There’s a rare piece of movie history up for auction… the 1949 Oscar trophy for best special effects for “Mighty Joe Young”… and it should make a fortune.
It’s not often that you see Oscars at auction … the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hates to see their trophies sold, but this one goes out of the rules preventing the sale as it is neither personalized nor serious.
Willis O’Brien won this vintage Oscar trophy for his groundbreaking special effects work in the original “Mighty Joe Young”, when he transformed a pile of wood, tar paper and old toupees into an 80 foot gorilla.
Willis turned down the Academy’s first Oscar for his work on “King Kong” in 1933 – he wanted a trophy for everyone on his team.
When ‘Mighty Joe’ won for special effects, Academy rules called the producer, Merian C. Cooper, to receive the statuette and he did. However, Merian never had his name engraved on it, as he really wanted Willis to have the Oscar.
So he basically slipped the prize to her under the table, and since it is not personalized and the prize was awarded before the 1951 rule … it can be put up for sale.
The statuette will be auctioned on July 16 as part of Heritage Auctions Entertainment Souvenir Sale … and we’re told the Oscar should make $ 500,000.
There are also many other valuable items up for auction … including a 1933 “King Kong” plaster head, Elton johnthe Steinway model D grand piano, Evel knievelthe “Stratocycle” motorcycle and Marilyn monroeof “The Seven Year Itch”.