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Auction History Result
4g001 GRIM GAME straight jacket style linen 1sh '19 stone litho of Harry Houdini being restrained!Date Sold 12/3/2013
Sold For: $67,166.00
An Original Vintage Linenbacked One-Sheet Movie Poster (1sh; measures 28 1/4" x 41" [72 x 104 cm]) (Learn More)
The Grim Game, the 1919 Irvin Willat silent romantic adventure prison escape crime thriller ("Houdini escape from a straight-jacket hanging head downward from a seven story building. Only one of the thrills in 'The Grim Game'"; "The aeroplanes 4000 feet in the air, crash and plunge to earth. $1000 reward to anyone proving that this was not a real accident!"; "Houdini in 'The Grim Game'"; a cool story where the hero is in love with the pretty ward of his rich uncle, who opposes the match, and to impress his uncle, he hatches a scheme where the uncle pretends to be killed, and the young man is going to be imprisoned due to circumstantial evidence, and then he plans on revealing that not only is he not the "killer", but his uncle is still alive, but then unfortunately, the uncle actually IS murdered, and because of the false circumstantial evidence he planted, the young man is actually sentenced to prison!; of course, this is all just an excuse to have the great Houdini escape from every possible sort of restraint, including strait-jackets and handcuffs!) starring Harry Houdini (billed simply as "Houdini"), Thomas Jefferson, Ann Forrest, Augustus Phillips, and Tully Marshal. Note that legendary magician Harry Houdini was 45 before he made his first movie, and he only appeared in a total of five movies. Naturally, he performed magic tricks in those movies, but few of the posters that survive from those movies show him actually performing magic, especially the tricks he was most famous for.
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Important Added Info: Note that there were two styles of one-sheets created for this movie and they both survive. In one, Houdini is shown with his hands cuffed, but he is not actually performing an escape. In the other, which is the one being auctioned here, a bunch of police and prison guards are strapping Houdini into a strait-jacket, which he will of course soon escape from! Note that this poster came from the legendary collection of Charles A. Dyas, who was a theater owner who collected posters from movies he showed from between 1919 and the early 1940s. He left his collection to his children, and in 1990 and 1991, the best of the collection was auctioned by Bruce Hershenson at Christie's Auction House in New York City, EXCEPT for a handful of the very best posters, which the children wanted to keep (including this one). In 1995, they decided to auction those remaining posters, and Bruce Hershenson again auctioned them at Christie's, and this poster sold in that auction for $19,550! The poster offered here is that very same poster that was auctioned 18 years ago! Finally, note that this poster measures 28 1/4" x 41" [72 x 104 cm].
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Overall Condition and Pre-Restoration Defects with Quality of Restoration: very good to fine. The poster had small paper loss at the top and bottom crossfold, with tiny paper loss at the middle crossfold. It had minor wear on the foldlines. It had a few small tears in the right and bottom borders, with a 1/4" x 1 1/2" area of vertical paper loss near the bottom of the right blank border. Otherwise, the poster was in really nice condition prior to linenbacking (it had been in the position of Mr. Dyas from 1919, when he first showed it at his theater until 1995, when his son consigned it to Bruce Hershenson). The poster was nicely backed by Igor Edelman, and displays fantastically!
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