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Never Say Never Again / A1 / Germany

25.02.15

Poster Poster

An excellent portrait of Sean Connery surrounded by an action montage features on this German poster for Never Say Never Again, a non-canon James Bond film. The existence and status of the film is due to a long-running legal issue involving Bond creator Ian Fleming and a film producer called Kevin McClory. The pair had worked together on an abandoned Bond project called Longitude 78 that Fleming later turned into the novel Thunderball without crediting the producer or another writer who worked on the project. The case went to the high court and McClory was then given the right to produce the resultant Thunderball film in 1965 as well as the ability to remake the novel turned film after 10 years had elapsed. It took a bit longer than that but eventually McClory brought the same story to the screen in 1983, which happened to be the year that Octopussy, an official entry into the series starring Roger Moore, was released.

Connery wasn’t always in the frame to return as Bond, but after he developed an initial draft of the script with novelist Len Deighton in the 1970s, his name became attached to the project and he was eventually persuaded to star thanks to a significant fee as well as a share of the profits and the ability to veto script and casting decisions. Irvin Kershner came onboard to direct and the rest of the cast was filled with the likes of Max von Sydow as the arch-villain Blofeld and Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximilian Largo (key villain in Thunderball). A young Kim Basinger appears as Domino, the partner of Largo and later a love interest for Bond.

The film’s plot about the hunt for stolen nuclear warheads features a great deal of similarities with Thunderball, given that it is effectively a remake, but there are significant stylistic differences and also several references made to the fact that Connery is playing an older Bond (he was 52 at the time). The ending is hugely different from Thunderball and ditches the now embarrassing sequence on the out-of-control ship and replaces it with a bit of an anticlimactic showdown underwater. The rest of the film is entertaining enough with excellent use of locations and some thrilling action and stunt sequences, although it’s certainly no match for the best of the canonical series. It was favourably received critically at the time of release and supposedly went on to outperform Octopussy at the box office in 1983, which no doubt annoyed the folks at Eon Productions

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. In it he mentions working on this poster and he showed me the original art for the version of the poster where it’s just Connery alone (the advance poster).

The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

Cleopatra Jones / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Cleopatra Jones
AKA
Dynamite Jones (France)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Jack Starrett
Starring
Tamara Dobson, Bernie Casey, Brenda Sykes, Antonio Fargas, Dan Frazer, Bill McKinney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tamara Dobson, Bernie Casey, Brenda Sykes, Antonio Fargas, Dan Frazer, Bill McKinney,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Man Who Fell to Earth / quad / UK

18.08.11

Poster Poster

An absolutely superb design by British artist Vic Fair for Nic Roeg’s seminal sci-fi film The Man Who Fell to Earth. The typography alone is a thing of beauty, particularly that of the main title – I’m not sure who designed it but it’s an undoubted classic. The rock band Iron Maiden later used it for their own band logo.

This is perhaps the best known of Vic Fair’s designs, though he is responsible for many other great posters from the sixties, seventies and eighties, including several for Hammer Horror, Lisztomania and quads for the infamous ‘Confessions…’ series of films. I plan to post another of his best designs in the next few weeks.

This poster is featured in Sim Branaghan’s superb ‘British Film Posters: An Illustrated History’ and he notes:

Probably the best known of Fair’s posters, and the only one regularly credited to him, since he liked it so much at the time he actually signed it.

I personally think this is David Bowie’s finest starring role and no one else could have portrayed the oddity that is Thomas Newton quite as well as him. It’s not my favourite of Nic Roeg’s films though (that would be Don’t Look Now).

The brilliantly nuts original US trailer can be seen on YouTube.

 

Never Say Never Again / re-release / Thailand

16.03.16

Poster Poster

An excellent portrait of Sean Connery surrounded by an action montage features on this German poster for Never Say Never Again, a non-canon James Bond film. The existence and status of the film is due to a long-running legal issue involving Bond creator Ian Fleming and a film producer called Kevin McClory. The pair had worked together on an abandoned Bond project called Longitude 78 that Fleming later turned into the novel Thunderball without crediting the producer or another writer who worked on the project. The case went to the high court and McClory was then given the right to produce the resultant Thunderball film in 1965 as well as the ability to remake the novel turned film after 10 years had elapsed. It took a bit longer than that but eventually McClory brought the same story to the screen in 1983, which happened to be the year that Octopussy, an official entry into the series starring Roger Moore, was released.

