The “international” poster of the 1927-film Metropolis is the current record-holder, going for a whopping $690,000 in 2005. The German science-fiction film was way ahead of its time and depicted a highly stylized futuristic city in a utopian society. The film became a pioneer of the sci-fi genre, and this poster is truly a wonder to behold.
Dracula (1931) – $525,800
This one went for $525,800 and is regarded as one of the rarest and most desirable movie posters among collectors. This was the first sound adaption of the famous novel by Bram Stoker, and the poster, featuring yesteryear actor Bela Lugosi, still gives us the chills.
[TIE] London After Midnight (1927) – $478,000
This silent mystery film was directed and co-produced by Tod Browning. It is considered to be one of the holy grails of lost cinema even today. This sepia-toned poster looks like a cover of a classic horror novel. Incidentally, this version of the poster is the only copy to have surfaced recently. Hence, it is all the more valuable.
[TIE] Casablanca (1942) – $478,000
Featuring the iconic pairing of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, this is the first post-war release poster of the evergreen film. Made by Italian designer Luigi Martinati, known for his realistic style, this is believed to be the only surviving copy of the poster.
The Mummy (1932) – $435,500
When it was sold for $435,500 in 1997, it was the highest price ever paid for a movie poster. The movie needs no introduction, of course. It is that classic tale of an ancient Egyptian mummy being brought back to life. English actor Boris Karloff, who can be seen on this poster, portrayed Imhotep the mummy.
King Kong (1933) – $388,375
The image of King Kong, the monster ape, climbing on top of the Empire State building is a scene etched in the minds of cinema lovers for ages. While the fictitious monster has been depicted in various media over the decades, the 1933 version will always remain the original and perhaps the greatest of its kind. The vintage poster is full of so much action and drama.
Casablanca (1942) – $384,000
This is the American poster of Casablanca. Directed by Michael Curtiz, it’s regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time. No wonder it made it twice to the list of the most expensive movie posters.
Frankenstein (1931) – $358,500
Yet another poster featuring Boris Karloff as a monster. The horror classic was adapted from the 1818 novel by English author Mary Shelley. The film was unique for its time and had it all: a mad scientist, a misunderstood monster, and plenty of scares. Posters of this film have always been difficult to find.
Metropolis (1927) – $357,750
Image credits: Top Dollar
Appearing once again on this list, this is the domestic German movie poster of the sci-fi masterpiece. This version is almost the same as the international one, which takes the top spot, apart from the German writing and a sepia tone.
[TIE] The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – $334,600
This movie was a sequel to the 1931 film Frankenstein and is considered one of the greatest horror flicks of all time. The stunning poster fetched $334,600 in 2007.
[TIE] The Black Cat (1934) – $334,600
Released in 1934, The Black Cat is still one of the darkest and most disturbing films of all time. Critics say that this Boris Karloff/Bela Lugosi film helped shape the psychological horror subgenre. The gothic horror poster gives the creeps, doesn’t it?
Dracula (1938) – $312,000
Image credits: Top Dollar
This is the third and final film that appears twice on the list of most expensive posters. This one is from the first reissue of the 1931 film that came out seven years later - in 1938. Since the reissue featured green tinting on some of the prints, the promotional one-sheet poster also followed the style. This awesome poster has an intense horror feel to it, primarily because of its use of dark greens and black.
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