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Highlander / B2 / style C / Japan

18.09.14

Poster Poster

This is one of three B2 posters printed for the Japanese release of the cult fantasy Highlander. The film started life as a story by Gregory Widen which he penned whilst studying screenwriting at UCLA and it was sold to the film’s producers for $200k before undergoing several re-writes. Directed by Australian Russell Mulcahy, who had made a name with a series of music videos, the film is set in two time periods and tells the story of a Connor Macleod (a career-making turn from Christopher Lambert) who is born in Scotland in 1518 and discovers he is immortal when he is seemingly killed in a battle with a rival clan, later waking with no injuries. Believing him to be cursed, he is banished by his fellow clans people and is forced to live in a remote castle.

Eventually, after marrying a woman called Heather (Beatie Edney), he is visited by another immortal called Ramirez (Sean Connery) who teaches him how to sword fight and explains that the only way to kill another immortal is to remove his head. Ramirez also urges Connor to leave Heather, explaining that immortals are sterile and always end up causing hurt to any mortals that they fall in love with. In present day, Connor is shown to be living and working as an antique dealer in New York City and dealing with attacks from other immortals who are taking part in ‘The Gathering’ in which the remaining immortals from around the world fight to be the last one alive (“There can be only one!”). The psychotic Kurgan (Clancy Brown in a memorable turn), who first met Connor on the battlefield in Scotland, is determined to win the prize and will stop at nothing to do so.

Mulcahy injects great energy into the film, clearly using many of the tricks he learned making music videos and the performances of the three main actors all help to elevate the film beyond what could have been a very schlocky fantasy. Some of the scenes involving Connor and Heather are genuinely touching and force the viewer to imagine the downsides of living as an immortal. Michael Kamen’s orchestral score is excellent and is embellished by several memorable songs by the British band Queen, including ‘A Kind of Magic‘. Although not initially a box-office success in the US, the film was an international hit and would gain a cult following, which later saw the release a series of iffy film sequels and a popular TV series that lasted for six seasons. The franchise also includes comic books, novels and animated shows.

This is the style C Japanese B2 but I also have the style B one too. The British quad, painted by Brian Bysouth is by far the best of the international Highlander posters.

The trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube.

Highlander / quad / UK

07.09.11

Poster Poster
Title
Highlander
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Russell Mulcahy
Starring
Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery, Beatie Edney, Alan North, Jon Polito, Sheila Gish, Hugh Quarshie, Christopher Malcolm
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery, Beatie Edney, Alan North, Jon Polito, Sheila Gish, Hugh Quarshie, Christopher Malcolm,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
From another time comes a man of great power. A man of incredible strength. An immortal about to face his greatest challenge... | There can be only one

British artist Brian Bysouth is responsible for this great design for the classic fantasy film Highlander that spawned several sequels and TV series. It’s significantly more interesting than the dull US poster. This Bysouth design can also be found in a one sheet format.

During my interview with Brian this poster was discussed:

I like it because of the amount of detail you can see, much like your painting for Highlander.
Thank you, I was pleased with that one. It was an enjoyable job and, fortunately, when asked to do a design for that type of film I was usually quick to identify what the key image should be. Phil Howard-Jones, the advertising director at EMI, who I did the work for, liked it very much and eventually he kindly returned it to me.

The trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube.

Highlander / B2 / style B / Japan

18.09.14

Poster Poster

This is one of three B2 posters printed for the Japanese release of the cult fantasy Highlander. The film started life as a story by Gregory Widen which he penned whilst studying screenwriting at UCLA and it was sold to the film’s producers for $200k before undergoing several re-writes. Directed by Australian Russell Mulcahy, who had made a name with a series of music videos, the film is set in two time periods and tells the story of a Connor Macleod (a career-making turn from Christopher Lambert) who is born in Scotland in 1518 and discovers he is immortal when he is seemingly killed in a battle with a rival clan, later waking with no injuries. Believing him to be cursed, he is banished by his fellow clans people and is forced to live in a remote castle.

Eventually, after marrying a woman called Heather (Beatie Edney), he is visited by another immortal called Ramirez (Sean Connery) who teaches him how to sword fight and explains that the only way to kill another immortal is to remove his head. Ramirez also urges Connor to leave Heather, explaining that immortals are sterile and always end up causing hurt to any mortals that they fall in love with. In present day, Connor is shown to be living and working as an antique dealer in New York City and dealing with attacks from other immortals who are taking part in ‘The Gathering’ in which the remaining immortals from around the world fight to be the last one alive (“There can be only one!”). The psychotic Kurgan (Clancy Brown in a memorable turn), who first met Connor on the battlefield in Scotland, is determined to win the prize and will stop at nothing to do so.

