You Searched For: 1984

Metropolis / one sheet / 1984 re-release / USA

25.03.13

Poster Poster
Title
Metropolis
AKA
--
Year of Film
1927
Director
Fritz Lang
Starring
Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Origin of Film
Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Tom Nikosey
Artist
Tom Nikosey
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Fritz Lang’s 1927 sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis was given a cinema re-release in 2010 after missing scenes, long thought lost, were discovered in an Argentinian museum and reintegrated back into the film. 26 years earlier, music producer Giorgio Moroder produced and released an alternative version of the film which was restored and had various scenes that were missing from the first US release reinserted back in.

Controversially, Moroder also replaced the original orchestral score by Gottfried Huppertz with contemporary rock and pop music from the likes of Pat BenatarBonnie TylerAdam Ant and Freddie Mercury. Despite the heated debate that this re-release provoked it did have the benefit of bringing the film back into the public consciousness and led to further restorations over the following years. The discovery of the lost footage in 2008 was a complete revelation and brought the film very close to its original release version, which many feared was lost forever.

This one sheet was designed and illustrated by the American artist and designer Tom Nikosey who has been working since the 1970s and has created hundreds of iconic logos, posters and music album covers. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Nikosey moved to Los Angeles in 1972 and began working heavily for the music industry, designing covers for artists such as Eric Clapton, Commodores and The Bee Gees. He’s also worked on hundreds of iconic logos, including ones for American sports teams, the NFL Super Bowl and multiple entertainment companies.

I was contacted by Tom in late 2018 and he was kind enough to answer some questions I had about his career and the creation of this poster. The questions and answers are below:

Thanks for agreeing to answer my questions. Can I ask how your career progressed once you settled on doing art and design for a living?
Very quickly in those days. After graduation from Art School in 1972 I ventured west to Los Angeles. I got my first job at a newspaper then a couple of advertising agencies as an assistant designer. After later being laid off work in 1974 I started freelancing and by 1975 I had started Tom Nikosey Design.

Had you done any work on film posters before Metropolis?
Not really as I’m mainly known as a lettering/logo artist. Over the years I did logos for ‘Prizzi’s Honor’, ‘Labyrinth’, ‘Flight of The Navigator’, ‘Adventures in Babysitting’, ‘Sgt.Pepper’s’ (the Bee Gees film), ‘Corvette Summer”, ‘Hooper’, ‘Pure Country’ but never the complete poster.

What was the sequence of events that saw you become involved in the Metropolis release? Was it an enjoyable project?
I met Giorgio through my friend Richie Zito the great music producer. I went on to create logos and graphics for all of Giorgio’s music projects and branded his recording studios in North Hollywood. When the project came together he asked me to create the posters for his re-release of Metropolis. There are actually two posters; the first one I created was for the international release of the film, then I did another version of the poster intended for the soundtrack double album cover fold out, which was what became the official one sheet.

Did you have many interactions with Giorgio Moroder himself?
Many and we’re still in touch.

Very cool! Were you given a specific brief for the poster? Was there another designer involved or were you working alone?
No, Giorgio gave me free reign creatively.

How long did it take for you to settle on the final artwork?
Actually rather quickly. After the teaser version which was used for the international release, I then created the soundtrack/one sheet version. The international poster won the Hollywood Reporter award that year for Best Foreign Film Poster.

What happened to the finished artwork after it had been copied for print?
Someone stole it. It breaks my heart to this day. Probably from the color separator or printing shop back then. Giorgio doesn’t know what happened either.

Did your work on the poster result in more film-related commissions?
Not sure, probably not.

What have you done since then and are you still actively working?
I’m still working. Metropolis was in 1984 and I was 33 when I created that piece. That was 34 years ago and I’ve done many, many projects since then. 

By the way, I came across some images in my collection related to Metropolis. The first one (see here) is the info on the first ‘teaser’ poster that was used as the International release that American Film Magazine referenced. The second one (see here) has a very small thumbnail sketch that I did to show Giorgio how I was intending to create a ‘fold out’ album cover image for the Metropolis soundtrack LP. Along with this is the printer’s proof for the Soundtrack Cassette package. I thought these would interest you.

Thanks so much Tom, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.
You’re very welcome, thank you!

—————————-

Tom’s official website features galleries of his excellent work. The Album Cover Hall of Fame website also features a two-part interview with the artist that is well worth reading.

Queen’s music video for their song ‘Radio Ga Ga’ was released at the same time as Moroder’s version and featured footage for the film.

As well as the original restored film, the Moroder version was released on blu-ray in 2011.

The original trailer for this version of Metropolis is on YouTube.

Metropolis / quad / 1984 re-release / UK

20.01.12

Poster Poster
Title
Metropolis
AKA
--
Year of Film
1927
Director
Fritz Lang
Starring
Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Origin of Film
Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Fritz Lang’s 1927 sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis was given a cinema re-release in 2010 after missing scenes, long thought lost, were discovered in an Argentinian museum and reintegrated back into the film. 26 years earlier, music producer Giorgio Moroder produced and released an alternative version of the film which was restored and had various scenes that were missing from the first US release reinserted back in.

Controversially, Moroder also replaced the original orchestral score by Gottfried Huppertz with contemporary rock and pop music from the likes of Pat BenatarBonnie TylerAdam Ant and Freddie Mercury. Despite the heated debate that this re-release provoked it did have the benefit of bringing the film back into the public consciousness and led to further restorations over the following years. The discovery of the lost footage in 2008 was a complete revelation and brought the film very close to its original release version, which many feared was lost forever.

Queen’s music video for their song ‘Radio Ga Ga’ was released at the same time and featured footage for the film.

As well as the original restored film, the Moroder version was released on blu-ray in 2011.

The original trailer for this version is on YouTube.

