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Last Updated: Monday, 28 July, 2003, 07:22 GMT 08:22 UK
Private Lennon film fetches $54,000
John Lennon during filming
Lennon is seen larking around in the film
Private film footage of a day in the life of John Lennon has sold for $53,775 (33,235) at auction in New York.

The two reels of film, shot by a student who met the former Beatle on a New York street in 1974, was expected to fetch up to $50,000.

Sold to an anonymous bidder, they were the most expensive of several Lennon items sold at Christie's auction house on Friday.

His written lyrics to the 1964 Beatles song If You've Got Trouble and a 1971 letter went for $38,240 (23,600) each.

The rare objects were part of an memorabilia sale that raised more than $470,000 (290,000) in total.

The Lennon film showed the musician getting up to various antics, including imitating baboons to entertain children and taking over an ice-cream van.


It has never been seen in full by the public, but a few clips have been used in documentaries.

The film student asked Lennon if he could star in her film for the day when she met him.

The former Beatle is also seen dancing across benches, playing a bandstand organ, feeding monkeys and performing magic tricks.

The musician was filmed for 12 hours but the 16mm reels were edited down to 45 minutes.

Christie's film specialist Margaret Barrett said the film was amazing.

"There are no copies of it and John Lennon himself never got a copy of the entire film. He watched it and selected pieces he liked, perhaps for a song video."

Orson's Oscar

Lennon's pocket watch, with an estimated value of $2,300 (1,420), sold for $31,070 (19,200) at the auction.

The sale was also due to include the Oscar statuette awarded to Orson Welles for Citizen Kane in 1942.

It was valued at up to $400,000 (247,000) - but was removed from sale after a legal wrangle between Welles' daughter and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which awards Oscars.

But a childhood photograph of Marilyn Monroe was sold, and fetched $31,070 - 20 times its estimated value.

And Monroe's leather 1962 diary, with an estimated worth of $4,000 (2,500), was bought for $19,120 (11,800).

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