Hard to believe it’s already almost June! June’s Star(s) of the Month are Teen Idols. Every Thursday will be showcasing movies starring the likes of Elvis, Frankie and Annette, The Monkees, and Troy Donahue. TCM will also be doing a series called The Immigrant Experience every Wednesday night this month. June 10th is a very noteworthy day as it marks what would be Judy Garland’s 90th birthday. TCM will be celebrating by playing her movies for a full 24 hours, all chosen by noted Judy Garland expert John Fricke. The Essentials, Jr. series also makes its return to Sunday nights this month.
Even though I’m broke and can’t afford to actually bid on anything in today’s auction, there’s so much amazing stuff up for sale today that I can’t resist trying to follow the auction as best I can. So I figured I’d try my hand at live blogging and cover the auction the best I can as it happens. I’m not going to cover every single item up for sale, but I’ll try to keep you updated about some of the more noteworthy items. So stay tuned, sit back, relax, and live vicariously through other people who can afford to spend insane amounts of money on movie memorabilia. And I’m just putting it out there right now: I would not be even remotely surprised if Hugh Hefner buys Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch. A million dollar absentee bid has already been placed on it, so it will definitely be sold for at least that much today.
If you want to follow along with the auction live, just go here, click on “Live Bidding”, then click the option to just watch the auction. There is a live video stream, but no audio.
Note – The selling prices I list here don’t include the buyer’s premium. If you see articles about Judy Garland’s Wizard of Oz test costume selling for more than a million, that source factored in the buyer’s premium.
3:12 PM – The first lot, a 1915 35mm Bell and Howell camera just sold for $32,500!
3:16 PM – Rudolph Valentino’s matador suit from Blood and Sand just went for $210,000.
3:19 PM – Mary Pickford’s headpiece from Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall went for $3,250.
3: 21 PM- Francis X. Bushman’s charioteer helmet from 1925’s Ben Hur sold for $30,000!
3:26 PM – Harold Lloyd’s suit and hat went for $4,000!
3:34 PM – Mary Pickford’s gown from The Taming of the Shrew sold for $17,000.
3:36 PM – Lots 17 and 18, both Douglas Fairbanks costumes from The Taming of the Shrew sold for $20,000 and lot 18 didn’t sell.
3:38 PM – One of Charlie Chaplin’s infamous hats went for $110,000!
3:40 PM – A Model T used by Laurel and Hardy sold for $32,500 and a pair of their suits went for $16,000.
3:42 PM – Carole Lombard’s gown from No Man of Her Own sold for $11,000.
3:47 PM – Claudette Colbert’s Cleopatra gown went for $40,000.
3:52 PM – Greta Garbo’s gown from Anna Karenina also sold for $40,000!
3:53 PM – Harpo Marx’s hat and wig went for $45,000!
4:10 PM – Lots 42, 43, and 44 are the paintings commissioned by Marion Davies and respectively went for $10,000, $11,000, and $17,000. These really got the bidders going.
4:17 PM – W.C. Fields’ joke box sold for $35,000.
4:39 PM – Norma Shearer’s purple gown from Romeo and Juliet went for $20,000.
5:04 PM – Now we’re into stuff from The Good Earth and people went nuts for some of the furniture! The pair of chairs went for $20,000, the opium bed for $20,000, two Paul Muni robes for $4,000 each, Luise Rainer’s shirt for $2,000, the lot of stands and other furniture for $3,500, and Luise Rainer’s jacket for $3,000.
5:13 PM – A gown worn by Norma Shearer in Marie Antoinette and Lucille Ball in Du Barry was a Lady sold for $11,000.
5:44 PM – Oh, now we’re into a busy bunch of lots! First up was Marlene Dietrich’s outfit from “The Boys in the Backroom” number in Destry Rides Again, which went for $8,000, one of Judy Garland’s test costumes from The Wizard of Oz went for $910,000, a test pair of the ruby slippers sold for $510,000, an extra’s jacket from the Emerald City scenes of the Wizard of Oz sold for $22,500, Clark Gable’s dressing robe from the production of Gone With the Wind went for $10,000, and Basil Rathbone’s famous Sherlock Holmes caped overcoat sold for $50,000!
5:54 PM – Vivien Leigh’s suit from Waterloo Bridge sold for $16,000.
6:09 PM – Gary Cooper’s military uniform from Sergeant York went for $55,000.
6:16 PM – A couple of costumes worn by James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy, the satin jockey shirt went for $27,500 and the clown outfit sold for $15,000.
6:19 PM – Not so fast, Louis! A suit worn by Claude Rains in Casablanca sold for $55,000!
6:53 PM – Took a dinner break and missed another busy bunch of lots! Elizabeth Taylor’s riding outfit from National Velvet went for $60,000, Judy Garland’s “Under the Bamboo Tree” dress from Meet Me in St. Louis sold for $16,000, Judy’s dress from the snowman building scene in Meet Me in St. Louis went for $10,000, Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra’s sailor suits from Anchors Aweigh went for $27,500 and $15,000 respectively.
7:00 PM – $22,500 for Joan Crawford’s waitress uniform from Mildred Pierce and $5,000 for Ann Blyth’s Mildred Pierce suit.
7:05 PM – Edmund Gwenn’s Santa suit from Miracle on 34th Street just sold for $22,500.
8:12 PM – The gold lame dress worn by Ginger Rogers in The Barkleys of Broadway went for $8,000.
8:51 PM – The chiffon robe worn by Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire sold for $18,000. Then it went into a bunch of items from An American in Paris with Leslie Caron’s peacock dress from the fantasy ballet number for $15,000, Nina Foch’s white halter gown from a party scene for $3,000, and a showgirl costume from the Stairway to Paradise number for $1,100.
