Banned 'Carry On Cleo' poster – £3200 at Ewbank's.

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The 344 movie posters on offer at the Woking rooms of Ewbank’s (30% buyer’s premium) on August 21 attracted British and international collectors, bringing £92,000, double the pre-sale estimate. But Ewbank took particular satisfaction in bringing in vendors – the most feared problem of the Covid-19 lockdown.

One of them was a barrister who appeared in the case when 20th Century Fox won a court ban and pulping order on a 1964 poster designed by Tom Clelland for Anglo-Amalgamated’s movie Carry on Cleo.

One of the two actual court exhibits, the 2ft 6in x 3ft 4in (76cm x 1.01m) British Quad poster was a straight parody of 20th Century’s 1963 blockbuster Cleopatra but with the faces of Kenneth Williams, Amanda Barrie and Syd James replacing those of Rex Harrison, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Kenneth Connor and Charles Hawtry peep out from under Cleo’s couch.

Very few survived the court order and this one sold to a Home Counties collector at a mid-estimate £3200.

The equally entrenched British cinema icon, James Bond, was represented by 18 posters, the best being a British quad for the debut film Dr No. It had minor condition issues but it went within estimate at £5200.


1942 US poster for 'Casablanca' – £9000 at Ewbank’s.

However, as expected, the day’s prize was a 1942 American one-sheet poster for the classic Casablanca. The linen-backed 2ft 3in x 3ft 4in (68cm x 1m) poster had been trimmed for the frame and undergone significant airbrushing but went to a Welsh bidder at a mid-estimate £9000.