You Searched For: 1988

Life of Brian / quad / 1988 re-release / UK

11.04.14

Poster Poster

Probably my favourite of the five cinematic outings by the Monty Python crew, Life of Brian is one of the funniest films ever made and the brilliant satirical humour hasn’t diminished at all in the thirty plus years since its release. Infamously causing an uproar with various religious groups, it also saw EMI, the original financial backers, pulling out during production claiming the script was blasphemous. Luckily, George Harrison stepped in with the finance, apparently after realising it may have been the last chance to see another Python film in cinemas. His company HandMade Films was formed as a result of this deal.

The film’s religion-baiting story sees a man called Brian (Graham Chapman) born at the same time as Jesus Christ and initially mistaken for the Messiah, who ends up living an unremarkable life under the Roman occupation of Judea. Things take a fateful turn when his infatuation with a young rebel called Judith (Sue Jones-Davies) leads him to join the People’s Front of Judea, a bickering group who have decided to take a stand against the emperor.

The film raised the ire of several religious groups who were outraged at the concept, despite most of them having never even seen the film, and it was only given a general release once several cuts had been made. Despite the edits, several local UK councils banned the film from being shown at cinemas within their boroughs. Apparently some of these bans lasted until very recently, with the Welsh town of Aberystwyth finally lifting its one in 2009, which then saw a screening of the film attended by Jones, Michael Palin and Sue Jones-Davies, who was the then mayor of the town.

One of the more infamous bans was carried out by the Norwegians who refused to allow the film to be screened at all, which lead some of the international marketing material for the film to be emblazoned with the proclamation ‘So funny it was banned in Norway!’

This is a scarce, alternate style UK quad which differs from the other somewhat confusing design, which is simply the logo doubled up. A reader of the site got in touch to confirm that this quad was designed in house at HandMade films. To quote their informative email:

HandMade and the Pythons decided to re-submit the film to Irish Film Board to have the original ban overturned. The submission was successful and with the censor certification under our belt plans to release the film moved ahead and the Life of Brian was finally released in Ireland  I recall in the summer of 1988 as I recall eight years after original release. One of the unsung heroes of HandMade was freelance artist/designer George Rowbottom.

George was closely involved in many HMF posters over the years along with Ray Cooper and it was George who re-worked Life of Brian poster and came up with the “tablet” design for the quad used for the Irish release and also the superior amended 1-sheet. In both cases these were printed by National Screen who printed all our posters for domestic and international.

The original American trailer can be seen on YouTube.

The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen / B1 / Japan

11.07.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Terry Gilliam
Starring
John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, Peter Jeffrey
Origin of Film
UK | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, Peter Jeffrey,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40.5
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the scarce Japanese B1 for the release of the 1988 fantasy comedy The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which was co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam. Based on the tall tales that the real-life 18th century German Baron Münchhausen allegedly told about his wartime dealings with the Ottoman Empire, the film is a riotous exploration of the power of storytelling and imagination. Gilliam plucked the veteran actor John Neville, in his early sixties at the time, from near obscurity to play the titular Baron who teams up with a young girl and a whole host of bizarre characters to save an unnamed European city from defeat by a besieging Turkish army. 

Actress (and recently director) Sarah Polley appears in her first screen role as Sally Salt, a member of a theatre troupe that has been touring the country showing farcical reconstructions of Munchausen’s supposed adventures. At one show the real Baron arrives into the theatre just as a Turkish army appears outside the city walls and begins to attack. What follows is a madcap mix of improbable, recollected tales and daring adventures as the Baron takes Sally on a journey to gather together his old gang of associates, including the fastest runner in the world (Eric Idle), a giant strongman and a dwarf able to expel powerful gusts of wind that can knock tens of people over. Their journey takes them to the moon where they encounter the eccentric King of the Moon (a memorable cameo from Robin Williams), into the crater of an active volcano where they meet the Roman God Vulcan (Oliver Reed) and his wife Venus (one of Uma Thurman‘s earliest film roles) and inside the belly of a giant sea monster, before they head back to the besieged city to rescue it from certain defeat.

