Film memorabilia collector Ralph DeLuca paid $1.2 million for the rare Metropolis poster and eight others in a bankruptcy auction today in Los Angeles. Bidding for the lot, which also included posters from the 1933 films King Kong and Invisible Man, started at $700,000. The Metropolis poster from the 1927 Fritz Lang classic was purchased by California collector Kenneth Schachter for a record $690,000 in a 2005 private sale, but he was forced to sell it and eight others after declaring bankruptcy. “I honestly feel that the ‘Metropolis’ poster is worth more than the whole lot,” DeLuca told Reuters after the auction. It is one of only four copies known to be in existence. Metropolis was the most expensive silent film ever made at the time of its release and considered a hallmark in early cinema for its use of special effects and futuristic plot.

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