Late movie legend Marlon Brando's personal script from the 1972 movie THE GODFATHER fetched a staggering $312,800 (GBP175,418) at a New York auction yesterday (30JUN05) - the highest amount ever paid for a film manuscript.

The annotated script - which fetched 20 times its estimated price - was part of a controversial sale of items removed from Brando's Los Angeles home.

The high-profile auction at Christie's made more than $2.3 million (GBP1.3 million) in total, with surprising bids including $132,000 (GBP74,011) for author Mario Puzo's letter asking the actor to play gangster DON CORLEONE in the film.

The letter read, "Dear Mr Brando, I wrote a book called The Godfather which has had some success and I think you're the only actor who can play the part. I know this was presumptuous of me but the best I can do by the book is try. I really think you'd be tremendous."

A 44-year-old telegram from Brando to screen siren MARILYN MONROE sold for $36,000 (GBP20,192) while a photograph of the film icon and actress Rita Moreno in the 1968 movie THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY fetched $48,000 (GBP26,918).

Brando's eldest son, CHRISTIAN BRANDO, was furious about the auction, and made an unsuccessful bid to be given the items before the sale to decide which belongings his father would have wanted to keep.

But Brando's other son, MIKO BRANDO, is moved by the amount of money his late father's fans were willing to pay to own a piece of movie history: "I feel humbled by collectors and fans who have spent so freely to own a piece of my father's heritage and history."

Brando died last year (04) aged 80 leaving 11 children.

01/07/2005 10:16