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A piece of film – and space travel – The story could be yours

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It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

Sam Spade, the hero of the 1940s private detective classic “The Maltese Falcon,” used those words to describe the eponymous bird statue that sparked lies, betrayal and murder.

However, Humphrey Bogart’s closing line could easily be applied to other movie memorabilia, which can scare some very impressive prices.

Indeed, the Bogart movie bird statue sold for almost $4.1 million in 2013, pretty close to what Fat Man thought it was worth.

Now another piece of movie history is ready to enter the multi-million dollar club,

“A masterpiece of engineering”

We are talking about the main character of Steven Spielberg’s film “ET, the Extra-Terrestrial”, which landed in theaters in 1982 and became an instant blockbuster.

Inspired by an imaginary friend Spielberg created after his parents divorced, “ET” became the highest-grossing film of all time, until it was trampled by the director’s dinosaur epic “Jurassic Park” 11 years later.

Now, the mechatronic model of the alien who wanted to phone home is up for auction for just $2-3 million, just in time for the film’s 40th anniversary.

You could buy a lot of Reese’s coins for that kind of money and ET’s yen for peanut butter candy boosted sales by about 300%.

ET and other movie items will go up for sale at the “Icons & Idols: Hollywood” auction, which takes place live Dec. 17-18 in Beverly Hills and online at JuliensLive.com.

“Predating modern CGI technology and effects, this one-of-a-kind cinematic relic (built in 1981) features 85 points of movement and is considered a masterpiece of engineering,” the bundle description reads.

ET was created by Carlo Rambaldi, an Italian special effects master, who worked on Spielberg’s “Alien” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” among other films.

Other items slated for sale include three dresses worn by Marilyn Monroe and Charlton Heston’s original “Holy Staff” in “The Ten Commandments.”

“A cultural contact point”

Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, described “ET” as “one of the classic movies of the latter part of the 20th century.”

“It spans generations,” he said. “People loved it when they were little and they kept showing it to their kids when they grew up. It’s this kind of wholesome, heartbreaking, heart-turning thing. It’s one of those movies with broad appeal that I suspect we’ll be watching as long as there’s a way to watch it.”

Thompson said “ET” is one of a relatively small number of movies that really have broad appeal and “even if you’ve never seen it, you’ve heard of it because it’s become part of the culture now. and the vernacular”.

“It’s a cultural touchpoint that everyone understands,” he said, “and if you have a piece of it, then it’s something that can impress everyone because almost everyone you know has heard of it.”

A volleyball prop from the 2000 film “Cast Away” recently sold at auction for $83,828, Bloomberg reported, and other items for sale include Christopher Reeve’s costume from the “Superman” franchise and the Darth Vader gloves from “Star Wars: A New Generation”.

People interested in purchasing these types of items, Thompson said, “must have a lot of disposable income because you’re paying that kind of money for something that has no real use other than the fact that it’s was in that movie and you can show off and brag about it.”

‘ET’ was released the same year Michael Jackson released the ‘Thriller’ album, ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ debuted on NBC and Time Magazine named the personal computer as the ‘Machine of the Year’ in a story that was written on a typewriter because the magazine’s newsroom didn’t yet have computers.

“The closest thing to immortality”

Thompson described this time as “the last gasp of a completely consensus culture…where you could really say there was a lot of stuff out there that everyone was consuming”, as many people were watching the same TV shows at the same time and listening to the same songs.

“ET came as cable television was beginning to grow,” he said. “The internet was still far away, but not too far away, so the movies that came out then were still from that era where they were still totally central to a huge percentage of the population.”

With the growth of cable and the Internet, he said, ratings began to fragment.

As for memories, Thompson said movies “are one of the closest things to immortality that we have in this world.”

“You can turn on a movie on TV Turner Classic Movies any night and every person on that screen is long dead,” he said, “yet they’re at their peak again.”

“And the idea that we would actually have something out of this world, something that was literally part of this movie that we can see 20, 40, 50, or 100 years later,” Thompson added, “I think it’s It’s almost magic. And if you’ve got millions of dollars burning a hole in your pocket, I guess buying that kind of magic might interest you.”