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Auction History Result

Lot #: v405 WIZARD OF OZ ('39) pb '39 greatest pressbook ever!

Date Sold 12/17/2005
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.
Appears in Vintage Hollywood Posters 9

The image at right appears in the auction catalog we published as shown above and was sold long ago and we do NOT have it available for purchase.

An Original Vintage Theatrical Movie Pressbook (consists of a full-color die-cut folder which measures 17" x 19" folded and 25 1/2" x 37" when completely unfolded; contains three 16" x 18 1/4" sections; exploitation which contains 32 pages; advertising section which contains 16 single-sided pages; exhibitor's service sheet which contains 16 single-sided pages; also included is the original herald, glued in to the inside of the pressbook cover) (Learn More)

The Wizard of Oz, the classic 1939 Victor Fleming family magical fantasy adventure musical ("MGM's miracle musical show of shows!"; "It's Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Technicolor triumph!"; "Magnificent in its brilliant Technicolor splendor!"; "At Last It's Here Biggest Sensation Since "Snow White"!"; "The mighty miracle show that is the talk of America!"; "Amazing sights to see! The Tornado, Munchkinland, Horse of a Different Color, Startling Balloon Ascent, The Flying Monkeys, The Tree That Throws Apples"; "Gaiety! Glory! Glamour!"; based on the classic book of the same name by L. Frank Baum; nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award) starring Judy Garland (as Dorothy), Frank Morgan (in the title role as The Wizard of Oz!), Ray Bolger (as The Scarecrow), Bert Lahr (as The Cowardly Lion), Jack Haley (as The Tin Man), Billie Burke (as Glinda, the Good Witch), Margaret Hamilton (as the Wicked Witch), Charley Grapewin, "The Munchkins", and Toto too!
NOTE: Click on linked names to see a biography.
Important Added Info: Note that MGM apparently had some doubts about this all-time classic movie prior to its release, for note that on the cover of the pressbook is included the blurb, "BIGGEST SENSAION SINCE 'SNOW WHITE'"! I can't recall any other studio promoting a major release with a reference to a DIFFERENT studio's recent major success! Also note that this is likely the greatest pressbook ever created for any movie! The folder that holds the sections has a full-color image on the cover which does not appear on any posters, has the main posters in full-color on the back cover, and on the inside has three flaps that hold the three interior sections. When the flaps are folded out, the inside shows both half-sheets, the set of eight lobby cards, the glass slide, the mini window card, and the insert. There is even a space for the original herald, which was one by one glued into each pressbook, and this pressbook still has its herald intact! The three interior sections consist of an exhibitor's service sheet, which has all the pre-prepared heavily illustrated newspaper stories for the movie (most of which have likely never been seen since 1939), a pressbook advertising section, which shows all of the newspaper ads for the movie (again, most of which have likely not been seen since 1939), and this section also includes the price list for all the posters (how many one-sheets do YOU want at 15 cents each, how many 24-sheets at $2.40 each, how many sets of lobby cards at 75 cents each, etc!). Both of these sections are printed on newsprint. The last section is called "exploitation", and is printed on very high quality paper. It is filled with ads for all of the non-standard advertising material available (including the photoplay book edition, the sheet music, the 40x60s, the 30x40 Technicolor paintings, the giant usher buttons, etc etc), and all of the ads are profusely illustrated, and since many of these items may not be in existence, those illustrations may be the only record of them! I have never seen another pressbook even close to the quality of this one!

Condition: very good to fine. The pressbook folder was folded across the middle. From being opened and closed over the years, it became creased down the left and right edges of the area where the interior sections were placed. There are many creases down both these areas. There are many small tears down the left side of these areas, with minute paper loss at a couple of tears. There is a 1/2" x 3/4" triangle area of paper loss in the middle of the right border of the folder. It is incredibly lucky that the only thing this affects is solid white and a slight sliver of solid red on the interior of the folder and the green border on the back of the folder, just touching the very edge of the image of the three-sheet, so basically, this is extremely unimportant paper loss. Other than these two borders with defects and the fold across the middle, the folder is in pretty nice condition. There are three faint square date stamps in the center of the image and the numbers "270" are written in three places on the cover in blue grease pencil. The herald that is glued into the interior of the folder is a fold-out herald that measures 5 1/4" x 8" when fully folded, but 21" x 8" when completely unfolded. The herald is solely glued on the edge of the blank back cover, and except for the glue in that area, it is in quite nice condition! The three interior sections are in really wonderful condition! They were folded across the middle along with the outer folder, but otherwise are near perfect. What is especially notable is that two of the interior sections are printed on newsprint, and those sections have not become fragile or brittle at all, really remarkable for an MGM pressbook, which normally used a newsprint that aged quite badly. Overall, the pressbook is in really excellent condition, except for the defects to the folder noted above. I can't imagine a collector who would not be thrilled to own this great pressbook! I hope some of the great images inside (unseen since 1939) end up being shared with the general public!
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