You Searched For: Brian%2BDavies

Life of Brian / one sheet / style A / USA

18.04.12

Poster Poster

Probably my favourite of the five cinematic outings by the Monty Python crew, Life of Brian is one of the funniest films ever made and the brilliant satirical humour hasn’t diminished at all in the thirty plus years since its release. Infamously causing an uproar with various religious groups, it also saw EMI, the original financial backers, pulling out during production claiming the script was blasphemous. Luckily, George Harrison stepped in with the finance, apparently after realising it may have been the last chance to see another Python film in cinemas. His company HandMade Films was formed as a result of this deal.

The film’s religion-baiting story sees a man called Brian (Graham Chapman) born at the same time as Jesus Christ and initially mistaken for the Messiah, who ends up living an unremarkable life under the Roman occupation of Judea. Things take a fateful turn when his infatuation with a young rebel called Judith (Sue Jones-Davies) leads him to join the People’s Front of Judea, a bickering group who have decided to take a stand against the emperor.

The film raised the ire of several religious groups who were outraged at the concept, despite most of them having never even seen the film, and it was only given a general release once several cuts had been made. Despite the edits, several local UK councils banned the film from being shown at cinemas within their boroughs. Apparently some of these bans lasted until very recently, with the Welsh town of Aberystwyth finally lifting its one in 2009, which then saw a screening of the film attended by Jones, Michael Palin and Sue Jones-Davies, who was the then mayor of the town.

One of the more infamous bans was carried out by the Norwegians who refused to allow the film to be screened at all, which lead some of the international marketing material for the film to be emblazoned with the proclamation ‘So funny it was banned in Norway!’

This is the American one sheet for the release of the film featuring illustration by an artist I have been unable to identify. William Stout had previously provided an illustration for an alternative one sheet, which can be seen here.

The original American trailer can be seen on YouTube.

Life of Brian / quad / 1988 re-release / UK

11.04.14

Poster Poster

Probably my favourite of the five cinematic outings by the Monty Python crew, Life of Brian is one of the funniest films ever made and the brilliant satirical humour hasn’t diminished at all in the thirty plus years since its release. Infamously causing an uproar with various religious groups, it also saw EMI, the original financial backers, pulling out during production claiming the script was blasphemous. Luckily, George Harrison stepped in with the finance, apparently after realising it may have been the last chance to see another Python film in cinemas. His company HandMade Films was formed as a result of this deal.

The film’s religion-baiting story sees a man called Brian (Graham Chapman) born at the same time as Jesus Christ and initially mistaken for the Messiah, who ends up living an unremarkable life under the Roman occupation of Judea. Things take a fateful turn when his infatuation with a young rebel called Judith (Sue Jones-Davies) leads him to join the People’s Front of Judea, a bickering group who have decided to take a stand against the emperor.

The film raised the ire of several religious groups who were outraged at the concept, despite most of them having never even seen the film, and it was only given a general release once several cuts had been made. Despite the edits, several local UK councils banned the film from being shown at cinemas within their boroughs. Apparently some of these bans lasted until very recently, with the Welsh town of Aberystwyth finally lifting its one in 2009, which then saw a screening of the film attended by Jones, Michael Palin and Sue Jones-Davies, who was the then mayor of the town.

One of the more infamous bans was carried out by the Norwegians who refused to allow the film to be screened at all, which lead some of the international marketing material for the film to be emblazoned with the proclamation ‘So funny it was banned in Norway!’

This is a scarce, alternate style UK quad which differs from the other somewhat confusing design, which is simply the logo doubled up. A reader of the site got in touch to confirm that this quad was designed in house at HandMade films. To quote their informative email:

HandMade and the Pythons decided to re-submit the film to Irish Film Board to have the original ban overturned. The submission was successful and with the censor certification under our belt plans to release the film moved ahead and the Life of Brian was finally released in Ireland  I recall in the summer of 1988 as I recall eight years after original release. One of the unsung heroes of HandMade was freelance artist/designer George Rowbottom.

