A View To A Kill / one sheet / advance / Eiffel Tower / USA

29.09.14

Poster Poster Poster Poster
Title
A View To A Kill
AKA
The Beautiful Prey (Japan - English title)
Year of Film
1985
Director
John Glen
Starring
Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Tanya Roberts, Grace Jones, Patrick Macnee, Patrick Bauchau, David Yip, Fiona Fullerton, Manning Redwood, Alison Doody, Willoughby Gray, Desmond Llewelyn, Robert Brown, Lois Maxwell
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Action | James Bond
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - Eiffel Tower style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Dan Goozee
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
850004
Tagline
Adventure above and beyond all other Bonds

A View to a Kill, Sir Roger Moore‘s last outing as James Bond was definitely not his finest hour, although it is memorable for a few reasons, including Christopher Walken‘s turn as the psychotic bad guy Max Zorin, Duran Duran’s great title theme and the appearance of the incomparable Grace Jones as Mayday, Zorin’s accomplice. She may not be the greatest actress but she’s never anything less than a striking presence and is definitely not a lady to mess with, as British chat show presenter Russell Harty infamously found out.

The film features a climactic fight atop the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, which sees Bond and Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts) face off against Zorin and his henchmen in the Zorin Industries airship. Special effects supervisor John Richardson filmed a series of sequences featuring stunt performers on top of the actual bridge that were later matched up against green-screen shots of the actors. This was the first Bond film to have its premiere held outside the UK; it opened on the 22nd of May, 1985 at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts.

The excellent artwork depicting an action scene on the Eiffel Tower in Paris (which is not exactly accurate in terms of events in the film) is by the American poster artist Dan Goozee who was also responsible for the other ‘legs’ advance and the final US one sheet which features another action-packed scene. He also worked on the posters for a few other Bond posters, including Moonraker and Octopussy, as well as several other classic posters designs from the 1980s. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Death Wish / A1 / Germany

26.09.14

Poster Poster Poster Poster
Title
Death Wish
AKA
Ein Mann sieht rot (Germany) | Il giustiziere della notte [The vigilante of the night] (Italy)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats, William Redfield
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Thriller
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Gerold Kratzsch
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
23 7/16" x 33 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original German A1 poster for the release of director Michael Winner‘s infamous Death Wish, the good-guy-turned-vigilante flick that marked a turning point in star Charles Bronson‘s career, launching him to international stardom and establishing his brand as a tough-guy leading man. Based on the novel of the same name by Brian Garfield, the original script by Wendell Mayes went through multiple revisions and the film itself was in protracted development before it was handed to Winner who was chosen thanks to his track record with gritty thrillers, including The Mechanic  and The Stone Killer, both starring Bronson. Winner pushed to get the star onboard but his agent’s concerns about the content and the script’s description of the main character as a meek accountant meant negotiations stalled.

Eventually the film passed into the hands of legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis who, after securing distribution and financing, requested script revisions that made the role more suitable for Bronson, plus Winner tweaked a few scenes that meant upping the violence. Filming eventually took place in New York City during the winter of 1973-74. Bronson plays architect Paul Kersey whose wife and daughter are viciously attacked one day in their apartment with his wife later dying from her injuries and the daughter being left in a catatonic state.

After the funeral, Kersey flies to Arizona to meet a business client and before leaving a few weeks later he is given a Colt revolver as a gift. One night following his return to New York he is approached by a mugger who attempts to rob him, but Kersey pulls his own gun and shoots him dead. Although initially sick that he killed another human, Kersey’s motivation for revenge gets the better of him and he deliberately starts to put himself at risk by walking around the city at night looking for criminals and the body count starts to mount.  Unbeknownst to Kersey, the police are starting to close in and it’s not long before his risk taking catches up with him.

The film was savaged by most critics on release for what they saw as its celebration of vigilante violence, with some calling it an ‘immoral threat to society’ and voicing concerns that it would encourage similar behaviour in society. It was, however, a box office success and audiences responded positively amidst a climate of rising violence on American streets. The film spawned four sequels all starring Bronson, and all of steadily diminishing quality, although the first film definitely still has a cult following forty years later.

According to the credit on the lower left hand side of the poster it was designed by the Gerold Kratzsch advertising agency who appear to have been based in Berlin in Germany (I don’t believe they still exist).

