Mighty Joe Young Oscar for best special effects could sell for $ 500,000 when auctioned
It’s not often that an Oscar trophy – from the golden age of Hollywood – is auctioned off.
In the coming days, souvenir buffs and fans alike will have the chance to get their hands on the golden statue won by the 1949 black and white fantasy film Mighty Joe Young for the best special effects.
Willis O’Brien, a cinematic special effects pioneer specializing in stop-motion animation, won the Oscar for his groundbreaking work, which included turning a pile of wood, tar paper, and old toupees into a 80 foot gorilla for the movie.
The statuette will be auctioned on July 16 as part of Heritage auctions ” Sale of entertainment souvenirs.
Hollywood Story for Sale: Oscar trophy for best special effects for Mighty Joe Young (1949) is up for auction and could fetch around $ 500,000, according to TMZ
An opening offer of $ 250,000 was also posted on the website, but the Oscar is expected to sell for around $ 500,000, according to TMZ.
There is a bit of Hollywood history attached to this particular Oscar.
At the time, Academy rules dictated that the producer of the winning film should receive the Oscar.
However, in recognition of his groundbreaking work on Mighty Joe Young and King Kong (1933) 16 years earlier, producer and story creator Merian C. Cooper presented the trophy to O’Brien.
Coming soon: The golden statuette will be auctioned on July 16 as part of the Heritage Auctions entertainment memorabilia sale
To prevent Oscar statuettes from being collector’s items to buy and sell, the Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has a rule that prohibits recipients from selling or disposing of an Oscar trophy without first delivering it to the Academy for $ 1.
But in this particular case, Cooper chose to present the trophy to O’Brien, so it wasn’t personalized. In addition, the prize was awarded to it before the rule came into force in 1951 and can therefore be offered for sale.
Willis turned down the Oscar the Academy gave him for his work on King Kong in 1933, citing that he wanted a trophy for all of his crew.
Backstory: In 1949, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) dictated that the producer of the winning film be awarded the Oscar, so Cooper presents the trophy to O’Brien alone in recognition of his groundbreaking work on Mighty Joe Young and King Kong
Willis O’Brien was a pioneer in cinematic special effects who specialized in stop-motion animation; starring Mighty Joe Young and King Kong, the Oakland, Calif. native, was also praised for his work on The Lost World (1925)
Produced by the same creative team responsible for King Kong, Mighty Joe Young starred Terry Moore, Robert Armstrong, Ben Johnson, Frank McHugh and Douglas Fowley.
It tells the story of a young woman, Jill Young, living on her father’s ranch in Africa, who raised the main character Joe, a big gorilla, from an early age and brought him years later to Hollywood in search of fortune in order to save family property.
As its popularity grows and becomes Hollywood’s biggest nightclub attraction, Joe and Jill are homesick for Africa, and he quickly gets tired of performing and miserable in his cage and in the spotlight.
Honorable: Willis turned down the Oscar he received from the Academy for his work on King Kong in 1933, citing that he wanted a trophy for all of his crew