Only Known U.S. Poster for London After Midnight May Bring $50,000+ at Heritage Auctions

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DALLAS—The only known copy of the U.S. release one sheet from the 1927 lost cinema classic London After Midnight (MGM, 1927) may bring $50,000+ in Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 22-23 Vintage Movie Posters Signature® Auction in Dallas.

The rare poster highlights a large and important collection of paper celebrating the career of Lon Chaney, "The Man of a Thousand Faces." London After Midnight is considered to be one of the "holy grails" of lost cinema and was reconstructed more than ten years ago using more than 200 still photographs and a continuity script. Starring Chaney, and directed by Tod Browning, who is most known for directing Dracula (1931) and Freaks (1932), the film is based on a script by Browning and depicts Chaney as a vampire (though in makeup only).

“This gorgeous poster is the only copy of the stone litho original U.S. release one sheet to have surfaced after 87 years,” said Grey Smith, Director of Movie Posters at Heritage. “In fact, this auction holds the largest selection of rare one sheets, three sheet, and pressbooks devoted to Lon Chaney to ever appear in a single auction. The finds are as diverse and unique as the masks he wore.”

Additional Chaney posters include a one sheet for The Unknown (MGM, 1927), another Browning/Chaney team up that resulted in a masterful, disturbing horror classic (est. $10,000+). The 1927 example is one of two known to appear at auction. The colorful poster for Laugh, Clown, Laugh (MGM, 1928) depicts Chaney as Tito Beppi, a circus clown who cannot help but weep (est. $8,000+) and the poster for Where East is East (MGM, 1929) is a scarce poster rarely seen at auction (est. $5,000+).

The auction’s more than 1,300 colorful lots pay homage to moviedom’s most famous motion pictures but particularly monsters, such as a hulking, French four panel for RKO's 1933 hit King Kong (est. $30,000+). The elusive large format piece rarely appears at auction.

Rare posters from Hollywood classics include a massive six sheet for Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (Paramount, 1958), which features Saul Bass' iconic falling man imagery (est. $20,000+), and a one sheet for This Gun for Hire (Paramount, 1942), featuring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, (est. $15,000+). A lobby card for the Peter Lorre mad doctor vehicle Mad Love (MGM, 1935), makes a rare auction appearance considering the film was extremely controversial at the time of its release, and was banned, or heavily censored, in several countries (est. $16,000).

Another pre-WWI poster already generating collector interest is a one sheet for The Floorwalker (Mutual, 1916). The poster is one of only three known to exist and shows the movie's star, Charlie Chaplin, in the short's title role (est. $10,000+).  

A selection of paper celebrating Universal Studio's famed monsters includes a one sheet for The Ghost of Frankenstein (Universal, 1942), which makes its debut at Heritage (est. $15,000+). A window card for The Invisible Man (Universal, 1933), is a rare find for Universal collectors (est. $7,000+), and a title card for Son of Frankenstein (Universal, 1939), is a rare survivor from a film that marked Boris Karloff's last performance as The Monster (est. $6,000+). Two rare finds for The House of Frankenstein (Universal, 1944) featuring images of actors Glenn Strange, Boris Karloff, John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr., and J. Carroll Naish spans both a one sheet (est. $4,500+) and an insert (est. $6,000+).

The auction also features a large selection of Sherlock Holmes posters including a rare insert to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (20th Century Fox, 1939), the second in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series (est. $6,000+).

Additional highlights include, but are not limited by:

The Adventures of Robin Hood (Warner Brothers, 1938), one sheet: (est. $15,000+).

Mark of Zorro (20th Century Fox, 1940), one sheet, (est. $8,000+).

This Island Earth (Universal International, 1955), poster (40” x 60”) Style Y. (est. $6,000+).

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $900 million, and 850,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com

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