Auctions | March 10, 2020

Rare Invisible Man Poster Surfaces at Heritage Auctions

Dallas, TX – One of just a handful of this style poster released to promote Universal’s 1933 monster classic The Invisible Man may bring as much as $125,000 in Heritage Auctions’ Movie Poster auction March 21-22. The sale is filled with first-time offerings ranging from stone litho masterpieces to early War and advertising posters.

“This beautiful poster is an outstanding example of the horror artwork by artist Karoly Grosz, which made the Universal monster genre such a success,” said Grey Smith, Director of Posters at Heritage Auctions. “One of only a small handful of this style B poster are known to exist so this is a rare first offering at Heritage.”
The gorgeous stone litho poster sells the film ’splot in one image. Director James Whale brought to the horror film a tongue-in-cheek element, which almost 85 years after the film's release still makes it so very enjoyable.
Another Universal monster favorite, a title lobby card for Frankenstein (Universal, 1931) is a very fine example which rarely comes to auction (est. $50,000-$100,000). Paper from arguably the most popular movie monster of all time is considered the pinnacle of collecting. The title card offered is one of only a few known to exist, and of those, it’s condition certainly is among the best.
An Italian locandina poster for Casablanca (Warner Bros., R-1953) is yet another piece to make its auction debut at Heritage (est. $50,000-$100,000). Acclaimed Italian poster artist Luigi Martinati truly outdid himself with this stunning depiction of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, so well composed, an argument could be made that the piece outclasses even those from the original Italian release of the film, which were also crafted by Martinati.
The March 21-22 auction features the special Mike Kaplan Collection, owned by the noted film producer, and assembled over three decades. Leading the collection is a rare and beautiful painted poster for Bordertown (Warner Bros., 1935) (est. $40,000-$80,000). The one sheet beams with bright colors, depicting Bette Davis in one of her most sultry roles.
An extremely early poster for The Jazz Singer (Warner Bros., 1927) is a billboard-size masterpiece and one of only two copies known (est. $20,000-$40,000). The poster is also a historic piece since it marked the end of the era of silent films the moment actor Al Jolson spoke on film. A poster of this size from the 1920s is an amazing find, as 24-sheet posters from this period are exceptionally scarce with only a few having survived. A six-sheet poster from the same film is the only known poster of its kind to survive today (est. $25,000-$50,000).
Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:
    •    A spectacularly rare poster for Stagecoach (United Artists, 1939), from the Mike Kaplan Collection (est. $30,000-$60,000)
    •    An incredibly scarce, three-sheet poster for Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (Allied Artists, 1958), which is at the top of many collectors’ sci-fi want lists (est. $20,000-$40,000)
    •    The original poster artwork by artist Fred Otnes for A Fistful of Dollars (United Artists, 1967), a collage and painted poster for the gritty western. Otnes is known for his collage paintings and works that served as the illustrations for movie posters, postage stamps, and magazine covers (est. $20,000-$40,000)
Heritage Auctions’ March 21-22 Movie Poster Auction offers 814 lots and is now open for bidding. The auction features a separate catalog for The Mike Kaplan Collection of 171 posters collected based on Kaplan’s love of the painted poster.