MUMBAI: The Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) today announced that the benefit auction, From the Twentieth Century Fox Archives: Documents from the Golden Age of Hollywood, raised in excess of $250,000 for the organization’s Financial Assistance Program.
Documents sold at auction were donated by Twentieth Century Fox and included more than 200 rare items including signed contracts and internal memos. All of the items were sold and the sale brought in 25 per cent more than the high pre-sale estimate.
A Jackie Gleason signed contract for The Hustler, had the highest amount of bids with more than 36 people competing off the internet, by phone, and live. The item had a pre-sale estimate of $200-$300 and ultimately sold for $2400.
Other top selling items include:
A contract signed by John Steinbeck assigning the motion picture rights to Grapes of Wrath (1940) which sold for $24,000, the highest sale price in the auction.
A typed letter signed by Marilyn Monroe regarding the terms for her appearance on the Lux Radio Theatre program — Marilyn’s radio debut, February 19, 1947 which sold for $7,000
A typed letter signed by Marilyn Monroe appointing Inez Melson as her business manager, Nov. 11, 1953, sold for $6,500.
“The mission of MPTF’s founders, ‘taking care of our own’ continued with this auction when the legends of Hollywood were able to support those working to make it in today’s industry. We are grateful to 20th Century Fox for their generous donation and to Swann for their hard work,” said Motion Picture Television Fund CEO Ken Scherer.
Items in the auction represent dealings with over 50 Hollywood legends including: Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Elvis Presley, and involve some of the greatest films of all time including: Seven Year Itch, Miracle on 34th Street, The King and I, All About Eve, and Love Me Tender.
“Swann Galleries was privileged to be able to host and conduct an auction of Documents from the Golden Age of Hollywood from the Twentieth Century Fox Archives. Combining the glitter of Hollywood and the kind of fabulous autographs that Swann is accustomed to selling, the auction proved to be a success beyond everyone’s expectations,” said Nicholas D. Lowry, President and Principal Auctioneer at Swann Galleries. “It was the perfect opportunity for fans to own rare (and never again available) documents signed by their favorite stars, as well as a wonderful gesture on the part of the Studio, which donated all of the proceeds from the sale to the MPTF.”