George was closely involved in many HMF posters over the years along with Ray Cooper and it was George who re-worked Life of Brian poster and came up with the “tablet” design for the quad used for the Irish release and also the superior amended 1-sheet. In both cases these were printed by National Screen who printed all our posters for domestic and international.

The original American trailer can be seen on YouTube.

The Living Daylights / quad / UK

24.05.13

Poster Poster
Title
The Living Daylights
AKA
007 zona pericolo [Dangerous area] (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John Glen
Starring
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Brian Bysouth | Bernie Goddard | Mike Bell | Stephen Laws
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The new James Bond... living on the edge.

The Living Daylights was the first of two films in the long-running James Bond franchise to feature actor Timothy Dalton as the legendary spy. Dalton had been offered the role following Roger Moore’s decision not to reprise it in the wake of the disappointing performance of 1985’s A View to a Kill. The film sees Bond caught up in an international conspiracy after the abduction from a London safe-house of a recently defected KGB officer, which sees the agent travel to Czechoslovakia, Morocco, Austria and eventually Afghanistan in search of the missing man. The spy uncovers an arms-dealing plot with global ramifications and he must work with the Russian girlfriend of the missing KGB officer to get to the truth and prevent the conspirators from fulfilling their plans.

This is the UK quad and it features artwork that was used across the globe to promote the film. It’s unquestionably the last truly great Bond poster and was also the last to be entirely hand painted. The man responsible is the British artist Brian Bysouth and the poster was discussed during my 2012 interview with him:

“The last painting I did was for The Living Daylights. There were a number of us involved with the initial design ideas for that poster, including Bernie Goddard, a freelance designer who often worked with FEREF. Mike Bell and Stephen Laws also produced some concept roughs. Using the original Bond spiral gun barrel idea was a concept that featured on some of the designs and Bernie submitted one using it. The final concept was an amalgamation of ideas and I was tasked with composing the montage that became the poster. I produced the final colour rough that was sent to the client and we were all very glad when it was approved and I was able to start the finished painting.

I came across the rough a little while ago and it’s in reasonable condition considering it’s age.

That design ended up being used around the world and, as Sim Branaghan disclosed in his book, you were paid the highest fee ever given to a British film poster artist for that.
[Laughs] I probably shouldn’t have told Sim that! I don’t know if it was the highest fee ever paid, as I have no idea what other artists in Britain were getting for their work. But later I read somewhere that Bob Peak was being paid up to $50,000 for one poster at the beginning of the 1980s, and other artists such as Drew Struzan were perceived as being extremely well rewarded. I used to charge a day rate and always felt there was a downward pressure on the fees I charged. I was aware that as a director of the company I felt obliged not to inflate my prices, always making allowance for the company mark-up.  With the wisdom of hindsight, maybe I was wrong and I should have charged more. Anyway, I remember being content at the time.

I never knew how much FEREF were charging the client and I never thought to enquire. I decided that I was going to charge £3000 for my work on The Living Daylights because I had been working on the campaign for weeks. The fee was agreed and that was fine. Looking back in retrospect at an illustration that was used around the world to market a James Bond film do you really think that was a lot of money? It’s peanuts! Especially in comparison to the enormous budget the studio would have allotted to the marketing in total. Finally, I hope I am right in believing the client thought well of FEREF because we didn’t ridiculously inflate the price of the work we did for them. We sincerely believed we were the best at what we did, and it was upmost in our minds that we had to be competitive with our charges.”

The article also features pictures of the original artwork and initial sketches for this poster.

The Living Daylights / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Living Daylights
AKA
007 zona pericolo [Dangerous area] (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John Glen
Starring
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Brian Bysouth | Bernie Goddard | Mike Bell | Stephen Laws
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
27" x 40 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The new James Bond... living on the edge.

