You searched for: Crime

Mr Ricco / 30×40 / USA

03.01.14

Poster Poster
Title
Mr Ricco
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Paul Bogart
Starring
Dean Martin, Eugene Roche, Thalmus Rasulala, Denise Nicholas, Cindy Williams, Geraldine Brooks, Philip Michael Thomas, George Tyne, Robert Sampson, Michael Gregory, Joseph Hacker, Frank Puglia
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dean Martin, Eugene Roche, Thalmus Rasulala, Denise Nicholas, Cindy Williams, Geraldine Brooks, Philip Michael Thomas, George Tyne, Robert Sampson, Michael Gregory, Joseph Hacker, Frank Puglia,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Larry Salk
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/27
Tagline
The one thing people hate more than a cop killer... is the lawyer who gets him off!

Mr Ricco, a little-seen 1970s crime thriller, marked the last starring role in film for ‘The King of Cool’ Dean Martin (unless you count his cameos in the two Cannonball Run films). The Italian-American entertainer, who had seen great success in several of his earlier roles including Rio Bravo and Ocean’s Eleven (with his fellow Rat Pack members), would continue to make popular TV appearances and music recordings but never headline a film again. After reading the reviews on IMDb it appears he was probably getting too old to convincingly pull-off the action scenes that roles like this one required.

Martin appears in the title role as Joe Ricco, a San Francisco lawyer who successfully defends Frankie Steele (Thalmus Rasulala) a member of a black militant group charged with murdering a woman. Shortly afterwards two cops are gunned down and Steele is implicated in the crime after witnesses describe seeing him fleeing the scene. The detective in charge of the case, George Cronyn (Eugene Roche), is angered that Steele appears to have got away with it again and decides to kill one of the members of the Black Serpents (Steele’s group) and implicate another in the cops’ murder. Ricco agrees to defend the wrongly-accused man but soon after is targeted by a lone sniper who almost kills him. Once again, Steele is implicated in the attempted murder so Ricco sets out to discover why his former client is trying to kill him.

This US 30×40 features artwork by an American artist called Larry Salk about whom I’ve been able to discover very little. A now defunct gallery site described him as a freelance illustrator who worked on around 165 film posters, as well as painting for advertisements, video game covers, record sleeves and more. IMPAwards features a few of his posters (I have his one sheet for the 3D re-release of House of Wax and the advance for Superman III) and he was the artist who painted the famous portrait of Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld. He apparently passed away in 2004.

10 To Midnight / quad / artwork style / UK

25.04.12

Poster Poster
Title
10 To Midnight
AKA
Bloody Sunday (original script title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
J. Lee Thompson
Starring
Charles Bronson, Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens, Gene Davis, Geoffrey Lewis, Wilford Brimley
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens, Gene Davis, Geoffrey Lewis, Wilford Brimley,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Artwork style
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Rosslyn
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Back in town... with a vengeance!

J. Lee Thompson‘s 10 to Midnight is often called a cross-genre film since it mixes elements of police thrillers with scenes typically seen in slasher films. Charles Bronson stars as Leo Kessler a detective on the hunt for a crazed killer who stabs female college students to death after they reject his advances. The murderer, played by Gene Davis (his IMDb pic is a still from this film), always strips naked to carry out his crime and thus leaves no evidence behind. Eventually Kessler goes against his partner’s advice and plants evidence to frame the killer, but when this ruse is discovered the killer is released and executes his revenge against the detective.

The film is apparently based on the crimes of two real-life serial killers, Richard Speck and Ted Bundy, and the screenplay was originally called Bloody Sunday before being renamed to its current title, which is totally unconnected to the plot.

The film was produced and released by Cannon Films, the legendary production house responsible for a slew of low-budget films throughout the 1980s. Unusually, 10 to Midnight was given two quad posters to promote it; this one featuring artwork and a photographic style, which I also have in the collection and can be seen here. I’m not sure why there were two designs released, but it may be that this artwork style came first and then the photo one was designed for other areas of the UK? The film was released around the time when illustrations were being used less and less as distributors decided that audiences no longer trusted posters (and video sleeves) with artwork, so that might have something to do with it.

