You Searched For: A1

The Call of Spring / A1 / Czechoslovakia

12.10.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Call of Spring
AKA
Svěcení jara (Czech title) | Return of Spring (UK
Year of Film
1978
Director
France Stiglic
Starring
Zvezdana Mlakar, Dare Ulaga, Radko Polic, Lojze Rozman, Zvone Agrez, Andrej Kurent, Angelca Hlebce, Zvone Hribar, Relja Basic
Origin of Film
Yugoslavia
Genre(s) of Film
Zvezdana Mlakar, Dare Ulaga, Radko Polic, Lojze Rozman, Zvone Agrez, Andrej Kurent, Angelca Hlebce, Zvone Hribar, Relja Basic,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Czechoslovakia
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Jozef Dóka
Artist
Jozef Dóka
Size (inches)
23 2/16" x 32 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Wild artwork features on this Czechoslovakian A1 poster for the release of the 1978 Yugoslavian film The Call of Spring (AKA Return of Spring). I’ve been unable to find out much about the film other than it’s a drama that was directed by France Stiglic, a Slovenian with 22 films to his name who died in 1993. If anyone has any more information about the film please get in touch.

The art features the signature ‘Dóka’ which I believe belongs to the Slovakian artist Jozef Dóka ml. who was born in Sered in 1948. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava from 19701976 and, according to the website of the Ján Koniarek Gallery in Trnava, soon established himself as a major presence on the poster design scene. He began to exhibit outside Slovakia, first in Poland and Slovenia, then later in exhibitions all over the world. He actually founded Trnava’s Ján Koniarek gallery in 1976 and established it as a venue for poster exhibition shortly afterwards. In 1991 he established the internationally recognised Trnava Poster Triennial, which continues to run to this day. Dóka sadly passed away in 2011.

 

Conan the Barbarian / A1 / teaser / Germany

23.06.14

Poster Poster
Title
Conan The Barbarian
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Milius
Starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman, Mako, Gerry Lopez, Max von Sydow
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman, Mako, Gerry Lopez, Max von Sydow,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Renato Casaro
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 6/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the teaser style German A1 poster for the release of John Milius‘ swords and sorcery classic Conan the Barbarian. It was an important film in the career of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger since it effectively launched his Hollywood career. The producers had seen Arnie in his documentary Pumping Iron and both felt he had the right quality for the role of the eponymous warrior. Based on the pulp novels of the 1930s by Robert E. Howard, the film sees the young barbarian Conan seek revenge for the death of his parents at the hands of Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the leader of a snake cult. 

This film was also an important assignment for the Italian artist Renato Casaro who painted the artwork that was used around the world, including on the US one sheet and also adapted that artwork for this German poster at the request of a local distributor. The pose of Arnie on this poster has more in common with the US teaser poster that was painted by Frank Frazetta, although the face of the barbarian on the latter is definitely more like the original artwork for the covers of the various novels. I interviewed the artist in 2013 and the poster was mentioned several times during our meeting:

—————-

One of your big breaks was working for the Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis?
Yes, that was with a poster I did for the film he was producing called The Bible (1966). He liked what I did for him and that was the start of a good working relationship, and friendship, with him. I remember that The Bible artwork was also used in America for a huge billboard that was displayed on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles for several months. After that I worked on many films with De Laurentiis, including Waterloo, Flash Gordon, Dune and Conan the Barbarian, which was possibly the most important for me in many ways as it was used across the world and really helped to get my name out there as an artist.

You visited many different countries at this time?
Yes, one week I might be in the UK, the next in France or Germany or Spain, and then I might be over to the States for one week before returning home. I would visit the set of the film or perhaps the production office to meet the various people involved with it.

One of the most memorable trips I had was over here to Almeria, Spain to visit the set of Conan the Barbarian, which was a Dino De Laurentiis production. I remember the set was stupendous. It was like a piece of old America had been reconstructed in Spain. The village set was here and it was brilliantly done with lots of detail. I recall that the light and ambience over here really fascinated me and I promised myself then that I would return. Years later, I hadn’t forgotten about it and decided that it was time to return here and that’s when I built this house and decided to live most of the year in Spain.

——————

Did you meet Arnold Schwarzenegger when you worked on posters for his films?
Ah, yes, sure. We first met on the set of Conan in Almeria and it was strange because back then no one on the set knew who he was, just that he had this powerful body and a handsome face. Nobody working on the film had any idea how famous he would eventually become! He was a nice guy and I enjoyed working on the poster for the film. I took lots of photographs on the set whilst they were filming and John Milius, the director, was very helpful. I spent some time with him to understand the vision of the film.

——————

Is there one poster that you’re most proud of?
Not really, I’m pleased with how different many of my posters are, both in terms of the style with which I painted them and for the layouts and concepts I used. There are posters like the one I did for Conan that really bring back good memories when I look at them or that were a really important milestone in my career, but there are many other posters I’m also proud to have worked on.

——————

Also worth reading is the brief interview with Renato on the Conan Completist website, which specifically mentions the German poster:

——————

Usually, when a film goes to other countries, the poster changes. Were you involved too in some of the foreign posters?
Yes. The German version, for example, was specifically done on request of the German distributor as to produce a huge display to be put in the cinema entrances. The painting, therefore, was done by me. Sometimes other elements were added into the key art, like in the Thai version, but I’m not concerned with that.

