Lights, Camera, Auction! Highlights from Original Film Posters Online

Launch Slideshow

With estimates ranging from £500 to £30,000, Sotheby’s inaugural online auction of Original Film Posters will be open for bidding from 29 August until 11 September with the exhibition on view in our New Bond Street galleries from 2 August. Highlights include large scale original posters of King Kong (1933) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) as well as smaller formats from The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Batman (1966). Click ahead to see highlights from the auction.

Original Film Posters Online
29 August–11 September 2017 | Online

Lights, Camera, Auction! Highlights from Original Film Posters Online

  • Hollywood, French, 1923. 63 x 47 in. (160 x 119 cm).
    Estimate £30,000–50,000.
    This is one of the finest posters from the silent era. The artwork cleverly satirises Hollywood as a greedy behemoth, fed by a stream of young ingénues who are only too eager to climb into its giant mouth.

  • Forbidden Planet, USA, 1956. 41 x 27 in. (104 x 69 cm).
    Estimate £5,000–8,000.
    Forbidden Planet, which is based on Shakespeare's The Tempest, is one of the most cherished sci-fi classic films of all time. The film was directed by Fred M. Wilcox, and stars Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen. This poster is one of the key science fiction pieces from the 1950s, and one of the most desirable.

  • Batman, UK, 1966. 30 x 40 in. (76 x 102 cm).
    Estimate £5,000–7,000.
    Based on the Batman television series and released two months after the last episode of the first season, this was the first full-length feature film adaptation of the DC Comics character. The film starred Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their roles as Batman and Robin respectively.

  • Gone with the Wind, US, 1939. 36 x 14 in. (91 x 36 cm). Estimate £8,000–12,000.
    Gone with the Wind is one of the most celebrated films of all time, and any original release posters on the title are highly prized. The film was an unprecedented commercial success, a staggering representation of 1930s Hollywood glamour, which overwhelmed audiences with lavish sets and costumes.

  • Casablanca, Belgian, 1942. 17 x 11 in. (43 x 28 cm).
    Estimate £2,400–3,500.
    Owing to paper shortages during and after WWII, film posters could not be printed on the larger format paper used before the war. This size poster was therefore typical during and after the war.

  • Citizen Kane, US, 1941. 11 x 14 in. (28 x 36 cm).
    Estimate £1,500–2,600.
    Orson Welles at the age of only twenty-five directed, produced, co-wrote and starred in this landmark film, which has consistently been number one on the American Film Institute's top 100 American films.

  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Italy, 1961. 55 x 39 in. (140 x 99 cm).
    Estimate £8,000–12,000.
    On this Italian version of the film’s poster, Lorenzo Nistri's artwork beautifully captures Audrey Hepburn in her most famous and iconic role.

  • You Only Live Twice, British, 1967. 30 x 40 in. (76 x 102 cm).
    Estimate £2,400–3,500.
    This is the fifth time that Sean Connery would play James Bond 007. Owing to the success of the previous films, three different British posters were designed for this film, and this design is the most sought after of the three.

  • King Kong, France, 1933. 63 x 47 in. (160 x 119 cm).
    Estimate £20,000–30,000.
    A perfect blend of adventure, science fiction and horror, King Kong is the ultimate monster movie and blew audiences away breaking all previous box-office records. Willis O'Brien's use of stop-motion effects was particularly ground breaking for the time and remains legendary. Rene Peron's poster for King Kong beautifully captures the Art Deco era. All original release posters for this iconic film are highly sought after.

  • La Dolce Vita, Italy, 1960. 79 x 55 in. (201 x 140 cm).
    Estimate £20,000–30,000.
    From the opening shot of Marcello Mastroianni in a helicopter flying above Rome with a massive statue of Christ hanging beneath to Anita Ekberg's iconic early morning dip in the Fontana de Trevi, Fellini's masterpiece La Dolce Vita perfectly captures the spirit of a generation. Georgio Olivetti's poster is one of the most famous images from the 60s, exploiting Marcello's infatuation with the starlet.

  • The Wizard of Oz, UK, 1939. 30 x 20 in. (76 x 51 cm).
    Estimate £15,000–20,000.
    Few films have enjoyed such enduring popularity as the 1939 adaptation of L. Frank Baum's children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Judy Garland leads a delightful kooky cast of characters through a colourful fantasy landscape, occasionally waylaid by a scheming witch or a cheery musical interlude. To date no other example of this poster has ever surfaced.

  • The Birds/Psycho, 1963, Czech double-bill poster. 33 x 23 in. (84 x 58 cm).
    Estimate £800–1,200.
    Alfred Hitchcock's films Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963) were re-released in Czechoslovakia as a double bill in 1970. The Czech designer Zdenek Ziegler was responsible for producing this wonderful graphic montage of both films.


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