Featuring a number of notable actors, often in dual roles that reflect the film’s clever play on the idea of fantasy and reality, the story is never anything less than entertaining and the action on screen completely belies the ridiculous behind the scenes travails that Gilliam went through to bring his vision to life. The film suffered a number of setbacks during its production, including a budget that more than doubled and a change of management at the studio that almost saw the film cancelled entirely (production was shut down for several weeks). The film was eventually practically dumped into cinemas in the States with a limited release that saw a corresponding lack of box office takings, and this was despite strong critical reception. It faired better in Europe but was unable to recoup its reported budget of over $45 million.

This psychedelic design is unique to this Japanese B1 and is markedly different to the equally trippy B2 poster.

 

They Live / B2 / Japan

30.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
They Live
AKA
Invasion Los Angeles (France)
Year of Film
1988
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, Raymond St. Jacques, Peter Jason, Sy Richardson, George 'Buck' Flower
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, Raymond St. Jacques, Peter Jason, Sy Richardson, George 'Buck' Flower,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
BRAIN-WASH HORROR

Unique artwork for John Carpenter‘s 1988 sci-fi in which a drifter, played by wrestler Roddy Piper, finds a set of special sunglasses that reveal that aliens have taken over the earth and are subduing the general population through secret messages and signals. The film is famous for being the inspiration behind graphic designer Shephard Fairey‘s famous OBEY street art and clothing label, which is based on the hidden alien slogans only visible when the sunglasses are worn.

The film also features the infamous line “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass…and I’m all out of bubblegum.”, which can be viewed here. There’s also the legendary fight between Nada (Piper) and Armitage (Keith David) that lasts over five minutes and was apparently proposed and choreographed by the two actors.

Note that the smashed human skull featured on this Japanese B2 has the word OBEY scrawled on the side. I also like the random ‘Intelligent Space Man’ text next to the skull.

Here’s the great original trailer.

To see the other John Carpenter posters I have collected click here.

Willow / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Willow
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Excellent artwork by John Alvin features on this US one sheet for the release of Ron Howard‘s 1988 fantasy film Willow, which was conceived of by George Lucas. British actor Warwick Davis features as the eponymous hero and the part had been written specifically with him in mind after he appeared as an Ewok in Lucas’ Return of the Jedi. The story begins as the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) hears of a prophecy that a newborn child will bring about her downfall and sets about imprisoning all pregnant women in her castle’s dungeon.

When a child is born and identified as the one in the prophecy, the child’s mother manages to convince the mid-wife to secret her daughter out of the castle. When Queen Bavmorda discovers what has happened she sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and leader of her army General Kael in pursuit. Before being caught, the midwife manages to put the child on a raft on a river and the child ends up being found by Willow Ufgood (Davis) a a member of a race of hobbit-like people called the Nelwyns. Initially caring for the baby with his wife, Willow is persuaded to take it away from their village and back to the Daikinis (humans) when it becomes clear that there are people hunting for it. As the adventure begins, Willow and his companions soon realise they’re in for more than they bargained for.

Featuring a great performance by Val Kilmer as a selfish, reluctant hero the film still stands up today as a fun and engaging fantasy adventure with several memorable sequences and a brilliant score by James Horner. Despite being critically derided on release and not fairing too well at the box- office it has nevertheless grown something of a cult following and is notable for its use of ground-breaking special effects by Industrial Light and Magic that were used for a sequence involving a morph between several animals and a human.

The late American designer and artist John Alvin was responsible for over 135 film poster designs over a thirty year period. Alvin painted many unforgettable pieces of artwork, including Blade Runner and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. The gallery of his posters on IMPAwards gives you an idea of the range of his work. Alvin sadly passed away too early, just shy of his 60th birthday (in 2008), but his fantastic designs will live on for generations to come.

To see the posters I’ve collected by Alvin click here.

