The Thirty-Nine Steps / 1978 / one sheet / UK

03.11.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
The Thirty-Nine Steps
AKA
The 39 Steps (alt. spelling)
Year of Film
1978
Director
Don Sharp
Starring
Robert Powell, David Warner, Eric Porter, Karen Dotrice, John Mills, George Baker, Ronald Pickup, Donald Pickering, Timothy West, Miles Anderson, Andrew Keir, Robert Flemyng
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Crime | History | Mystery | Thriller
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
No title logo
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Vic Fair
Artist
Vic Fair
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This is the UK one sheet (sometimes referred to as English one sheet) for the 1978 version of The Thirty-Nine Steps, based on the 1915 magazine serial-turned-book of the same name by the Scottish author John Buchan. The story has been turned into a film a number of times, including a 1935 version by Alfred Hitchcock that was later remade in 1959. This version, directed by the late Don Sharp (Psychomania, a couple of Hammer horror films), is considered to be the most faithful to Buchan’s original book. The film is set in the UK in 1914 and focuses on the character of Richard Hannay (whom Buchan would return to for five other novels) who becomes embroiled in a nefarious plot by German sleeper agents to start a war by assassinating a visiting foreign minister. Robert Powell plays Hannay and a host of notable British actors also feature, including John MillsDavid Warner and Eric Porter

The film makes great use of real locations all over the UK, including in Scotland where the bulk of the film takes place. It’s most known for a climactic sequence that occurs on the clock face of London’s Big Ben tower (in reality a large scale model on a set) that aped a sequence from Harold Lloyd’s 1923 film Safety Last. The film was a box-office success and would later spawn a TV series featuring the same character and starring Powell, called simply Hannay.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Vic Fair, who was one the most important designer/artists ever to work on British film marketing. He was responsible for several iconic posters, including The Man Who Fell To Earth, posters for Hammer horrors like Vampire Circus, and the withdrawn advance one sheet for A View to a Kill. I interviewed Vic for this site and that article can be viewed by clicking here. He sadly passed away in early 2017 but his great legacy lives on.

It shares some similarities with another poster Fair designed and illustrated for Rank (the production company and distributor), the 1977 horror anthology The Uncanny.

Note also that there’s another version of this one sheet which has a stylised title logo in the space on the right and can be seen here. I’m not sure why some have it and others don’t but I suspect the one without was a printing error, or a first printing.

To see the other posters I’ve collected that were designed and/or illustrated by Vic Fair click here.

It / ‘They All Float’ / screen print / regular / Mark Englert / USA

20.10.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
It - 'They All Float'
AKA
--
Year of Film
1990
Director
Tommy Lee Wallace
Starring
Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur, Annette O'Toole, Tim Reid, John Ritter, Richard Thomas, Tim Curry, Jonathan Brandis, Brandon Crane, Adam Faraizl, Seth Green, Ben Heller, Emily Perkins, Marlon Taylor, Olivia Hussey
Origin of Film
USA | Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Fantasy | Horror | Mystery | Thriller
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Mark Englert
Artist
Mark Englert
Size (inches)
12" x 24 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This is a screen print by the American artist Mark Englert for the 1990 TV version of Stephen King’s classic novel ‘It’, which was recently remade to great critical acclaim (and box office success). Originally shown as a two-part mini series, then later released on DVD and blu-ray as an edited single movie, the film is set in the fictional Maine town of Derry during two time periods (1960 and 1990). The story focuses on a group of children who are menaced by a shapeshifting creature that preys on their worst fears in order to attack and eat them. The creature appears once every 30 years and over the previous century many of the town’s children have disappeared. The group (nicknamed by themselves as The Losers Club) decide to take on It who most often appears as the malevolent clown Pennywise (Tim Curry). After driving it back underground in 1960, the group make a promise to return and put a stop to It once and for all 30 years later.

Note that this is the regular edition and glows in the dark which reveals hidden details, including Pennywise’s face in a hidden moon, and the spider form of It in the top left corner glows too.

This print was created in 2012. Englert, whose official website is here, first appeared on collectors’ radars with his print for The Thing that was released earlier in 2012. Since then he has worked on a number of landscape format prints (typically 12″ x 36″) featuring scenes from cult films and TV shows. One of his most popular releases was one for The Walking Dead that was released around the same time as this print. Each is given a name that relates to the property in some way. In this case ‘They All Float’ is part of the famous line spoken by Pennywise.

