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Poppies Are Also Flowers / A1 / Germany

21.09.15

Poster Poster

Five great portraits painted by Renato Casaro feature on this German re-release poster for Poppies Are Also Flowers (AKA Danger Grows Wild and several other titles). Made as an anti-drug trafficking film with the help of the United Nations, it was sponsored by corporate entities, including Xerox.  As this poster attests, it was based on a screenplay by James Bond creator Ian Fleming, was directed by Bond director Terence Young and had a seriously star-studded cast. The likes of Yul BrynnerAngie DickinsonTrevor Howard and Marcello Mastroianni all signed up and, so the story goes, worked for $1 each. Some serious favours must have been called in as I find it hard to believe they were all passionately anti-narcotics!

The story is described thusly on the film’s Wikipedia page:

In an attempt to stem the heroin trade at the Afghanistan–Iran border, a group of narcotics agents working for the United Nations inject a radioactive compound into a seized shipment of opium, in the hopes that it will lead them to the main heroin distributor in Europe.

Now largely forgotten, the film is apparently in the public domain and is available to watch on YouTube and elsewhere (although the quality of all copies out there is atrocious). Although originally intended for TV, the film was given a cinema release in several countries, including Japan, UK (as Danger Grows Wild) and Germany. This poster is apparently for a 1973 re-release (for what reason I’m not certain) and the original German release poster can be seen here. Casaro was clearly tasked with making the film appear as exciting as possible and added the action scenes in the bottom half of the poster. It’s safe to say that for all the effort that went it to making the film it wasn’t exactly successful in curtailing the activities of the international drug trade!

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.

Dressed To Kill / quad / UK

16.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Dressed To Kill
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Brian De Palma
Starring
Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon, Dennis Franz, David Margulies, Ken Baker, Susanna Clemm, Brandon Maggart
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon, Dennis Franz, David Margulies, Ken Baker, Susanna Clemm, Brandon Maggart,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Every Nightmare Has A Beginning...This One Never Ends

Brian De Palma‘s 1980 erotic crime thriller Dressed to Kill is frequently held up as a high-watermark in the career of the virtuoso director, and the film saw him perfecting the technical and stylistic flourishes he had been honing in the years before with films such as Sisters (1973) and Obsession (1976). Blending obvious homages to Hitchcock (Vertigo and Psycho for starters) with several hallmarks of the Italian Giallo genre, the film features multiple plot twists and outlandish sequences, including the murder of one of the main characters after 35 minutes.

The plot ostensibly focuses on the murder of a sexually frustrated housewife, and the subsequent investigation by her son and the high-class call girl who was the only witness to the crime. It features memorable turns from Angie DickinsonNancy Allen (De Palma’s wife at the time) and Michael Caine in one of his more atypical performances. The reveal of the identity of the killer is one of the film’s most infamous moments and certainly lingers long in the memory after the credits roll.

This British quad is as subdued as the US one sheet, sharing the same stylised image of the killer peeking through the bathroom door (if memory serves me correctly this particular image was created specifically for the poster). The American one sheet features the moniker that De Palma had been given at the time; ‘The Master of the Macabre’.

The trailer is on YouTube.

Dressed To Kill / B2 / black style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Dressed To Kill
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Brian De Palma
Starring
Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon, Dennis Franz, David Margulies, Ken Baker, Susanna Clemm, Brandon Maggart
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon, Dennis Franz, David Margulies, Ken Baker, Susanna Clemm, Brandon Maggart,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Black style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Death Hunt / 30×40 / USA

11.04.16

Poster Poster
Title
Death Hunt
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Peter Hunt
Starring
Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Andrew Stevens, Carl Weathers, Ed Lauter, Scott Hylands, Angie Dickinson, Henry Beckman, William Sanderson, Jon Cedar, James O'Connell, Len Lesser
Origin of Film
USA | Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Andrew Stevens, Carl Weathers, Ed Lauter, Scott Hylands, Angie Dickinson, Henry Beckman, William Sanderson, Jon Cedar, James O'Connell, Len Lesser,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Solie
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810073
Tagline
The Saga Of Two Rivals Who Clash As Enemies And Triumph As Heroes.

Great artwork by the American artist John Solie features on this 30×40 poster for the release of the 1981 action film Death Hunt. The film stars two acting legends, Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin, and was directed by Peter Hunt who was best known for being the editor of the first three James Bond films, as well as the director of one of the best films in the series, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). The story is a heavily fictionalised retelling of the manhunt for the real life fugitive Albert Johnson, dubbed the Mad Trapper, who shot a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer and went on the run in the Yukon territory in Canada in the early 1930s.

Bronson plays Johnson as a sympathetic character who we are first seen rescuing a dog from a vicious dogfight and assaulting its owner, another trapper called Hazel (Ed Lauter), when he tries to stop him. Later Hazel leads his gang of men to try and retrieve the dog but they end up shooting at Johnson’s cabin and killing the dog. During the firefight one of the trappers is shot in the head and at this point they manage to persuade aging RCMP officer Millen (Marvin) to visit Johnson’s cabin to investigate along with his colleagues, including Sundog (Carl Weathers).

Millen attempts to reason with him but one of Hazel’s men opens fire and another firefight begins. Johnson manages to escape and a full scale manhunt is launched which soon attracts the attention of other trappers looking to cash in on the $1000 bounty, as well as an air force pilot, Captain Hank Tucker (Scott Hylands) who sets off in his biplane to find Johnson. Millen is determined to bring in Johnson without having to kill him and follows the trapper deep into the wilderness. The film makes great use of real Canadian scenery and the outdoor locations used are stunning. Bronson and Marvin are on good form and watchable as always, plus the supporting turns by the likes of Weathers are good too.

John Solie has been working as an illustrator for over 40 years. Film posters are just one aspect of his output, which also includes book and magazine covers, sculptures, portraits and work for NASA. He continues to paint today in Tucson, Arizona. Another gallery of his work can be viewed on Wrong Side of the Art.

Here are the posters by John Solie I have collected to date.