Two Best Picture Oscar Statues Up For Auction

Two Best Picture Academy Award statuettes will be going up for auction next month in Los Angeles.

Auction House Profiles in History announced today that the Oscars awarded to 1936’s Mutiny On The Bounty and 1948’s Gentleman’s Agreement will both be going up on the auction block on December 11.

A rule put into place in 1951 prohibits any Academy Award handed out after that date to be sold without first offering it for sale to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a nominal fee of one dollar. The thinking behind the rule was a desire to preserve the prestige of winning an Oscar, not just buying one for one’s mantle. Oscar statues handed out before the ruling was established are not grandfathered under the rule and so occasionally do come up for auction.

The Oscar for Mutiny On The Bounty is expected to go for somewhere $200 and $300 thousand. It was awarded to the film’s producer Irving Thalberg by Frank Capra during the eighth Academy Awards ceremony, which was held at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. (See video below.) It was the only win out of eight nominations including Best Director for Frank Lloyd and three for Best Actor for Clark Gable, Charles Laughton and Franchot Tone that the film received. It is being placed for auction by Thalberg’s family.

The Gentleman’s Agreement Academy Award is estimated to be sold for somewhere between $150 and $200 thousand. The Best Picture win was one of three for the film with Elia Kazan and Celeste Holm taking home Oscars for Best Director and Best Supporting Actress respectively. Stars Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire were among the five other nominations that the film received. The seller of the Gentleman’s Agreement Oscar wishes to remain anonymous.

Other recent Oscar auctions include Orson Welles’ Best Screenplay Oscar for Citizen Kane selling for $861,542 in 2011 and pop star Michael Jackson scooping up producer David O. Selznick’s Gone With The Wind Academy Award for $1.5 million in 1999. James Cagney’s Best Actor Oscar for Yankee Doodle Dandy went on the block in 2014, but failed to sell when no one would meet the minimum bid of $800 thousand.

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About Rich Drees 7019 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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