In 1959 a young US Naval officer was a guest on the set of the Marilyn Monroe/Jack Lemmon/Tony Curtis movie Some Like It Hot after a visit from Monroe to his San Diego Naval base. While on the set he took a short amount of 8mm film footage of the sex symbol, that also included a little bit of Curtis and director Billy Wilder. Forty-nine years later, the lucky military man had passed away, leaving that 2.5 minutes of film, in its original Kodak box, to his daughter, now living in Australia. She decided to sell.
The rare, 2.5-minute-long footage, which shows Monroe and co-star Tony Curtis on the set, was purchased by an anonymous Australian buyer during the Melbourne sale, auctioneer Charles Leski told Reuters.
“We’re surprised there weren’t more bidders, but we are happy that it sold,” Leski, managing director of Leski Auctions, said. “It was a stab in the dark what price the footage would go for.”
The footage was discovered in Australia last month and Leski had set a pre-sale estimate of 20,000 to 30,000 Australian dollars ($17,000-$25,500).
The anonymous purchaser also acquires full commercial rights. Let’s hope we don’t see this in a commercial for a soft drink or Florida travel agency. That would certainly be giving Sugar Kane the fuzzy end of the lollipop, again.
An amateur film lasting 47-minute long, taken on the set of the Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable movie The Misfits, sold at auction for $60,000 earlier this year. That footage was shot by a cast member with a small part in the dramatic western.
“Considering what Misfits reached in the U.S., we are happy, as this means we got A$7,000 per minute,” Leski said.
The lot included a CD copy and DVD copy as well.
Leski had expected the footage, which unlike the film is in color, to generate a lot of interest, as “Some Like It Hot” is listed by the American Film Institute as the greatest American comedy film of all time.
Some Like It Hot is also listed as the greatest American comedy film of all time in Ceilidh’s extensive DVD collection. Maybe not as prestigious as the American Film Insitute, but very important in my household!
In related news, a New York City photographer, Bert Stern, is suing over a series of “unique and irreplaceable images” of Monroe that he loaned to Eros Magazine, which is now out of business, and were never returned.
He says the photos are now held by Michael Weiss and Donald Penny.
Stern is seeking the photos, or at least $700,000 in repayment, plus $1 million in punitive damages and legal fees.
Messages left at Weiss’ photography studio and at Penny’s home were not immediately returned.