Unquestionably the last truly great James Bond poster was painted by the British artist Brian Bysouth and the design was discussed during my 2012 interview with him:

“The last painting I did was for The Living Daylights. There were a number of us involved with the initial design ideas for that poster, including Bernie Goddard, a freelance designer who often worked with FEREF. Mike Bell and Stephen Laws also produced some concept roughs. Using the original Bond spiral gun barrel idea was a concept that featured on some of the designs and Bernie submitted one using it. The final concept was an amalgamation of ideas and I was tasked with composing the montage that became the poster. I produced the final colour rough that was sent to the client and we were all very glad when it was approved and I was able to start the finished painting.

I came across the rough a little while ago and it’s in reasonable condition considering it’s age.

That design ended up being used around the world and, as Sim Branaghan disclosed in his book, you were paid the highest fee ever given to a British film poster artist for that.
[Laughs] I probably shouldn’t have told Sim that! I don’t know if it was the highest fee ever paid, as I have no idea what other artists in Britain were getting for their work. But later I read somewhere that Bob Peak was being paid up to $50,000 for one poster at the beginning of the 1980s, and other artists such as Drew Struzan were perceived as being extremely well rewarded. I used to charge a day rate and always felt there was a downward pressure on the fees I charged. I was aware that as a director of the company I felt obliged not to inflate my prices, always making allowance for the company mark-up.  With the wisdom of hindsight, maybe I was wrong and I should have charged more. Anyway, I remember being content at the time.

I never knew how much FEREF were charging the client and I never thought to enquire. I decided that I was going to charge £3000 for my work on The Living Daylights because I had been working on the campaign for weeks. The fee was agreed and that was fine. Looking back in retrospect at an illustration that was used around the world to market a James Bond film do you really think that was a lot of money? It’s peanuts! Especially in comparison to the enormous budget the studio would have allotted to the marketing in total. Finally, I hope I am right in believing the client thought well of FEREF because we didn’t ridiculously inflate the price of the work we did for them. We sincerely believed we were the best at what we did, and it was upmost in our minds that we had to be competitive with our charges.”
The article also features pictures of the original artwork and initial sketches for this poster.

The Living Daylights / one sheet / Australia

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Living Daylights
AKA
007 zona pericolo [Dangerous area] (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John Glen
Starring
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Australia
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Brian Bysouth | Bernie Goddard | Mike Bell | Stephen Laws
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
27" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The new James Bond... living on the edge.

Unquestionably the last truly great James Bond poster was painted by the British artist Brian Bysouth and the design was discussed during my 2012 interview with him:

“The last painting I did was for The Living Daylights. There were a number of us involved with the initial design ideas for that poster, including Bernie Goddard, a freelance designer who often worked with FEREF. Mike Bell and Stephen Laws also produced some concept roughs. Using the original Bond spiral gun barrel idea was a concept that featured on some of the designs and Bernie submitted one using it. The final concept was an amalgamation of ideas and I was tasked with composing the montage that became the poster. I produced the final colour rough that was sent to the client and we were all very glad when it was approved and I was able to start the finished painting.

I came across the rough a little while ago and it’s in reasonable condition considering it’s age.

That design ended up being used around the world and, as Sim Branaghan disclosed in his book, you were paid the highest fee ever given to a British film poster artist for that.
[Laughs] I probably shouldn’t have told Sim that! I don’t know if it was the highest fee ever paid, as I have no idea what other artists in Britain were getting for their work. But later I read somewhere that Bob Peak was being paid up to $50,000 for one poster at the beginning of the 1980s, and other artists such as Drew Struzan were perceived as being extremely well rewarded. I used to charge a day rate and always felt there was a downward pressure on the fees I charged. I was aware that as a director of the company I felt obliged not to inflate my prices, always making allowance for the company mark-up.  With the wisdom of hindsight, maybe I was wrong and I should have charged more. Anyway, I remember being content at the time.

