I have too much stuff. Having moved last year has brought this fact into sharper focus, and during my illness I’ve had a lot of time to think about what possessions really matter to me. Letting go isn’t easy for a compulsive collector, all the more so because my wife and daughter have the same mindset. But at this weekend’s Heritage Movie Poster Auction we’re saying goodbye to some posters that haven’t ever found a place on our walls. What’s the point of holding onto movie artwork you can’t ever display?
Don’t misunderstand: I’m not emptying the closet completely. But I’d be foolish if I didn’t try to prune the collection.
After much thought I started weeding out my animation one-sheets, acquired decades ago: a nice Warner Bros. Looney Tunes stock sheet, several posters for MGM Tex Avery cartoons, even a Terrytoons sheet with a lively drawing of Farmer Al Falfa. I’ve also got an original window card for Walt Disney’s Saludos Amigos. (I’ve always had a soft spot for window cards: they generally replicate the design of the one-sheet but take up less room and cost much less money.)
My wife and I never purchased posters as investments; we bought what we liked. But along the way we did acquire a handful of window cards for some A-list films like Touch of Evil, The Seven Year Itch, Hitchcock’s Rope, and the Saul Bass designs for The Man with the Golden Arm and Love in the Afternoon.
But our taste has always been eclectic, so it’s an odd assortment of material that ranges from a beautiful Tom Mix window card to a jumbo window card for The Big Broadcast of 1936 depicting Bing Crosby, Burns and Allen, and Amos ‘n’ Andy. You’ll find A Letter to Three Wives, The Time Machine, Funny Face, Imitation of Life, and Lena Horne in Bronze Venus.There are two striking Swedish one-sheets, one spotlighting Erich von Stroheim (Alibi) and one offering an unusual image of Charlie Chaplin as the Tramp and the Dictator in The Great Dictator. Film noir fans should take note of The Big Clock, Raw Deal, Cornered, and a rarity from PRC starring the great Ann Savage: Apology for Murder. And there are a pair of Charley Chase lobby cards from one of his best silent two-reelers,Long Fliv the King.
If you’re curious to see what we culled from our collection, click HERE and feel free to bid. It costs nothing to look.