Check out this interview with Englert on Collider.com which was carried out at the 2012 Comic Con and they also featured him in their first ever ‘Limited Paper’ column. Englert’s own site features the posters and other items he’s worked on so far, which includes vinyl sleeves and more. There’s a short biography on his website which mentions he was born in 1979. There’s an excellent interview with Mark on 411posters.com here.

He has a store here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

The Sender / one sheet / USA

11.10.17

PosterPosterPoster
Title
The Sender
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
Roger Christian
Starring
Kathryn Harrold, Zeljko Ivanek, Shirley Knight, Paul Freeman, Sean Hewitt, Harry Ditson, Olivier Pierre
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Horror | Thriller
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820173
Tagline
He has the power to make you live his nightmares... And he's dreaming about you. | Your dreams will never be the same.

A striking design appears on this US one sheet for the release of the 1982 horror film The Sender. The film was the feature debut of Roger Christian, a British man who began his prolific career working as an assistant art decorator on productions for the likes of Hammer Studios. This eventually saw him to working as a set decorator on the UK-based sets of the first Star Wars, for which Roger would go on to win an Academy Award. He collaborated with Ridley Scott as a production designer on Alien (1979) and George Lucas again for Return of the Jedi. After completing a few shorts he helmed The Sender in 1982. His most infamous work is the ill-fated, John Travolta-starring Battlefield Earth, which is widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made.

The sender was written by Thomas Baum (The Manhattan Project) and the plot is described on Wikipedia:

A young man (Zeljko Ivanek, in his motion-picture debut) is admitted to a state mental hospital after he attempts suicide at a public beach by filling the pockets of his clothes with rocks and walking into the water in hopes that he will drown. As he shows no signs of being able to remember even his own name, the doctors call him John Doe #83.

Soon after his arrival, Dr. Gail Farmer (Kathryn Harrold) is assigned to him. But before long, she begins seeing and hearing things around her that have no explanation. Soon she begins to make the terrifying connection the things she has been seeing and hearing have to her amnesiac patient.

The film was apparently given a limited release in the US by Paramount pictures in 1982, but I don’t believe it was given a theatrical release anywhere else in the world. It did subsequently appear on home video in other countries, including the UK.

Bite the Bullet / one sheet poster / USA

02.10.17

PosterPosterPosterPosterPoster
Title
Bite the Bullet
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Richard Brooks
Starring
Gene Hackman, Candice Bergen, James Coburn, Ben Johnson, Ian Bannen, Jan-Michael Vincent, Robert Donner, Jean Willes, Mario Arteaga, Dabney Coleman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure | Western
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/132
Tagline
In the tradition of Shane and High Noon, a new Western Classic is born! BITE THE BULLET!

A detailed piece of art by Tom Jung features on this US one sheet for the release of the 1975 Western Bite the Bullet. The film was written and directed by the late American director Richard Brooks who is best known for Blackboard Jungle (1955), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and In Cold Blood (1967). The story was inspired by a 1908 horseback race that traveled 700 miles from Evanston, Wyoming to Denver, Colorado.

The nine contestants include a pair of former Rough Riders, Sam Clayton (Gene Hackman) and Luke Matthews (James Coburn) who are both out for the prize fund, despite their friendship. Also in the group is a former prostitute (Candice Bergen), a cocky kid (Jan-Michael Vincent) and an Englishman (Ian Bannen). A train containing the people from the newspaper who created the competition sets off along the route and meets up with the group at various points. We watch as they all suffer from various perilous situations, including attacks from bandits, large wildlife (bear!) and a group of dangerous prisoners. 

The film is a fairly lightweight but enjoyable watch and the main cast are all decent. Hackman and Coburn are, as usual, convincing in their parts and bring needed gravitas to their roles. A speech by Hackman recalling his time during the Spanish-American war is a particular highlight. Reviews were mixed, however, and I don’t believe the film was a great success as the box-office.