I never knew how much FEREF were charging the client and I never thought to enquire. I decided that I was going to charge £3000 for my work on The Living Daylights because I had been working on the campaign for weeks. The fee was agreed and that was fine. Looking back in retrospect at an illustration that was used around the world to market a James Bond film do you really think that was a lot of money? It’s peanuts! Especially in comparison to the enormous budget the studio would have allotted to the marketing in total. Finally, I hope I am right in believing the client thought well of FEREF because we didn’t ridiculously inflate the price of the work we did for them. We sincerely believed we were the best at what we did, and it was upmost in our minds that we had to be competitive with our charges.”
The article also features pictures of the original artwork and initial sketches for this poster.

Convoy / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Convoy
AKA
--
Year of Film
1978
Director
Sam Peckinpah
Starring
Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw, Ernest Borgnine, Burt Young, Madge Sinclair, Franklyn Ajaye, Brian Davies, Seymour Cassel, Cassie Yates, Walter Kelley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw, Ernest Borgnine, Burt Young, Madge Sinclair, Franklyn Ajaye, Brian Davies, Seymour Cassel, Cassie Yates, Walter Kelley,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
Victor Gadino
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
780096
Tagline
Kristofferson and MacGraw... Ain't nothin' gonna get in their way!

Convoy / B1 / Poland

08.02.17

Poster Poster

Convoy was legendary American director Sam Peckinpah‘s penultimate film and his most commercially successful, despite it being critically mauled. It was made at the height of the craze for CB Radio/trucking films, which included the likes of Smokey and the Bandit and the TV series Movin’ On. The film’s title comes from the hit country and western novelty song of the same name by C.W. McCall and Chip Davis that was released in 1975. The song appears during the opening and intermittently during the film, with the latter version being reworked especially for the production.

It’s fair to say that the film is light on plot but Kris Kristofferson stars as long-distance trucker Martin ‘Rubber Duck’ Penwald who ends up leading the titular line of trucks across several states. Following an diner-based altercation with three police officers, including Duck’s long-term nemesis Sheriff “Dirty Lyle” Wallace (a great performance by Ernest Borgnine), a group of truckers head for the Arizona state line to escape prosecution. Lyle ups the stakes and pursues them into New Mexico whilst the convoy continues to grow. The authorities are determined to stop the truckers and Lyle uses the life of a fellow trucker to lure Duck into a trap from which it seems there’ll be no escape.

As had become standard for Peckinpah productions, the film finished over schedule and massively over budget, causing the director to be taken off post-production of the film. Studio staff worked with an editor to trim down a first cut that was over three hours long. It doesn’t particularly feel like a Peckinpah film (compared to the likes of The Wild Bunch, say) but there are certainly some well done scenes and the choices of location are excellent. Some of the editing choices aren’t great, however, with the slow-motion diner brawl being particularly excruciating to watch today. By this point in his career the director’s addiction to alcohol and drugs had become so profound that it would be another five years before he would work again.

 

This Polish poster was designed and illustrated by Andrzej Pagowski, a prolific film poster artist who was born in Warsaw in 1953 and studied at the celebrated University of Fine Arts in Poznań, graduating in 1978 under the tutorship of the noted artist Waldemar Świerzy. In 1990 he started his own graphic design studio called Studio P, which he developed into an advertising agency by 1993. According to the biography on his official site, Pagowski has illustrated over 1000 posters during his career and has also done work for books, magazines and music covers. In addition, he is also a TV and theatre stage designer and a screenwriter. Undoubtedly a man of many talents!

Pagowski’s official site features an extensive gallery of his work, including several of the posters. Polishposter.com also features multiple pages worth of his movie posters and this culture.pl article is well worth a read too.

To see the other Pagowski-designed posters I’ve collected click here.

Raiders of the Lost Ark / quad / style B / UK

06.01.12

Poster Poster
Title
Raiders of the Lost Ark
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A superb montage by the great British artist Brian Bysouth for the first film in Steven Spielberg‘s legendary Indiana Jones series. This is technically the Style B quad because, as I understand it, the British distributors (Paramount UK?) decided that the artwork on the first quad (Style A) was too dark and Indy looks too dour and thus commissioned a second poster to be designed and printed.