Connery wasn’t always in the frame to return as Bond, but after he developed an initial draft of the script with novelist Len Deighton in the 1970s, his name became attached to the project and he was eventually persuaded to star thanks to a significant fee as well as a share of the profits and the ability to veto script and casting decisions. Irvin Kershner came onboard to direct and the rest of the cast was filled with the likes of Max von Sydow as the arch-villain Blofeld and Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximilian Largo (key villain in Thunderball). A young Kim Basinger appears as Domino, the partner of Largo and later a love interest for Bond.

The film’s plot about the hunt for stolen nuclear warheads features a great deal of similarities with Thunderball, given that it is effectively a remake, but there are significant stylistic differences and also several references made to the fact that Connery is playing an older Bond (he was 52 at the time). The ending is hugely different from Thunderball and ditches the now embarrassing sequence on the out-of-control ship and replaces it with a bit of an anticlimactic showdown underwater. The rest of the film is entertaining enough with excellent use of locations and some thrilling action and stunt sequences, although it’s certainly no match for the best of the canonical series. It was favourably received critically at the time of release and supposedly went on to outperform Octopussy at the box office in 1983, which no doubt annoyed the folks at Eon Productions.

This Thai poster features excellent artwork by Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) who was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s. I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947, so if anyone has any more details please get in touch.

Note that this is the re-release version of the poster. The first release version is larger in size and features a Pepsi logo and different printer credit in the bottom right. The re-release is missing the Pepsi logo and the painted image has a slight red tint to it. There’s also some noticeable damage that has been captured during printing. It’s possible that the original art was re-used and by that time it had been damaged, or a first release poster was scanned which had some damage on it. There are marks in various parts of the artwork but the most noticeable one is across Sean Connery’s forehead. Click here to see a picture of the two side by side. If anyone knows anything more about this please leave a comment below.

To see the other posters I’ve collected that were painted by Tongdee click here.

 

Cleopatra Jones / 30×40 / USA

07.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
Cleopatra Jones
AKA
Dynamite Jones (France)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Jack Starrett
Starring
Tamara Dobson, Bernie Casey, Brenda Sykes, Antonio Fargas, Dan Frazer, Bill McKinney, Shelley Winters
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tamara Dobson, Bernie Casey, Brenda Sykes, Antonio Fargas, Dan Frazer, Bill McKinney, Shelley Winters,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/147
Tagline
She's 6 feet 2" of Dynamite... and the Hottest Super Agent Ever!

An excellent design on this 30×40 poster for the release of one the most prominent entries in the blaxploitation genre, 1973’s Cleopatra Jones. The late Tamara Dobson stars as the eponymous secret agent who masquerades as a catwalk model in order to disguise her real job, which sees her traveling the globe and tackling drug gangs. After burning down a Turkish poppy field used to create heroin by the kingpin Mommy (Shelley Winters), Cleopatra returns to Los Angeles to arrest the dirty cops on the cartel’s payroll. An incensed Mommy tracks our heroine back home and tries to prevent her dismantling the rest of her drug operation.

The film is notable for being the first in the genre to feature a strong female lead who uses physical strength and combat skills to battle adversaries, and because of its box-office success was later followed by films such as CoffyBlack Belt Jones and Foxy Brown. Dobson would return for the sequel Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold, which was released two years later but saw nowhere near the same level of success, mostly due to the blaxploitation genre’s waning appeal at that time.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the design of this poster, or for the hand-drawn artwork featured on it, so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

The trailer is on YouTube.

Ocean’s Eleven / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Hit Man / 30×40 / USA

14.09.11

Poster Poster
Title
Hit Man
AKA
--
Year of Film
1972
Director
George Armitage
Starring
Bernie Casey, Pam Grier, Lisa Moore, Bhetty Waldron, Sam Laws, Candy All, Don Diamond, Ed Cambridge, Bob Harris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bernie Casey, Pam Grier, Lisa Moore, Bhetty Waldron, Sam Laws, Candy All, Don Diamond, Ed Cambridge, Bob Harris,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/13
Tagline
He aims to please.

Excellent artwork for this entry into the 1970s Blaxploitation genre. Hit Man was based on the novel Jack’s Return Home by Ted Lewis that had been previously filmed as the British classic Get Carter a year before this.

Check out the superb trailer on YouTube.

This particular poster is the 30×40 version, printed on thicker paper and typically used for drive-in screenings or at larger cinemas. You’ll notice that the NSS and copyright information at the bottom has been cut off, probably due to a printing error (it hasn’t been trimmed).