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Cannonball / B2 / Japan

13.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Cannonball
AKA
Carquake (UK) | Cannonball! (alt. title)
Year of Film
1976
Director
Paul Bartel
Starring
David Carradine, Bill McKinney, Veronica Hamel, Gerrit Graham, Robert Carradine, Belinda Balaski, Judy Canova, Archie Hahn, Carl Gottlieb, Dick Miller
Origin of Film
USA | Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
David Carradine, Bill McKinney, Veronica Hamel, Gerrit Graham, Robert Carradine, Belinda Balaski, Judy Canova, Archie Hahn, Carl Gottlieb, Dick Miller,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Paul Bartel, the late actor/director who was at the helm of the cult b-movie Death Race 2000 (released a year earlier), stuck with the cross-country car chase theme with this 1976 flick Cannonball, though he removed most of the gore that gave the former film its notoriety. The film and title are based on the exploits of Erwin G. “Cannon Ball” Baker, a legendary bike and car racer who made over 140 cross-country speed runs during his career and put his name to the Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, an illegal cross-country race that was run five times during the 1970s. This was the first in a series of films that was based on the idea of illegal long-distance races, with The Gumball Rally seeing release the same year, and the more successful Cannonball Run and its sequel being released at the start of the 1980s.

Whilst perhaps not as star-studded as the later films, Cannonball still has a large ensemble cast with several cameos that are both credited and un-credited, including Martin Scorsese, Sylvester Stallone, Don Simpson and Roger Corman. David Carradine appears as Coy ‘Cannonball’ Buckman, a race driver who has recently been released from jail where he was sent for killing someone whilst driving drunk. He decides to enter the Trans-America Grand Prix, an illegal road race that travels between Los Angeles and New York City. The racing team Modern Motors has promised a contract to either Coy or his arch-rival Cade Redman (Bill McKinney) so he is determined to win.

Because the race crosses state lines Coy will be in violation of his parole conditions, his parole officer (Veronica Hamel) attempts to stop him and ends up being forced to come along for the ride. Two people who have offered to pay his race expenses are also passengers in his Dodge Charger and there are several other racers in the competition, including a surfer dude played by David’s brother Robert and his girlfriend (played by Belinda Balaski). The race soon descends into a violent destruction derby with many of the competitors meeting grizzly ends. Coy will be challenged in more ways than one and the first to cross the finish line isn’t who you might think. Later films in the genre would tone down the violence and deaths considerably.

This Japanese B2 poster features a unique montage design and was printed for the film’s first release in the country in 1977. Note the miss-spelling of the title as ‘Canonnball’.

 

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.

Deliverance / B2 / Japan

21.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
Deliverance
AKA
Un tranquillo week-end di paura [A calm weekend of fear] (Italy)
Year of Film
1972
Director
John Boorman
Starring
Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Seamon Glass, Randall Deal, Bill McKinney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Seamon Glass, Randall Deal, Bill McKinney,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

John Boorman‘s classic survival tale will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year and it remains a powerful and unique film, with no remake or imitations muddying its legacy. Deliverance has firmly entered the public consciousness and is almost guaranteed to be referenced when film and TV characters leave the city to head into the wild.

It also introduced the idea of mountain men (hillbillies) to folks who’d never visited the kind of country seen in the film. Finally, there’s the famous ‘Duelling Banjos’ music and the oft-quoted ‘squeal like piggy!’ line taken from the infamous rape scene.

This Japanese poster features a mixture of photography and artwork. It appears that the canoes are photographic whilst the river has been enhanced with illustration. The shotgun rising from the water is featured on a handful of other posters for the film, including the British quad and the style B US one sheet.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Carny / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Carny
AKA
Carny - un corpo per due uomini [A Body for Two Men] (Italy)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Robert Kaylor
Starring
Gary Busey, Jodie Foster, Robbie Robertson, Meg Foster, Kenneth McMillan, Elisha Cook Jr., Tim Thomerson, Teddy Wilson, John Lehne, Bill McKinney, Bert Remsen, Woodrow Parfrey
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Gary Busey, Jodie Foster, Robbie Robertson, Meg Foster, Kenneth McMillan, Elisha Cook Jr., Tim Thomerson, Teddy Wilson, John Lehne, Bill McKinney, Bert Remsen, Woodrow Parfrey,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
800081
Tagline
When you're young and going nowhere... the Carny looks like a good way out.

