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Private collection of American film producer Elliot Kastner heads to auction
This collection includes candid photographs, personal letters, posters, unmade film scripts, advertising press packs, books, artwork, pictures and much more, all of which have come from Kastner’s office at London’s Pinewood Studios, where he was for much of his career and until the end of his life.

KINGS LANGLEY.- A fantastic opportunity for fans of the big screen is the auction of the private collection of celebrated American film producer, Elliott Kastner. Amongst the highlights is a signed contract by Marlon Brando, a Charlie Chaplin signed vinyl, Eric Clapton’s autograph and the original concept artwork for the film Where Eagles Dare, amongst other items taken directly from his office at Pinewood Studios, where he worked until his death in 2010.

These fascinating film-related items at very accessible prices, offer a rare opportunity to get the inside track on the world of elusive film stars and movie-making and in particular the movie career of the great Elliott Kastner, producer of films such as; Where Eagles Dare (1968), The Long Goodbye (1973), The Missouri Breaks (1976) and Angel Heart (1987). They will be offered in a sale of Movie and Music Memorabilia, Posters and Autographs at Excalibur Auctions on March 13, 2021.

Sarah Torode, auction expert at Excalibur Auctions, who specialise in Collectables & Memorabilia, said: “We're excited to offer for sale the last collection of Kastner’s memorabilia to come to market – some 80% of his archive was previously donated to the BFI. The collection offered here today is by family descent. We're hopeful that the collection as a whole will achieve in excess of £10,000.

This collection includes candid photographs, personal letters, posters, unmade film scripts, advertising press packs, books, artwork, pictures and much more, all of which have come from Kastner’s office at London’s Pinewood Studios, where he was for much of his career and until the end of his life. Some of his best-known credits include The Long Goodbye (1973), The Missouri Breaks (1976), Angel Heart (1987) and perhaps most notably the 1968 MGM WWII film Where Eagles Dare with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood - for which we have a selection of unique items including two pieces of concept artwork, film reels and candid photographs."

The collection is being offered by his son Dillon Kastner, who said: "We grew up in the shadow of these icons and saw this big life, which was a precious legacy and a great lesson in life, that it really is the simple things that make it all worthwhile. Those who knew and loved my father remember him as a kind, loyal and affable man, generous to a fault and hilarious to be with. You just had to have all that prickliness to go with it, to be able to survive amongst all those sharks in the heart-breaking world of high stakes entertainment. These mementoes and memories I hope show that."

Among the highlights of the collection (lots 350-459 in the sale) are a set of candid photographs of Marlon Brando on the set of the film Superman (1977). The 'Fortress of Solitude' set was built on the Pinewood Studio '007' soundstage. The set is estimated to fetch £20-40.

Another one-of-a kind lot is an album of photographs of those involved in the 1973 film The Long Goodbye, directed by Robert Altman who appears in the photos. Only special copies of this album were produced, one for each of the three key film-makers, making this even more special. The film starred Elliott Gould and an early uncredited appearance by Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his first ever film role. It is estimated to fetch £200-400.

A First edition, first print of Thrilling Cities (1963) by Ian Fleming, the James Bond author, is included in the sale. The hardback book with photographic illustrations of various cities around the world is expected to fetch £20-40.

An advertising press pack and signed novel by writer Peter Van Greenaway, with a US movie poster for the thriller The Medusa Touch in 1978, directed by Jack Gold and starring Richard Burton, is estimated to fetch £60-80.

Two film reel holders, plus a promotional flyer for the film White of The Eye (1987), which Kastner produced alongside Cassian Elwes, Sue Baden-Powell and Brad Wyman. The lot comes with a copy of the novel Mrs White by Margaret Tracy, which the film was based on, as well as production paperwork, correspondence, various original draft screenplays and scripts, synopses and advertising posters together with a crew t-shirt. It is estimated to fetch £50-70.

The screenplay, pre-production notes, and story boards for the film Zits (1988) (working title Likewise), is also included in the sale, alongside paperwork and the script for the film A Chorus of Disapproval (1989), which was directed by Michael Winner. The cast line-up comprised Anthony Hopkins, Jeremy Irons, Richard Briers, and Alexandra Pigg, but the most interesting thing about this lot, is that it includes a letter from film director Michael Winner (1935-2013), on the subject of whether Anthony Hopkins or Jeremy Irons would get top billing! It has an estimate of £50-70.

During the early stages of pre-production it was quite common for producers to commission paintings for use by the production team, to get a feel for what the scenes would look like on screen. Two such paintings produced for Where Eagles Dare are being offered in the sale. The works were produced by one of the greatest conceptual artists in history, Roy Carnon (1911-2002), who worked on films, such as: A Space Odyssey, Superman, Return of The Jedi, amongst others. One of the works depicts the castle from the film and is estimated to fetch £300-500.

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