Thursday, 06 August 2020

Do you fancy Brad’s jacket?

A JACKET worn by Brad Pitt in action film Fury is being put up for auction

A JACKET worn by Brad Pitt in action film Fury is being put up for auction by a Henley man.

Gary Wallis, who deals in Hollywood film memorabilia and high-end salvage items, bought the jacket from a prop production company after receiving a tip-off when filming had finished.

He is also selling a replica 50-calibre tank machine gun, special effects jackets and photo albums taken during the film’s production.

Fury, which was released last year, is set in 1945 and followed a battle-hardened army sergeant called Wardaddy (Pitt) who commands a Sherman tank and a five-man crew on a deadly mission behind German lines.

The production sparked controversy when scenes were shot in Shirburn, near Watlington, on Remembrance Sunday and the producers had to issue an apology.

Mr Wallis, 48, whose business is based in Remenham, said the jacket was the most valuable of all the lots in the auction. He said: “It is very rare for something like this to come on the open market as they usually go into private collections. There is a network of people who buy the items from post-production and prop companies.”

The jacket is one of six that Pitt wore in the film. Two of the others were kept by the film’s director David Ayer, one is on display at the Bovington Tank Museum and another was sold to a private collector for £5,000.

The jacket is a US Army winter tankers jacket. It is wool-lined and has an olive green canvas. To make it more realistic it had been worn down.

Mr Wallis said: “In terms of what the jacket is worthâ?¦ it’s quite a grey area. One has not come up for sale since before the film’s premiere and I do not think there is going to be another one up for sale. The photographs were taken by people from the production company and there is a letter to the crew asking them to take pictures.

“There are another set of pictures of the guys trying on the costumes. They were taken in David Ayers’ office. You can see this is way before the film was made as Brad Pitt has a distinctive haircut in the film and in these he had a ponytail.”

The special effects jacket was used when John Bernthal’s character Grady Travis was injured in an explosion.

Mr Wallis used to run two antiques shops in Henley. He had Friday Street Antiques in Friday Street from 1995 to 1999 before moving to Market Place, into what is now Loch Fyne, where it became Market Place Antiques and he stayed for another five years.

He had a separate storage unit in Cookham which he moved to White Hill in Remenham in 2010.

Mr Wallis, who used to work as a graphic designer, said: “This was a hobby that turned into a business. I dealt with military items and furniture when I packed in my full time job.”

He recalled a visit to his Friday Street shop by George Harrison who bought some toy soldiers to send to former Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher.

Mr Wallis said: “George walked past the window where I had a collection of little soliders.

“People do not realise he was great friends with Graham Hill, Damon Hill’s dad and he asked me to put all the little Nazi figures in a display box. He told me, ’I want all the little German ones and I bet you’re wondering why’.

“If you watched the last race in 1997 you’ll remember that Schumacher shoved Damon Hill off the road and he had to retire from the race. Schumacher won the race and the championship that year.”

The auction will be held at Worleys Farm, Crazies Hill, on March 28. Among the other lots will be furniture and more than 150 garden and architectural pieces.

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