Wizard of Oz Original Script Pages to be Auctioned

Posted on November 12, 2018 at 8:00 am

Copyright MGM 1939

Profiles in History is auctioning off some of Hollywood’s greatest treasures, including handwritten pages from the original script for “The Wizard of Oz,” by Noel Langley.   The full catalogue has an astonishing collection of Hollywood memorabilia, including:

Greta Garbo Adrian-designed coronation cape from Queen Christina.
Irving Thalberg’s “Best Picture” Academy Award from Mutiny on the Bounty.
Groucho Marx “S. Quentin Quale” tailcoat worn in Go West.
Margaret Hamilton “Wicked Witch of the West” witch’s hat from The Wizard of Oz.
Charlie Chaplin “Hynkel” military dress uniform jacket from The Great Dictator.
Lady Oona Chaplin vintage couture Christian Dior “Palmyre” evening gown & shoes worn on opening night of A King in New York.
Clark Gable “Mike Brannan” miniature effects race car from To Please a Lady.
Gloria Swanson “Norma Desmond” evening jacket and “Best Actress” Golden Globe from Sunset Boulevard.
Hero Nautilus crewman “baldy style” dive helmet from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Screen used “Lawgiver” statue from Dr. Zaius’ office in The Planet of the Apes.
Sean Connery “James Bond 007” signature suit from You Only Live Twice.
Barbra Streisand “Dolly Levi” costume from Hello, Dolly!
William Shatner “Captain Kirk” Starfleet tunic with insignia and rank braid from Star Trek: The Original Series.
Type-2 Phaser pistol from Star Trek: The Original Series.
Mark Hamill “Luke Skywalker” production used lightsaber from the first Star Wars from the collection of set decorator Roger Christian.
Screen used Stormtrooper helmet from Star Wars: The Force Awakens signed by Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and other cast members, with Lucasfilm letter of authenticity.
Sigourney Weaver “Ripley” signature combat costume ensemble from Aliens.
Original Sylvester Stallone “Rambo” survival knives from First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II.
Robin Wright “Princess Buttercup” signature red dress from The Princess Bride.
Arnold Schwarzenegger “Terminator” hero modified Winchester shotgun from Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Hero metal rocket pack and costume ensemble from The Rocketeer with Disney documentation.

To quote Humphrey Bogart in “The Maltese Falcon,” “This is the stuff that dreams are made of.” Place your bids!

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Reimagined Movie Posters: Peter Stults

Posted on October 13, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Copyright 2018 Peter Stults

Illustrator/graphic designer Peter Stults reimagines not just movie posters but the movies themselves, recasting them and creating new posters with meticulous attention to every detail of style and design. “The Shape of Water” is imagined with Donna Reed, Ray Milland, and Ethel Waters. Mmm, three of my favorites. I’d love to see that. His posters are so real I can almost imagine I have. The more you know about movies, the more you will appreciate his brilliant casting choices. But everyone can appreciate his beautiful images.

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James Bond at Washington DC Madame Tussauds

Posted on May 30, 2018 at 8:39 pm

I admit it. I feel shaken and stirred. Washington DC’s Madame Tussaud’s now has all six James Bonds, elegantly attired in tuxes designed by Oscar-winner Lindy Hemming, the wardrobe, poses, guns, and roguish charm all re-created, standing in front of an iconic swirl from the movies’ opening credits. They are so realistic you can almost hear each of them say, “Bond. James Bond.”

Copyright 2018 Nell Minow

That would be: Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, and Roger Moore. It’s 007 times six.

The elegant spy figures from the movies based on Ian Fleming’s agent with a license to kill took a team of twenty artists four months to complete at a cost of almost $200,000 each. Hundreds of layers of oil paint were used to build up accurate skin tones and each hair on their heads was inserted individually by hand, taking six weeks. I spoke to General Manager of Madame Tussauds Washington DC, Therese Alvich, who told me each figure was delivered in a separate crate from London. Although packed with as much care as an Old Master painting, a few minor touch-ups were needed before installing them amid some of the other celebrity figures, including Miley Cyrus, Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Lopez. The six Bonds will be on display through the summer, so Madame Tussauds has been able to coordinate with Washington DC’s Spy Museum, just a few blocks away, where a special exhibit of Bond villains is a popular attraction. It’s good to know that the various cat-loving Blofelds, lethal sidekicks, and assorted megalomaniacs at the Spy Museum will be under the watchful eye of six 007s.

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National Cartoonists Society 2018

Posted on May 30, 2018 at 8:36 pm

I had a blast as always at the annual meeting of the National Cartoonists Society, which includes comic strip artists, gag/one-panel cartoonists, animators, web comic artists, caricaturists, political cartoonists, and greeting card artists.  The top award, the Reuben (named for Rube Goldberg) went to Glen Keane, animator of Disney classics like “Tangled, ” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Rapunzel.”  His dad created one of the all-time comic classics, “Family Circus,” now drawn by his brother, Jeff (yes, that’s Jeffy from the strip.)

I wrote about it for Medium.

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Saturday Night Live: The Experience!

Posted on May 21, 2018 at 9:50 am

Tina Fey hosted the season finale of “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, which means many months until the next opportunity to see their take on the news. If that seems like a very long time to wait, you can visit the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago to see the SNL Experience, a wildly entertaining interactive exhibit that takes visitors through a week of creating an episode and the 41-year history of the show as well.

The exhibit, which covers two floors of the museum, includes iconic props and sets from the show’s history, taped interviews, and clips.  It is a lot of fun to see items that bring back memories of classic SNL moments but it is fascinating to peek behind the scenes (literally) and see interviews with the writers, costume designers, and set designers who start with a blank page every week and somehow put together 90 minutes of material.  Highly recommended!

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