9:05 PM – We have reached the Singin’ in the Rain part of the auction. First were the green and white checked suits worn by Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly, $8,000 and $14,000 respectively. Jean Hagen’s Marie Antoinette-esque dress sold for $5,500 and Gene Kelly’s period costume went for $9,000. Debbie’s green and white leaf print dress went for $15,000, Gene Kelly’s jacket from the Broadway Melody Ballet number went for $6,500, Jean Hagen’s black and white fur coat went for $6,000, Donald O’Connor’s “Good Morning” suit didn’t sell, Cyd Charisse’s white Broadway Melody Ballet outfit for $7,000, and Debbie’s “Good Morning” dress went for $27,500. A pink dress worn by Gwen Carter sold for $3,750, and a bunch of costumes from the “Beautiful Girl” montage brought $5,500.
9:22 PM – Now we’re getting into some of the Marilyn Monroe and Marilyn-related items. First up is Marilyn’s red “Two Little Girls from Little Rock” dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which brought $1.2 million! Then came the feathered hat worn by Jane Russell when she impersonates Loreli Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, that sold for $4,250. Lauren Bacall’s wedding dress from How to Marry a Millionaire went for $8,000 and the car used by Marilyn and Cary Grant in Monkey Business sold for $210,000.
9:48 PM – A lot of two safari outfits worn by Grace Kelly in Mogambo sold for $47,500. A Winchester rifle used by Clark Gable in Mogambo brought in $15,000.
10:00 PM – A couple more from Marilyn Monroe. The gold dress from River of No Return went for $510,000 and her costume from the “Heat Wave” number in There’s No Business Like Show Business brought in $500,000!
10:52 PM – After a little break, we’re back with the dress everyone’s been waiting for — the infamous Marilyn Monroe white subway dress from The Seven Year Itch. I fully expected bidding to be out of control for this one and I wasn’t disappointed. It brought in an astonishing $4.6 million!
11:03 PM – Now we’ve got a couple from To Catch a Thief. A coat worn by Cary Grant brought in $15,000 and an outfit worn by Grace Kelly earned a jaw dropping $450,000!
11:41 PM – A couple of dresses worn by Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember brought in $6,000 and $11,000.
12:17 AM – One of Lana Turner’s dresses from Peyton Place sold for $4,250.
12:22 AM – Lot number 407 is rather unique because it includes things worn by both Kim Novak and Rita Hayworth in Pal Joey. It went for $6,500.
12:29 AM – Leslie Caron’s iconic plaid schoolgirl outfit from Gigi went for $65,000.
12:40 AM – Charlton Heston’s tunic and cape from Ben Hur could have been yours for the low, low price of $320,000!
1:32 AM – Marlon Brando’s naval outfit from Mutiny on the Bounty just brought in $90,000!
2:12 AM – Elizabeth Taylor’s famous headdress from Cleopatra went for $100,000 and Richard Burton’s tunic, cape, and sword brought in $85,000.
Oh, who cares what time it is anymore? Yes, I’m still going! Aren’t these people tired and broke yet?! Janet Leigh’s yellow fringed dress from Bye Bye Birdie fetched $3,750 and Bette Davis’ blood stained dress from Hush, Hush…Sweet Charlotte sold for $11,000.
Another big item to watch tonight was Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from My Fair Lady. I fully expected it to exceed the $200,000-$300,000 and it sure did. It went up to $3.7 million!
I would say that the hills are alive with the sound of music, but at this time of night, I’m pretty sure that’s a noise ordinance violation. Julie Andrews’ guitar went for $140,000, her jumper from the “Do Re Mi” number for $550,000, her turquoise and green dress for $45,000, the peasant dress went for $42,500, and a pair of the Trapp children’s outfits sold for $35,000.
And at long last we have reached the Barbara Streisand part of the auction. First from Funny Girl is her costume from “I’d Rather Be Blue” for $65,000, a lot of the other roller skating costumes for $2,500, the black velvet dress from “My Man” for $16,000, a bunch of stuff worn by the Ziegfeld girls in the “His Love Makes Me Beautiful” number for $7,500, Anne Francis’ silk dress for $1,800, and Kay Medford’s beaded shawl for $1,400.
A jacket worn by Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid brought $8,500 and a dress worn by Katharine Ross went for $16,000.
And back to Streisand. The purple Hello, Dolly dress went for $55,000 and the gold dress for $100,000. Surprised the gold dress went for that little, that’s how much it cost to make that dress back in the day.
You’ll be fascinated to know that a shirt worn in the cinematic masterpiece known as Grease 2 sold for $475.
We have finally made it to the final segment of posters/portraits! The title cards for Blind Husbands fetched $2,000, the lot of three Gloria Swanson title/lobby cards sold for $1,200, the portrait of Gloria Swanson went for $8,500, the lot of two Mabel Normand lobby cards for $800, the pair of silent title/lobby cards for $1,600, the lobby card for Lon Chaney’s The Penalty for $1,700, and the lobby card for Chaplin’s The Idle Class for $1,600. The portrait of Jean Harlow went for $11,000!
Now it’s high time I called it a night! Good night everybody!
How is it already June? But anyway, it’s shaping up to be a fun month on TCM. Every Thursday this month, TCM will be showing a night full of classic drive-in movies. So if you’re like me and love cheesy monster movies, you’re going to love this month. There’s also the return of Essentials, Jr. on Sunday nights at 8:00 PM, hosted this year by Bill Hader. The Star of the Month is the lovely Jean Simmons, who I’ve always found to be a bit on the under-appreciated side. With no further ado, let’s go on to my TCM picks for the month…