The World’s most expensive movie costume was auctioned off for $4.7 million. The iconic white dress is worn by the sex symbol Marilyn Monroe from the film “The Seven Year Itch was sold more than ten times the famous pink dress she wore in the film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” while performing her musical piece “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.
The pink dress was auctioned off for $300 million, making it one of the most expensive costumes on this list. Let’s find out the ten costumes on this list.
10- Bruce Lee’s Costume Coat: $77,000
The $77,000 coat was worn by Bruce Lee for the filming of Game of Death in 1973. Few months after Lee, at 32 died and the film was never finished. Lee”s fur-lined coat was sold in Hong Kong in 2011, the piece was sold, almost nine times more than it was expected to. Lee wore the coat at the premiere of his film, Enter the Dragon, and for movie publicity shots.
Bruce Lee was a martial arts instructor and an action film actor, he was widely considered the father of mixed martial arts. Lee died in 1974 of what was called as “death by misadventure” that was caused by acute cerebral edema due to a reaction to compounds present in the combination medication Equagesic
9- John Wayne’s True Grit Costume: $167,300
John Wayne wore the costume in the 1969 film True Grit was sold more than $100,000. Wayne won the Oscar for the role as Rooster Cogburn, a humorous U.S. Marshal who sets out to avenge a man’s death. The entire outfit includes the cowboy hat, shirt, jacket, waistcoat, pants, boots and the iconic eye patch.
The long sleeve shirt made of blue cotton was custom-made for Wayne for the film and both the jacket and shirt has a label with his name. In 1979 at the age of 72, Wayne passed away. The costume brought in more than $160,000. The 2010 remake of the film brought in several Academy Awards nominations and more than $200 million in sales worldwide.
8- John Wayne’s Costume Hat from The Green Berets: $179,250
The American made war film was made in 1968, where it featured John Wayne in a lead role. Although the film was not received well by the critics and didn’t make a box office hit, still John Wayne’s character, Mike Kirby was loved by his fans. The film was produced during the Vietnam War, where several US troops were in combat against the communist north. John Wayne wanted to make the film to combat the anti-war atmosphere.
He received full cooperation and material from the military under the direction of President Johnson. The beret was auctioned off for $179,250, and the proceeds was donated cancer research and to the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. The actor died from stomach cancer in 1979. Wayne was one of the most iconic stars in America.
7- Marilyn Monroe’s Pink Costume from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: $310,000
This bright pink gown was worn by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 movie, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, during the famous musical number. Monroe’s iconic musical number, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” was performed with co-star Jane Russell. Marilyn had called several takes to perfect the musical performance.
The film was one of the most popular of its time, and was well-received. The dress was a creation of William Travilla, done in satin it was strapless and floor length with side slits the color chosen for this dress was called “shocking” pink. It was lined with felt so that it would stay stiff during the entire dance routines. The dress was sold for $310,000 way higher from an expected $150,000.
6- Judy Garland’s Costume Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz: $612,000
These ruby slippers were featured on Wizard of Oz, worn by one of the lead roles “Dorothy” played by Judy Garland. There are only three pairs of ruby slippers left, which are exactly the same ones worn by Garland in the 1940′s classic movie. Each pair comes with a hefty price tag of more than $500 thousand dollars.
One pair was sold to an anonymous bidder by Christie’s auction house, for $612,000. The second pair failed to sell at $1 million and the third is exhibited for everyone to see at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of History. These shoes are among the most well-known shoes in the world, created by designer Gilbert Adrian.
5- Judy Garland’s Dorothy Costume from Wizard of Oz: $910,000
Judy Garland’s Wizard of Oz character- Dorothy wore a blue and white gingham dress in the film, Wizard of Oz, released in 1939. There were actually seven versions of this piece custom-made before the final one was chosen. The piece was designed by costume designer Gilbert Adrian.
The costume is made of cotton and was partially sewn by hand, with a small label on the inside collar, marked with Judy Garland’s name. The dress was worn with the famous ruby slippers which were sold at auction for over half a million dollars. The blue costume dress has been used to raise money for Children’s charities.
4- Steve McQueen’s Racing Costume from Le Mans: $984,000
The famous racing suite was worn by Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans in 1971. The suit has the name of McQueen’s character, Michael Delaney, embroidered on its pocket and the jacket features the logos of Gulf, Firestone, Heuer, and the American Flag. It was made by Hinchman of Indianapolis. It was sold for $984,000 making it the most expensive piece of racing memorabilia sold outside of an automobile.
3- Michael Jackson’s Thriller Costume: $1.8 Million
MJ’s famous Thriller 1983 album was a huge hit on its release. In the video Michael Jackson was wearing a red outfit consisting of red jacket and trousers. The red and black-paneled jacket was gifted afterward by Jackson to his costume designers Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush.
There is an inscription to them on the lining and the sleeve is signed, “Love Michael Jackson.” It was estimated to be auctioned for approximately $200,000 – $400,000. Surprising it was sold for $1.8 million. Part of the proceeds was donated to Shambala Preserve, home of Michael Jackson’s two Bengal tigers, Thriller and Sabu.
2- Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot Costume: $3.7 Million
The Ascot Costume is a black and white dress with the matching hat worn for the musical “My Fair Lady” that starred Audrey Hepburn. The movie was released in 1964 and starred Hepburn with leading man, Rex Harrison. The movie won eight Oscars including Best Picture and Best Costume Design.
The costume was designed by Cecil Beaton, for the horse racing scene at Ascot, the world famous racecourse in England. Hepburn’s character, Eliza appears wearing the fabulous black and white costume including an avant garde hat decorated with flowers and ostrich feather plumes.
The dress is made of silk with a linen undergarment and overlaid with lace and hand embroidery. The dress sold for a winning bid of $3.7 million dollars at the auction.
1- Marilyn Monroe’s Costume from the Seven Year Itch: $4.6 Million
The white dress was worn by Marilyn Monroe in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. The film was directed by Billy Wilder and released by 20th Century Fox. The iconic white dress was designed by William Travilla. The scene in the movie where Monroe is standing over a subway grate and the air from a moving train beneath her blows the dress upward is an image that is instantly recognizable.
The ivory colored cocktail dress was designed with a plunging neckline and a halter bodice. It fastens with a zipper in the back and ties around the torso. The dress now appear to be a darker cream color as opposed to the original ivory. It was sold at auction for $4.6 million making it the most expensive costume sold at auction.
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