- Chi-zome no daimon
- Year of Film
- Kinji Fukasaku
- Origin of Film
- Type of Poster
- Style of Poster
- Origin of Poster
- Year of Poster
- Size (inches)
- SS or DS
This is the Japanese B2 poster for the release of the first of two sequels to the 1967 drama In the Heat of the Night, starring Sidney Poitier as the eponymous police detective. The actor had made history in 1964 by becoming the first African American to win the Oscar for Best Actor (for Lilies of the Field), and 1967 saw him star in three hit films that all dealt with the issue of race and race relations. This included Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which tackled the controversial issue of interracial marriage that was still illegal in several states, and To Sir, with Love, a British drama that dealt with racial issues in an inner-city school. It was In the Heat… that was the biggest hit that year and the film would go on to win 5 Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Actor for Rod Steiger, who played alongside Poitier.
Three years later, the original film’s producer Walter Mirisch decided there was an opportunity to try and create a franchise around Virgil Tibbs. Without a source novel to base a screenplay on Mirsch hired to two successful screenwriters in Alan Trustman (Bullitt) and James R. Webb (the original 1962 Cape Fear), as well as the prolific director Gordon Douglas (Them!). They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (the capitalisation is intentional and part of the original title) was named after a famous line spoken by Poitier in the first film and saw the detective, now based in San Francisco, investigating the murder of a prostitute. The death has been pinned on Logan Sharpe (Martin Landau), a street preacher with whom we’re told Tibbs has a long-standing friendship. The film follows the detective as he attempts to prove Sharpe’s innocence whilst dealing with domestic family issues and ends on something of a down note, which I won’t spoil.
The film was criticised for being a very routine police procedural and certainly had none of the cultural urgency that the first film was able to capitalise on. It was something of a damp squib both critically and at the box-office but that didn’t stop Mirisch producing another sequel called The Organization only a year later. Again that film failed to make an impact, even though it was able to capitalise on the then popular blaxploitation subgenre, but by then Poitier had started to field accusations of typecasting. Virgil Tibbs would thus hang up his badge for 17 years until the TV series In The Heat of the Night, based on the original film and novel and starring Howard E. Rollins Jr., which was aired between 1988 and 1992.
This is the original program for the release of Woodstock, a documentary of the music event of the same name that took place in August 1969 and is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in the history of popular music. 400,000 revellers descended on farmland in a quiet part of New York State – several times the magnitude of people that the organisers were expecting – and despite local protests and plenty of logistical issues, 32 acts performed over the course of a long weekend. Many of the most popular musicians and groups of the era were present, including Grateful Dead, The Who, Janis Joplin with The Kozmic Blues Band and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Famously Jimi Hendrix was the last act to play and, thanks to poor weather and other delays, he didn’t take to the stage until 8.30am on Monday morning by which time many of the concert-goers had already left the site. Despite this, Hendrix played an incredible two hour set featuring a psychedelic performance of The Star Spangles banner that has since become a defining sound of the 1960s zeitgeist.
The event was released a year later into cinemas as a three-hour documentary that was a huge commercial and critical success. It was directed by Michael Wadleigh whose only other director credit is for the 1981 werewolf horror Wolfen, and edited by several people including Martin Scorsese and his regular collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker. The film would go on to win Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards.
This program, featuring some superb photographs and illustrations, would have been given out to film premiere attendees, the press and other people involved in the marketing of the film. In the back of the program the designers are credited as Bert Cohen, William Gast, Ziegenfus and Vincent Cucinotta, and there are a number of photographers who are also credited (I’ve listed them under ‘artists’).
This is one of those items that I wish you could see in person as a lot of care and attention has been put into the printing of it, with superb use of thick, often patterned paper. It surely ranks up there as one of the best film programs ever printed.
This is the original Japanese poster for the award-winning biography of General George S. Patton, the celebrated US Army officer who led successful campaigns during World War II. The film, simply titled Patton, was in development for several years and was something of a passion project for producer Frank McCarthy who had worked at the United States Department of War during WWII. The film was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (arguably best known for Planet of the Apes, 1968) and starred the late actor George C. Scott in one of his most celebrated roles as the eponymous general. Karl Malden also appears as fellow senior officer, General Omar N. Bradley. The screenplay was written by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North, with the pair (who never worked together in person) basing their screenplay on two biographies of Patton.
