Hollywood Auction To Include Casablanca Memorabilia

(TCM) The iconic Piano from Rick’s Café Américain is among more than 30 Items from 1942 film slated to be sSold at TCM Presents: There’s No Place Like Hollywood Auction in November.

Casablanca“You must remember this.” When Dooley Wilson sang those four words back in 1942, the salmon-colored piano at which he was sitting was suddenly transformed into a cherished movie treasure. That iconic piano is now one of more than 30 items from Warner Bros.’ romantic wartime drama Casablanca slated to be auctioned this fall by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and international fine art auctioneers, Bonhams.

TCM Presents: There’s No Place Like Hollywood, a definitive auction of rare movie collectibles, will also feature the interior and exterior doors from Rick’s Café Américain, the nightclub where much of the action in Casablanca takes place. The auction will be held at Bonhams in New York on Monday, Nov. 24, along with preview exhibitions in New York (Nov. 20-24) and at their Los Angeles location (Nov. 6-9).

The Casablanca collection was consigned for the auction by a private collector. The piano at the center of the collection was featured during a performance of Max Steiner’s music from film at the Hollywood Bowl in 2006, a testament to the instrument’s cherished status. Other Casablanca items featured in TCM and Bonhams’ auction will be passports, transit papers and other documents created for the film; a final draft screenplay; photos signed by cast members; production memos; an original Casablanca pressbook; and more.

As one of the leading authorities on classic film, TCM is curating this year’s auction, highlighting the fascinating stories behind the memorabilia and providing the cultural and historical context for each remarkable treasure. In conjunction with the event, TCM will also contribute a portion of the auction proceeds to The Film Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history.

Casablanca has long been one of the most beloved of Hollywood’s wartime classics and continues to be one of the most popular films in the Turner Classic Movies library,” said Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of digital, affiliate, lifestyle and enterprise commerce at TCM, TBS and TNT. “With the addition of this extraordinary collection of Casablanca memorabilia, TCM and Bonhams’ There’s No Place Like Hollywood auction is going to be a truly unforgettable and historic event.”

“Bonhams is thrilled to represent this remarkable Casablanca collection, certainly one of the most significant film memorabilia collections still in private hands,” says Dr. Catherine Williamson, director of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams.

The Casablanca collection joins many other noteworthy items available for bid during TCM and Bonhams’ auction. Previously announced items include a test dress and pinafore designed for Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz (1939); an Adrian-designed test cape for The Wizard of Oz‘s flying monkeys; one of Jane Russell’s costumes from the Howard Hughes-produced The Outlaw (1943); a costume worn by Rita Hayworth while singing “Amado Mio” in Gilda (1946); costumes worn by Barbra Streisand in the films On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970), The Way We Were (1973) and Yentl (1983); a full-length portrait of silent screen star Rudolph Valentino as the Black Falcon, painted by Federico Armando Beltrán Massés in 1925; and a copy of the Touch of Evil (1958) screenplay owned by producer Albert Zugsmith.

Last November, TCM and Bonhams teamed up on their first auction together, the highly successful What Dreams Are Made Of: A Century of Movie Magic at Auction, as Curated by Turner Classic Movies. The auction included such items as the 1940 Buick Phaeton featured in the dramatic final scene of Casablanca and a Maltese Falcon statuette used in John Huston’s classic film, which set a new milestone for a movie prop by drawing a record-setting bid of over $4 million.

Bonhams recently returned for the third year as an official partner of the TCM Classic Film Festival. As part of its sponsorship each year, Bonhams hosts a valuation session for select festival passholders on the final day of TCM’s annual star-studded gathering. In addition to its complimentary appraisals at the TCM Classic Film Festival, Bonhams hosts an early preview of highlights from upcoming auctions, including rare collectibles associated with festival programming.

Information about the “There’s No Place Like Hollywood” auction is available online at www.bonhams.com/tcm. Movie memorabilia collectors who would like to consign items for “There’s No Place Like Hollywood” should contact Bonhams at entertainment.us@bonhams.com or (323) 436-5467. The consignment deadline for the auction is August 15.