Mulcahy injects great energy into the film, clearly using many of the tricks he learned making music videos and the performances of the three main actors all help to elevate the film beyond what could have been a very schlocky fantasy. Some of the scenes involving Connor and Heather are genuinely touching and force the viewer to imagine the downsides of living as an immortal. Michael Kamen’s orchestral score is excellent and is embellished by several memorable songs by the British band Queen, including ‘A Kind of Magic‘. Although not initially a box-office success in the US, the film was an international hit and would gain a cult following, which later saw the release a series of iffy film sequels and a popular TV series that lasted for six seasons. The franchise also includes comic books, novels and animated shows.

This is the style B Japanese B2 but I also have the style C one too. The British quad, painted by Brian Bysouth is by far the best of the international Highlander posters.

The trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube.

The Passage / quad / UK

06.06.16

Poster Poster

Colourful and typically dynamic artwork by Brian Bysouth features on this UK quad for the largely forgotten British war film The Passage (1979). Based on the novel Perilous Passage by Bruce Nicolaysen (who also wrote the screenplay), the film was directed by the British director J. Lee Thompson who was responsible for the classic war film The Guns of Navarone, as well as multiple films headlined by Charles Bronson.

Set during World War II, the story sees a Basque farmer (played by Anthony Quinn) escort a scientist (James Mason) and his family over the treacherous Pyrenees mountains to escape the sadistic clutches of a Nazi SS officer, Captain Von Berkow (Malcolm McDowell giving an impressively over the top performance). Christopher Lee appears as a character called The Gypsy who is sympathetic to the group’s plight. Apparently the film bombed spectacularly at the US box office and was critically drubbed on release.

This British quad was created at the London-based Downtons Advertising agency by one of the principal designers, Eddie Paul, and painted by Brian Bysouth who was working as a freelancer at the time. Both men are featured in Sim Branaghan’s must-own book British Film Posters: An Illustrated History and are each responsible for several iconic British posters. The designer Eddie Paul was born in Hackney in 1920 and attended Southend School of Art, later beginning his career at Temple Art Studios before moving on to Star Illustrations on Shoe Lane, where he gained a good reputation as a scrapboard artist.

After serving in the RAF during the war, Eddie joined Pulford Publicity in 1946 and started designing film posters using crayons and coloured pencils. He worked on several successful poster campaigns during the 1960s, including El Cid (1961), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) and the famous quad for From Russia with Love (painted by Renato Fratini). He later joined four ex-Downton colleagues and formed the successful agency FEREF in 1968. As Sim notes in his book, ‘He was well liked and respected within the business as a gentleman’. Eddie Paul passed away from a heart attack whilst on his way to work in 1984, just shy of his retirement from FEREF.

The artwork was painted by Brian Bysouth who is one of my favourite poster artists and was responsible for many classic posters from the 1960s to the 1980s, including the final painted poster for a James Bond film, The Living Daylights (1987). In 2012 I was fortunate to meet and interview Brian for this site and the article can be read here. The other posters I’ve collected by Brian can be seen by clicking here.

Labyrinth / one sheet / USA

07.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
Labyrinth
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Jim Henson
Starring
David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Shelley Thompson, Christopher Malcolm, Natalie Finland, Shari Weiser, Brian Henson, Ron Mueck, Rob Mills
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Shelley Thompson, Christopher Malcolm, Natalie Finland, Shari Weiser, Brian Henson, Ron Mueck, Rob Mills,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ted CoConis
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
860011
Tagline
Where everything seems possible and nothing is what it seems.

Wonderfully detailed artwork by Ted CoConis for this classic fantasy tale directed by legendary puppeteer Jim Henson and starring David Bowie in one of his best-loved film roles as Jareth the Goblin King.

This is one of those films that had a huge impression on me as a child and there are countless scenes that have stuck with me to this day. The character design is superb and I’m particularly fond of Sir Didymus the fox knight and the detachable-limbed Fire Gang. The music is also hugely memorable and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has seen the film that can’t recite at least a few of the songs, with Bowie’s Dance Magic Dance being a definite favourite.

One particular costume worn by Bowie in the film has become fairly infamous. To see what I mean open up Google and type in ‘Labyrinth Bowie’ (without the quotes) and don’t hit enter. Notice what the first result in the more word suggestions field is!

Check out the recently released Manga Return to Labyrinth.

Here’s the original trailer.

Labyrinth / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Labyrinth
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Jim Henson
Starring
David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Shelley Thompson, Christopher Malcolm, Natalie Finland, Shari Weiser, Brian Henson, Ron Mueck, Rob Mills
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Shelley Thompson, Christopher Malcolm, Natalie Finland, Shari Weiser, Brian Henson, Ron Mueck, Rob Mills,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Where anything is possible. | A spellbinding journey of adventure through a maze of magic, suspense and fantasy.