—————–

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

Helsinki Napoli All Night Long / A1 / Germany

17.07.15

Poster Poster

Great artwork by Renato Casaro on this German A1 poster for the release of Mika Kaurismäki‘s (older brother of Aki) little-seen, comedy-thriller Helsinki Napoli All Night Long. A Finnish-German-Swiss production the film focuses on Alex (Kari Väänänen) a Finnish taxi driver working in Berlin who is married to an Italian woman called Stella (Roberta Manfredi). One night, he picks up a pair of French thugs who ask to hire his cab for the whole night. Unfortunately for Alex the pair are being chased by a pair of mobsters (Samuel Fuller and Eddie Constantine) and after the thugs are shot and killed, he is left with two bodies and a briefcase full of money. So begins the long distance trip alluded to in the title with plenty more violence and black comedy along the way.

One of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro is 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.

Dark Star / A1 / 1981 re-release / Germany

03.07.13

Poster Poster
Title
Dark Star
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Dan O'Bannon, Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm, Dre Pahich
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dan O'Bannon, Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm, Dre Pahich,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
23 6/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the German A1 poster for the 1981 re-release of ace director John Carpenter‘s first film, Dark Star. The sci-fi comedy was made over a period of several years whilst Carpenter was a student at the famous USC School of Cinematic Arts in California, which counts hundreds of well known directors, producers and screenwriters amongst its alumni. Made in collaboration with his friend and fellow student Dan O’Bannon, the shoestring budget (reportedly just $60,000) meant that the pair were multitasking throughout the shoot, with Carpenter co-writing the screenplay, directing, producing and writing the score, whilst O’Bannon shared the screenwriting duties as well as acting and working on the special effects.

The film follows the exploits of the spaceship Dark Star, an exploratory vessel traveling through space looking for unstable planets to blow up with giant bombs, clearing the way for space colonisation. The small crew has to deal with malfunctioning equipment (including the fact that their last supply of toilet paper was destroyed), a mischievous mascot alien, and a sentient bomb that must be persuaded not to destroy the ship by giving it a rudimentary lesson in phenomenology. As depicted on this poster the crew are also keeping the dead body of their captain in freezer storage and are able to speak directly with his conscious. The film is often credited as the first sci-fi to explore the mundanity of working in space.

After playing successfully in a series of short film festivals, the film was seen by the producer Jack H. Harris who was known for launching the careers of fledgling filmmakers, including John Landis whose first feature Schlock was shepherded onto the screen by the producer. Carpenter and O’Bannon were given budget to expand the short into a feature, and several new sequences were added before its eventual release in 1974. The film opened on a significant number of screens considering its origins but left audiences confused, particularly since it came out of nowhere with a brief marketing campaign that made the film seem like a dark and serious sci-fi. Despite being a box-office flop, the film would later gain a great cult following once it was released onto VHS in the 1980s.

Dan O’Bannon went on to work on the special effects for George Lucas’ Star Wars, as well as further exploring the idea of ‘workers in space’ in his script for Ridley Scott’s Alien. Carpenter would next direct the taught thriller Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), which saw international success and firmly established him as a director, paving the way for his milestone horror film, Halloween (1978).

This re-release poster, which depicts the moment that one of the crew members surfs on a shard of debris, is practically identical to the 1975 original release poster, that is missing the white text at the top. There’s at least one other German re-release poster for the film (possibly from 1979) that features the same design but with different colours.

The Great Escape / A1 / 1975 re-release / Germany

30.11.15

Poster Poster

A striking design features on this German poster for the 1975 re-release of one of the greatest war films ever released, 1963’s The Great Escape. Director John Sturges (Magnificent Seven) helmed the film and it’s based on the 1950 non-fiction book of the same name, written by Paul Brickhill, which tells the story of a mass escape by allied prisoners from the high-security Stalag Luft III prison in Nazi Germany. Although partly fictionalised, many of the events depicted in the film did occur and the filmmakers only changed certain events and characters to add to the film’s commercial appeal.

An absolutely star-studded affair, the film features many of the finest male actors of the day, including Steve McQueenJames GarnerRichard Attenborough and Donald Pleasence. American actor Charles Bronson also appears as one of the prisoners and his popularity in Europe at the time of this 1975 re-release explains why he’s given equal billing on the poster alongside McQueen. Despite the roster of big names it will undoubtedly always be known as McQueen’s film since his turn as Virgil ‘The Cooler King’ Hilts, the cocky, determined Air Force captain, is really the centre of the film. It was McQueen’s image that was used to promote the film on various posters around the world. 

I’m unsure why the film was re-released in the then West Germany in 1975 and am also unsure who was responsible for the design and art on this A1 poster. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

The Beyond / A1 / Germany

05.12.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Beyond
AKA
Die Geisterstadt der Zombies (Germany) | L'aldilà (Italy) | 7 Doors of Death (USA)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Lucio Fulci
Starring
Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar, Anthony Flees, Giovanni De Nava, Al Cliver, Michele Mirabella, Gianpaolo Saccarola
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar, Anthony Flees, Giovanni De Nava, Al Cliver, Michele Mirabella, Gianpaolo Saccarola,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Lutz Peltzer
Size (inches)
23.5" x 33 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork features on this German A1 poster for the release of Lucio Fulci‘s classic horror The Beyond (1981). Nicknamed The Godfather of Gore, the late Italian director is responsible for several memorable entries in the horror genre and The Beyond is one of what are often considered to be the big four Fulci films (the others being Zombie Flesh Eaters, The House By the Cemetery and City of the Living Dead), which were all made within two years of each other. The director tried his hand at various genres, including westerns and comedies, but it was horror where he found the greatest success and for which he is best remembered.

The Beyond is the second film in the unofficial ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy of Fulci films that began with 1980s City of the Living Dead and ended with The House By the Cemetery. British actress Catriona MacColl, star of the other two films, plays New Yorker Liza Merril who has inherited a run-down Louisiana hotel and decides to spend her savings on renovating the place. What she doesn’t realise is that it was built over one of ‘Seven Doors of Death’, which are direct pathways to hell, and when people involved in helping her repair the hotel begin to die horribly she is helped by a local doctor (David Warbeck) and a mysterious local blind woman called Emily (Cinzia Monreale). It soon becomes clear that the pathway is letting supernatural evil out and creating bloodthirsty zombies of the dead and Liza must fight for her very survival.