The film opens with a famous monologue where Patton addresses unseen troops in front of a giant American flag. The rest of the film, which clocks in at over three hours and features an intermission, deals with incidents from Patton’s career during World War II, including his successful campaigns in North Africa and Sicily. This includes controversial incidents that had a severe effect on his standing with the military top brass, including Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower (later US President). One involved him berating and slapping a shell-shocked soldier, which saw him reprimanded and forced to apologise to the entire division. Patton is depicted as something of a glory chaser, wanting to be at the front of any campaign and pushing the soldiers under him to their limits, with punishing schedules and lack of rest and relaxation. The final third of the film depicts his legendary sweep through Europe and into Germany before the eventual surrender of the German forces.
The film’s production design is incredible and, although largely filmed in Spain, the locations feel very authentic and the numerous battle scenes are suitably epic with plenty of actual military hardware in use (as opposed to the CGI that would be employed today). The film would justly win the Academy Award for Best Art Direction. It was also the Best Picture and Best Director winner at the 1971 ceremony, winning seven awards in total. Infamously, Scott won for Best Actor but declined the award, saying the politics around the ceremony was “demeaning” and that the show amounted to nothing more than “a two-hour meat parade”. The film remains one of the best War films made to this day. Note the Dimension 150 logo on this Japanese B2 poster which refers to an ultra-widescreen format, similar to Cinerama, that was only employed by two productions (The Bible being the other).
Some mystery surrounds this particular Woodstock poster as it only surfaced a few years ago and was available at auction and on ebay in relatively large quantity.
One prominent auction house owner immediately dismissed it as a reprint/fake, though several other dealers and collectors are convinced that it’s an original poster from the period of the film’s release. There is speculation that a roll of them was found at an old printers or in storage somewhere.
I have a hard time believing that it’s a recent reprint or restrike for a few reasons:
– The paper is thin and consistent for the age of the film
– All the graphics are sharp, including the printers logo at the bottom and the crop marks
– The measurement is consistent with a poster from this period
– Why would someone looking to create bootlegs to fool collectors choose Woodstock as a target and then deliberately make a new style of poster, not seen before?
If anyone has any further information on the poster please get in touch or leave a comment.
Cotton Comes to Harlem is often considered to be one of the first films in the so-called blaxploitation sub-genre of exploitation that was popular during the 1970s. The film was the second film to be directed by the late Ossie Davis, who was one of a handful of African-American actors to achieve commercial success in films without being stereotyped in films prior to 1970. Although best known as an actor, with roles in films like The Hill (1965) and The Scalphunters (1968), Davis tried his hand at directing, starting with the little-seen Kongi’s Harvest in 1970. The same year, ‘Cotton…’ proved to be a huge hit and saw him helm two other blaxploitation pictures, with Black Girl following in 1972 and then another hit with Gordon’s War a year later.
The film is based on the novel of the same name by Chester Himes and is set in the eponymous neighbourhood of Manhattan. Two detectives, Grave Digger Jones (Godfrey Cambridge, who died tragically aged 43) and Coffin Ed Johnson (Raymond St. Jacques) are assigned to investigate the apparent armed robbery of $87000 during a public rally. The gathering was being led by Reverend Deke O’Malley (Calvin Lockhart) who is fundraising for a Back-to-Africa movement ship to be called Black Beauty. A gang of thieves wearing masks appear at the event and steal the money from an armoured truck before making off. A chase ensues and the titular bale of cotton falls from the getaway van. The detectives soon realise that the stolen money was apparently stashed inside the bale and the hunt is on after it disappears from the street. O’Malley must fend off the angry mob of locals looking for their money, as well as a jealous girlfriend (Judy Pace) and the partner who he was in cahoots with to stage the robbery.
The film was a huge hit in cinemas, grossing over $5 million on a $1 million budget and triggering a rush to produce films in a similar vein. Arguably the sub-genre’s most famous film, Shaft, would follow a year later. ‘Cotton…’ was given a sequel called Come Back, Charleston Blue in 1972, but the second film wasn’t met with as much critical or audience adulation.
This Japanese B2 is a photo montage but at least part of it is inspired by the US theatrical poster, which had been painted by the artist Robert McGinnis and can be seen here.
A dynamic photographic montage features on this Japanese B2 for the obscure 1968 action thriller, The Fuller Report. One of a number of films in the Eurospy genre, which were European co-productions (this is Italian and French) of espionage thrillers intended to capitalise on the huge success of the Bond films that began with Dr No in 1962. It’s estimated that there were over 50 films in the genre, with productions from all over Europe, including the UK. Some of the more famous films include those starring Dean Martin as the spy Matt Helm (four films including ‘The Silencers’) and France’s OSS 117 (8 films plus two homage spoofs in 2006 and 2009).