Dead Ringers / one sheet / USA

15.12.14

Poster Poster
Title
Dead Ringers
AKA
Inseparables (Spain)
Year of Film
1988
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske, Barbara Gordon, Shirley Douglas, Stephen Lack, Nick Nichols, Lynne Cormack, Damir Andrei, Miriam Newhouse
Origin of Film
Canada | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske, Barbara Gordon, Shirley Douglas, Stephen Lack, Nick Nichols, Lynne Cormack, Damir Andrei, Miriam Newhouse,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Spiros Angelikas
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
880119
Tagline
From the director of "The Fly" comes a new kind of thriller. | Two bodies. Two minds. One soul.

Upon its release in 1988, Dead Ringers was arguably Canadian director David Cronenberg‘s most mainstream release to date (as close as he’d come at least) and it was his first psychological thriller following a slew of horrors, including Scanners (1981) and The Fly (1986). Based on the novel ‘Twins’ by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland, the film was also influenced by the real life case of Stewart and Cyril Marcus and focuses on twin gynaecologists Beverly and Elliot Mantle (both played by Jeremy Irons) who practice in a Toronto clinic dealing with fertility problems. For years they have operated a system where the more confident Elliot seduces women who visit the clinic and then passes them onto the shy Beverly when he’s bored of them, with the women usually not noticing the deception.

One day troubled actress Claire Niveau (Geneviève Bujold) visits the clinic and Elliot does his usual seduction trick. Beverly then becomes infatuated with her, leading to a destabilising of the relationship between the brothers and, after Beverly begins taking the prescription drugs that Claire is addicted to, things take a turn for the worse. Soon paranoid delusions of ‘mutant women’ lead Beverly to purchasing a series of bizarre tools from a metallurgical artist. When he later attacks a patient at the clinic the twins are suspended from practice and set in motion a chain of events with a deadly conclusion.

Although more drama focused, the film still gave Cronenberg plenty of scope for his usual body horror tricks and although it’s not as bloody as previous efforts the film is no less disturbing. Irons impresses with his performance and the actor would win a few awards during the year of release.

I’m unsure who designed this poster so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

High Spirits / quad / UK

06.06.17

Poster Poster
Title
High Spirits
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Neil Jordan
Starring
Peter O'Toole, Liz Smith, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gallagher, Martin Ferrero, Connie Booth, Daryl Hannah, Liam Neeson
Origin of Film
Ireland | UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter O'Toole, Liz Smith, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gallagher, Martin Ferrero, Connie Booth, Daryl Hannah, Liam Neeson,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Jack's American, married and looking for romance. Mary's beautiful, Irish and 200 years old... Does their love stand a ghost of a chance? | A supernatural comedy

This is the UK quad for the release of Irish director Neil Jordan‘s (The Crying Game) 1988 comedy High Spirits. Filmed on location and in a studio in Ireland, the story was written by Jordan and focuses on an old, run-down castle/hotel that is home to the Plunkett family, which only consists of Peter (Peter O’Toole) and his mother (Liz Smith) and a motley group of staff. Peter owes money to an American financier and is struggling to work out how to stop the castle defaulting into his hands. After half-heartedly attempting to hang himself, he hits on the idea of selling the hotel as the most haunted in Ireland after his mother reminds him about all the ghosts that supposedly haunt the place. Following a montage of the staff setting up various haunting gags around the castle, the first group of all-American guests arrive at the castle.

Jack Crawford (Steve Guttenberg) is joined by his wife Sharon (Beverly D’Angelo, best known for National Lampoon’s Vacation films) and it’s clear that their marriage is under some strain. Also there is a sceptical paranormal investigator and his family, plus a wannabe priest on a ‘final hurrah’ and a kooky dancer (Jennifer Tilly). The staff soon stage several attempts at convincing the guests that they are surrounded by ghosts but all fall flat. Jack, despondent with how unimpressed his wife is, stumbles into an old area of the castle whilst drunk and witnesses the apparition of two real ghosts, Mary Plunkett Brogan (Daryl Hannah) and Martin Brogan (Liam Neeson). The husband and wife have been stuck in a loop, enacting the moment that Martin fatally stabbed Mary in a fit of jealous rage. Somehow Jack interrupts the ghostly murder and Mary is able to see him.