As with many of Fulci’s films, the story plays second fiddle to the striking visuals and gory set-pieces as the body count ramps up. It’s never less than memorable and is often cited by Fulci fans as their favourite of his films. The Beyond also features a great score by regular Fulci collaborator Fabio Frizzi. The film was butchered heavily for its original US release (as ‘7 Doors of Death’) and was missing most of the gore scenes and a different soundtrack. The UK release was originally heavily cut, despite being granted an ‘X’ certificate. It was finally passed fully uncut in 2001.

A reader of the site got in touch to confirm that the poster was painted by Lutz Peltzer, a prolific German artist who worked on over 800 posters during his career. The German site Archiv für Filmposter features a biography and plenty of images of his work. It details that he was born in 1925 in Mannheim and passed away in 2003.

The Running Man / A1 / Germany

15.08.14

Poster Poster

In the mid 1980s there were few actors who could get away with having their head dominate a film poster, and fewer still who could couple that with their surname in giant letters spread across the full width of the poster. One such actor was Arnold Schwarzenegger, the star of several action flicks including The Running Man. Set in the dystopian future of 2017 where the world’s economy is in ruins and America is a totalitarian police state, the populace is pacified by the broadcasting of a series of gameshows that see convicted prisoners fighting for their lives across various kinds of formats. The most popular of these shows is the titular Running Man in which the unwilling participants must try to survive in a closed-off area against an onslaught of vicious killers with catchy names and different methods of dispatching their prey.

Ben Richards (Schwarzenegger) is a former police helicopter pilot who was wrongly convicted of massacring a crowd of people and sent to prison. After escaping several months later with a pair of fellow convicts, Richards is preparing to flee the country but is turned into the authorities by Amber Mendez (Maria Conchita Alonso), a composer for the network that he finds living in his brother’s apartment. He is taken to the Running Man studio where he meets the ruthless show host Damon Killian (a memorable turn by the late Richard Dawson) who informs him that unless he takes part in the show his two friends will be sent in his place. After agreeing to get dropped into the play zone, Richards finds that Killian has tricked him and has also sent his pals into the arena. The trio must face-off against the killers whilst trying to work out how to escape the arena and put an end to the show once and for all. When Amber looks a little too closely at the reasons for Ben Richards’ incarceration, she too is captured and dropped into the Running Man arena (she’s pictured next to Arnie on this quad).

Ably directed by Paul Michael Glaser, best known for his acting career – he was Starsky in the classic 1970s cop show Starsky and Hutch – the film is well paced and features several memorable scenes, whilst not holding back on the the violence and gore. The bad guy killers, including Sub Zero, Fireball and Captain Freedom and particularly memorable. It’s definitely a highlight of the Austrian Oak’s filmography, although it was released the same year as the incredible Predator, which is unquestionably the better film.

The excellent artwork on this German A1 was painted by the celebrated Italian artist Renato Casaro who worked on a significant number of German posters during the 1980s and 1990s. In March 2014 I published a lengthy interview I carried out with Renato and that can be read by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by the artist can be seen by clicking here.

Conan the Barbarian / A1 / Germany

11.12.14

Poster Poster
Title
Conan The Barbarian
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Milius
Starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman, Mako, Gerry Lopez, Max von Sydow
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman, Mako, Gerry Lopez, Max von Sydow,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Final
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Renato Casaro
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 6/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Ein Film wie ein Erdbeben - ein Mann wie ein Vulkan!

This is the final style German A1 poster (printed after the teaser) for the release of John Milius‘ swords and sorcery classic Conan the Barbarian. It was an important film in the career of actorArnold Schwarzenegger since it effectively launched his Hollywood career. The producers had seen Arnie in his documentary Pumping Iron and both felt he had the right quality for the role of the eponymous warrior. Based on the pulp novels of the 1930s by Robert E. Howard, the film sees the young barbarian Conan seek revenge for the death of his parents at the hands of Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the leader of a snake cult. 

This film was also an important assignment for the Italian artist Renato Casaro who painted the artwork that was used around the world, including on the US one sheet and also adapted that artwork for this German poster at the request of a local distributor. The pose of Arnie on this poster has more in common with the US teaser poster that was painted by Frank Frazetta, although the face of the barbarian on the latter is definitely more like the original artwork for the covers of the various novels. I interviewed the artist in 2013 and the poster was mentioned several times during our meeting:

—————-

One of your big breaks was working for the Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis?
Yes, that was with a poster I did for the film he was producing called The Bible (1966). He liked what I did for him and that was the start of a good working relationship, and friendship, with him. I remember that The Bible artwork was also used in America for a huge billboard that was displayed on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles for several months. After that I worked on many films with De Laurentiis, including Waterloo, Flash Gordon, Dune and Conan the Barbarian, which was possibly the most important for me in many ways as it was used across the world and really helped to get my name out there as an artist.

You visited many different countries at this time?
Yes, one week I might be in the UK, the next in France or Germany or Spain, and then I might be over to the States for one week before returning home. I would visit the set of the film or perhaps the production office to meet the various people involved with it.

One of the most memorable trips I had was over here to Almeria, Spain to visit the set of Conan the Barbarian, which was a Dino De Laurentiis production. I remember the set was stupendous. It was like a piece of old America had been reconstructed in Spain. The village set was here and it was brilliantly done with lots of detail. I recall that the light and ambience over here really fascinated me and I promised myself then that I would return. Years later, I hadn’t forgotten about it and decided that it was time to return here and that’s when I built this house and decided to live most of the year in Spain.

——————

Did you meet Arnold Schwarzenegger when you worked on posters for his films?
Ah, yes, sure. We first met on the set of Conan in Almeria and it was strange because back then no one on the set knew who he was, just that he had this powerful body and a handsome face. Nobody working on the film had any idea how famous he would eventually become! He was a nice guy and I enjoyed working on the poster for the film. I took lots of photographs on the set whilst they were filming and John Milius, the director, was very helpful. I spent some time with him to understand the vision of the film.

——————

Is there one poster that you’re most proud of?
Not really, I’m pleased with how different many of my posters are, both in terms of the style with which I painted them and for the layouts and concepts I used. There are posters like the one I did for Conan that really bring back good memories when I look at them or that were a really important milestone in my career, but there are many other posters I’m also proud to have worked on.

——————

Also worth reading is the brief interview with Renato on the Conan Completist website, which specifically mentions the German poster:

——————

Usually, when a film goes to other countries, the poster changes. Were you involved too in some of the foreign posters?
Yes. The German version, for example, was specifically done on request of the German distributor as to produce a huge display to be put in the cinema entrances. The painting, therefore, was done by me. Sometimes other elements were added into the key art, like in the Thai version, but I’m not concerned with that.

—————–

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

Death Wish / A1 / Germany

26.09.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dances With Wolves / A1 / Germany

30.01.13

Poster Poster
Title
Dances With Wolves
AKA
Der mit dem Wolf tanzt (Germany)
Year of Film
1990
Director
Kevin Costner
Starring
Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 5/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

It’s hard to believe it’s now 23 years since Kevin Costner’s epic western Dances with Wolves was first released, and whilst it’s easy to be sniffy about later efforts like Waterworld (1995) and The Postman (1997 – also directed by him), this film still stands up as a memorable and touching story of the end of the Wild West and of the Native American’s interaction with The White People whose journey across the country would ultimately prove disastrous for so many tribes. Set during the Civil War, it tells the story of Lieutenant Dunbar (Costner) who actively seeks exile at a lonely frontier outpost and follows his experiences as he copes with the harsh climate, lack of supplies and dealings with the local Indians. Eventually he adapts to life on the frontier and begins to earn the trust of the tribes, but it’s not long before the war, and other less friendly Native Americans, challenge his newfound identity.

This German A1 poster, which features a fantastic portrait of actor Graham Greene alongside Costner, and a shot from the buffalo hunt scene, was illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro, an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 40 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 many German posters as well as others from countries including Japan, UK, North America 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.

For A Few Dollars More / A1 / 1978 re-release / Germany

06.05.14

Poster Poster
Title
For A Few Dollars More
AKA
Per qualche dollaro in più (Italy - original title) | Hævn for dollars (Denmark)
Year of Film
1965
Director
Sergio Leone
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Lee van Cleef, Gian Maria Volontè, Klaus Kinski
Origin of Film
Italy | Spain | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Lee van Cleef, Gian Maria Volontè, Klaus Kinski,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Renato Casaro
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 7/16" x 32 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

An excellent portrait of Clint Eastwood graces this A1 poster for the German re-release of For a Few Dollars More in 1978. The film was the second in legendary director Sergio Leone‘s unofficial ‘Dollars trilogy’, all three of which starred Clint Eastwood and helped put him and the sub-genre of the so-called Spaghetti Western firmly on the cinematic map. Although not conceived by Leone to be a series, The ‘Man with No Name’ concept was coined by the studio United Artists as an angle to sell the films, particularly since Eastwood plays the three different characters with similar mannerisms and dressed in the same attire. Despite the ‘n0 name’ label, Eastwood’s characters have a different nickname in each of the films.

In For a Few Dollars More he plays Manco (Spanish for ‘one-armed man’), a bounty hunter who is on the trail of the ruthless outlaw El Indio (Gian Maria Volonté) and his gang. Whilst on the hunt Manco meets Col. Douglas Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef, who would also appear in the next film in the trilogy) another bounty hunter who is also after the same man, and the two agree to team up and eventually split the reward. As the bullets begin to fly it soon becomes clear that the bounty hunters have different motivations for wanting to kill El Indio.

When I interviewed the artist Renato Casaro for this site earlier this year he talked about his friendship and collaborations with Leone and the following is an excerpt:

———————

You also got to know Sergio Leone?
Yes, I visited the set of ‘Il mio nome è Nessuno’ [My Name is Nobody, 1973] that Leone was co-directing because Terence Hill was starring in it and I was asked to work on the publicity. I later worked on the posters for Once Upon A Time in the West and his other Western films, not only for the Italian market, but also for other countries, including Germany and France. Some of the more established Italian artists worked on his posters in the 1960s because they were still working on the ‘big’ films at that time, as I mentioned.

What happened when it came to painting the re-release posters?
Sandro Symeoni had painted the original Italian poster for A Fistful of Dollars and at that time Clint Eastwood wasn’t the big name star he was a few years later so his face wasn’t painted accurately and the poster just depicts an action scene. When the film was re-released in Germany at the end of the 1970s, Leone asked me to make sure I focused the poster on Eastwood and make it a recognisable portrait of him.

———————

You can read the rest of the interview by clicking here. To see the other posters I’ve collected that were designed and painted by Renato Casaro click here. His official website can be found here.

