Wednesday, July 19, 2017
RARE 'FRANKENSTEIN' AND HIS BRIDE MOVIE POSTERS
Pictured today is one of only six copies known to exist of this stone lithograph one sheet by an unknown artist from Universal's FRANKENSTEIN (1931). Also included is a "French Grande" poster from BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, by French artist Joseph Koutachy. Both are up for auction. The larger size pictures of the posters are watermarked because of their rarity.
Frankenstein (Universal, 1931). One Sheet (27" X 41") Style A.
One of only six copies known to exist, Heritage has the exceedingly rare privilege of presenting this incredible stone litho one sheet, a stunning prize that collectors have always dreamed of owning. To say that the 1931 horror classic Frankenstein was monumental would be more than a gross understatement. It is, perhaps, the most influential film in Hollywood history. Not only did this adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic novel bring the young horror genre into the mainstream, but it also provided the horror vocabulary we know today: the mad scientist, the misunderstood monster, the angry villagers carrying torches, the dark laboratory filled with science fictional devices, and the creepy assistant. All of these staple creative elements owe their existence to this masterpiece. Director James Whale and makeup artist Jack Pierce made a lasting impact when they brought Mary Shelley's Monster to life with Boris Karloff's terrifying visage and ultimate performance. Rather than simply "monumental," this film is the stuff of legends. The image of Karloff, as seen on this poster, with his flat head and bolts coming out of the neck, was the first such image that any audience laid eyes on. And it would become one of the most recognizable and iconographic images of a monster in the twentieth century. Another piece of this kind may not surface for many years, making this an opportunity not to be ignored. A great sweeping image featuring portraits of all the major players, this poster once showed tears and chipping in the borders and body of the poster prior to its restoration. There was a section of paper loss in the right border and interior through Mae Clarke's upper image, a thin strip of paper loss through Dwight Frye's image into the "A" of the title, and the black Universal credit box at the bottom has been replaced. The poster was once mounted on board, resulting in some areas of surface paper loss on the verso. However, Karloff's iconic Monster and cast members have their images intact in this wonderful, display-ready acquisition. Heritage sold another copy of this poster over 13 years ago for almost $190,0000. Good+ on Linen.
Estimate: $80,000 - $160,000.
The Bride of Frankenstein (Universal, 1935). French Grande (46.5" X 62") Joseph Koutachy Artwork.
It's a rare thing for a sequel to be as big a hit as its predecessor, but James Whale's return to the world of Mary Shelley proved to be just as smashing a success as his 1931 masterpiece, Frankenstein. Surprisingly, Whale initially refused to direct the sequel, deriding the idea as being "squeezed dry" and a creative dead end. Even after receiving full creative control from the studio, the reticent director wouldn't consider the film a serious project, deciding only to make the film a thrilling and memorable romp for audiences. Perhaps he forgot that that was exactly what any good horror picture should be. The venture generated a box office explosion, further galvanized by rave reviews from such high-end critics like Time, Variety, and The New York Times. They lauded the picture for its outstanding cast, compelling performances from Boris Karloff and Ernest Thesiger, the film's expressive cinematography, and an electrifying score that brought the onscreen action to life. But what really made the picture the genre icon it is today was, of course, Elsa Lanchester's hissing Bride. Despite the minimal amount of screen time she received between her dual roles as the prologue's Mary Shelley and the conclusion's screaming She-Creature, Lanchester's powerful performance stunned audiences and created one of classic horror's most defining images of all time. Thought to be the only remaining paper of its kind, this poster tantalizes moviegoers with artwork courtesy of French artist Joseph Koutachy, giving a glimpse of the story's thrilling climax. In remarkable condition, this first-time offer from Heritage has had light touchup to the folds for some mild tears, small tears in the borders with minor nicks, and a tear from the upper left corner into the artist signature. There are a couple of vertical creases still visible in the upper background. Very Fine- on Linen.
Estimate: $40,000 - $80,000.