Angel Heart / A1 / Germany

24.09.14

Poster Poster Poster Poster
Title
Angel Heart
AKA
--
Year of Film
1987
Director
Alan Parker
Starring
Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling, Stocker Fontelieu, Brownie McGhee, Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Whitcraft
Origin of Film
USA | Canada | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Renato Casaro
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 5/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original German poster for the release of Alan Parker’s Angel Heart, featuring excellent portraits of its two main stars, Robert De Niro and Mickey Rourke, that were painted by Renato Casaro. An occult mystery thriller, the film was adapted by Parker, a British screen writer, producer and director, from the novel Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg. Set in 1955, the story follows private detective Harry Angel (Rourke) after he is hired by a law firm to find a missing pre-war singer called Johnny Favorite on behalf of their enigmatic client Louis Cyphre (De Niro). The trail leads Angel to a hospital where Favorite was last seen and he discovers that the singer was taken away by a mysterious benefactor whilst suffering from dementia caused by war injuries. He next travels to New Orleans in search of his ex-wife and then one of Favorite’s former band mates, but as the witnesses he meets all end up murdered Angel suspects that all is not what it seems with Cyphre and finding the truth about the singer’s disappearance becomes more than just another job.

The poster was designed and painted by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro, an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

Brainstorm / quad / UK

22.09.14

Poster Poster Poster Poster
Title
Brainstorm
AKA
--
Year of Film
1983
Director
Douglas Trumbull
Starring
Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher, Cliff Robertson, Jordan Christopher, Donald Hotton, Alan Fudge, Joe Dorsey, Bill Morey, Jason Lively
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sci-Fi | Thriller
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Marcus Silversides
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Imagine a machine that records feelings, emotions, even your dreams. And imagine that it can transfer these experiences from one mind to another...

This is the UK quad for the release of the science-fiction film Brainstorm, which was the second and final directorial effort from Douglas Trumbull who is best known for his pioneering work in the field of special effects. Trumbull had worked with Stanley Kubrick on 2001: A Space Odyssey and created the iconic ‘Star Gate’ sequence at the end of the film. He would go on to create special effects sequences for films including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Blade Runner. The first film he directed was the cult classic Silent Running (1974) which was a critical success but a box-office failure and it would be eight years before Trumbull would once again sit in the director’s chair.

The film stars Christopher Walken as Michael Brace, a scientist working as part of a pioneering research team that has discovered a method of recording the sensory and emotional feelings of a person onto tape, allowing them to be viewed by others. His estranged wife Karen (Natalie Wood) also works with him and Michael realises he can use the system to reconcile their feelings for each other and show her his true emotions. Unfortunately not all of the scientists use it for good with one recording a sexual encounter which he then shares with several of his colleagues, leading to his eventual dismissal. 

Lillian Reynolds (Louise Fletcher) one of the lead scientists is fiercely protective of the team’s work and is angry when the company forces the team to involve military advisors in their plans. When she suffers a heart attack in the lab and is unable to call for help, she records the experience of death into the system. The tape is viewed by another scientist and the sensory experience causes him to also have a heart attack so the company locks the tape away. Lillian’s fears about the nefarious plans of the military are borne out when Michael discovers they plan to use the system for torture and brainwashing but his protestations see him get fired from the program. He and Karen decide to shut down the system to prevent it being used for negative means but Michael is also determined to view Lillian’s ‘death’ tape, despite Karen’s protestations.

Trumbull used the production to work on a new effects process which he called Showscan that allowed for 70mm film to be projected at 60fps (standard film is 24fps) and create a hyperreal feeling to the footage. MGM backed out of plans to create prints in the new format but Trumbull did film the virtual reality sequences in the larger Super Panavision 70 format and the ‘normal’ sequences in the conventional 35mm format so that it changes throughout the film whenever the scientists use their machines. The film was shown at special 70mm cinemas during its initial run.

The film’s production was unfortunately overshadowed by the mysterious death of Natalie Wood who drowned whilst on a boat trip with Walken and her husband Robert Wagner. MGM shut down the production and were planning to write it off and claim insurance on the money already spent. Trumbull and others argued with the studio that Wood had already completed most of her key scenes and the insurers realised that the film was salvageable. They agreed to finance the completion of production for a cut of any profits but by then things were getting very acrimonious between the director and MGM.

Trumbull was allowed to finish the film by rewriting several scenes and using a body double for Wood in some scenes but the experience critically damaged his desire to work inside the Hollywood system again. In 1983 he stated, “I have no interest…in doing another Hollywood feature film…Absolutely none. The movie business is so totally screwed-up that I just don’t have the energy to invest three or four years in a feature film. Moviemaking is like waging war. It destroys your personal life, too.” Sadly Brainstorm under-performed in cinemas despite strong critical notices and failed to recoup most of its final budget.

This quad features unique artwork that was painted by the British artist Brian Bysouth, based on a design by fellow designer and artist Marcus Silversides. The figure is actually based on Silversides himself whose reference shot was provided to Bysouth as he painted the artwork. You can read my extensive interview with the artist by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen by clicking here.

