Bits of movie history now going on sale for millions
A long time ago in an auction house, far, far away (in 2008 to be more precise) a model of a Tie Fighter, the spaceships flown by the Empire in the original Star Wars movie, was sold at auction for almost Dhs1.5 million. It’s just one example of how far film fanatics will go to own a piece of Hollywood history. And just last month, several outfits from the classic musical The Sound Of Music also went under the hammer for Dhs4.7 million. The good news is you too can own your own bit of movie memorabilia and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. But first, here’s some props that were sold for more than a handful of dirhams...
Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger How much: Dhs15 million. Harry Yeaggy, a real estate millionaire and car collector from Ohio, USA, paid the phenomenal amount of money for this classic automobile back in 2010. It was only one of two left from the filming of Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery, and it also featured in another Bond movie, Thunderball.
Clothes from The Sound Of Music How much: Dhs4.7 million. Altogether now: ‘Doe, a deer, a female deer’. A classic movie loved by many, and a whopping price was agreed at auction in California at the end of July this year for several outfits from the film, including the main outfit worn by Hollywood legend Julie Andrew’s character Maria, the nun-turned-governess brought in to care for the Von Trapp kids, which was described as ‘a heavy brown homespun Austrian-style dress with a wheat-coloured homespun blouse’.
General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard How much: Dhs1.6 million. An instantly recognisable car from the classic 1980s TV show, the 1969 Dodge Charger used to ferry around Bo and Luke Duke (and known as The General Lee) sold at auction in 2007 for the hefty sum of Dhs1.6 million. It was the original car used in the show’s opening credits and it was sold again in 2012 to PGA Tour golfer Bubba Watson for just Dhs404,000.
Luke’s lightsaber from Star Wars How much: Dhs881,567. One of the most iconic weapons to feature in a movie, period. The prop swung around by Mark Hammill in the original Star Wars movie was sold by Profiles In History auction house in 2008. TOAD can neither confirm or deny the new owner runs around his back garden making the lightsaber noise like we did as kids with our slightly cheaper toy versions.
Set of overalls from Le Mans How much: Dhs3.6 million. A set of the iconic looking overalls from Steve McQueen’s 1971 classic racing movie, which were worn by the king of cool himself, were auctioned off in 2011. The overalls had originally been given away by a UK newspaper as a competition prize the same year the movie was released.
Cowardly lion costume from The Wizard Of Oz How much: Dhs3 million. The original costume worn by Bert Lahr actually went missing until 1970, when it was bought at auction for Dhs8,800. The new owner, a chiropractor, got a textile conservationist to restore it to its former glory and sold it in 2006 for the much larger sum. PETA fans look away now: the costume is made of real lion pelt.
The black dress from Breakfast At Tiffany’s How much: Dhs2.6 million. An iconic film and an iconic dress, worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 smash hit. The Givenchy outfit was only expected to raise Dhs400,000 and the cash went to charity. The dress was one of only three made for the film.
A helmet from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea How much: Dhs275,489. A classic movie from 1954 starring Kirk Douglas and James Mason, one of the diving helmets used in the movie also went at auction last month in America for much less than many props do.
Take home some movie memorabilia Some useful links if you want to own your own film props.
Prop Store This London and Los Angeles-based company sells everything from crew jackets from Star Wars movies to the band camp outfit from American Pie 2. www.propstore.com.
Premier Props Again, US-based, but this does real props and replicas from tons of movies, with items available right now from Schwarzenegger’s Last Stand, Red 2 starring Bruce Willis and recent zombie romantic comedy Warm Bodies. www.premierprops.com.