The rest of the the film sees the pair fall in love, whilst Sharon also falls for Martin. Meanwhile, the other real ghosts stage paranormal events after getting fed up of Peter’s half-hearted efforts to scare. The film is energetic for sure but fairly nonsensical in places and the acting varies wildly across the cast. Apparently Jordan claims the film was taken out of his hands during the editing stage and the version released in cinemas doesn’t match his vision for the film. It’s clear that several scenes have been cut and truncated and it barely hangs together towards the end. On a positive note, the location work is excellent and the production design is solid. O’Toole works well as the eccentric Peter and D’Angelo and Tilly are fun to watch.

I’m not sure who is responsible for the artwork which is unique to this UK quad and there’s no obvious signature on it. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

Lethal Pursuit / one sheet / USA

19.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Lethal Pursuit
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Don Jones
Starring
Mitzi Kapture, Blake Bahner, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, Blake Gibbons, Stephanie Johnson, Gary Kent
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mitzi Kapture, Blake Bahner, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, Blake Gibbons, Stephanie Johnson, Gary Kent,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Bill Garland
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Some live for the hunt... Others for the kill.

Definitely one of those cases where the poster is the best thing about the film, Lethal Pursuit is a forgotten action b-movie from 1988. It appears to have only had a cinema release in a handful of countries and was straight to video in others. It hasn’t been given a DVD release anywhere in the world as far as I can tell. The IMDb plot description says:

A rock star babe and her hunky honey find themselves targeted by her psychotic ex, whose insane jealousy sparks a deadly game of desert cat-and-mouse.

There’s a single review on the film’s IMDb page and it’s rather damning. Here’s some excerpts:

There is not much to say except simply, do not watch this film. In fact, if you are reading this I must ask why you even looked this movie up? If you are here because you saw this in the 99 cent VHS bin at the Good Will, where it probably can be found, and want to know weather to buy it. PASS! You will want your dollar back.

Best way to sum it up. Think of every little detail that makes a film a film. Then take this sentence “The ____ of/in this film is awful in every way.” and insert every one of those details. And you have a summary.

There’s an illustrated review of the film on the Betamax Rundown site.

I’ve discovered that this illustration can be credited to the American artist Bill Garland who is probably best known for the brilliant original Mad Max one sheet, but has worked on several other film posters. The artist has a page on Phosphor Art featuring a short biography as well as a selection of his art. It details that Garland has been working for over 30 years and started his career as a Ford Motor company scholar and used these core technical skills to ‘enhance his command of a wide range of artistic styles’. In addition to working with Hollywood studios, Garland also carried out work for commercial clients like Coca Cola and the NFL. I can’t find an official site for the artist so if anyone knows any more details about him please get in touch.

Willow / one sheet / UK

14.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Willow
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
27" x 39 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A world where heroes come in all sizes and adventure is the greatest magic of all.

Excellent artwork on this UK one sheet for the release of Ron Howard‘s 1988 fantasy film Willow, which was conceived of by George Lucas. British actor Warwick Davis features as the eponymous hero and the part had been written specifically with him in mind after he appeared as an Ewok in Lucas’ Return of the Jedi. The story begins as the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) hears of a prophecy that a newborn child will bring about her downfall and sets about imprisoning all pregnant women in her castle’s dungeon.

When a child is born and identified as the one in the prophecy, the child’s mother manages to convince the mid-wife to secret her daughter out of the castle. When Queen Bavmorda discovers what has happened she sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and leader of her army General Kael in pursuit. Before being caught, the midwife manages to put the child on a raft on a river and the child ends up being found by Willow Ufgood (Davis) a a member of a race of hobbit-like people called the Nelwyns. Initially caring for the baby with his wife, Willow is persuaded to take it away from their village and back to the Daikinis (humans) when it becomes clear that there are people hunting for it. As the adventure begins, Willow and his companions soon realise they’re in for more than they bargained for.