Highlander / B2 / style C / Japan

18.09.14

Poster Poster Poster Poster
Title
Highlander
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Russell Mulcahy
Starring
Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery, Beatie Edney, Alan North, Jon Polito, Sheila Gish, Hugh Quarshie, Christopher Malcolm
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Fantasy
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style C
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of three B2 posters printed for the Japanese release of the cult fantasy Highlander. The film started life as a story by Gregory Widen which he penned whilst studying screenwriting at UCLA and it was sold to the film’s producers for $200k before undergoing several re-writes. Directed by Australian Russell Mulcahy, who had made a name with a series of music videos, the film is set in two time periods and tells the story of a Connor Macleod (a career-making turn from Christopher Lambert) who is born in Scotland in 1518 and discovers he is immortal when he is seemingly killed in a battle with a rival clan, later waking with no injuries. Believing him to be cursed, he is banished by his fellow clans people and is forced to live in a remote castle.

Eventually, after marrying a woman called Heather (Beatie Edney), he is visited by another immortal called Ramirez (Sean Connery) who teaches him how to sword fight and explains that the only way to kill another immortal is to remove his head. Ramirez also urges Connor to leave Heather, explaining that immortals are sterile and always end up causing hurt to any mortals that they fall in love with. In present day, Connor is shown to be living and working as an antique dealer in New York City and dealing with attacks from other immortals who are taking part in ‘The Gathering’ in which the remaining immortals from around the world fight to be the last one alive (“There can be only one!”). The psychotic Kurgan (Clancy Brown in a memorable turn), who first met Connor on the battlefield in Scotland, is determined to win the prize and will stop at nothing to do so.

Mulcahy injects great energy into the film, clearly using many of the tricks he learned making music videos and the performances of the three main actors all help to elevate the film beyond what could have been a very schlocky fantasy. Some of the scenes involving Connor and Heather are genuinely touching and force the viewer to imagine the downsides of living as an immortal. Michael Kamen’s orchestral score is excellent and is embellished by several memorable songs by the British band Queen, including ‘A Kind of Magic‘. Although not initially a box-office success in the US, the film was an international hit and would gain a cult following, which later saw the release a series of iffy film sequels and a popular TV series that lasted for six seasons. The franchise also includes comic books, novels and animated shows.

This is the style C Japanese B2 but I also have the style B one too. The British quad, painted by Brian Bysouth is by far the best of the international Highlander posters.

The trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube.

Highlander / B2 / style B / Japan

18.09.14

Poster Poster Poster Poster
Title
Highlander
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Russell Mulcahy
Starring
Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery, Beatie Edney, Alan North, Jon Polito, Sheila Gish, Hugh Quarshie, Christopher Malcolm
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Fantasy
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of three B2 posters printed for the Japanese release of the cult fantasy Highlander. The film started life as a story by Gregory Widen which he penned whilst studying screenwriting at UCLA and it was sold to the film’s producers for $200k before undergoing several re-writes. Directed by Australian Russell Mulcahy, who had made a name with a series of music videos, the film is set in two time periods and tells the story of a Connor Macleod (a career-making turn from Christopher Lambert) who is born in Scotland in 1518 and discovers he is immortal when he is seemingly killed in a battle with a rival clan, later waking with no injuries. Believing him to be cursed, he is banished by his fellow clans people and is forced to live in a remote castle.

Eventually, after marrying a woman called Heather (Beatie Edney), he is visited by another immortal called Ramirez (Sean Connery) who teaches him how to sword fight and explains that the only way to kill another immortal is to remove his head. Ramirez also urges Connor to leave Heather, explaining that immortals are sterile and always end up causing hurt to any mortals that they fall in love with. In present day, Connor is shown to be living and working as an antique dealer in New York City and dealing with attacks from other immortals who are taking part in ‘The Gathering’ in which the remaining immortals from around the world fight to be the last one alive (“There can be only one!”). The psychotic Kurgan (Clancy Brown in a memorable turn), who first met Connor on the battlefield in Scotland, is determined to win the prize and will stop at nothing to do so.

Mulcahy injects great energy into the film, clearly using many of the tricks he learned making music videos and the performances of the three main actors all help to elevate the film beyond what could have been a very schlocky fantasy. Some of the scenes involving Connor and Heather are genuinely touching and force the viewer to imagine the downsides of living as an immortal. Michael Kamen’s orchestral score is excellent and is embellished by several memorable songs by the British band Queen, including ‘A Kind of Magic‘. Although not initially a box-office success in the US, the film was an international hit and would gain a cult following, which later saw the release a series of iffy film sequels and a popular TV series that lasted for six seasons. The franchise also includes comic books, novels and animated shows.

This is the style B Japanese B2 but I also have the style C one too. The British quad, painted by Brian Bysouth is by far the best of the international Highlander posters.

The trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube.