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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’.

 

The Kid / A1 / 1960s re-release / Germany

01.09.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Kid
AKA
--
Year of Film
1921
Director
Charlie Chaplin
Starring
Charles Chaplin, Jackie Coogan, Edna Purviance, Carl Miller
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Chaplin, Jackie Coogan, Edna Purviance, Carl Miller,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1960s (exact year unknown)
Designer
G. Kratzsch
Artist
--
Size (inches)
23 4/16" x 33 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is a German poster for a 1960s re-release of the great Charlie Chaplin‘s first full-length film as a director, The Kid. Written, produced, directed and starring the man himself, it was made during a period of difficulty for Chaplin who had apparently been suffering creative block for a number of months and was also going through a divorce from his first wife Mildred Harris, who had been a 16-year-old when Chaplin had met her. The pair were married a short while afterwards because Mildred apparently fell pregnant and Chaplin wanted to avoid any more scandal. The pregnancy then turned out to be a false alarm. Eventually Mildred did become pregnant and carried the child to full term, but sadly it was born malformed and died three days later. The marriage had been a rocky one throughout with Chaplin supposedly feeling that she ‘stunted his creativity’ and the child’s death was the final straw.

The whole situation clearly had an effect on Chaplin and influenced the writing of The Kid as a result. The film sees Chaplin’s character The Tramp find and adopt a baby after it is abandoned by its unwed mother (Edna Purviance) and winds up in alley near The Tramp’s bedsit. Cut to five years later and the child (played by Jackie Coogan, later best known as Uncle Fester in the Addams Family TV show) is in partnership with The Tramp in a venture in which the kid smashes house windows, runs away and then The Tramp conveniently appears with a pane of glass to carry out the repair. Eventually the authorities discover that the kid is not The Tramp’s own and try to take him away, which triggers a series of events that will change both of their lives forever. The Kid is one of Chaplin’s funniest and most heartfelt films and hasn’t lost any of its charms almost a century later. Chaplin edited the film in length in 1971, removing some scenes with the mother and also added a brilliant new score. This is the only version that’s readily available on home video today.

I’ve struggled to determine what year this poster is from and the only date on here is for the original 1921 copyright (in roman numerals). If anyone has any ideas please get in touch. I believe the design can be credited to a design studio in Berlin called G. Kratzsch, which may be the name of an individual. Again, if anyone knows any more details please get in touch.