Claude Rains' Poster for Phantom of the Opera, and His Lobby Cards for The Man Who Reclaimed His Head and Strange Holiday. Claude Rains' superbly haunting portrayal of the title role in Universal's 1943 Technicolor mega-hit Phantom of the Opera remains one of his best-remembered performances. This lot includes a handsomely dramatic, linen-backed 24" x 33" European poster for Phantom's post-war 1946 release in Copenhagen and was part of Rains' personal collection. Rains' masked Phantom is dominant on the poster, ominously looming above attractive images of co-stars Nelson Eddy and Susanna Foster, as well as the elegant patrons madly fleeing from the Paris Opera House. As a child, Jessica Rains had added a small red dot to Ms. Foster's cheek and written in tiny red lettering, "la pimple" -- a flaw that could easily be cosmeticized by a poster restorationist. Also in the lot is a Realart re-release lobby card for Universal's The Man Who Reclaimed His Head (1934, well-remembered as the melodrama in which Rains severed the head of Lionel Atwill), with a close-up of Rains and leading lady Joan Bennett; and an original lobby card from PRC's Strange Holiday (1945), an anti-Nazi film scripted and directed by Arch Oboler (of Lights Out fame). Both cards also are from Rains' collection. The Strange Holiday card has some tears on the left and right borders; otherwise, overall quality of the three pieces is Fair to Very Good. Colorful promotional material with the Phantom of the Opera poster especially desirable. From the Claude Rains Estate Archive.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2010
    8th-11th Thursday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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