Nikita / A1 / Germany

29.05.14

Poster Poster
Title
Nikita
AKA
La Femme Nikita (US / UK)
Year of Film
1990
Director
Luc Besson
Starring
Anne Parillaud, Laura Chéron, Tchéky Karyo, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Jean Reno
Origin of Film
France | Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Anne Parillaud, Laura Chéron, Tchéky Karyo, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Jean Reno,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Renato Casaro
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 7/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the German A1 poster for the original release of Luc Besson‘s international breakthrough hit, Nikita, featuring design and artwork by Renato Casaro. A French/Italian co-production, the film stars Anne Parillaud (Besson’s wife at the time) as the titular assassin who starts out as a drug-addicted teenager living a life of crime. When a robbery at a pharmacy goes awry and her friends are killed in a gunfight, Nikita shoots dead a policeman before being arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Soon after arriving in prison, Nikita is kidnapped and wakes up in a specialist facility where she learns that her death has been faked and she has been selected to become part of a secretive government agency simply known as the Centre. Nikita is given the choice of training as an assassin or to end up in the pauper’s grave earmarked for her. When she wisely chooses the former Nikita begins to learn the skills of a stealthy assassin under the guidance of Bob (Tchéky Karyo), her agency handler, and Amande (Jeanne Moreau).

After graduating an becoming a sleeper agent in Paris, Nikita meets and falls in love with Marco (Jean-Hugues Anglade), a man she meets in a supermarket, but before long Centre activates her for assassination missions and both her relationship and life are under threat, especially when a mission inside an embassy gets messy and Victor the Cleaner (Jean Reno) is called to help out. Despite mixed critical reaction the film was an international box-office hit and, for reasons I’ve never understood, was given the lengthier title of La Femme Nikita outside of France and Germany. Four years later Besson and Reno would reunite for the lauded and much-loved Leon: The Professional. In addition, two American TV series have since been made based on the original film.

In 2013 I interviewed the designer and artist Renato Casaro for this site and he mentioned this poster during our chat. This is the excerpt:

—————————–

Every time you worked on a poster you were trying to do something new with your painting style?
Yes, I didn’t want to just recycle the same designs over and over, or paint in the same colours just because it had worked for one poster. I used the airbrush carefully because I didn’t want that to be what I was known for, plus used exclusively it created very cold, artificial artwork. I would always paint the base of any artwork with gouache oils and then use the airbrush to add little bits of texture, like shadows or highlights that would really help to make the original painting that little bit more exciting and realistic. Two posters that I used airbrush almost entirely for were those for Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky and Luc Besson’s Nikita. I’m proud of how both of those turned out, particularly the first one.

I really like the design for Nikita.
Yes, that just came to me one day whilst I was thinking of ideas. I decided that you shouldn’t see her face or what she had done to cause this bright red blood splash onto clean white tiles. The film was quite complex and focused on this woman in crisis so I knew that the poster had to be a sympathetic image to sell it to cinema goers.

——

Renato also mentioned that he’d worked on some ideas for the poster before seeing the film:

Did you ever work on poster ideas without having seen the film or visiting the set?
Very occasionally yes, but I usually made sure I spoke to people involved to have a good idea of the plot and the characters before I’d start doing anything. I did do several sketches for Nikita without good results, but once I’d seen the film it was quite easy to find the right essence for the poster.

—————————–

To read the full interview with Renato Casaro click here. To see the other posters I’ve collected by the artist click here.

Innerspace / A1 / Germany

11.03.14

Poster Poster

This is the German A1 poster for the release of Joe Dante’s 1987 sci-fi comedy Innerspace, in which Dennis Quaid plays the brilliantly named Tuck Pendleton, a loudmouth test pilot who is shrunken to miniature size as part of an experiment and then accidentally injected into the body of hypochondriac Jack Putter (Martin Short) during a robbery at a science lab. Madcap high-jinks ensue and the films nods heavily in the direction of the classic sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage. The film is definitely one of the high points in the myriad of high-concept films of the 1980s and I rate it as one of Joe Dante’s best films.

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. This artwork was also used for the UK video release cover and accompanying poster. To see the other posters I have collected for Innerspace click here. The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

Misery / A1 / Germany

17.07.14

Poster Poster
Title
Misery
Year of Film
1990
Director
Rob Reiner
Starring
James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall, Graham Jarvis
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall, Graham Jarvis,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Renato Casaro
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 7/16" x 33 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The prolific American author Stephen King has had over 60 of his short stories and novels made into films (with several more on the way) and it’s safe to say that not all of them have successfully made the transition. As well as classic horrors like Carrie, The Shining and The Mist, there are clunkers like Lawnmower Man and The Mangler to even things out. Over the years, the author has understandably become very wary about who he allows to adapt his work and there have been some collaborations that have been very successful indeed. Rob Reiner’s film Stand By Me, based on King’s novella of the same name, is a truly great coming-of-age story and was so successful that it convinced King to allow the director to adapt one of his most celebrated novels, the psychological thriller Misery.

Released in 1990, the film focuses on Paul Sheldon (James Caan) a celebrated author of a best-selling series of Victorian-era romance stories featuring the character of Misery Chastain. Having completed the manuscript for his latest novel at the same Colorado hotel he always stays in to write, Sheldon decides to drive back to his home in New York. During a freak blizzard, Paul crashes his car into a snowdrift and loses consciousness. When he wakes he discovers that he’s been rescued by a nurse called Annie Wilkes (a career-best performance by Kathy Bates) who has taken him to her remote cabin and is tending to his injuries. Annie reveals that she’s a superfan of the author and asks to read the manuscript but is angered with the level of profanity.

A few days later she buys a copy of his just-published Misery Chastain novel and is horrified to discover that Paul has decided to kill off the character. The author soon discovers that not only is Annie preventing him from leaving the cabin, she’s also failed to inform anyone that he’s with her. Realising his life is in grave danger, Paul must try to outwit Annie as the tension mounts. The film has a notorious scene involving a sledgehammer that still induces winces even after repeated viewings. Bates would go on to win the Best Actress prize at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes.

 

The excellent artwork on this German A1 was painted by the celebrated Italian artist Renato Casaro who worked on a significant number of German posters during the 1980s and 1990s. In March 2014 I published a lengthy interview I carried out with Renato and that can be read by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by the artists can be seen by clicking here.

Leviathan / A1 / Germany

04.02.15

Poster Poster

Leviathan was one of multiple ‘aliens in the deep’ films released in 1989, with James Cameron’s The Abyss being by far the most successful and memorable of the lot (which also included Deep Star Six and The Evil Below). I have absolutely no idea what made Hollywood decide that underwater peril was the situation du jour at that time, but it wasn’t to last as most of the films performed badly at the box-office and made little critical impact. Only Cameron’s film would go on to gather any kind of cult following and the release of a Director’s Cut of the film certainly helped.

Leviathan is set on a deep-sea mining platform with a crew of eight, including geologist Steven Beck (Peter Weller) a new recruit brought in by the Tri-Oceanic Corp to manage the team. During a routine dive one of the crew slips, falling down a ravine and when they land they discover the wreck of a Soviet submarine called Leviathan hidden in a trench. The team manage to salvage a safe from within the ship and bring it back onto the rig.

After opening it up they discover records relating to the death of crew members of the Leviathan as well as what appears to be a bottle of Vodka. Beck and the crew doctor investigate the fate of the submarine whilst some of the other crew members decide to partake in some of the booze. Unbeknownst to them it contains an alien pathogen which causes the pair who drink it to develop severe rashes and then perish before reanimating as a hideously twisted creature (very much in the vein of the creations seen in John Carpenter’s The Thing). Although Beck and the others manage to expel the creature from the rig, part of it remains onboard and mutates into a multi-tentacled beast which stalks the rest of the crew forcing them to fight for their lives and ultimately abandon the platform.

Unfortunately the film fails to generate much in the way of horror or tension and, though the set designs are top notch, the creature effects are largely woeful, particularly the painfully obviously man in bad rubber suit final version of the creature. Weller gives it his best shot but fails to convince as a hero. Apparently the film was originally going to have more in the way of creature effects and there are clearly whole scenes missing, which all points to studio interference.

This German A1 was designed and painted by Renato Casaro, an Italian-born artist who was working prolifically on German posters during the 1970s and 1980s. I interviewed him for this site in 2013 and he talked about his work for the market:

‘You worked on many posters for the German market. Was there a reason for that?
Yes, Germany didn’t really have many posters designers and artists working during the 1970s and 1980s and I certainly didn’t have much in the way of competition. In the 1950s and 60s they had several good artists working on film posters but after that they all retired or died, so there was a gap. I was really fortunate with that whole situation because I was able to work with most of the distributors over there and I was able to choose to work on some really great projects. My work was in demand so Studio Casaro was very busy, especially in the 1980s. Even when some other markets might have been quiet, there was always a project to do for a German client.’

The poster has some similarities with the US one sheet, designed and painted by John Alvin.

Once Upon A Time In The West / A1 / 1987 re-release / Czechoslovakia

15.09.12

Poster Poster

A striking design on this poster for the 1987 Czechoslovakian re-release of Sergio Leone’s masterpiece Once Upon a Time in the West. The epic 1968 Western stars Charles Bronson as the mysterious Harmonica who arrives in a frontier town and is memorably attacked by a group of trench coat-wearing assassins. Meanwhile, the family of Jill McBain (the gorgeous Claudia Cardinale), who has arrived in the town looking for a fresh start, is brutally slaughtered by unknown perpetrators. The prime suspect Cheyenne (Jason Robards) befriends the widow and joins forces with Harmonica to go after Frank (Henry Fonda in an atypical role), the ruthless gang leader protecting the interests of a railroad company.

This re-release poster features a design by the celebrated Czech artist Zdenek Ziegler. Born in Prague in 1932, Ziegler studied at the Czech Technical University and graduated in 1961. He went on to design over 200 film posters during a 26-year period from 1963 to 1989. The website Terry Posters has a page with a biography of Ziegler and a gallery of his work (with some of them being available to purchase). Since 1990 Ziegler has been a teacher at Academy of Arts in Prague.

Some of his most celebrated designs include a 1970 poster for Hitchock’s Psycho and a great design for Truffaut’s Jules et Jim. His take on the poster for Ridley Scott’s Alien is also very unique.

Red Road / A1 / Czechoslovakia

17.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Red Road
AKA
--
Year of Film
2006
Director
Andrea Arnold
Starring
Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Natalie Press, Paul Higgins, Andrew Armour
Origin of Film
UK | Denmark
Genre(s) of Film
Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston, Natalie Press, Paul Higgins, Andrew Armour,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Czechoslovakia
Year of Poster
2006
Designer
Tomáš Brousil
Artist
Tomáš Brousil
Size (inches)
23 7/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Czech poster for the release of director Andrea Arnold’s 2006 drama Red Road. The film is set in and around Glasgow’s Red Road flats, a series of high-rise blocks designed in a brutalist style that were condemned in 2008 and demolished over five years, starting in 2015. Kate Dickie plays Jackie Morrison, a CCTV operator tasked with monitoring the flats. She is revealed to be living a simple, joyless life based around her work.

One evening a camera picks up the face of a man she wasn’t expecting to see and over the course of the film we watch as Jackie engineers getting closer to Clyde (Tony Curran) who is revealed to be a prisoner that was released early on good behaviour. Jackie hatches a plan to frame Clyde for rape and have him sent back to prison and only at the end of the film do we learn the horrifying reason for her wanting to punish him in such a way.

The film was shot in the Danish Dogme 95 style, which among other rules means utilising only natural lighting (no fake setups) and the use of handheld cameras. The film was rightly lauded and won the prestigious Jury Prize at the Cannes film festival in 2006. Dickie and Curran’s performances were also praised and the pair would go on to win multiple awards in the wake of the film’s release.

