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Escape to Victory / quad / UK

13.06.14

Poster Poster

Something of a cult classic, Escape to Victory is arguably the most famous film to revolve around The Beautiful Game. Based on 1962 Hungarian film called Két félidő a pokolban by director Zoltán Fábri the film, which is set during WWII, tells the story of a football match played in Paris by a team of Prisoners of War against a German side, seen as a propaganda event. The team is led by John Colby (Michael Caine) who is determined to win the game despite the distraction of other POWs who want to use the cover of the game to escape. Sylvester Stallone plays Hatch, an American POW who is at the vanguard of the escape attempt and actually manages to get out of the camp prior to the game to meet up with resistance leaders in Paris. After planning the big breakout, Hatch must get recaptured and returned to the POW camp in order to communicate the plans to the others. When the big day arrives, Hatch is put into goal and Colby persuades the team to see the match through to the final whistle before they make their escape.

The film notoriously features a host of real life professional footballers who were involved in the game and doubled for the actors or played on the German team, including the Brazilian superstar PeléBobby MooreOsvaldo Ardiles and a whole host of players from the English team Ipswich Town, who were one of the most successful British sides at the time of the film’s release. English goalkeeping legend Gordon Banks, who played during the 1966 world cup that England won, worked behind the scenes and coached Stallone to ensure his scenes in goal were realistic enough for the film’s audience.

This UK quad takes the central figures from the US one sheet (where the film was titled simply Victory) that were painted by the artist David Jarvis and adds a montage that was illustrated by the British designer Vic Fair, who also designed the poster. Jarvis is perhaps best known for his illustration on the US one sheet for Walter Hill’s The Warriors. Having completed a degree in illustration at the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design, Jarvis went on to work as a freelance illustrator producing over thirty designs for film posters, as well as record sleeves, magazine covers and more. He also worked as an artist for Disney studios on the films Mulan and Tarzan. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

One of the most important designer/artists ever to work on British film marketing, Vic Fair is responsible for several iconic posters, including The Man Who Fell To Earth, posters for Hammer horrors like Vampire Circus, and the withdrawn advance one sheet for A View to a Kill. I interviewed the artist for this site and that article can be viewed by clicking here.

Where Eagles Dare / B2 / Japan

05.06.13

Poster Poster

Great artwork by the Italian/French artist Jean Mascii on this Japanese B2 for the 1968 WWII action-adventure Where Eagles Dare, starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. Scottish novelist Alistair MacLean was apparently commissioned by Burton to write a ‘boys-own’ action thriller that the actor could take his son to see. MacLean, who was already responsible for several successful novels-turned-films, including Guns of Navarone and Ice Station Zebra, wrote the book for Where Eagles Dare at the same time as the screenplay. The film would end up differing from the book, with the screenplay featuring significantly more violence – the film is often thought to feature Eastwood’s highest on-screen bodycount.

The story, set in the winter of 1943, sees Burton’s army major tasked with leading a team of commandos on a mission to a castle high in the Bavarian Alps to rescue a captured American General who, unknown to the Nazis, has detailed knowledge of the planned D-Day landings. Joining the team is Lieutenant Schaffer (Eastwood) an American ranger who is puzzled by his inclusion, but as the men scale the mountain to reach the castle and undertake their mission several members of the team reveal their true plans.

Jean Mascii was born in Italy in 1923 and moved with his parents to France in 1932. In 1947 he was given his first job painting cinema billboards and from there he moved onto designing and painting film posters and is thought to have worked on over 2000 of them during his career, including several undisputed classics such as the poster for Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville and George Franju’s Les Yeux Sans Visage. The Cinesud site features a gallery of hundreds of his posters that’s well worth browsing.

I’m not 100% certain that this Japanese version of Where Eagles Dare was painted by Mascii but I’ve seen the painting, which also features on a British quad (with some differences – Burton’s face being one), credited to him several times. There is also an alternative French poster (image taken from eatbrie.com) for the film that is credited to the artist. If anyone know for certain that Mascii can be credited with this painting please get in touch.

Victory / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Something of a cult classic, Victory (AKA Escape to Victory) is arguably the most famous film to revolve around The Beautiful Game. Based on 1962 Hungarian film called Két félidő a pokolban by director Zoltán Fábri the film, which is set during WWII, tells the story of a football match played in Paris by a team of Prisoners of War against a German side, seen as a propaganda event. The team is led by John Colby (Michael Caine) who is determined to win the game despite the distraction of other POWs who want to use the cover of the game to escape. Sylvester Stallone plays Hatch, an American POW who is at the vanguard of the escape attempt and actually manages to get out of the camp prior to the game to meet up with resistance leaders in Paris. After planning the big breakout, Hatch must get recaptured and returned to the POW camp in order to communicate the plans to the others. When the big day arrives, Hatch is put into goal and Colby persuades the team to see the match through to the final whistle before they make their escape.

The film notoriously features a host of real life professional footballers who were involved in the game and doubled for the actors or played on the German team, including the Brazilian superstar PeléBobby MooreOsvaldo Ardiles and a whole host of players from the English team Ipswich Town, who were one of the most successful British sides at the time of the film’s release. English goalkeeping legend Gordon Banks, who played during the 1966 world cup that England won, worked behind the scenes and coached Stallone to ensure his scenes in goal were realistic enough for the film’s audience.

This US one sheet was illustrated by the artist David Jarvis who is perhaps best known for his illustration on the poster for Walter Hill’s The Warriors. Having completed a degree in illustration at the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design, Jarvis went on to work as a freelance illustrator producing over thirty designs for film posters, as well as record sleeves, magazine covers and more. He also worked as an artist for Disney studios on the films Mulan and Tarzan. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Check out the UK quad that also features Jarvis’ artwork but adds a montage by Vic Fair.