Although SUPERMANIA’s long-standing relationship with Propstore has been going on for some years now, after last years bumper offering of incredible artefacts from all four Superman Movies It seemed there was no chance such a feat could be repeated. Indeed, after 40+ years, how many loft finds and shed discoveries from various former crew and/or family could there possibly be? No, the 2021 auction was surely the pinnacle of what remains of available Superman ephemera. The exquisite miniatures. The hairpieces, the crystals. Even Valerie Perrine’s iconic dress. After the last visit, we all shook hands and drove home with a sense of finality – how lucky were we to see these wonderful pieces before they were scattered across the world to their new custodians?
Well. Turn’s out joke’s on me.
Not content with having just as enviable a selection as last year, Propstore have gone one better by presenting a catalogue of fresh items in this years Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction with a complete costume from the Salkind Superman trilogy as their premiere lot. While Propstore has seen many a Super-garment pass through their hands, rarely does a complete costume (below, on a finished display, no less) become available. And quite the example it is too, with the description revealing it to be a composition of screenworn items from all 3 films, presenting a unique opportunity to own a piece from each in the franchise.
Also for Reeve fans there is the 1:1 in flight model from Superman II, an autographed still and my personal favourite lot, the two Leather-bound scripts personally signed by Reeve and donated as a prize to UK TV show Multicoloured Swapshop, where the provenance on offer is about as comprehensive as can be.
Enjoy the preview video (top) courtesy of the Capedwonder Podcast where Jay Towers and I interview Propstore CEO Stephen Lane and look out for the upcoming video on the SUPERMANIA YouTube channel as we prepare to visit the Propstore office once again at the end of this month. Until then, I will keep any predictions about next years auction firmly in check…
“Battersea Power Station, London, England 1982 –
As shown in the TV Special ‘The Making Of Superman III’, the conclusion of the movie is shot at one of the capital’s most iconic landmarks just before its decommissioning after supplying a fifth of the city’s power for decades.
Swaggering onto set in a bright red towelling robe, star Christopher Reeve meets & greets before being consulted about a new flying rig being trialled for an upcoming shot. Stuntman Mark Stewart is strapped into a seesaw-like contraption that elevates him simply by applying the weight of two men the opposite end. The result is admittedly unimpressive, and Reeve dismisses it as ‘useless.’ Stewart offers that it might be better for landing than taking off and Reeve walks away, literally leaving Stewart hanging. Later, an even more primitive solution of a wooden board is employed to bring Reeve and co-star Richard Pryor back down to Earth.
The highlight of the day, however, overlooked by bemused Power Station staff is Superman’s flight to exit the scene, to be achieved with the assistance of the Flying Unit and a large crane. Tenured SFX technician Bob Harman snaps the hooks onto Reeve’s harness as he’s done so many times previously while cinematographer Robert Paynter (top pic, far right) lines up the shot. Pre-flight checks done, the giant pulley is turned and Reeve gracefully ascends, banking over the skyline before saluting the ground crew. Below, Stunt double and friend Paul Weston shouts “180!” though the megaphone to confirm a successful rehearsal…”
The above was originally intended as an introduction to a page dedicated to the late Bob Harman, whom SUPERMANIA had been in contact with for a year before his sad passing in 2020. Bob was very modest about his incredible contribution to the ‘Super’ series of films but had nonetheless agreed to tell his story – unfortunately we never got the opportunity – however I was glad to offer his family some rare footage and images of Bob in action back in the day from the SUPERMANIA archives.
Its also bittersweet to realise that only the stuntmen (Weston & Stewart) are the only men from this tale to still be with us – hopefully one day we get to share their stories before they are lost to time. Paul Weston is still active in the industry and is a simply wonderful guy – I’ve also made contact with Mark Stewart who is similarly gracious but to date has not gone on record to share his experiences – I ask all Superfans interested in hearing from him to make it known in the comments section below..!
(images courtesy Alexei Lambley-Steel)
What better way to spend World Superman Day than a marathon screening of the original and best Superhero Quadrilogy – still the standard by which all others are judged?
SUPERMANIA admits one and all by way of the latest addition to the collection – these super-rare Japanese tickets issued exclusively for each release. Why not watch a DVD or Blu-Ray tonight to celebrate the ever-enduring Man of Tomorrow?
And if you haven’t already look to your right and click on the all-new SUPERMANIA Scrapbook on Instagram. There you will find an archive of rare and unusual images not found on the site – this will be updated constantly so keep checking back..!