Featuring a great performance by Val Kilmer as a selfish, reluctant hero the film still stands up today as a fun and engaging fantasy adventure with several memorable sequences and a brilliant score by James Horner. Despite being critically derided on release and not fairing too well at the box- office it has nevertheless grown something of a cult following and is notable for its use of ground-breaking special effects by Industrial Light and Magic that were used for a sequence involving a morph between several animals and a human.

This one sheet was created by the British designer and artist Brian Bysouth who I interviewed for this site in 2012, There is also a quad for Willow featuring the same artwork. Brian 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.

Midnight Run / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Midnight Run
AKA
Prima di mezzanotte [Before midnight] (Italy)
Year of Film
1988
Director
Martin Brest
Starring
Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
29 6/8" x 39 6/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The mob wants to kill him, the FBI wants to arrest him and his partner thinks he should give up smoking

Unique artwork on this British quad for the 1988 comedy caper film Midnight Run, which was painted by the British artist Brian Bysouth. In December I met and interviewed Brian and the resulting article can be read here.

Die Hard / quad / UK

18.02.13

Poster Poster
Title
Die Hard
AKA
Jungla de cristal (Spain) | Die hard: Operasjon skyskraper (Norway)
Year of Film
1988
Director
John McTiernan
Starring
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Godunov, Paul Gleason
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Godunov, Paul Gleason,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
40 Storeys High - with Suspense, Excitement and Adventure on every level!

As the depressingly poor fifth entry into the Die Hard franchise hits cinemas this month, it’s very clear that the series will never again hit the heights of the original 1988 classic. Regarded by many film fans as the best action movie of all time, Die Hard stars Bruce Willis in arguably his most iconic role (certainly the part that made him a megastar) as John McClane, the good cop having a very bad day when a terrorist group takes control of Nakatomi Plaza, the office building in which his wife works. John McTiernan was the right director to deliver excitement and unremittingly violent thrills since he’d proven his skill with the superb Predator (1987) and the action in Die Hard continues to escalate to a nail-biting crescendo, with several unforgettable set-pieces.

Alan Rickman delivers an iconic performance as the leader of the terrorists, Hans Gruber, who meets his demise in an oft-parodied, slow-motion manner. What makes the film work so well is the perfectly-balanced script that features a great mix of nerve-shredding action with just the right amount of humour and a series of well-realised characters. The other thing the script does well is to not make the character of John McClane an unstoppable, invincible superhero – he’s a flawed man with his own set of problems and he bleeds when cut just like the rest of us – think the glass on the floor!

This is the UK quad and features an image of Nakatomi Plaza and its exploding roof, with the face of a concerned-looking Bruce Willis. The advance American one sheet features a sweaty Willis clutching a gun but I much prefer this darker image that also features on the final American one sheet (note the different spelling of storeys/stories).

The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen / one sheet / international

25.04.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Terry Gilliam
Starring
John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, Peter Jeffrey
Origin of Film
UK | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, Peter Jeffrey,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Vic Fair
Artist
Renato Casaro | Vic Fair (main figure)
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Remarkable. Unbelievable. Impossible. And true.

This is the international one sheet for the release of the 1988 fantasy comedy The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which was co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam. Based on the tall tales that the real-life 18th century German Baron Münchhausen allegedly told about his wartime dealings with the Ottoman Empire, the film is a riotous exploration of the power of storytelling and imagination. Gilliam plucked the veteran actor John Neville, in his early sixties at the time, from near obscurity to play the titular Baron who teams up with a young girl and a whole host of bizarre characters to save an unnamed European city from defeat by a besieging Turkish army. 