Metropolis / B1 / 1984 re-release / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Metropolis
AKA
--
Year of Film
1927
Director
Fritz Lang
Starring
Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Origin of Film
Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 10/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Philadelphia Experiment / quad / UK

08.08.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Philadelphia Experiment
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Stewart Raffill
Starring
Michael Paré, Nancy Allen, Eric Christmas, Bobby Di Cicco, Louise Latham, Kene Holliday, Joe Dorsey, Michael Currie, Stephen Tobolowsky
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Paré, Nancy Allen, Eric Christmas, Bobby Di Cicco, Louise Latham, Kene Holliday, Joe Dorsey, Michael Currie, Stephen Tobolowsky,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The terrifying story of an experiment that went wrong. | They opened a whole in time. Now there is no going back.

Unique artwork features on this British quad for the release of the science-fiction film The Philadelphia Experiment. Based on the urban legend of the same name in which the US Navy was said to have temporarily rendered one of its destroyer escorts, the USS Eldridge, invisible (or rather cloaked) to the naked eye in October 1943. The experiment has never been validated, despite investigations (most famously by an astronomer and researcher called Morris Jessup) and several unverified accounts of the events.

The film takes the experiment as the basis for a story in which two sailors aboard the ship, David Herdeg (Michael Paré) and Jim Parker (Bobby Di Cicco), are transported through time during the 1943 experiment and end up in 1984. A scientist called Dr Longstreet (Eric Christmas) tried to use the same experiment in 1984 to protect a town in Nevada from a missile attack. The plan backfired, causing the town to disappear, David and Jim to be sucked through time and a black hole opens up at the site of the town. David agrees to help the scientist close the vortex before it destroys the planet.

This quad was created by the British designer and artist Brian Bysouth who I interviewed for this site in 2012. He is one of my favourite artists and worked on multiple classic posters from the 1960s to the 1980s, including the final painted poster for a James Bond film, The Living Daylights. The other posters I’ve collected by Brian can be seen by clicking here.

Wild Beasts / B2 / Japan

05.11.12

Poster Poster

Italian director Franco Prosperi is best known as the co-creator of the infamous Mondo Cane ‘shockumentary’, which consisted of a series of travelogue-style vignettes looking at strange cultural practices from around the world with the intention of shocking Western audiences. Made in 1962, the film had an emphasis on taboo subjects including sex, death, ritual killings and cannibalism, and it was such a success that it spawned a slew of sequels and copycat films, and created it’s own mondo genre of exploitation films. Despite being presented as genuine documentary footage, many of the scenes in mondo movies were clearly staged by the producers.

One recurring aspect of the genre was animal deaths and cruelty, and Prosperi continued this theme when he directed Wild Beasts, a 1984 horror set in an unnamed European city (actually Frankfurt in Germany). The film sees PHP inadvertently being released into the water supply for the local zoo and the crazed animals wreaking havoc on the city. Some of the carnage sees an elephant trampling a car (and the heads of the occupants), a guide-dog turning on his blind owner and rats devouring a series of unlucky victims. Working with animal handlers Prosperi used editing to achieve most of the attack scenes but unfortunately the film does feature moments of actual animal cruelty, including the live torching of the aforementioned rats. Because of these scenes I don’t believe the film was ever given a cinema release in the UK, although it appears to now be available here via import DVD.

This is the poster for the Japanese release of the film and it features brilliantly exaggerated scenes of carnage, overselling the sequences from the film. The artist appears to be someone called Kazumi Akutsu according to the signature featured on the side of the speeding train, although it could be that I have one of the letters wrong in the surname. I’ve been unable to find out anything about the artist so please get in touch if you have any ideas. I’d strongly advise you not to perform a google image search for the name with safe search off!

The original Italian trailer is on YouTube.

Silent Night, Deadly Night / one sheet / USA

16.12.11

Poster Poster
Title
Silent Night, Deadly Night
AKA
Slayride (production title)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Charles E. Sellier Jr.
Starring
Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Britt Leach, Nancy Borgenicht, H.E.D. Redford, Danny Wagner, Linnea Quigley, Leo Geter, Randy Stumpf
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Britt Leach, Nancy Borgenicht, H.E.D. Redford, Danny Wagner, Linnea Quigley, Leo Geter, Randy Stumpf,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840133
Tagline
You've made it through Halloween, now try and survive Christmas | He knows when you've been naughty

This infamous holiday-themed slasher film caused major controversy upon its US release in 1984 and was withdrawn from cinemas a short time after. Because of the film’s subject matter (a degenerate spree-killer dressed as Santa Claus) and the fact that it was released at Christmas, there was condemnation from a number of different sources, including the American Parent Teacher Association who lobbied to have it removed from cinemas.

The film critics Siskel and Ebert infamously blasted the film and read out the names of the people and studios involved in its making followed by saying ‘shame on you’. Apparently there were also protests at cinemas around the US. Eventually the distributor of the film relented and started by pulling all print ads for the film, before withdrawing the film entirely.

Two years later it was re-released by a small distributor called Aquarius Films. The poster for that release was poor in comparison to this original design.

Here in the UK the film was never submitted to the BBFC and so wasn’t released at the cinema back in the 1980s. Independent distributors Arrow Films released it uncut on DVD in 2009.

This original release US poster surely ranks up there with one of the best slasher posters of all time. The tagline is something of a classic and neatly references the earlier holiday-themed slasher Halloween.

Here’s the superb original trailer on YouTube.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock / one sheet / international

20.02.12

Poster Poster

Great Bob Peak artwork on this poster for the third in the original series of Star Trek films, The Search For Spock. For some reason, despite Peak having done the poster for the first film, his artwork wasn’t used for the USA one sheets of the sequel or this film, but it did appear on the international posters for The Wrath of Khan and this film. The studio then went back to using Peak artwork on the US posters for the fourth and fifth films.

The Search For Spock picks up where the second film left off and sees the surviving crew of the Enterprise returning to Earth after their fight against the superhuman Khan. Before long Captain Kirk and the rest of the crew are hijacking the decommissioned Enterprise and racing to save the spirit of Spock, who was previously feared dead, from the clutches of a Klingon commander near an unstable planet created by the Genesis device from the second film.

Seen by many as the start of the ‘all odd-numbered Star Trek films are bad’ rule, the film was fairly well received by critics, but many fans reacted negatively to its talky script and poor production values, particularly the effects used to realise the Genesis.

The original trailer for the film is on YouTube.

Streets Of Fire / one sheet / advance / yellow style / USA

23.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Streets Of Fire
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Walter Hill
Starring
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - yellow style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Riehm
Size (inches)
27" x 41 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A Rock & Roll Fable

Ace director Walter Hill‘s 1984 Streets of Fire is an odd mix of action, musical and comedy and, despite being released with the hope of it becoming a summer blockbuster, the film was something of a critical and commercial failure, with the US box office takings ending at just over half of its original budget. It has since garnered a significant cult following, thanks in part to its brilliant Wagnerian soundtrack.

The plot sees an ex-soldier, Tom Cody (Michael Paré) returning to his old town to rescue ex-girlfriend and lead singer of a rock group, Ellen Aim (Diane Lane), who has been kidnapped by a psychotic biker gang lead by Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe). Hill had apparently conceived the idea for the film whilst making 48 Hrs and, according to the film’s original press kit, Hill wanted to make what he’d have thought was a perfect film when he was a teenager, and he put in all of the things that he felt were “great then and which I still have great affection for: custom cars, kissing in the rain, neon, trains in the night, high-speed pursuit, rumbles, rock stars, motorcycles, jokes in tough situations, leather jackets and questions of honor.”

Plans for a trilogy of films featuring Tom Cody were shelved when it became clear how much of a flop the film had been. A non-official sequence called Road To Hell was made in 2008 directed by Albert Pyun and with Paré playing Cody again.

This US one sheet is one of several advance posters that were printed using silkscreen techniques and day-glo inks. I have added two other designs at the same time as this one and each one is available in various striking colours, including bright green, mauve, red and orange. Some of the close up pictures reveal the details of the silkscreen printing.

The final one sheet is on this site here and the film’s original trailer is on YouTube.

Streets Of Fire / one sheet / advance / orange style / USA

23.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Streets Of Fire
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Walter Hill
Starring
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - orange style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Riehm
Size (inches)
27" x 41 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
---
Tagline
A Rock & Roll Fable

Ace director Walter Hill‘s 1984 Streets of Fire is an odd mix of action, musical and comedy and, despite being released with the hope of it becoming a summer blockbuster, the film was something of a critical and commercial failure, with the US box office takings ending at just over half of its original budget. It has since garnered a significant cult following, thanks in part to its brilliant Wagnerian soundtrack.

The plot sees an ex-soldier, Tom Cody (Michael Paré) returning to his old town to rescue ex-girlfriend and lead singer of a rock group, Ellen Aim (Diane Lane), who has been kidnapped by a psychotic biker gang lead by Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe). Hill had apparently conceived the idea for the film whilst making 48 Hrs and, according to the film’s original press kit, Hill wanted to make what he’d have thought was a perfect film when he was a teenager, and he put in all of the things that he felt were “great then and which I still have great affection for: custom cars, kissing in the rain, neon, trains in the night, high-speed pursuit, rumbles, rock stars, motorcycles, jokes in tough situations, leather jackets and questions of honor.”

Plans for a trilogy of films featuring Tom Cody were shelved when it became clear how much of a flop the film had been. A non-official sequence called Road To Hell was made in 2008 directed by Albert Pyun and with Paré playing Cody again.

This US one sheet is one of several advance posters that were printed using silkscreen techniques and day-glo inks. I have added two other designs at the same time as this one and each one is available in various striking colours, including bright green, mauve, red and orange. Some of the close up pictures reveal the details of the silkscreen printing.

The final one sheet is on this site here and the film’s original trailer is on YouTube.

Streets of Fire / one sheet / advance / purple style / USA

23.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Streets of Fire
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Walter Hill
Starring
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - purple style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 41 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A Rock & Roll Fable.

Ace director Walter Hill‘s 1984 Streets of Fire is an odd mix of action, musical and comedy and, despite being released with the hope of it becoming a summer blockbuster, the film was something of a critical and commercial failure, with the US box office takings ending at just over half of its original budget. It has since garnered a significant cult following, thanks in part to its brilliant Wagnerian soundtrack.

The plot sees an ex-soldier, Tom Cody (Michael Paré) returning to his old town to rescue ex-girlfriend and lead singer of a rock group, Ellen Aim (Diane Lane), who has been kidnapped by a psychotic biker gang lead by Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe). Hill had apparently conceived the idea for the film whilst making 48 Hrs and, according to the film’s original press kit, Hill wanted to make what he’d have thought was a perfect film when he was a teenager, and he put in all of the things that he felt were “great then and which I still have great affection for: custom cars, kissing in the rain, neon, trains in the night, high-speed pursuit, rumbles, rock stars, motorcycles, jokes in tough situations, leather jackets and questions of honor.”

Plans for a trilogy of films featuring Tom Cody were shelved when it became clear how much of a flop the film had been. A non-official sequence called Road To Hell was made in 2008 directed by Albert Pyun and with Paré playing Cody again.

This US one sheet is one of several advance posters that were printed using silkscreen techniques and day-glo inks. I have added two other designs at the same time as this one and each one is available in various striking colours, including bright green, mauve, red and orange. Some of the close up pictures reveal the details of the silkscreen printing.

The final one sheet is on this site here and the film’s original trailer is on YouTube.

Dreamscape / one sheet / USA

28.02.12

Poster Poster
Title
Dreamscape
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Joseph Ruben
Starring
Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, Kate Capshaw, David Patrick Kelly, George Wendt, Larry Gelman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, Kate Capshaw, David Patrick Kelly, George Wendt, Larry Gelman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840071
Tagline
Enter a world beyond your wildest imagination where anything can happen | Close your eyes and the adventure begins

Drew Struzan artwork on this poster for the 1984 sci-fi thriller Dreamscape, starring a young and fresh-faced Dennis Quaid, alongside the lovely Kate Capshaw. It also features veteran actors Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow who were, coincidentally, up against each other for the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ prize at the 2012 Academy Awards. Plummer went on to win for the first time in his long career.

Quaid plays psychic Alex Gardner who has been using his skills for personal gain after disappearing from a research project run by Dr. Paul Novotny (Von Sydow). Novotny tracks down Alex and coaxes him into joining his new experiment, which sees psychics’ abilities being used to infiltrate the dreams and nightmares of others. Whilst inside the dreams the psychics are able to influence events with the intention of ridding them of any sleep disorders they’re suffering. Although intended for benevolent purposes, a shadowy government agent (Plummer) clearly has other plans and an ally in the form of deranged psychic (David Patrick Kelly). It’s not long before the life of the President of the USA is in danger and only Alex can save him.

If the idea of infiltrating dreams sounds familiar it’s probably because Christopher Nolan’s 2010 sci-fi masterpiece, Inception, uses a similar conceipt of dream infiltration, although for different purposes and without the use of psychic powers. Despite some notably dodgy effects, Dreamscape is a fun watch and is definitely one of Quaid’s better lead roles. David Patrick Kelly plays a typically excellent bad guy and this was one of several memorable roles for him during the 1980s.

Some of the dreams situations are pretty creepy and well executed, particularly those involving the apocalyptic visions of the President.

Struzan’s artwork features several images taken from dream sequences as well as a couple of the ‘real world’ action scenes in the film. My only criticism of it is that it does make the film look like something of an action-adventure, which is definitely not the case, and the kid depicted as one of the main characters only features for a few brief minutes.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

The Evil That Men Do / quad / UK

12.09.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Evil That Men Do
AKA
Liquidator (West Germany) | L'enfer de la violence [The Hell of violence] (France)
Year of Film
1984
Director
J. Lee Thompson
Starring
Charles Bronson, Theresa Saldana, Joseph Maher, José Ferrer, René Enríquez, John Glover, Raymond St. Jacques, Antoinette Bower, Enrique Lucero
Origin of Film
Mexico | USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Theresa Saldana, Joseph Maher, José Ferrer, René Enríquez, John Glover, Raymond St. Jacques, Antoinette Bower, Enrique Lucero,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Eric Pulford
Artist
Eric Pulford
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 39 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Bronson's out to stop...

An excellent portrait of action legend Charles Bronson by Eric Pulford features on this British quad for the 1984 thriller The Evil That Men Do. One of several collaborations between the star and director J. Lee Thompson, the film sees Bronson star as a retired hitman known as Holland who is living a relaxed life on a West Indies Island when he is approached by former associates who persuade him to take on one last job. The target is the sadistic torturer, Dr. Clement Molloch, a Welshman who is often hired by political regimes to help them keep dissidents in check and has consequently left a trail of enemies in his wake.

Holland discovers that Molloch has killed his old friend Jorge Hidalgo at the behest of the Surinamese regime and he agrees to set off to Guatemala, the last known location of his target, with Hidalgo’s wife and daughter agreeing to pose as his family to protect his cover. Holland uses his old skills to take out various criminal associates as he works his way up the chain to exact revenge against Molloch. The film was released to weak reviews and it’s definitely not Bronson’s finest hour, or the best collaboration with J Lee Thompson.

As Sim Branaghan notes in his must-own book British Film Posters: An Illustrated History, Eric Pulford was one of the most important figures in the history of UK film marketing. Born in Leeds in 1915, Pulford was encouraged to develop his drawing abilities at school before he left, aged 14, to join a firm that manufactured electrical goods where he designed light fittings. After a year he left there to take up an apprenticeship at Gilchrists, a blockmakers in Leeds city centre, whilst also attending evening classes at Leeds Art College and painting in his spare time.

It was during his time at Gilchrists that Eric’s skills were spotted by Leslie Whitchurch, a partner in design firm who had an arrangement with the British film company Rank to produce film posters for Leeds cinemas. Pulford began working on illustrations for the posters around 1940 and eventually left Gilchrists to join Format (Whitchurch’s agency) in 1943. The most important move happened in 1943 when Pulford was invited by Rank to relocate to London and set up a design agency to specifically handle their marketing, which saw the birth of Pulford Publicity.

Over the next decade Eric designed and illustrated hundreds of posters for British and Hollywood films, and this meant him working with many of the most important producers and directors in the industry. As Downtons, the parent company to Pulford Publicity, grew Eric started to illustrate less and take on more of an executive role, dealing with clients and liaising with distributors but he still managed to keep his hand in designing posters, including for some of Rank’s most important film properties like the Carry On series.

Eventually he took over Downtons completely in 1965 and this is when he hired designers like Vic Fair and John Stockle who would often submit competing concepts for film campaigns that were then sifted and selected by the client. Pulford also hired a number of young artists that included Brian Bysouth and would often give them his own take on how to achieve the best illustration results. Eventually, at the start of the 1980s, Eric began to plan for his retirement and began handing over the reins of Downtons to a new management team before eventually moving to the south coast in 1984.

This quad for The Evil That Men Do marks a milestone as it’s the last printed quad that was both designed and illustrated by Pulford, but other design and layout jobs followed over the next few years. His last assignment was, rather aptly, The Last Emperor in 1987 after which he started to enjoy his retirement fully. In 2005 Pulford passed away shortly after suffering a fall at his home, just shy of his ninetieth birthday. Sim notes that Pulford is believed to have designed at least 500 posters over a 50 year period for some of the best British films and his contribution to the field cannot be underestimated.

Cotton Club / A1 / Germany

23.05.16

Poster Poster

This is the poster for the German release of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1984 crime-drama/musical The Cotton Club. Legendary producer Robert Evans had originally planned to direct the film and the initial story and screenplay had been written by Mario ‘The Godfather’ Puzo, but Evans had a last-minute change of heart and asked Coppola to step in. Puzo’s script was apparently re-written by the author William Kennedy who ended up writing multiple drafts and ended up with a shared screenplay credit along with Coppola. Production was apparently beset with problems, including a spiralling budget that was provided by various parties including Las Vegas casino owners, an Arab arms dealer and a vaudeville performer. In typical fashion, Evans was determined to make the film as extravagant as possible and constructed ‘no expense spared’ sets, hiring some of the best technicians in the business at eye-watering figures.

Another likely reason that filming costs ballooned is the impressive ensemble cast that Evans and the studio were able to hire, which included the likes of Richard GereDiane LaneBob Hoskins and Gregory Hines. Loosely based on the real club of the same name that was located in New York’s Harlem neighbourhood, the story follows the machinations of various characters involved with the club in the 1930s, including Gere’s musician Dixie Dwyer whose dealings with the mobster owner of the club Owney Madden (Hoskins) sees him advance his career as an actor whilst having an affair with the girlfriend of the local kingpin, Dutch Schultz (James Remar). The film also follows Sandman Williams (Hines) a local dancer who falls for the club’s star performer Lila Rose Dwyer (Lonette McKee). Nicolas Cage appears as Dixie’s violent, racist brother Vincent who joins Schultz’s gang.

The film features several musical sequences and is soundtracked by several of the most popular jazz tunes of the era. Sadly, Coppola and Evans clashed regularly during the production and at a certain point the director apparently barred the producer from visiting the set. The Cotton Club was declared a flop when it opened in fourth place at the box-office and would eventually go on to recoup less than half of its reported budget of just under $60 million. Despite tepid critical reception the film was nevertheless nominated for several awards (only winning for Best Costumes at the BAFTAs). The film has something of a cult following today, with many fans speaking highly of the film’s production values and well-staged musical numbers. Rumours of a director’s cut release were ignited last year when Coppola declared that a restoration was in the works, reinstating several musical sequences that were apparently cut for its initial release.

This German poster was illustrated by 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.

Where the Green Ants Dream / quad / UK

12.09.16

Poster Poster
Title
Where the Green Ants Dream
AKA
Wo die grünen Ameisen träumen (Germany - original title)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Werner Herzog
Starring
Bruce Spence, Wandjuk Marika, Roy Marika, Ray Barrett, Norman Kaye, Ralph Cotterill, Nick Lathouris, Basil Clarke, Ray Marshall
Origin of Film
West Germany | Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Spence, Wandjuk Marika, Roy Marika, Ray Barrett, Norman Kaye, Ralph Cotterill, Nick Lathouris, Basil Clarke, Ray Marshall,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Paul Derrick
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 4/16" x 40 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking image by the British designer Paul Derrick features on this UK quad for the release of maverick director Werner Herzog‘s 1984 drama Where the Green Ants Dream. The film was the directorial follow up to what many consider to be Herzog’s masterpiece, Fitzcarraldo, and is set in the Australian outback. Co-written with the Australian screenwriter Bob Ellis, the film deals with the contentious issue of aboriginal land rights that has existed ever since the British established a settlement there in the 18th Century. A mix of facts and fiction, the film features a number of aboriginal activists who had been involved in a real-life court case

Bruce Spence, who is best known as the Gyro Captain from Mad Max 2, plays Lance Hackett, a geologist working for a mining company that is carrying out a series of tests on some land that they intend to mine for Uranium. The title refers to the insects that the aborigines believe to be sacred and they fear will be disturbed by the blasting and drilling. One of the tribal elders, as featured on this poster, explains that this disturbance could bring about the end of the world. Lance is instructed to spend time with the activists and try and work out a deal with them so that the mining company can carry on their testing. When that eventually fails, even after they are given a large army plane as part of an attempted deal, the case goes to the courts. 

Paul Derrick’s official website can be viewed here and, according to the short biography on the site, he has been working for many years on publishing and visual identity projects for a wide range of clients, including arts and educational organisations as well as government clients. He also says that he is ‘experienced in undertaking, and art directing, documentary photography to create visual narratives and storytelling.’ There are a few examples of posters he worked on and the British distribution company Artificial Eye is listed in the projects section.

Once Upon a Time In America / B2 / Japan

19.09.11

Poster Poster

Considered by many to be Sergio Leone’s masterpiece – certainly not an easy choice to make when there are films like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West to choose from – Once Upon a Time in America was to be the Italian director’s last film. Infamously, it had almost 90 minutes removed for its American cinematic release (in 1984), apparently after receiving terrible notice from American critics at the Cannes Film Festival – the re-cut version was also given a slating upon release. Eventually the full 229 minute version was  made available on home video in America. Earlier this year it was announced that the film is currently being restored to an even longer ‘director’s cut’ with over 40 minutes of new material, due for release in 2012.

This Japanese poster features the famous shot of Manhattan bridge from Brooklyn street level, along with the four leads with bandanna face masks and a few other scenes from the film.

Here’s the original trailer on YouTube.

Ghoulies / quad / UK

24.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Ghoulies
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Luca Bercovici
Starring
Peter Liapis, Lisa Pelikan, Michael Des Barres, Jack Nance, Peter Risch, Tamara De Treaux, Scott Thomson, Ralph Seymour, Mariska Hargitay, Keith Joe Dick
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Liapis, Lisa Pelikan, Michael Des Barres, Jack Nance, Peter Risch, Tamara De Treaux, Scott Thomson, Ralph Seymour, Mariska Hargitay, Keith Joe Dick,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
They'll get you in the end!

This photographic image advertising the 1984 schlock-horror Ghoulies is absolutely seared into my memory from visits to video rental stores as a youngster where I would see the then forbidden fruits of the horror section. Illustrated covers by artist Graham Humphreys for titles like Evil Dead and Kindred sat alongside photographic designs that hinted at the horrors contained within. This photo of a small green creature bursting out of a toilet, coupled with a title that in UK slang is another word for testicles, sparked plenty of imagined atrocities committed against unsuspecting male victims who’ve just gone for a nice sit down on the porcelain throne.

The reality is that this image was a complete fabrication that was created for the marketing campaign and used around the globe to market the film. The green Ghoulie does pop up from a toilet during the film but it’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment, it’s also not wearing any clothes (as is depicted here), and there’s certainly no obvious harm done to any genitals during the film. According to the Wikipedia article on the film, producer Charles Band had some involvement in creating the image, although it’s a bit confusing:

According to stories Charles Band tells on his Full Moon Horror Road Show, he was tasked to come up with a great campaign to promote the film. During a brainstorming session he came up with the idea to have the Ghoulie popping up from the toilet. The idea was a huge success and the scene was then shot for the film after the fact. According to Band’s 2012 audio commentary for 88Films Blu-ray of Puppetmaster 2, someone else came up with the idea of the Ghoulie popping out of the toilet. Band actually thought it was a bad idea at first.

The film itself is hardly a classic of the genre but it has aged better than some of the other ‘malevolent creature’ films released around the same time. With that said, most of the effects haven’t held up well, particularly the creatures themselves which are poorly put together and unconvincing, especially in comparison to the creatures seen in Joe Dante’s Gremlins that was released the same year. The film is chiefly set in an old mansion that is inherited by student Jonathan Graves (Peter Liapis) after the death of his father Malcolm (Michael Des Barres giving it all he’s got). Unbeknownst to Jonathan, his mother was actually killed during a satanic ritual carried out by his father in which he was meant to be sacrificed as a baby. When a protective amulet prevented the murder being carried out, Malcolm decided to sacrifice his wife instead. Wolfgang (Jack Nance), a member of the cult, takes Jonathan away and raises him so he’s unaware of the situation with his parents.

The film opens with the ritual in which we see the group of small evil creatures (they’re never exactly referred to as Ghoulies in the film) reacting with glee, the film then jumps to a few years later when Jonathan has just moved into the mansion. He soon finds the occult paraphernalia that his father left behind and, for reasons that aren’t clearly explained, decides he wants to continue his father’s satanic practices. His friends and girlfriend Rebecca (Lisa Pelikan) get caught up in the new rituals and before long the Ghoulies have returned and his father has been resurrected from the grave. All does not go exactly to plan for Jonathan, but Wolfgang is still around and his vow to protect the boy holds strong.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the design of this quad so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

Alabama / B1 / spider style / Poland

28.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
Alabama
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Ryszard Rydzewski
Starring
Maria Probosz, Beata Maj-Dabal, Grzegorz Matysik, Wlodzimierz Adamski, Monika Alwasiak
Origin of Film
Poland
Genre(s) of Film
Maria Probosz, Beata Maj-Dabal, Grzegorz Matysik, Wlodzimierz Adamski, Monika Alwasiak,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Spider style
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26.5" x 37 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Striking artwork by Wieslaw Walkuski features on this B1 format poster for the country of origin release of the 1984 drama, Alabama. Directed by Ryszard Rydzewski, the film went seemingly unreleased anywhere outside of Poland and the plot is described thusly on filmweb.pl (translated):

Peter (Grzegorz Matysik) and Bozena (Maria Probosz) study medicine.They love each other and plan a common future. Bozena relationships with family are very bad, they do not maintain contacts. Young remain with the small salary of Peter. With time Bozena convinced that the life of Peter is not easy. They share their differences characters and temperaments. On the downside girl catches Peter’s betrayal. Desperate escapes. In dramatic circumstances, he meets Joe (Włodzimierz Adamski).

Wieslaw Walkuski was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

Note that this is one of two Polish posters for Alabama, and the other design can be seen here.

Once Upon a Time In America / one sheet / USA

02.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Once Upon a Time In America
AKA
C'era una volta in America (Italy)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Sergio Leone
Starring
Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci, Burt Young, Tuesday Weld, Treat Williams, Danny Aiello, Richard Bright, James Hayden, William Forsythe, Darlanne Fluegel
Origin of Film
Italy | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci, Burt Young, Tuesday Weld, Treat Williams, Danny Aiello, Richard Bright, James Hayden, William Forsythe, Darlanne Fluegel,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840048
Tagline
As boys, they made a pact to share their fortunes, their loves, their lives. As men, they shared a dream to rise from poverty to power. Forging an empire built on greed, violence and betrayal, their dream would end as a mystery that refused to die.

Considered by many to be Sergio Leone’s masterpiece – certainly not an easy choice to make when there are films like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West to choose from – ‘…America’ was to be the Italian director’s last film. Infamously, it had almost 90 minutes removed for its US cinematic release (in 1984), apparently after receiving terrible notice from American critics at the Cannes Film Festival – the re-cut version was also given a slating when it appeared.

Eventually the full 229 minute version was made available on home video in America. In 2012 it was announced that the film was to be restored to an even longer cut with over 40 minutes of newly discovered material that was thought lost. An extended cut of the film was released on blu-ray in 2014.

This one sheet was designed by the American designer and artist Tom Jung, who is probably best known for the Star Wars style A one sheet. A reader of the site got in touch to confirm that Jung used this still photograph by the on-set photographer Angelo Novi as the main image on the poster.

In 2012 I visited the same street in Brooklyn that leads down to the Manhattan Bridge and is featured in the film and on this poster. I took this picture, which gives you an idea of how the street looks today.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

 

The Bounty / quad / UK

09.09.13

Poster Poster
Title
The Bounty
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Roger Donaldson
Starring
Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Edward Fox, Daniel Day-Lewis, Bernard Hill, Philip Davis, Liam Neeson. Wi Kuki Kaa, Tevaite Vernette, Philip Martin Brown, Simon Chandler
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Edward Fox, Daniel Day-Lewis, Bernard Hill, Philip Davis, Liam Neeson. Wi Kuki Kaa, Tevaite Vernette, Philip Martin Brown, Simon Chandler,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Eric Pulford | Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
They began their epic voyage as friends... it ended in hatred and bloodshed. | After 200 years, the truth behind the legend.

