Michael Curtiz's 'Casablanca' Oscar and original 'Metropolis' poster hit the auction block

Posted by · 11:32 am · July 3rd, 2012

Attention movie memorabilia collectors with massive wallets. There are a pair of items on the auction block that you might be interested in.

First up, the Best Director Oscar Michael Curtiz won for “Casablanca” in 1942. Actually, the auction for this one at Nate D. Sanders apparently closed already but I never heard anything else about it after the initial  news (which I’ve been meaning to mention for a few days now). It was expected to fetch upwards of $3 million. Wowsers. And apparently David Copperfied previously owned it, having paid $230,000 for it in 2003. Um, my guess is he made a profit when he sold it to whoever owned it prior to last week’s auction.

That’s a pretty key piece of Academy history, indeed, of film history. I’d say it’s on the top tier, with things like Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane” prize and the like. But again, no word yet on who the winning bidder may have been.

Steven Spielberg typically buys auctioned Oscars and donates them to the Academy. He does this publicly, however. Most recently he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for Bette Davis’s Oscars. But those numbers are a far cry from $3 million (not that Spielberg isn’t good for it). Back in 1996 Hollywood was treated to a twist when Spielberg was revealed as the winning anonymous bidder of Clark Gable’s Oscar for “It Happened One Night.” Maybe a similar twist awaits Curtiz’s award.

It’s rare that Oscars sell because since 1950, the Academy has stipulated that recipients have to give the organization the option to buy it back for $1.

Meanwhile, the world’s priciest movie poster will hit the market soon, too. One of four surviving original posters for Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” will be sold as part of a liquidation auction after it was seized as part of a bankruptcy filing involving well-known collector Kenneth Schacter.

Schacter paid a still-record $690,000 for the poster (which you can see below) in 2005. Who knows what it might go for at auction, but if anyone is looking for an early Christmas present for me, feel free. You know it’s one of my favorite movies.

Metropolis poster

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