The film was silent, but the poster roared. When German artist Heinz Schulz-Neudamm created a poster for the Fritz Lang's 1927 German science-fiction dystopian "Metropolis," he probably didn't imagine it would fetch a record $690,000 nearly a century later.
The poster's selling price in 2005 is still a record. And it's slated to set a new one.
Earlier this year the illustration, with its jagged lettering, stoic skyscrapers and blank-faced femme-robot has been appraised at $250,000 in a bankruptcy filing by owner Kenneth Schacter, a collector.
But in March, it went up for sale with an $850,000 list price, and some appraisers estimate it could be the first poster to sell for $1 million.
The painting is centered around an animatronic woman, called the Robot, used by a mad scientist to seduce oppressed workers living in a futuristic city where the wealthy rule from chic, towering buildings. Filmed during the pre-Nazi period of the Weimar Republic, "Metropolis" was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou.
Poster dealer Sean Linkenback told the Guardian that Schulz-Neudamm's poster is "the crown jewel of the poster world."