Auction Website: www.bonhams.com/tcm
Bonhams Website: www.bonhams.com
Twitter: twitter.com/bonhams1793

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Actress Elaine Stritch Dead At Age 89


(PCM) Beloved actress and singer Elaine Stritch has tragically passed away at the age of 89 at her home in Birmingham, Alabama.

Stritch had only recently relocated to Alabama last year, as she had famously resided at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan.

Stritch’s illustrious career spans over 70 years with roles in films such as “September”, “Small Time Crooks”, “Cocoon:The Return”, “Cadillac Man”, “Monster-in-Law” as well as television appearances on “30 Rock”, “Law And Order”, and ” The Cosby Show”.

Her career also included several notable roles in Broadway shows “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf”, “Endgame” and “Showboat” and has earned multiple Tony nominations. She was also the star of a one-woman show “Elaine Stritch at Liberty”, which was another Broadway smash hit.

A documentary about her life titled “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” was also released earlier this year.

No immediate cause death has been revealed at this time and our thoughts and prayers are with Stritchs’ family and friends during this difficult time.

The post Actress Elaine Stritch Dead At Age 89 also appeared on PCM Reviews.

Why Don’t You Look More Like Your Mother?

KittBy Kitt Shapiro

A woman came up to me at a recent event and asked me that very question. Why don’t I look like my mother? Wow. Is that just another way of saying, ‘why is your skin color so much lighter?’ or ‘how is it you have blond hair?’.

My parents told me that when I was born, people came to the nursery in the hospital and would get into arguments when they saw that Eartha Kitt’s baby was a pudgy, white, girl.

Now, I’m not looking to start a debate about genetics. I’m far from an expert, and really, who cares. (If you do, then I apologize for being so flippant, but, I didn’t choose my parents and can’t change the way I came out). I just find it interesting, that some people need an answer, even to a question that may not have a clear one.EarthaI think my mother got a kick out of having a child who, at first glance, didn’t have any resemblance to her. She would tell me with great pride how I “…was like a walking United Nations. Belonging to everyone and no one at the same time.” Impossible to be put into just one category or descriptive column.

Why was that so important to her? As a light skinned African American in the South, in 1927, she was labeled a “Yella Gal”, too light to be accepted by the black community and too dark for the whites. And, as a person of color in the music business, there was the need to classify her as a ‘Jazz‘, ‘Gospel‘ or ‘Blues‘ singer. My mother didn’t understand  the need for pigeon-holing a person. She would ask, “Why was it so important to make a person feel like they weren’t wanted by anybody if they didn’t fit ‘required specifications’?”  “Why couldn’t an entertainer just BE who they were?” “Why wasn’t it enough to be a member of the human race?”

People have often asked me who do I relate to most? Meaning, how do I racially ‘categorize’ myself? Well, I took my mother’s words literally. I think of myself as ‘belonging’ just the way I am and check off numerous boxes or leave them all blank, depending on my mood, feeling confident that I can either fill numerous quotas or offend many, by my presence. That being said, I realize that my responses can be interpreted as simplistic or unrealistic. I guess it’s just wishful thinking on my part.

My mother loved reading me a story by Dr. Seuss called The Sneetches, about yellow creatures that had two distinct groups: plain belly and star belly. Through machines, the Sneetches continued to switch from plain to stars, until they were so mixed up, they could no longer tell each other apart and came to the conclusion that their need to be identified by their differences was both exhausting and unnecessary. Yet, another wonderful gift my mother gave me. I highly recommend reading this story and maybe we can all be wishful thinkers together. Then, there will be no need to answer stupid questions.

Kitt Shapiro opened Simply Eartha as a tribute to her mother, with the hope that Eartha’s “writing and her wisdom and created designs continue to inspire her fans, both old and new. May they touch your heart, as they do mine.”

The post Why Don’t You Look More Like Your Mother? also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

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