First Blood / large / Thailand

08.12.16

Poster Poster
Title
First Blood
AKA
Rambo (multiple countries)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Ted Kotcheff
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbott, Chris Mulkey
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbott, Chris Mulkey,
Type of Poster
Thai one sheet
Style of Poster
Large style
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tongdee Panumas | Drew Struzan (original Rambo figure holding gun, repainted by Tongdee)
Size (inches)
27.5" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the scarce, large-size poster for the Thai release of the first film in what would become known as the Rambo series, First Blood. Helmed by the Canadian director Ted Kotcheff, the film was co-written by the film’s star Sylvester Stallone. Stallone would eventually become best known for two series that between them saw 11 films released over a 40 year period; the Rocky boxing saga and Rambo. The first Rocky film had been met with critical and commercial success when it was released in 1976. A sequel followed three years later and Stallone had Rocky III in cinemas at the same time as First Blood (1982). The latter cemented the actor as a box-office behemoth and he became one of the 1980’s action megastars, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis.

First Blood started life as a 1972 novel by author David Morrell which had its rights optioned by Columbia Pictures almost immediately. The project then spent the next decade bouncing between studios, producers and directors. Eventually Stallone was offered the lead role and Ted Kotcheff agreed to direct for the legendary producers Mario Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna of Carolco Pictures.

John J. Rambo (Stallone) is a former US Special Forces soldier who has returned from Vietnam still haunted and disoriented by his experiences there. He decides to pay a visit to an ex-forces friend by hitchhiking across the country. When he arrives he discovers that his pal died soon after returning from the war due to exposure to Agent Orange. Rambo continues his journey on foot and eventually arrives in the small town of Hope, Washington. There he is confronted and abused by the local sheriff known as Teasle (Brian Dennehy) who drives Rambo out of town and tells him not to return.

Deciding to defy the orders, Rambo is soon arrested by Teasle for a series of bogus charges. Whilst in detention and being sadistically attacked by the other corrupt sheriffs, Rambo has flashbacks to being a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. Fearing for his life, he fights his way out of the jail. There then follows a cat and mouse chase as he flees into the nearby forest, pursued by Teasle and a gang of his men. He manages to evade and outwit the sheriffs and eventually his former commanding officer Trautman (an excellent Richard Crenna) arrives in Hope to help with the situation. Trautman warns the lawmen that Rambo will not come quietly and urges them not to corner him. When they fail to heed his warning, a series of violent encounters ends with Rambo pitched against Teasle in a night-time confrontation.

The film was a huge box-office success on its release, although film critics were less than impressed at the time. It would later be given a critical reappraisal and quickly gained cult status once it was released on home video. Two sequels were released in the 1980s but these were much more gung-ho and violent than the original. It’s often forgotten how relatively tame the first Rambo film is compared to the three sequels, particularly the later revival film, Rambo (2008).

This is one of three Thai posters that exist for First Blood. At least one of them is for a later re-release but I believe this poster, which is the size of a US one-sheet, was printed for the original cinema release in Thailand. The main figure of Rambo with the giant machine gun is based on the artwork by Drew Struzan that was used on the American one sheet and British quad. It has been repainted by Tongdee and the rest of the poster is of the artist’s own creation.

Tongdee Panumas was an incredibly prolific 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.

Tabloid / one sheet / USA

07.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Tabloid
AKA
--
Year of Film
2010
Director
Errol Morris
Starring
Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams, Jackson Shaw, Kent Gavin
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Joyce McKinney, Peter Tory, Troy Williams, Jackson Shaw, Kent Gavin,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 12/16"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
An Errol Morris love story

Tabloid is a 2010 documentary by celebrated filmmaker Errol Morris, who’s probably best known for 1988’s The Thin Blue Line, a documentary about a murder case with a wrongful conviction that is widely accepted to have been instrumental in the innocent person being freed about a year after the film’s release. Tabloid looks at the strange case of the one-time American beauty queen Joyce McKinney who traveled to the UK in the 1970s and kidnapped a Mormon missionary whom she had met and fallen and love with back in the US. Joyce was arrested by UK police and tried in court whilst the case became known as the ‘Mormon sex in chains case‘, after the missionary claimed he had been shackled and raped by Joyce who eventually fled the UK in disguise.

The film’s title references the fact that the case became a cause célèbre amongst the UK tabloid newspapers, with the Daily Express and Daily Mirror both vying for readers and battling for exclusives, especially once sordid details about Joyce’s previous life as a nude model and prostitute were revealed. The film is a fascinating watch but it doesn’t paint a flattering portrait of Joyce who is interviewed throughout, and she comes across as a delusional exhibitionist who is clearly trying to distance herself from her early life. Although initially happy to be associated with the film, and traveling around to various festivals with Morris, Joyce decided to sue the film’s makers in 2011 because she felt it portrayed her as “crazy, a sex offender, an S&M prostitute, and/or a rapist”. The case was thrown out by a judge in 2013 and there’s some mention of her taking it to another court in this article, though it’s unclear whether McKinney continues to pursue it to this day.

