Orson Welles’ Oscar Can Now Be Yours, No Talent Required

It's the perfect Christmas present for the film buff who has everything.

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Nate D. Sanders Auctions

Have you ever wanted an Academy Award, but worried your acting/directing/cinematography chops aren’t quite Oscar material? Now you can own a gold man with an Orson Welles pedigree, without a drop of talent or effort.

The revered director’s Oscar, given to him in 1942 for the screenplay for Citizen Kane, is up for auction at NateDSanders.com. The gold statuette is the only Academy Award Welles won. While Citizen Kane was nominated in eight other Academy Award categories, including Outstanding Motion Picture and Best Director, the Oscar is for the screenplay. You have until  December 20 at 5 p.m. Pacific time, to win Welles’ Oscar. How much will an Oscar cost you? Currently, a modest $72,890.

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The provenance of Welles’ Oscar is as complicated as some of his movie plots. According to The Wrap, the famed statuette was used by Welles as a prop in his unfinished film, The Other Side of the Wind. Then the award went missing and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences issued Welles’ daughter a replacement. Turns out that Welles gave the statue to cinematographer Gary Graver — either as a loaner or as payment — and he tried to sell the item in 1994. Before the sale could go through, the Welles’ family found out and successfully sued Graver to have the statue returned.

In 2003, the family gave it to a Los Angeles charity named the Dax Foundation, who is now auctioning off the prize for charity. While Oscars can’t normally be sold, Welles never signed the usual document that the Academy hands out with the trophy promising not to sell the award. So go ahead and bid away because not only is it for a good cause, but you know that the reclusive, eccentric, wealthy cinephile in your life will love it.

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