A reader of the site got in touch to confirm that the poster was designed by Tomáš Brousil, a renowned graphic artist and designer of fonts who has his own type foundry called Suitcase. According to the Czech Wikipedia page he was born in 1975 in Nitra, Slovakia and started studying at the renowned Academy of Arts in Prague in 2002. Since 2008 he has worked as a teaching assistant for the type designer and professor Jan Solpera. 

 

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial / A1 / Czechoslovakia

16.02.15

Poster Poster
Title
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
AKA
Night Skies (USA working title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Czechoslovakia
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Zdenek Ziegler
Artist
Zdenek Ziegler
Size (inches)
22 7/16" x 32"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Czechoslovakian poster for the first release (in 1984) of Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi masterpiece, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The story of a small alien who gets stranded on earth and meets a young boy called Elliot (Henry Thomas) touched the hearts of millions of movie-goers around the world. Within a year of its release it was crowned the highest-grossing film of all time, overtaking the previous leader, George Lucas’ Star Wars (this record has since been bested by over forty films in the intervening years). 2012 saw E.T. celebrate its 30th anniversary and having watched the blu-ray release recently there’s no question that it has stood the test of time well.

This poster is one of only a few from the worldwide marketing campaign to feature a full depiction of E.T. and this was likely okayed because it’s release in Czechoslovakia came two years after most other territories and revealing the alien would have been less of an issue.

This poster features a design by the celebrated Czech artist Zdenek Ziegler. Born in Prague in 1932, Ziegler studied at the Czech Technical University and graduated in 1961. He went on to design over 200 film posters during a 26-year period from 1963 to 1989. The website Terry Posters has a page with a biography of Ziegler and a gallery of his work (with some of them being available to purchase). Since 1990 Ziegler has been a teacher at Academy of Arts in Prague.

Some of his most celebrated designs include a 1970 poster for Hitchock’s Psycho and a great design for Truffaut’s Jules et Jim. I also have his poster for the re-release of Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West in the collection, as well as a great poster he designed for Ridley Scott’s Alien.

The Terminator / A1 / Czechoslovakia

20.10.14

Poster Poster

James Cameron’s seminal sci-fi classic The Terminator celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and it cannot be overstated how much of an impact the film has had on cinema and culture in general. The careers of Cameron and star Arnold Schwarzenegger were given stratospheric boosts (not so much poor Michael Biehn) and the concepts of time-travel, and killer cyborgs will forever be tied to what would go on to become the Terminator franchise. The film is also arguably the original 80s action blockbuster and would be followed by a slew of increasingly more muscular, explosive flicks starring the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Wills and, of course, Arnie.

The US poster features an iconic photograph of Arnie alongside a lengthy tagline, whilst the UK quad went for an illustration depicting a battle-damaged Terminator showing the endoskeleton underneath. This poster for the Czechoslovakian release of the film in 1990 (two years before the sequel) features a fantastic illustration depicting the cold steel of the endoskeleton with Arnie’s face above and an exposed cranium with what are clearly intended to be electronic pulses in place of a human brain.

The poster was designed and printed by the Czech artist Milan Pecák. A celebrated designer and artist, Pecák was born in 1962 and studied at the Vaclav Hollar School of Fine Arts in Prague before working as an architect and later as a set designer for several films. It was whilst working on the 1986′ ‘Zastihla Me Noc’ that he was first given the opportunity to work on the film’s poster and from then onwards he was in demand as an artist for posters advertising Czech releases, as well as several American films, including Gorillas in the Mist, Mississippi Burning and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In addition to film posters, Pecák is also an accomplished book and magazine cover illustrator and in his spare time works on fine art painting as well as digital graphics.

Milan Pecák’s official website can be viewed here and features several galleries of his work as well as a biography.

Alien / A1 / Czechoslovakia

07.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Alien
AKA
Star Beast (USA - working title) | Alien - Den 8. passager (Denmark)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Czechoslovakia
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Zdenek Ziegler
Artist
Zdenek Ziegler
Size (inches)
22" x 32 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi horror Alien may have turned 35 last year but its impact on cinema and pop culture is still being felt today. The film featured a breakout performance by Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, a member of a deep space mining crew who respond to a distress signal on an unexplored planet and end up fighting for their lives when a malevolent alien creature is brought back onto their ship The Nostromo. Despite countless imitators over the years no one has yet managed to better the original and Scott himself even tried (and fell short IMO) with 2012’s (“definitely not a”) prequel Prometheus.

An excellent but markedly different sequel would follow with 1986s Aliens and I have a hard time choosing between the two when it comes to my personal favourite. Two other significantly less well-received sequels followed in the next 11 years but they did nothing to dampen enthusiasm for the original. British games developers The Creative Assembly were given full access to the 20th Century Fox archives for the film whilst they were creating Alien Isolation, a critically acclaimed first-person survival horror set 15 years after events in the original film and released in 2014.

This poster for the 1982 release in Czechoslovakia features a design by the celebrated Czech artist Zdenek Ziegler. Born in Prague in 1932, Ziegler studied at the Czech Technical University and graduated in 1961. He went on to design over 200 film posters during a 26-year period from 1963 to 1989. The website Terry Posters has a page with a biography of Ziegler and a gallery of his work (with some of them being available to purchase). Since 1990 Ziegler has been a teacher at Academy of Arts in Prague.

Some of his most celebrated designs include a 1970 poster for Hitchock’s Psycho and a great design for Truffaut’s Jules et Jim. I also have his poster for the re-release of Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West in the collection.