Actress (and recently director) Sarah Polley appears in her first screen role as Sally Salt, a member of a theatre troupe that has been touring the country showing farcical reconstructions of Munchausen’s supposed adventures. At one show the real Baron arrives into the theatre just as a Turkish army appears outside the city walls and begins to attack. What follows is a madcap mix of improbable, recollected tales and daring adventures as the Baron takes Sally on a journey to gather together his old gang of associates, including the fastest runner in the world (Eric Idle), a giant strongman and a dwarf able to expel powerful gusts of wind that can knock tens of people over. Their journey takes them to the moon where they encounter the eccentric King of the Moon (a memorable cameo from Robin Williams), into the crater of an active volcano where they meet the Roman God Vulcan (Oliver Reed) and his wife Venus (one of Uma Thurman‘s earliest film roles) and inside the belly of a giant sea monster, before they head back to the besieged city to rescue it from certain defeat.

Featuring a number of notable actors, often in dual roles that reflect the film’s clever play on the idea of fantasy and reality, the story is never anything less than entertaining and the action on screen completely belies the ridiculous behind the scenes travails that Gilliam went through to bring his vision to life. The film suffered a number of setbacks during its production, including a budget that more than doubled and a change of management at the studio that almost saw the film cancelled entirely (production was shut down for several weeks). The film was eventually practically dumped into cinemas in the States with a limited release that saw a corresponding lack of box office takings, and this was despite strong critical reception. It faired better in Europe but was unable to recoup its reported budget of over $45 million.

This poster’s creation saw the pairing of two not inconsiderable talents in the shape of the British designer and artist Vic Fair and the prolific designer/artist Renato Casaro. More details of each of them can be found in the two exclusive interviews I carried out with each for the website: Vic Fair interview and Renato Casaro interview.

In his interview Vic talks about working with Gilliam (and the interview also features a concept illustration by the artist):

———————–

What was it like working with Terry Gilliam?
‘It could be quite frustrating sometimes as he’d get me to do loads of work and then at the very last minute he’d change his mind and ask someone else to do it. He had this team of artists and designers always on call and often they’d end up taking over, so it often felt like a waste of time.

He was really good at making you feel like you’d solved all his marketing problems though. He used to say things like ‘That’s it! You’ve done it! It’s perfect!’ and he’d kick the bloke off the chair sitting next to him and usher you to take his place at the table. You’d have all these other chaps on his team looking enviously at you, but you knew that it wasn’t over and that there’d be more designs to come. A couple of days later you’d discover that he’d changed his mind and wanted to see some more ideas for the design.’

———————–

In his interview, Renato recalls working with Vic on this poster:

————————

‘One other thing that’s important to say is that I was generally not beholden to an art director and usually I was the designer and the artist on every film poster I worked on. One exception was a pleasant collaboration that I had with the British designer Vic Fair for a poster for The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. He had designed a one sheet intended for international use and I worked on the painting for it. I would always make sure to watch the film first, or if that wasn’t possible receive stills from the production, or in some cases even visit the set whilst they were filming, as I mentioned. But I was never working to someone else’s design direction – at Studio Casaro I always made sure I had complete creative control on movie jobs.’

———————–

Akira / B1 / Japan

17.01.13

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Katsuhiro Ôtomo‘s landmark manga series Akira was adapted into a feature-length anime film in 1988 and directed by Ôtomo himself. Akira had a huge impact on me when it was shown on the UK’s Channel 4 sometime in the early 1990s. I’d never seen anything quite like it and it opened my eyes to the world of anime films that were slowly being released in the UK, including the likes of Ninja ScrollGhost in the Shell and the great work of Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli.

The film was recently released on blu-ray and the lossless Japanese soundtrack is astonishingly good. There’s still talk of a live-action remake which fills me, and countless other fans of the anime, with great dread. I really hope it doesn’t happen!

This is the rarely seen Japanese B1 poster that features a coloured adaptation of the moment in the original manga that Tokyo is destroyed by Akira’s out of control psychic powers. It’s not in perfect condition but I was really happy to find it at a poster shop on my first visit to Tokyo in April 2012. During the same trip I had the great fortune to be able to visit a retrospective exhibition of Ôtomo’s work called Genga (A Japanese animation term for keyframes, literally ‘original pictures’), which featured hundreds of pieces of his artwork and the original hand-drawn pages for the Akira manga. I was also able to wear Kaneda’s jacket and sit on the legendary red bike!