I’ve been unable to find out who designed this one sheet so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

Bronco Billy / one sheet / USA

27.02.12

Poster Poster

One of Clint Eastwood’s lesser known outings, Bronco Billy is nevertheless apparently one of the actor-director’s favourites amongst his myriad films. It was pitched firmly in the vein of his earlier Orangutan-featuring screwball comedy dramas, Every Which Way But Loose and its sequel. The studio presumably hoped to ape their success, but in the end the film failed to generate similar box-office numbers.

Eastwood stars as the titular Billy, the leader of a traveling Wild West show and so-called ‘fastest guns in the West’. Things aren’t looking too great for the show and go from bad to worse when they pick up Antoinette Lilly (Sondra Locke) a wealthy heiress who has been abandoned by her future husband. Antoinette must learn to cope without the luxuries she has become accustomed to whilst Billy struggles to keep the show afloat. Eventually the pair strike up a relationship, but it’s not long before Antoinette’s former life catches up with her.

This US one sheet features artwork by American Roger Huyssen, a commercial artist who has worked on advertising campaigns for some of the world’s largest brands, as well as magazine covers, packaging design and several movie posters. His website features plenty of samples of his work and this poster can be seen on there. He often partners with lettering designer Gerard Huerta (working as 2H studio) as is the case on this poster. You’ll notice both signatures are included on the poster.

It’s a brilliantly detailed and colourful design and works perfectly for the film it’s advertising. I particularly like the idea of using a billboard in the style of the Wild West show to display the film’s title.

The film’s trailer is on YouTube.

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
--

First Blood / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
First Blood
AKA
Rambo (multiple countries)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Ted Kotcheff
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbott, Chris Mulkey
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbott, Chris Mulkey,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820158
Tagline
This time he's fighting for his life.

The Outlaw Josey Wales / B2 / style A / Japan

12.07.13

Poster Poster

The Outlaw Josey Wales is widely considered to be one of the best Westerns of all time, and certainly one of Clint Eastwood‘s finest efforts. Inspired by the 1972 novel The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales by Forrest Carter, the film was originally to be helmed by Philip Kaufman who had written the script and been through pre-production before being fired from the set a few days into filming, with Eastwood himself taking the director’s chair for the remainder of the production. Set towards the end of the American Civil War, Josey Wales (Eastwood) is a peaceful Missouri farmer who is driven to revenge after his family is brutally murdered by a sadistic Union officer and his farm razed to the ground.

Wales joins a group of pro-Confederate rebels to fight and when the war ends his group is ordered to surrender peacefully, which Wales refuses to be part of. Following the massacre of most of his group, Wales attacks and kills several men and the Union captain places a bounty on his head as he flees. On his journey, Wales reluctantly picks up a diverse bunch of companions, including two Native American Indians, and he tries his best to evade the union troops and bounty hunters on their trail and start a new life for himself. This was the first film that paired Sondra Locke with Eastwood and was the beginning of their romance that lasted for fourteen years.

This Japanese B2 is the ‘style A’ poster for the film’s release there and there are three B2s in total, including the style C, which uses the same artwork as the US one sheet. This artwork is an adapted version of the alternative artwork as seen on the US 40×60 and half-sheet posters. All original American posters were designed by Eastwood’s long-time film marketing collaborator, the great Bill Gold, and this painting was by an American artist call Roy Andersen. According to this biography Andersen passed away last year but throughout his career he was known for his work depicting Native Americans and Old West images, including cowboys and related scenes. Artnet has an extensive gallery of his works here.

First Blood / B2 / bike style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
First Blood
AKA
Rambo (multiple countries)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Ted Kotcheff
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbott, Chris Mulkey
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbott, Chris Mulkey,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Bike
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

First Blood / B2 / gun style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
First Blood
AKA
Rambo (multiple countries)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Ted Kotcheff
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbott, Chris Mulkey
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbott, Chris Mulkey,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Gun
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Gauntlet / B2 / artwork / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Gauntlet
AKA
L'uomo nel mirino [The man in the (gun) scope] (Italy)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Clint Eastwood
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Frank Frazetta
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Gauntlet / B2 / photo style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Gauntlet
AKA
L'uomo nel mirino [The man in the (gun) scope] (Italy)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Clint Eastwood
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Photo style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Gauntlet / one sheet / commercial / USA

20.12.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Gauntlet
AKA
L'uomo nel mirino [The man in the (gun) scope] (Italy)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Clint Eastwood
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, Michael Cavanaugh, Carole Cook, Mara Corday, Doug McGrath, Jeff Morris,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Commercial
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Frank Frazetta
Size (inches)
27 12/16" x 39 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Fantastic artwork by the late, great Frank Frazetta on this poster for the 1977 action film, The Gauntlet, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. The film marked the second pairing of Eastwood with his then off-screen girlfriend Sondra Locke, here playing a prostitute who is being hunted by the Mob, with Eastwood as the cop assigned to protect her.

