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TAKE TWO

Sotheby’s is auctioning some of the world’s most iconic movie posters

a set picture from Dr Calligari's Cabinet
Image via Sotheby's
Grab yours.
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter based in New York City

Published Last updated

A Japanese color poster for the 1965 re-release of the 1954 black-and-white movie Sabrina. A 1965 conceptual Polish poster for Ptaki (The Birds), Alfred Hitchcock’s (Alfreda Hitchcocka, in the local spelling) 1963 ode to anxiety. The Italian poster of the1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice (Si Vive Solo Due Volte) and several designs for various Star Wars films. These are some of the original movie posters from around the world on auction by Sotheby’s in London, with online bids also accepted until Feb. 8.

Prices start at £300 (about $400) for two house stills from Disney’s 1953 Peter Pan, and estimates are as high as £30,000 for the 1962 original poster of Dr. No, the first James Bond movie.

The lots on offer might appeal to those still looking for art to display on a wall or an investment they can touch, rather than an NFT stored on a blockchain.

La Dolce Vita

doesn’t come cheap

The collection of 102 posters and stills includes many iconic pieces. The black-and-white frame from the 1967 poster for The Graduate, featuring the classic lines, “Benjamin—do you find me undesirable?” “Oh no, Mrs Robinson, I think you are the most attractive of all my parents’ friends,” has a starting price of £900. A limited-edition poster for Robert Bresson’s 1983 masterpiece L’Argent, signed by the director and by the poster’s designer, graphic artist Raymond Savignac, has a starting price of £1,200. The original Japanese poster for Hiyao Miyazaki’s cult 1988 animation Tonari No Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro, shown as a double bill with Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies) starts at £1,200.

Some of the posters in the auction are likely the realm of expert collectors after valuable pieces. These include the 1960 Italian poster for Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, which is starting £14,000; the rare design for the 1980 British launch of The Empire Strikes Back, starting at £10,000; and the evocative 1968 poster for Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (bids accepted from £8,000).

But there also are several more accessible pieces for sale. These include Pierre Etaix’s poster for Jacques Tati’s 1958 classic Mon Oncle (current bid £2,000), an arresting oversized photograph from the 1920 set of Das Cabinett des Dr. Caligari (Dr Callegari’s Cabinet), and a stunning Brigitte Bardot on the 1958 Japanese poster for Cette Sacrée Gamine (Naughty Girl), going for just £500.

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