $1,553 in 2009

Robot Monster Half-Sheet movie poster

Banner (24″ x 82″) FN+ Sold for $1,793 in 2012

Robot Monster Movie Banner 1953

 

Summary

This is another example of a really great poster for a really bad movie.   I love how much they’ve crammed into this poster — including love scenes, space ships, battling “dinosaurs” and even added a skull-face to Ro-Man to ramp up the fright.  Never mind that he doesn’t have a skull face in the movie, or that the iguana / “dinosaurs” appear for less than a minute.   Truly a poster from a different era and a great example of over-the-top, B-movie pop art at its finest.

Classic Movie Posters Gallery – Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

Classic Movie Posters Gallery

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman Three Sheet Poster

(click image to enlarge)

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (Allied Artists, 1958) Three Sheet (41″ X 81″)

This 1958 camp science fiction movie has the unique distinction of being considered one of the worst science fiction movies ever made and one of the most valuable movie posters of all time.

Released on May 19, 1958, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman has become a cult classic and has remained in the public eye largely due to this poster.  The poster is like a comic book cover with its over-the-top action combined with a powerful composition that draws the viewer in.  The poster is serious, while the sci fi romp it promotes is anything but.

artwork is by Reynold Brown.

A master of 1950s matinee movie art, Brown designed so many classic genre movie posters for science fiction and horror classics including Tarantula, House on Haunted Hill and Creature from the Black Lagoon.

I highly recommend the book Reynold Brown: A Life in Pictures to all fans and collectors of vintage movie poster art: 

No six-sheet was produced for this film, making this three-sheet the largest poster format available for this movie.

This poster goes for big bucks, ranking in the top 100 most valuable movie posters.  Heritage Auction sold a VF+ on Linen poster  at auction for $33,460.00 in 2014.

I enjoyed this film, but it isn’t one that I care to watch again anytime soon — too many other movies that I haven’t seen or love to watch again and again to spend time on this one.  That said, I appreciate the timeless appeal of this poster and love that it remains a pop culture icon, being parodied and replicated on every imaginable product.

Check out the the wide range of custom products on Etsy featuring this artwork.

And, of course, if you’ve never seen this movie, it’s worth watching once:

Classic Movie Posters Gallery – Dracula’s Daughter

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

Welcome to my new series focused on collecting vintage movie posters. Film posters are one of the most interesting collectible category to me personally as they are truly works of pop art and, in many cases, better than the films themselves!

Every week, I’ll feature a classic movie poster from a vintage horror, retro science fiction or classic fantasy movie. You’ll see the most iconic posters as well as the forgotten and bizarre from throughout the history of movies.


 

So without further ado, I give you Dracula’s Daughter (click to image enlarge)

Dracula's Daughter RealArt One Sheet 1949
Dracula’s Daughter (Realart, R-1949). One Sheet (27″ X 41″).

Gloria Holden “Gives you that weird feeling,” as she peers out hungrily from behind the blood and bat laden title on this fabulous one sheet.  This is the one sheet for the 1949 re-release of this classic picture and it has an over-the-top pop art sensibility that appeals to the comic book fan in me.  Plus, what’s not to love about the tag line, “She gives you that Weird Feeling.”  I can just imagine the 13 year boys in 1949 seeing this poster and having all kind of weird feelings, which is pretty much the only kind of feelings 13 year olds have.

Dracula’s Daughter was released this week in 1936 and is a direct sequel to Browning’s Dracula.  The success of Bride of Frankenstein led Universal to green light this sequel and, while not as well known as other classic monster equals, is a favorite of mine.


I Found a framed giclee print  for $9.95 @ Etsy

 

Collecting King Kong 1933 Movie Memorabilia: Current eBay Auctions

Collecting King Kong 1933 Movie Memorabilia

Movie Theater ephemera are the most valuable and desired components of a King Kong 1933 collection.  While original King Kong movie posters are some of the most expensive and valuable of all vintage movie posters, other memorabilia from this film are readily available on eBay and other auction sites are more reasonable prices.

Here are some of the more interesting auctions currently on eBay for King Kong 1933 Movie Memorabilia.  I’ll keep this page updated with current auctions as well as report what ended auctions sold for.  Hope it is useful and please let me know if you win any auctions!

1. Vintage Lobby Card King Kong 1946 Re-release

Collecting-King-Kong-1933-Movie-Memorabilia

 

2. King Kong 1938 Lobby Card

Collecting-King-Kong-1933-Movie-Memorabilia

 

 3. Original 1933 Herald

Collecting-King-Kong-1933-Movie-MemorabiliaCollecting-King-Kong-1933-Movie-MemorabiliaCollecting-King-Kong-1933-Movie-Memorabilia

4. Original 1933 King Kong Movie Still 

Collecting-King-Kong-1933-Movie-Memorabilia

5. King Kong 1942 Re-release Lobby Card Set

Collecting-King-Kong-1933-Movie-Memorabilia