Chaplin, Welles, Bugs Bunny for Sale

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.

Farmer Alfalfa One Sheet-Heritage Auctions

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.

Apology for Murder-Heritage Auctions

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.

Leonard Maltin is one of the world’s most respected film critics and historians. He is best known for his widely-used reference work Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, now in its third edition, as well as his thirty-year run on television’s Entertainment Tonight. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and appears regularly on Reelz Channel and Turner Classic Movies. His books include The 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, The Great Movie Comedians, The Disney Films, The Art of the Cinematographer, Movie Comedy Teams, The Great American Broadcast, and Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia. He served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry, and was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He hosted and co-produced the popular Walt Disney Treasures DVD series and has appeared on innumerable television programs and documentaries. He has been the recipient of awards from the American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and San Diego’s Comic-Con International. Perhaps the pinnacle of his career was his appearance in a now-classic episode of South Park. (Or was it Carmela consulting his Movie Guide on an episode of The Sopranos?) He holds court at Follow him on Twitter and Facebook; you can also listen to him on his weekly podcast: Maltin on Movies. — [Artwork by Drew Friedman]

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July 2024