One of the most celebrated and adorned films of all time, winner of three Academy Awards, including the Best Picture, the 1942 Warner Bros. romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, Casablanca is still bracing after all these years. At 70, this classic not only retains a special appeal for lovers despite the datedness of the central romance, but for the avid movie goers and film memorabilia collectors as well. And, the memorabilia associated with Casablanca also continues to offer sound investments to collectors, thanks to the enduring appeal of what is being deemed as culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant American films. Now, two of the most desirable items associated with the film, the original Casablanca movie poster and the Best Director Oscar for Casablanca have been put on the auction blocks by two acclaimed auctioneers. Apparently, the rare movie collectibles are gaining the interest of fans and collectors alike, as earlier we have seen that the rare 1931 Dracula poster got sold for $143,400.
Michael Curtiz’s Best Director Oscar for the classic Casablanca, which was auctioned by auctioneer Nate D. Sanders on June 28th, was expected to fetch an estimated price of $2.5 million to $3 million. The gold statuette won in year 1943 by the Hungarian-born Michael Curtiz, who died in 1962, reportedly garnered $369,000 in an online bid, before the final bidding.
However, there are no reports on its sale price as yet, but it is seen that Curtiz’s Oscar for directing the movie was previously sold by Christie’s in year 2003 for $231,500 to American magician David Copperfield.
Actually, Oscar statuettes rarely come up on the auction blocks following a 1950s agreement between Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and Oscar winners, that actually banned the winners to sell their Oscars to anyone but to the Academy, that too at a nominal price of $1. But several pre-1950s Oscars have gone for auction in recent years like the Orson Welles’ Oscar for Best Screenplay of iconic Citizen Kane fetched $861,000, and the Best Picture Oscar for Gone With the Wind was reportedly bought up by late pop-icon Michael Jackson for $1.5 million.
Another rare Casablanca memorabilia, the most desirable of all Casablanca movie posters, the original Style B is now being offered by the Heritage Auctions as part of its Vintage Movie Posters Signature Auction to be held in Beverly Hills on 25-26 July. Standing among the most sought-after memorabilia from this film, it considerably differs to the other printing styles, featuring wonderful image of Ingrid Bergman at the center and Humphery Bogart, surrounded by the film’s supporting cast.
One of just three known examples, this Style B half sheet is expected to garner a price of $30,000 to $60,000. Reportedly, it’s is currently selling at $15,000, with almost 3 weeks left for the last bid. Earlier, one of other Casablanca poster got sold for $28,680 at the Vintage Movie Poster Auction held by Heritage Auctions.