I also have two Japanese B2 posters for the film; style A and style B, as well as the American one sheet and ace illustrator Tyler Stout’s take on the film.

The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen / A1 / Germany

03.11.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Terry Gilliam
Starring
John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, Peter Jeffrey
Origin of Film
UK | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, Peter Jeffrey,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Renato Casaro
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 4/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Alles ist wahr!

This is the original German poster for the release of the 1988 fantasy comedy The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which was co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam. Based on the tall tales that the real-life 18th century German Baron Münchhausen allegedly told about his wartime dealings with the Ottoman Empire, the film is a riotous exploration of the power of storytelling and imagination. Gilliam plucked the veteran actor John Neville, in his early sixties at the time, from near obscurity to play the titular Baron who teams up with a young girl and a whole host of bizarre characters to save an unnamed European city from defeat by a besieging Turkish army. 

Actress (and recently director) Sarah Polley appears in her first screen role as Sally Salt, a member of a theatre troupe that has been touring the country showing farcical reconstructions of Munchausen’s supposed adventures. At one show the real Baron arrives into the theatre just as a Turkish army appears outside the city walls and begins to attack. What follows is a madcap mix of improbable, recollected tales and daring adventures as the Baron takes Sally on a journey to gather together his old gang of associates, including the fastest runner in the world (Eric Idle), a giant strongman and a dwarf able to expel powerful gusts of wind that can knock tens of people over. Their journey takes them to the moon where they encounter the eccentric King of the Moon (a memorable cameo from Robin Williams), into the crater of an active volcano where they meet the Roman God Vulcan (Oliver Reed) and his wife Venus (one of Uma Thurman‘s earliest film roles) and inside the belly of a giant sea monster, before they head back to the besieged city to rescue it from certain defeat.

Featuring a number of notable actors, often in dual roles that reflect the film’s clever play on the idea of fantasy and reality, the story is never anything less than entertaining and the action on screen completely belies the ridiculous behind the scenes travails that Gilliam went through to bring his vision to life. The film suffered a number of setbacks during its production, including a budget that more than doubled and a change of management at the studio that almost saw the film cancelled entirely (production was shut down for several weeks). The film was eventually practically dumped into cinemas in the States with a limited release that saw a corresponding lack of box office takings, and this was despite strong critical reception. It faired better in Europe but was unable to recoup its reported budget of over $45 million.

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

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

Casaro also worked on the international one sheet for Munchausen in collaboration with the British designer Vic Fair and that can be viewed here.

Saigon / quad / UK

28.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Saigon
AKA
Off Limits (original title)
Year of Film
1988
Director
Christopher Crowe
Starring
Willem Dafoe, Gregory Hines, Fred Ward, Amanda Pays, Kay Tong Lim, Scott Glenn, David Alan Grier, Keith David, Raymond O'Connor, Richard Brooks
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Willem Dafoe, Gregory Hines, Fred Ward, Amanda Pays, Kay Tong Lim, Scott Glenn, David Alan Grier, Keith David, Raymond O'Connor, Richard Brooks,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They're the only law and order on the streets.

Artwork by Brian Bysouth on this quad for the UK release of Saigon, which is also known as Off Limits in the USA. As the international title suggests, the film is set during the Vietnam war and sees two military policemen played by Willem Dafoe and Gregory Hines investigating the deaths of several prostitutes in Saigon’s red light district. It soon becomes clear that the prime suspect is a high-ranking US Army officer and that the two cops are in for more than they bargained for.

Despite a strong supporting cast, including Scott GlennKeith David and Fred Ward, the film appears to have failed to make much of a box-office or critical impact. It certainly saw none of the success of Dafoe’s previous Vietnam-based film, the oscar-winning Platoon. The film features some brilliantly odd character names, such as Buck McGriff (Dafoe) and Albaby Perkins (Hines).