The Bounty was the fifth film based on the true life story of the Mutiny on the Bounty, which took place at sea onboard the British Royal Navy ship of the same name in 1789. The event saw a mutinous group of sailors led by Fletcher Christian place Captain William Bligh, and a group of sailors loyal to him, onboard a small launch (boat) before sailing back to the island of Tahiti where they wished to settle. Incredibly, Captain Bligh was able to navigate the tiny boat over 3600 nautical miles to Timor in the East Indies from where he was able to travel back to London and report the mutiny.

A Royal Navy ship (HMS Pandora) was dispatched with the task of rounding up the mutineers and the crew were successful in capturing fourteen of them, but were unable to locate Fletcher Christian or The Bounty itself. After setting sail back to England, the ship ran aground on part of the Great Barrier Reef and sank shortly thereafter, killing a number of the crew and four of the prisoners. Eventually the remaining mutineers were returned to face court martial in Britain, whilst those who escaped continued to try to evade justice aboard the Bounty before settling one of the tiny Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific Ocean to the east of Australia.

This version was originally being prepared for the screen by the legendary British director David Lean, but problems were encountered with getting the requisite financial backing for his vision of two films, later reconfigured to a TV series. Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis stepped in with the financial support and the film was reconfigured as a single feature. When Lean’s screenwriter partner Robert Bolt suffered a massive stroke, Lean decided to leave the project but had already overseen the construction of a replica Bounty and had successfully cast most of the roles.

Mel Gibson, who was to play Fletcher Christian, brought in a fellow Aussie Roger Donaldson to helm the film and production got underway. Featuring an extremely impressive cast, including Anthony Hopkins (as Captain Bligh), Laurence OlivierDaniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson, the film was considered to be something of a revisionist take on the event and was certainly more accurate than the two previous Hollywood versions. The Bounty was warmly critically received but was sadly something of a flop at the box office, failing to recoup even half of its budget in the US.

The artwork on this British quad was painted by the British artist Brian Bysouth, from an original design by Eric Pulford. When I interviewed the artist in 2012 this poster was discussed and the following is an excerpt from the article:

—————-

One Bond poster you worked on is the quad for For Your Eyes Only. It had the Bill Gold designed element of the long legs, but you modified the montage when doing the finished illustration?
Eric Pulford created the U.K. poster design that was approved. The inclusion of the very iconic Bill Gold legs concept was a must in any design that was submitted, so I suppose the scope for fresh designs was limited. In my opinion Eric’s original montage was not his best work and, although I tried to re-arrange some of the elements, the reference material supplied was not very exciting and I think the surrounding montage looks rather ordinary.

A similar difficulty arose with the design Eric had done for The Bounty (1984). His atmospheric colour rough was exciting, but when I began to sketch out the finished painting I realised the perspective of the ship was flawed. Eric’s exciting random montage of characters had initially disguised the shortcoming. I spent a day redrawing the ship and rigging to ensure it was reasonably correct, and then moved the characters to try to improve the composition. I was pleased with the final painting but was never happy with the montage, which I really thought needed recomposing. I didn’t think a confrontation with Eric was in my best interest.

Some weeks later I asked for the return of my painting only to be told, ‘it could not be found’.  Obviously, a light-fingered person took a fancy to it. Much of my work has been lost to me in that way, including my teaser art for A View to a Kill.

—————-

The other posters I have that were designed and/or painted by Brian Bysouth can be viewed here.

The Evil That Men Do / 30×40 / USA

18.06.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Evil That Men Do
AKA
Liquidator (West Germany) | L'enfer de la violence [The Hell of violence] (France)
Year of Film
1984
Director
J. Lee Thompson
Starring
Charles Bronson, Theresa Saldana, Joseph Maher, José Ferrer, René Enríquez, John Glover, Raymond St. Jacques, Antoinette Bower, Enrique Lucero
Origin of Film
Mexico | USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Theresa Saldana, Joseph Maher, José Ferrer, René Enríquez, John Glover, Raymond St. Jacques, Antoinette Bower, Enrique Lucero,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840072
Tagline
Most criminals answer to the law. The world's most savage executioner must answer to Bronson.

An excellent portrait of action legend Charles Bronson features on this 30×40 poster for the 1984 thriller The Evil That Men Do. One of several collaborations between the star and director J. Lee Thompson, the film sees Bronson star as a retired hitman known as Holland who is living a relaxed life on a West Indies Island when he is approached by former associates who persuade him to take on one last job. The target is the sadistic torturer, Dr. Clement Molloch, a Welshman who is often hired by political regimes to help them keep dissidents in check and has consequently left a trail of enemies in his wake.

Holland discovers that Molloch has killed his old friend Jorge Hidalgo at the behest of the Surinamese regime and he agrees to set off to Guatemala, the last known location of his target, with Hidalgo’s wife and daughter agreeing to pose as his family to protect his cover. Holland uses his old skills to take out various criminal associates as he works his way up the chain to exact revenge against Molloch. The film was released to weak reviews and it’s definitely not Bronson’s finest hour, or the best collaboration with J Lee Thompson.

Frustratingly I’ve been unable to find out who was responsible for the artwork on this poster so if you have any ideas please get in touch. The same art also featured on the Japanese B2 poster which can be seen here.

The film’s trailer can be viewed here.

Dune / one sheet / international

15.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
Dune
AKA
Der Wüstenplanet (West Germany)
Year of Film
1984
Director
David Lynch
Starring
Francesca Annis, Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Max von Sydow, Jose Ferrer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Francesca Annis, Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Max von Sydow, Jose Ferrer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
International
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A world beyond your experience, beyond your imagination.

Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune was always going to be a difficult novel to turn into a sub three-hour film, particularly because of the complex universe, intricate lore and multiple characters it features. The initial novel went onto spawn a Dune franchise, comprising of five more books written by Herbert as well as board games, video games and a series of prequels written after Herbert’s death.

The film that was eventually released in 1984 went through a long gestation, attracting multiple production teams and several directors over a thirteen year period from when the rights were first optioned. Wikipedia has a nice explanation of the various versions (see ‘Production’). In 1975 it looked like legendary director Alejandro Jodorowsky would realise his version of the film with an incredible selection of actors:

In 1975, Jodorowsky planned to film the story as a ten-hour feature, in collaboration with Salvador DalíOrson WellesGloria SwansonDavid CarradineGeraldine ChaplinAlain DelonHervé Villechaize and Mick Jagger.

Even more exciting, in my opinion, was the roster of talent he had assembled behind the camera:

Jodorowsky set up a pre-production unit in Paris consisting of Chris Foss, a British artist who designed covers for science fiction periodicals, Jean Giraud (Moebius), a French illustrator who created and also wrote and drew for Metal Hurlant magazine, and H. R. GigerDan O’Bannon was to head the special effects department.

After a couple of years the project stalled and the financial backing dried up. Frank Herbert traveled to Europe to meet with Jodorowsky and discovered that his script would have resulted in a 14-hour movie.

This website has a great account of Jodorowsky’s version written by the man himself. Earlier this year it was announced that a film was being made that documents this failed version. More info and a trailer can be found here.

The rights were sold to Italian producer Dino de Laurentiis who spent several years trying to get his version of the project off the ground. At one point it looked like Ridley Scott would direct but he eventually left to work on Blade Runner after realising how long Dune would take to bring to screen.

In 1981 De Laurentiis approached director David Lynch after his daughter had seen The Elephant Man and recommended it to her father. Lynch went on to write six drafts of the screenplay before filming commenced in March, 1983. The first cut of the film ran over four hours and, although Lynch was aiming for a preferred length of three hours, the backers (including Universal Pictures) insisted on a two hour film. This meant many scenes were completely excised, new scenes were shot to simplify others and a voice over was added.

All of this resulted in a film that is widely considered as something of a mess, with poor critical reception and box office takings meaning plans for possible sequels were shelved indefinitely. Today, Lynch doesn’t like to talk about the film in interviews and has turned down offers from Universal to reassemble a longer ‘director’s cut’.

The poster
This rarely seen international one sheet was illustrated 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, which was part of the legendary Cinecittà studios and handled film publicity for many Italian productions. Casaro would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world and 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 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. The other posters I’ve collected by Casaro can be seen by clicking here.

This artwork was used on the Italian poster for the film and Casaro’s signature can be seen in the middle right of the poster. This international one sheet was likely printed in America for use in English-speaking international markets.

Once Upon a Time In America / A1 / Germany

03.03.14

Poster Poster

Considered by many to be Sergio Leone’s masterpiece – certainly not an easy choice to make when there are films like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West to choose from – ‘…America’ was to be the Italian director’s last film. Infamously, it had almost 90 minutes removed for its US cinematic release (in 1984), apparently after receiving terrible notice from American critics at the Cannes Film Festival – the re-cut version was also given a slating when it appeared.

Eventually the full 229 minute version was made available on home video in America. In 2012 it was announced that the film was to be restored to an even longer cut with over 40 minutes of newly discovered material that was thought lost. An extended cut of the film was released on blu-ray in 2014.

I recently visited the same street in Brooklyn that leads down to the Manhattan Bridge and is featured in the film and on this poster. I took this picture, which gives you an idea of how the street looks today.

This is the German poster (style A) that 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. The other posters I have collected by Casaro can be seen by clicking here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

 

A Passage to India / B1 / Poland

22.04.15

Poster Poster

This is the Polish poster for the release of British director David Lean‘s final film behind the camera, 1984’s A Passage to India. Lean hadn’t helmed a feature film since 1970’s Ryan’s Daughter, the poor reception of which had put him off directing for a few years, and an abandoned attempt to make a pair of films based on the Mutiny of the Bounty also took up several years of Lean’s life. The film is an adaptation of English author E. M. Forster’s novel of the same name and also a stage production of the book by Indian-born American playwright Santha Rama Rau.

Set in India during the 1920s when there was a growing Indian independence movement in the British Raj, the film sees young British woman Adela Quested (Judy Davistravel to India to visit her fiancee Ronny Heaslop (Nigel Havers) who is serving as a magistrate in the town of Chandrapore. Accompanying her on the trip is Ronny’s mother Mrs Moore (Peggy Ashcroft). The pair spend time in the company of British colonials but when Mrs Moore meets a local doctor named Aziz Ahmed (Victor Banerjee) they see the opportunity to experience ‘the real India.’ Aziz agrees to take them on an expedition to the remote Marabar Caves (actually based on the real life Barabar Caves) but when Adela is attacked and almost raped, Aziz is accused of the crime and relations between the natives and the British quickly break down.

This poster was painted for the first release of the film in Poland in 1988 and was created by the Polish artist Wiktor Sadowski who was born in Olendry in 1956 and later graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Sadowski has painted hundreds of film posters during his career and has won several prestigious awards, including a gold medal at Poster Biennale of Poland in 1984 and a gold medal from the New York Society of Illustrators in 1994. There are multiple galleries of his work online, including this one on the Polish Poster Gallery website and this one on Polishposter.com that both clearly show the quality of his artwork.

Dune / one sheet / advance / photo style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Dune
AKA
Der Wüstenplanet (West Germany)
Year of Film
1984
Director
David Lynch
Starring
Francesca Annis, Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Max von Sydow, Jose Ferrer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Francesca Annis, Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Max von Sydow, Jose Ferrer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - photo style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A world beyond your experience, beyond your imagination.