Ten Valuable The Black Cat (1934) Movie Posters & Collectibles
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Ten Valuable The Black Cat (1934) Movie Posters & Collectibles

Universal Pictures' The Black Cat premiered on May 3, 1934, starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and David Manners. Valuable The Black Cat movie memorabilia includes one sheet and half sheet posters, lobby cards, pressbooks, heralds, movie stills and Swedish movie posters.

The Universal Pictures horror classic The Black Cat first came to movie theaters in 1934. Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer and starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Julie Bishop, Egon Brecher, Harry Cording and Lucille Lund, The Black Cat features Manners and Bishop as traveling American newlyweds Peter and Joan Alison who become prisoners of the mad Hjalmar Poelzig (Karloff) in his fortress-like home in Hungary. Made for a paltry $95,745, The Black Cat premiered on May 3, 1934, quickly becoming a box-office success.   

Here are ten valuable The Black Cat movie posters and collectibles that are sure to interest Universal Pictures horror fans and movie memorabilia collectors with big bank accounts. "Supernatural, perhaps. Baloney, perhaps not. There are many things under the sun." - Bela Lugosi as Dr. Vitus Werdegast 

The Black Cat One Sheet Style B Movie Poster

An unrestored one sheet style B movie poster (27x41-inches) in near mint+ condition sold at auction for a staggering $334,600. Why the big price tag? This is the only The Black Cat one sheet style B poster ever to surface.

The Black Cat style B poster $334,600

The Black Cat One Sheet Style D Movie Poster

A restored one sheet style D movie poster (27x41-inches) in very fine+ condition on linen fetched a top bid of $286,800 at auction. Only four of these posters are known to exist. Perhaps you have another hiding in your attic?

The Black Cat one sheet style D poster $286,800

The Black Cat Movie Pressbook

An uncut pressbook in fine+ condition brought $1,792.50 at auction. The Black Cat's entire promotional campaign is contained within its pages, including sample movie poster images.

The Black Cat Movie Herald

A movie herald (7x8-inches) in near mint- condition sold at auction for $1,195. The Black Cat marked the first Universal Pictures pairing of horror movie legends Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

The Black Cat herald $1,195

The Black Cat Movie Still

An original 8x10-inch movie still featuring Boris Karloff (Hjalmar Poelzig) and Bela Lugosi (Dr. Vitus Werdegast) in fine condition sold at auction for $448.13.

The Black Cat Swedish One Sheet Poster

A fabulous Swedish one sheet movie poster (27x39-inches) in fine- condition brought $12,650 at auction. The Black Cat was Universal Pictures' biggest hit of 1934.

The Black Cat Swedish one sheet poster $12,650

The Black Cat Lobby Card

A lobby card (11x14-inches) picturing Bela Lugosi and Julie Bishop in very fine condition sold at auction for $7,767.50. Moviegoers in 1934 might have glimpsed these cards on display in theater lobbies.

The Black Cat Movie Still

An original 8x10-inch black-and-white movie still featuring Boris Karloff and the shadow of a black cat in fine/very fine condition brought $1,075.50 at auction. You can't beat the old 1930s and '40s Hollywood movie still photography.

The Black Cat still with Boris Karloff and shadowy friend $1,075.50

The Black Cat Lobby Card

A lobby card (11x14-inches) picturing Bela Lugosi, Julie Bishop and David Manners in fine+ condition sold at auction for $5,975. Although Edgar Allan Poe is credited for the story – mainly for promotional purposes – the actual film has nothing to do with his horror tale.

The Black Cat/The Vanishing Body 1953 Reissue Insert Movie Poster

The Black Cat was re-released by Realart in 1953 under the title The Vanishing Body. An insert movie poster (14x36-inches) in very fine condition brought $131.45 at auction. Julie Bishop appears in the movie under the name "Jaqueline Wells."

The Vanishing Body a.k.a. The Black Cat 1953 insert poster $131.45

The Black Cat Movie Memorabilia Credits & Top Image

  • All auction results and images courtesy Heritage Auctions, Dallas, Texas
  • Top image: The Black Cat unrestored half sheet movie poster (22x28-inches) in fine+ condition $89,625

Copyright © 2011 William J. Felchner

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Comments (3)

Great discussion and images. I love this film. I think the Swedish poster works best.

Thanks, Michael. I didn't get into the film's plot – that's a different article – but the Boris Karloff devil-worshipping character actually builds a home over the same World War I battlefield on which he fought years earlier. Is that wild or what?

It's also cool seeing Karloff and Lugosi together. I have a slight preference for Karloff, but Lugosi was great in this movie. It's a very important film in my field because the design of the house was inspired by the Bauhaus. Karloff's character is named after a genuine German Modernist architect, Hans Poelzig.

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