The Auction at Graceland•March 4, 2017
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/4/2017
Elvis Presley exploded onto the national scene in 1956 with a slew of #1 hits for RCA, several landmark television appearances and his Hollywood film debut as Clint Reno in Love Me Tender. The film was retitled from The Reno Brothers late in production to capitalize on the raging success of the single “Love Me Tender,” which sold an unprecedented 1 million copies prior to its release. The film was premiered by 20th Century Fox on November 15, 1956, in New York City and on November 20 in Memphis. Elvis attended the Memphis showing with his mother Gladys. When Gladys cried at the death of her son’s character at the end of the movie, Elvis vowed never again to take a role in which his character perished. Gladys wasn’t the only one to take umbrage with Elvis’ onscreen demise—when test audiences reacted poorly to seeing him expire, the studio quickly had Elvis add another verse to the title track that could be sung by his ghostly image above the final scene.
The offered half sheet prominently features Elvis with his guitar and the caption “MR. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL IN THE STORY HE WAS BORN TO PLAY!” Also pictured on this classic example of the highly sought-after Elvis movie poster are co-stars Richard Egan and Debra Paget. The poster is framed and a plaque at the bottom center of the frame reads “Love Me Tender / Half Sheet.” Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated. The poster measures approximately 28 by 22 inches (71.12 by 55.88 cm).
The beautifully framed half sheet exhibits expected minor scuffs and wrinkles, a small area of paper loss along the left edge, and several pinholes in the corners. In the lower right corner is handwritten the numbers “62-75”—this is a National Screen Service (NSS) notation indicating that this poster was utilized during the film’s 1962 re-release after being returned to the NSS from the film’s original release in 1956. Despite its obvious use and display (in two different years, no less!), the colors remain bold with none of the distresses affecting the impact of the central images. In overall excellent condition.