Was the Movie as Good as the Book? - Collecting Literary Movie Poster On May 19th Hollywood will once again try to make a successful book into a successful movie with the widely anticipated release of The DaVinci Code starring Tom Hanks. The book-turned-to-movie formul
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - March 20, 2006– On May 19th Hollywood will once again try to make a successful book into a successful movie with the widely anticipated release of The DaVinci Code starring Tom Hanks. The book-turned-to-movie formula has had mixed results at the box office over the years. A great novel does not necessarily equal a great movie. For every Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter success story there are just as many failures such as Oprah Winfrey’s big screen adaptation of Toni Morrison’s classic, Beloved.
"In the world of movie poster collecting the value of ‘literary’ movie posters usually depends on how well the book translated into a movie," comments Joe Burtis, of the Motion Picture Arts Gallery in East Rutherford, NJ. The most famous example is, of course, Gone With The Wind. The 1939 classic starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh is as cherished as Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel. At Sotheby’s in 1994 an original 65" x 43" Gone With The Wind poster became the third most expensive literary movie poster fetching $71,875. The record for this category is $198,000 set by the 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff. The second highest price achieved is $77,000 for the 1931 version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Bela Lugosi.
"However, not all literary movie posters command gargantuan prices," comments Burtis. "We currently have at the Motion Picture Arts Gallery an extensive inventory of literary movie posters and lobby cards in a range of prices." An original poster for the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) starring Audrey Hepburn in near mint condition is priced at $8,500. A one-sheet of Tennessee William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman in very good condition is priced at $1,500, and a near mint one-sheet of the 1939 version of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights starring Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier is priced at $3,000. Even an original Gone With The Wind lobby card in near mint condition can be yours for under four figures.
While some movies have become as successful as the books they are based on, a few have surpassed the popularity of the book to the point where people forget their literary origins. Mario Puzo’s The Godfather was a best seller, but was nowhere near as enduring as Francis Ford Coppola’s film trilogy. Steven Spielberg’s 1975 summer blockbuster, Jaws, overshadowed the novel by Peter Benchley. The success of the 1942 animated Walt Disney classic, Bambi, also eclipsed the popularity of the original book, which was first published in Germany in 1923 by Siegmund Salzmann under the pseudonym Felix Salten. A more recent example is the 1996 film Trainspotting starring Ewan McGregor, which was based on a 1993 novel by Irvine Welsh.
"The British one-sheet in very good condition of the first Godfather movie sells for about $600, and the original Bambi posters from 1942 can range in value from a few hundred dollars to over $3,000 depending on condition and