As well as the iconic one sheet for Star Wars, Tom Jung is also known for the style B one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back. He was a prolific designer and illustrator for film campaigns from the 1950s through to the 1980s. IMPAwards features a gallery of his work and his Wikipedia article has a selected list of the many posters he worked on. Rather unusually, at least in comparison to other film poster artists, Jung was also a designer of his posters as well as the artist. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels / one sheet / USA

22.09.17

PosterPosterPoster
Title
Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels
AKA
Lock & Stock (Spain)
Year of Film
1998
Director
Guy Ritchie
Starring
Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham, Steven Mackintosh, Vinnie Jones, Sting
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Crime | Thriller
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1999
Designer
New Wave Creative
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A disgrace to criminals everywhere

This is the US one sheet for the release of the feature debut of British director Guy Ritchie, 1998’s crime comedy Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. In addition to it being Ritchie’s first, it also introduced audiences to Jason Statham, best known for the Transporter films and recently the Fast and Furious franchise. It also marked the first appearance of British ex-footballer Vinnie Jones. Ritchie had come to attention with his short film The Hard Case which was seen by Trudie Styler and her husband Sting, leading to Styler executive producing Lock, Stock and Sting appearing in the film. Matthew Vaughan, a friend of Ritchie and now a successful director in his own right produced the film.

The film focuses on four lifelong friends who are small-time criminals, Eddy (Nick Moran), Tom (Jason Flemyng), Soap (Dexter Fletcher) and Bacon (Statham). At the start of the film Eddy has entered a high-stakes underground card game after the four put together the £100,000 entry fee. The game has been organised by local gangster Hatchet Harry (P.H. Moriarty) and the quartet soon discover that the odds are rigged in Harry’s favour. Before they know it they are half a million pounds in debt and under pressure from one of Harry’s enforcers, Big Chris (Jones).

A desperate Eddy overhears his next door neighbours, a gang of robbers, discussing plans to hold-up a local cannabis farm which also has cash and valuables. Eddy relays the information to his friends and they decide to rob the gang once the heist has taken place. So begins a madcap caper that continues to spiral into violence and an increasing body count. The two barrels in the title refers to a pair of antique shotguns that also feature in the story.

The film was given only a limited release in the US in March of 1999 and this one sheet was designed by the Hollywood marketing agency New Wave Creative. The company has been working on campaigns for major studios for over 25 years and, as well as posters, they also work on trailers and other aspects of film and TV campaigns. Their page on IMPAwards indicates how prolific they were at creating posters and it appears their first one was for a 1998 re-release of Gone with the Wind. It also looks like they stopped working on posters around a decade later and presumably now only focus on other aspects of marketing campaigns. The other posters I have collected by New Wave can be seen here.

$ / one sheet / style A / USA

15.09.17

PosterPosterPoster
Title
$
AKA
Dollars (Alt. USA title) | The Heist (UK)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Richard Brooks
Starring
Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Gert Fröbe, Robert Webber, Scott Brady, Arthur Brauss, Robert Stiles, Wolfgang Kieling, Bob Herron, Christiane Maybach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Comedy | Crime | Drama
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
71/355
Tagline
This is a moving picture!

A simple design features on this one sheet for the US release of the 1971 crime-caper $ (AKA Dollars AKA The Heist). The film was written and directed by the late American director Richard Brooks who is best known for Blackboard Jungle (1955), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and In Cold Blood (1967). It stars Warren Beatty who was arguably at the height of his career following his appearance in Bonnie and Clyde a few years earlier. He had just finished work on Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs Miller which was released the same year as $. The film also marked the third screen appearance of Goldie Hawn and features Goldfinger himself Gert Fröbe. $ is notable for being filmed on location, including in Hamburg, Germany (where it is largely set) as well as in Sweden and San Diego, California.

The film’s plot is described on IMDb:

[$ is a] caper film about crooks robbing crooks, set in Germany where American bank security expert Joe Collins (Beatty) plots with call-girl Dawn Divine (Hawn) to rob three safety deposit boxes from three criminals; a local drug dealer known as the Candy Man, a Las Vegas mobster, and a crooked U.S. Army sergeant. The heist goes off with few complications. But when Candy Man and the Sarge find their money gone and figure out that Dawn (whom they all have gotten to know) is behind it, they team up to try to get their money back.

Despite receiving solid critical notices $ failed to set the box-office alight and was considered something of a flop on release.

This is one of several one sheets printed for the release of the film and some of the others can be seen by checking out this page on emovieposter.com. I’m unsure who was responsible for the design of this particular poster (known as ‘style A’) so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.