Escape From New York / A1 / final / Germany

05.09.13

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title) | John Carpenter's Die Klapper-Schlange [Rattlesnake] (Germany)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Final
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
23 6/16" x 32 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the final poster for the German release of John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic Escape From New York, released as Die Klapper-Schlange (Rattlesnake). I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite of the three (fictional) characters Carpenter and Kurt Russell created together; R.J. MacReady (The Thing), Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) and Snake Plissken (EFNY). The latter is the gruff former war hero and convicted bank robber who is sent onto the island of Manhattan of an alternative 1997, which has been sealed-off as a lawless prison, in search of the American President whose plane crashed there after a terrorist attack. He’s arguably the coolest of the three and is a character much imitated in other lesser films featuring a reluctant hero.

The artwork featured is unique to this poster and I’m unsure who is responsible for it, but I’m assuming it was painted by a German artist. If anyone has any clues please get in touch.

I also have the German teaser poster in the collection and that can be viewed here.

The rest of the John Carpenter posters I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

Escape From New York / A1 / teaser / Germany

25.09.12

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title) | John Carpenter's Die Klapper-Schlange [Rattlesnake] (Germany)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
23 5/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
(see text below)

A simple but effective teaser for the German release of John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic Escape From New York, released as Die Klapper-Schlange (Rattlesnake). I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite of the three (fictional) characters Carpenter and Kurt Russell created together; R.J. MacReady (The Thing), Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) and Snake Plissken (EFNY). The latter is the gruff former war hero and convicted bank robber who is sent onto the island of Manhattan of an alternative 1997, which has been sealed-off as a lawless prison, in search of the American President whose plane crashed there after a terrorist attack. He’s arguably the coolest of the three and is a character much imitated in other lesser films featuring a reluctant hero.

The tagline on this teaser actually spells Plissken as Plessken, which is likely to have been simply an error on the copywriter’s part but may have been intentionally changed (no idea why!). A German friend translated the copy and it reads as follows:

‘Snake Plessken,  the “Rattlesnake”- he has to get in there, where nobody has yet escaped – in a city like a prison – 10 million inhabitants – everyone of them a gangster – New York 1997’

The rest of the John Carpenter posters I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

The Fly / A1 / Hungary

13.01.16

Poster Poster
Title
The Fly
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Hungary
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
22 2/16" x 32 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork features on this poster for the Hungarian release of David Cronenberg‘s sci-fi classic, The Fly. Loosely based on a 1957 short story of the same name by George Langelaan, which was first adapted for the big screen in 1958, the screenplay was written by Cronenberg himself and based on an initial draft by Charles Edward Pogue. The director rewrote most of the characters and dialogue and added themes of identity, sexuality and body horror with which he’d become synonymous.

Cronenberg cast Jeff Goldblum as the gifted but eccentric scientist Seth Brundle who has secretly been working on teleportation of objects from one place to another instantly. He works for Bartok Science Industries but has been working on a pair of ‘telepods’ at his home laboratory. When he’s introduced to the journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) at a ‘meet the press’ event he decides to risk taking her to see his work, which he demonstrates by teleporting inanimate objects. Impressed, Veronica agrees to keep quiet in return for exclusive rights to the story.

Soon afterwards the pair start a romantic relationship as Brundle continues to work on the pods. He decides that he wants to have the pods teleport living tissue and eventually manages to do so successfully with a baboon he’s borrowed from his company. Flushed with success Brundle begins drinking and starts to get paranoid that Veronica has rekindled her relationship with her editor and former lover Stathis Borans John Getz. He decides to try teleporting himself but unbeknownst to him a housefly gets inside the pod with him.

He emerges in the other pod seemingly fine and initially feels he’s come out of the pod an ‘improved’ human with higher strength and stamina. However over the following weeks Brundle’s mood becomes highly erratic and he begins a bodily transformation that starts out with unwanted hairs and fingernails falling out but begins to progress into something much more destructive as he realises his pod had been contaminated. The transformation into ‘Brundlefly’ sees the scientist scrambling for a cure before it’s too late, desperately imploring a pregnant Veronica to help him.

Goldblum’s performance was rightly celebrated and it remains one of his most memorable roles to date. The special effects depicting Brundle’s deterioration were executed by Chris Walas‘ company and ended up rightfully winning an Academy Award. The film is as impressive as it was 30 years ago and is definitely one of Cronenberg’s best.

The artwork on this poster depicting a malevolent creature with fly eyes was painted by an unknown artist and also features the telepod that appeared on the US one sheet (though minus the fly’s leg). If anyone has any ideas who was responsible for it please send me an email.

Here’s the film’s original trailer.

Fire, Ice and Dynamite / A1 / Germany

05.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
Fire, Ice & Dynamite
AKA
Feuer, Eis & Dynamit (Germany - original title)
Year of Film
1990
Director
Willy Bogner
Starring
Roger Moore, Shari Belafonte, Simon Shepherd, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Geoffrey Moore, Connie De Groot
Origin of Film
Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Roger Moore, Shari Belafonte, Simon Shepherd, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Geoffrey Moore, Connie De Groot,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Renato Casaro
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 5/16" x 33 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A detailed painting by Renato Casaro features on this German poster for the release of Fire, Ice and Dynamite. The film, which is actually a series of action sequences held together by a ropey plot, was conceived of and helmed by Willy Bogner, a German alpine ski racer who is perhaps best known for working as a stuntman on several James Bond films, most notably On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but also several of the Roger Moore entries.

Ostensibly an excuse to showcase a range of stunts, the plot part of the film features Moore as Sir George, an rich philanthropist who fakes his own death and sets up a series of sporting events in which his children have to take part to try and win his $135 million fortune. A ruthless pair of villains also get in on the act. According to most reviews I’ve read the plot fizzles out towards the end and only the stunts manage to keep the audience’s attention. The film also features cameos from several sports stars, including Steffi Graf and Nikki Lauda, as well as other celebrities like Isaac Hayes.

One of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro is 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.