Wednesday 19 December 2018

How much would you pay for the Oscar for Best Picture?

The statuettes for 1936 and 1948 are going under the hammer.

Classic: Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (1950) which explores the themes of forgotten stars in Hollywood.
Classic: Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (1950) which explores the themes of forgotten stars in Hollywood.

By Associated Press Reporter

Two Academy Awards for best picture are going up for sale in a rare auction of Oscars.

Auction house Profiles In History has announced on Monday that an Oscar awarded to Mutiny On The Bounty in 1936 and another given to Gentleman’s Agreement in 1948 will go up for auction in Los Angeles starting on December 11.

The Mutiny On The Bounty best-picture statuette is expected to go for between 200,000 and 300,000 US dollars.

Frank Capra presented the award to Irving Thalberg at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles when the Academy Awards were less than 10 years old.

The award is being put up for sale for the first time by the family of Mr Thalberg, an essential figure in the early history of Hollywood.

The best-picture Oscar for Gentleman’s Agreement, the 1947 film starring Gregory Peck that took on anti-Semitism and won three Academy Awards, is expected to fetch between 150,000 and 200,000 dollars.

The seller wants to remain anonymous.

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Charles Laughton in Mutiny On The Bounty (PA)

Hans Dreier’s art-direction Oscar for 1950’s Sunset Boulevard and Gloria Swanson’s Golden Globe for best actress in a drama for the film are also on offer in the December auction along with other historic movie awards.

Auctions of Oscar statuettes are very uncommon because winners from 1951 onward have had to agree that they or their heirs must offer to sell it back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for one dollar before selling it to anyone else.

The Academy has said it firmly believes Oscars should be won, not sold.

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An Oscar won by James Cagney did not appeal to investors (PA)

Still, occasionally Oscars beyond the reach of the rules go up for sale and sell for large sums of money.

The late Michael Jackson acquired David O. Selznick’s Gone With The Wind Oscar for a record 1.5 million dollars in 1999.

Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane statuette sold for 861,542 dollars in 2011.

And in 2014, James Cagney’s best-actor Oscar for 1942’s Yankee Doodle Dandy failed to sell when no one would meet the minimum bid demand of 800,000 dollars.

Read more: From a George Harrison Airfix kit to Madonna's knickers - meet the ultimate rock memorabilia collectors

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