This film stars the American actor Ken Clark (perhaps best known as the character Stewpot in South Pacific) as Dick Worth, a skilled race driver who gets involved in an espionage plot. It’s IMDb page describes the plot thusly:
Ken Clark is a race car driver and a good one. Somehow, he becomes entangled in espionage involving a Russian Ballerina and a secret document called the Fuller Report. Not being any kind of a secret agent, Dick Worth [Clark] has to rely on his quick thinking, catlike reflexes and most of all, his luck to see him through. After all, the powers involved play only one way … for keeps!
The film takes in Stockholm, Zurich and London. Given the paucity of reviews on IMDb it appears to have disappeared from public availability and there are no obvious DVD or blu-ray releases of the film. However, it does seem to be available to stream on the American Amazon Instant service, should you want to see it.
Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s Deep End is one of those films that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who sees it, but it was sadly considered to be a ‘lost’ film for many years and was practically impossible to see after its initial cinema opening in a handful of countries. The film was briefly available on VHS in the UK but was never released on DVD. Finally, earlier this year the BFI restored and re-released it at the cinema and also issued a blu-ray version complete with several extras, which is utterly superb and well worth picking up.
The film focuses on Mike (John Moulder-Brown) a teenager who leaves school and gets his first job working at a local swimming baths. There he meets Susan (Jane Asher) an older woman with whom he quickly becomes infatuated. Without spoiling things too much, the film builds to a fairly shocking climax which has been known to polarize viewers. Jane Asher looks absolutely stunning and really plays the seductive, care-free Susan perfectly – it’s not hard to understand the reasons behind Mike’s infatuation!
Skolimowski was a contemporary of Roman Polanski and was mentored by the great Polish director Andrzej Wajda. He completed several films in Poland throughout the 1960s before moving to the UK where he made Deep End and a couple of other features. He then left to Los Angeles where he took up painting and occasionally acted in films, notably in White Knights and more recently in David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises. His 17 year hiatus from directing ended in 2008 with the release of Four Nights with Anna and he made the spartan thriller Essential Killing with Vincent Gallo in 2010.
This poster by an unknown graphic designer is the quad that was printed when the film was given a wider UK release. The premiere showing had actually been at the Academy Cinema One on London’s Oxford Street and the poster for this was done by the legendary designer Peter Strausfeld (his Seven Samurai poster is on this site here).
The original trailer is on YouTube.
Before the Governator, before The Terminator and before Conan, Arnold Schwarzenegger was given his Hollywood break in 1970 with the release of Hercules in New York. The Austrian Oak was only 22 at the time the film was produced and apparently secured the part after his agent told the producers that the budding thespian had ‘stage’ experience, which was true in the sense that he’d spent a few years on stages at body building competitions, but was woefully unprepared for a full-length feature.
The plot, if you can call it that, sees Schwarzenegger, credited as Arnold Strong ‘Mr Universe’, play the titular son of the Greek god Zeus who, bored with life on Mount Olympus (actually just a location in New York – you can hear traffic in the background during the scene) tells his father he wishes to leave. An angry Zeus throws a thunderbolt at Hercules who then falls into the ocean on earth and is picked up by a freighter heading for The Big Apple. After a series of awkward encounters with New Yorkers, Hercules is befriended by strange little character called Pretzie (hilariously overacted by Arnold Stang) who helps him to acclimatise to life in the city and then later gets him involved in professional wrestling. After witnessing Hercules’ antics, Zeus attempts to return his son Mount Olympus and when this fails he orders the angel Nemesis to consign him to the infernal regions ruled over by Pluto. Nemesis instead poisons Hercules to strip him of his divinity, and further complications involving gangsters and a strongman competition see Hercules put in mortal danger.
It’s a breathtakingly terrible film, with across the board woeful acting, super cheap production design and a hilariously poor script. The film was trashed by critics and sank at the box office, and it would be four years before Arnold surfaced again as an uncredited hoodlum in The Long Goodbye. Schwarzenegger’s Austrian accent, now infamous, was then seen as a liability and the first release of the film saw all of his lines dubbed by an American actor. Later releases of the film would reinstate Arnie’s real accent and the results are superb. Check out this ‘Top 10 dumb moments in Hercules in New York’ video for a taster and witness the scene where Arnie fights a bear in Central Park (you can see the bear costume splitting apart at the back).
This is the one sheet for the 1983 re-release of the film, which saw the ‘in New York’ part of the title dropped for some reason. That same year the Italian director Luigi Cozzi released a film also called Hercules with Lou Ferrigno taking the title role, which is almost as terrible but managed to spawn a sequel. I’m unsure who is responsible for the artwork so if you have any ideas please get in touch.