Bysouth’s artwork has similar star portraits to the ones seen on the US one sheet, but the street scene and other characters are unique to the quad. In 2012 I met and interviewed the artist and the resulting article can be read here.

To see the other posters I’ve collected by the artist click here.

The trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube.

Child’s Play / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Child's Play
AKA
De pop (Netherlands) | Chucky - Die Mörderpuppe (West Germany)
Year of Film
1988
Director
Tom Holland
Starring
Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Brad Dourif
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Brad Dourif,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
26 7/8" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Something's moved in with the Barclay family, and so has terror.

Akira / B2 / bike style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Bike style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Alien Nation / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Alien Nation
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Graham Baker
Starring
James Caan, Mandy Patinkin, Terence Stamp, Kevyn Major Howard
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Caan, Mandy Patinkin, Terence Stamp, Kevyn Major Howard,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
880090
Tagline
Los Angeles, 1991. They have come to Earth to live among us. They've learned the language, taken jobs, and tried to fit in. But there's something about them we don't know.

Beetlejuice / one sheet / version B / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Beetlejuice
AKA
Beetle Juice (USA, UK etc) | Beetlejuice - spiritello porcello [Genie pig] (Italy)
Year of Film
1988
Director
Tim Burton
Starring
Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Sylvia Sidney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Sylvia Sidney,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Version B
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
B.D. Fox Independent
Artist
Carl Ramsey
Size (inches)
27" x 40 2/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
In This House... If You've Seen One Ghost... You Haven't Seen Them All | The Name In Laughter From The Hereafter.

Cheerleader Camp / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Cheerleader Camp
AKA
Bloody Pom Poms (UK)
Year of Film
1988
Director
John Quinn
Starring
Betsy Russell, Leif Garrett, Lucinda Dickey, Lorie Griffin, George "Buck" Flower, Travis McKenna, Teri Weigel, Rebecca Ferratti, Vickie Benson, Jeff Prettyman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Betsy Russell, Leif Garrett, Lucinda Dickey, Lorie Griffin, George "Buck" Flower, Travis McKenna, Teri Weigel, Rebecca Ferratti, Vickie Benson, Jeff Prettyman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 40 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Give me a K - Give me an I - Give me an L - Give me an L | Competition was murder at Cheerleader Camp

Coming To America / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Coming To America
AKA
Il principe cerca moglie [The prince is searching for a wife] (Italy) | Un prince à New-York (France)
Year of Film
1988
Director
John Landis
Starring
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley, Eriq La Salle, Samuel L. Jackson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley, Eriq La Salle, Samuel L. Jackson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
This summer, Prince Akeem discovers America.

Comic Book Confidential / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Comic Book Confidential
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Ron Mann
Starring
N/A
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
N/A,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Paul Mavrides
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Action Jackson / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Action Jackson
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Craig R. Baxley
Starring
Carl Weathers, Vanity, Craig T. Nelson, Sharon Stone
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Carl Weathers, Vanity, Craig T. Nelson, Sharon Stone,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
880001
Tagline
It's time for "Action" / NAME: Jericho Jackson NICKNAME: "Action" HOME: Detroit PROFESSION: Cop EDUCATION: Harvard Law HOBBY: Fighting Crime WEAPON: You're looking at 'em

Coming To America / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Coming To America
AKA
Il principe cerca moglie [The prince is searching for a wife] (Italy) | Un prince à New-York (France)
Year of Film
1988
Director
John Landis
Starring
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley, Eriq La Salle, Samuel L. Jackson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley, Eriq La Salle, Samuel L. Jackson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Chris Dellorco
Size (inches)
27" x 39 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
This summer, Prince Akeem of Zamunda discovers America

Cop / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Cop
AKA
Blood on the Moon (USA working title)
Year of Film
1988
Director
James B. Harris
Starring
James Woods, Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning, Charles Haid, Raymond J. Barry
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Woods, Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning, Charles Haid, Raymond J. Barry,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
B.D. Fox Independent
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
When a cop cares too much, how far is too far.