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1951 Original One-Sheet Movie-Poster Artwork for Superman and the Mole Men
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $9,600
Original one-sheet movie-poster artwork for the 1951 Lippert Pictures release of Superman and the Mole Men starring George Reeves. As can be seen here, the company's art-production team created the one-sheet poster by using a montage of photographic images, together with a small illustration and graphic designs for the title, catch lines, and credits. The artwork features a large photographic image of Reeves as the "Man of Steel," as well as additional photos of four mole men, Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane, and Reeves (as Superman) vanquishing a gun-toting criminal. A small illustrated image of Superman in flight appears in the lower right. The catch line along the top reads "The All-Time Ace of Action in his Latest. . . . Greatest FIRST Full-Length Feature Adventure." Each photo has been exactingly cut to the contour's of each individual and has been affixed to the board. The title, text, and graphic artwork are all printed on various sheets, which are also adhered to the board. Black paint provides the background. Superman and the Mole Men proved to be a box-office hit and resulted in both Reeves and Coates reprising their roles on the now legendary television series The Adventures of Superman, which ran for six seasons beginning in 1952. (Superman and Mole Man actually ran on the television series as a two-part episode in season one titled The Unknown People; Coates left the show after the first season and was replaced by Noel Neill, who had played Lois Lane in the earlier film serials.)
It should be noted that original one-sheet movie-poster artwork is exceedingly rare, especially for films featuring top stars or characters, such as Superman. Our consignor discovered both this piece and the other example in the auction (In Society starring Abbott and Costello) together at a small movie-poster store in New York City during the late 1960s/early 1970s. During all his years of collecting, they were the only two original movie-poster artworks he ever came across and they remained in his sole possession until now. The art board (20 x 28 inches), which features both editorial lines and notations along the borders, displays wear common to art production pieces of this age and size, including tack holes along the borders and both light adhesive residue and light toning from previous matting.
In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Fortunately, all of the flaws are relegated to the border and can easily be matted out, in which case the artwork would display closer to Ex-Mt. (The photo quality of the images is so crisp that one can literally count the threads in Reeves' Superman costume.) This is an extraordinary original movie artwork, both with respect to the significance of the title and condition, and one that is in many ways even more attractive than the finished poster. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $9,600
(Click the smaller thumbnails to the left and right (if any) to cycle through each photo in the gallery of images for this lot.)