The artwork on this replacement quad is definitely more exciting and leaves no question that the film contains plenty of action and adventure. It does ditch the now classic Indiana Jones logo, and some balk at the fact that Indy is depicted without his fedora and leather jacket, but it does a much better job of selling the film than the first poster, in my opinion.

In my 2012 interview with Brian this poster was discussed:

What about the Raiders of the Lost Ark quad? You must have done that whilst still with Ken [Hayter]?
Yes, that was done for the Lonsdale Advertising agency. They showed me their revised pencil visual and the first poster that had been done by Richard Amsel. They said that they didn’t like it because it didn’t show anything of what the film was about; it was a very dark poster, and the film isn’t like that, is it? It’s an absolutely classic, boys-own thriller and a very colourful film. Whilst the Amsel version is a great piece of art I think my painting does a better job of showing what the film is really about.

Were you given any directions for the re-design?
No. I knew I had to make it more exciting and if you look at the poster you’ll notice that the free brushwork helps to give it movement. I had to paint it quickly because the first quad was already up on the Underground and all over the country. Lonsdales wanted the new poster to replace the Amsel one as quickly as possible.

One thing that people often remark about in your Raiders quad is that Indy is missing his Fedora and leather jacket, which later became his trademarks.
I was given a headshot of Harrison Ford with no body reference to paint from. I struck the likeness from the reference I was given. I didn’t think the original reference photo was the best image of Harrison Ford but I did my best with what I was given. At that time the jacket and fedora had not become iconic and were not considered a requirement.

It’s interesting to note that the decision was taken to drop the text referencing two previous hit films from Spielberg (Jaws) and George Lucas (Star Wars). This artwork was later re-used when the film was re-released at cinemas (the press-quote was replaced) and was also printed as a UK one sheet.

My overall favourite Indiana Jones poster is by Richard Amsel and was for the 1982 re-release of the film in the US. It can be seen here.

Other posters by Brian Bysouth I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

 

Convoy / B2 / style A / Japan

05.04.17

Poster Poster

Convoy was legendary American director Sam Peckinpah‘s penultimate film and his most commercially successful, despite it being critically mauled. It was made at the height of the craze for CB Radio/trucking films, which included the likes of Smokey and the Bandit and the TV series Movin’ On. The film’s title comes from the hit country and western novelty song of the same name by C.W. McCall and Chip Davis that was released in 1975. The song appears during the opening and intermittently during the film, with the latter version being reworked especially for the production.

It’s fair to say that the film is light on plot but Kris Kristofferson stars as long-distance trucker Martin ‘Rubber Duck’ Penwald who ends up leading the titular line of trucks across several states. Following an diner-based altercation with three police officers, including Duck’s long-term nemesis Sheriff “Dirty Lyle” Wallace (a great performance by Ernest Borgnine), a group of truckers head for the Arizona state line to escape prosecution. Lyle ups the stakes and pursues them into New Mexico whilst the convoy continues to grow. The authorities are determined to stop the truckers and Lyle uses the life of a fellow trucker to lure Duck into a trap from which it seems there’ll be no escape.

As had become standard for Peckinpah productions, the film finished over schedule and massively over budget, causing the director to be taken off post-production of the film. Studio staff worked with an editor to trim down a first cut that was over three hours long. It doesn’t particularly feel like a Peckinpah film (compared to the likes of The Wild Bunch, say) but there are certainly some well done scenes and the choices of location are excellent. Some of the editing choices aren’t great, however, with the slow-motion diner brawl being particularly excruciating to watch today. By this point in his career the director’s addiction to alcohol and drugs had become so profound that it would be another five years before he would work again.

This Japanese B2, one of two posters printed for the release in the country, features an image of the titular line of trucks, along with four head shots of what the distributors clearly decided were the key cast members.