Frazetta was the perfect choice to depict Eastwood as a muscled-up action star with his long career creating fantasy and science-fiction artwork featuring hulking warriors and improbably curvy ladies. Frazetta was much admired for his unique style and was a strong influence on many other illustrators over the years. He worked on illustrations for comics, as well as album and book covers and a handful of film posters.

Some galleries of his work can be seen here. A selection of comic covers and other film posters can be seen on this site. Frazetta sadly passed away in 2010 but there is no question that his legacy lives on through his wonderful artwork.

This particular poster was released at the same time as the regular one sheet (with credits etc) and shows the full artwork at (close to) 27″ x 41″. It’s technically counted as a commerical poster and my belief is that it was for sale in cinemas or at certain stores in the US.

The other Frazetta posters I’ve managed to collect can be seen here.

 

The Outlaw Josey Wales / B2 / style C / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Shootist / quad / UK

10.07.13

Poster Poster
Title
The Shootist
Year of Film
1976
Director
Don Siegel
Starring
John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard, James Stewart, Richard Boone, Hugh O'Brian, Bill McKinney, Harry Morgan, John Carradine, Sheree North, Rick Lenz, Scatman Crothers
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard, James Stewart, Richard Boone, Hugh O'Brian, Bill McKinney, Harry Morgan, John Carradine, Sheree North, Rick Lenz, Scatman Crothers,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
John Raymer
Artist
Roger Coleman
Size (inches)
30" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The unforgettable drama of a legendary gunfighter's last days.

A superb portrait of the late, great John Wayne on this British quad for the release of The Duke’s last film, 1976’s The Shootist. Directed by Don Siegel, the film depicts the last days of a legendary gunfighter named J. B. Books and it actually begins with a montage of clips from Wayne’s earlier cowboy films. In the early 20th century, at the ‘end’ of the wild west, Books arrives in Carson City, Nevada and, after seeking an audience with a doctor, is told that he has terminal cancer and has only a couple of months left to live. He rents a room from the widow Bond Rogers (Lauren Bacall) and her son Gillom (Ron Howard) with the intention of planning a quiet and dignified end to his life, but his mere presence in the town sets of a chain of events with various characters keen to take advantage of Books’ predicament. Before long, the legendary shootist realises that he’s going to have to end his life with bang, not a whimper.

This British quad was designed at the London advertising outfit Lonsdales by a gentleman called John Raymer and was painted by the freelance artist Roger Coleman. Unique to the UK campaign, the intimate portrait of a grizzled Wayne was commissioned by Paramount Pictures UK as they felt that the original US poster, painted by Richard Amsel, had contributed to the film’s poor domestic box office performance.

As detailed in Sim Branaghan’s superb British Film Posters book, John Raymer was born in 1933 in South Norwood, South London, and went on to attend the nearby Croydon School of Art where he gained a National Diploma after specialising in book illustration. After completing his National Service he returned home in 1955 and was taken on by a design agency called Greenly’s situated on Berkeley Square in central London. The agency had held the Paramount account since 1922 and Raymer was finally given the opportunity to work on it in 1967, which was a year before the designer Frank Pickford, who had been on the account since day one, retired from the agency.

By the mid 1960s Richard Lonsdale-Hands had taken over the agency and there was clear recognition that the traditional model of adapting a US campaign for the UK market was no longer working. Sim’s book features a fascinating account from Raymer on the way Lonsdales dealt with being given more freedom to create publicity better suited to UK audiences. In 1975 the designer moved to the rival agency Downton’s where he apparently found the change of pace quite difficult to adapt to initially, with the requests for multiple designs per week being quite a change from his experience at the more sedate Lonsdales. When the illustrated cinema poster work began to slow down in the 1980s he started, like many other designers and artists, to work on video covers as well as a handful of quads, often in collaboration with the illustrator Brian Bysouth. He finally retired in 1993, and at the time of the publishing of Sim’s book was painting local scenes that were being sold in local galleries in his native Surrey.

Roger Coleman, one of several freelance illustrators used by Lonsdales, was born in South Wigston, Leicestershire in 1930 and studied painting at Leicester College of Art before winning a national portrait competition in 1952. He then went on to study at the Royal College of Art in London and eventually joined the editorial staff of Design magazine where he wrote about art and design and organised several exhibitions. In 1960 he was taken on by the agency Artist Partners and thus began several years of working on film campaigns, which included posters for films such as Catch 22 (1970) and Bad News Bears (1976) as well as concepts for the posters for Kubrick’s 2001. The Shootist is probably Coleman’s most famous printed poster, which the artist recalls was painted in six days, and the striking image of Wayne undoubtedly helped the film to success at the UK box office.