I’m also unsure who is responsible for the artwork but there is the word Rosslyn visible as a neon sign in the background street scene so that might be the surname of the illustrator. I’m a fan of the way the knifeman is pointing out the time with his arms.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Big Guns / B2 / Japan

13.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
Big Guns
AKA
Tony Arzenta (Italy - original title | No Way Out (USA)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Duccio Tessari
Starring
Alain Delon, Richard Conte, Carla Gravina, Marc Porel, Roger Hanin, Nicoletta Machiavelli, Guido Alberti, Lino Troisi, Silvano Tranquilli, Corrado Gaipa
Origin of Film
Italy | France
Genre(s) of Film
Alain Delon, Richard Conte, Carla Gravina, Marc Porel, Roger Hanin, Nicoletta Machiavelli, Guido Alberti, Lino Troisi, Silvano Tranquilli, Corrado Gaipa,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Big Guns, a crime thriller from the late, prolific Italian director Duccio Tessari, starred French acting legend Alain Delon as Tony Arzenta, a mob hitman whose decision to retire angers the bosses and leads to the accidental death of his wife and child. Arzenta sets out on a bloody revenge mission, unleashing his particular set of skills on the criminals who wronged him. Richard Conte, who had starred in The Godfather a year earlier, also features as Nick Gusto, a Sicilian crime boss who wants to bury the hatchet with Arzenta, much to the consternation of his associates.

The film was released internationally (as No Way Out in the US, for example) and this poster was printed for Japan, a country in which Delon has a huge fan base. The main image is taken from a moment during one of the car chases for which the film is perhaps best remembered, and a clip from it can be watched here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Clue / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Clue
AKA
Signori, il delitto è servito [Gentlemen, the crime is served] (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Jonathan Lynn
Starring
Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Lesley Ann Warren, Michael McKean, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, Martin Mull
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Lesley Ann Warren, Michael McKean, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, Martin Mull,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Spiros Angelikas
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
It's not just a game anymore.

Dressed To Kill / quad / UK

16.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Dressed To Kill
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Brian De Palma
Starring
Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon, Dennis Franz, David Margulies, Ken Baker, Susanna Clemm, Brandon Maggart
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon, Dennis Franz, David Margulies, Ken Baker, Susanna Clemm, Brandon Maggart,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Every Nightmare Has A Beginning...This One Never Ends

Brian De Palma‘s 1980 erotic crime thriller Dressed to Kill is frequently held up as a high-watermark in the career of the virtuoso director, and the film saw him perfecting the technical and stylistic flourishes he had been honing in the years before with films such as Sisters (1973) and Obsession (1976). Blending obvious homages to Hitchcock (Vertigo and Psycho for starters) with several hallmarks of the Italian Giallo genre, the film features multiple plot twists and outlandish sequences, including the murder of one of the main characters after 35 minutes.

The plot ostensibly focuses on the murder of a sexually frustrated housewife, and the subsequent investigation by her son and the high-class call girl who was the only witness to the crime. It features memorable turns from Angie DickinsonNancy Allen (De Palma’s wife at the time) and Michael Caine in one of his more atypical performances. The reveal of the identity of the killer is one of the film’s most infamous moments and certainly lingers long in the memory after the credits roll.

This British quad is as subdued as the US one sheet, sharing the same stylised image of the killer peeking through the bathroom door (if memory serves me correctly this particular image was created specifically for the poster). The American one sheet features the moniker that De Palma had been given at the time; ‘The Master of the Macabre’.

The trailer is on YouTube.

Gordon’s War / B2 / Japan

09.10.15

Poster Poster
Title
Gordon's War
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Ossie Davis
Starring
Paul Winfield, Carl Lee, David Downing, Tony King, Gilbert Lewis, Carl Gordon, Nathan C. Heard, Grace Jones
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Paul Winfield, Carl Lee, David Downing, Tony King, Gilbert Lewis, Carl Gordon, Nathan C. Heard, Grace Jones,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B2 for the 1973 blaxploitation crime drama Gordon’s War, directed by Ossie Davis (Cotton Comes to Harlem) and starring Paul Winfield as the eponymous Gordon Hudson. After returning from the Vietnam war he finds that his neighbourhood in Harlem has been taken over by drug dealers and that his wife has died from a heroin overdose. He gathers some of his fellow soldiers together and sets out to rid the area of the dealers.

The film is unavailable on blu-ray but receives decent enough reviews on IMDb, with one praising its use of real locations:

The location shoot in Harlem is an essential ingredient in making this film work. The feel of the streets, shops, people, cars, bars, abandoned buildings, rundown apartments and ramshackle appearances bolsters the movie greatly. There is a chase scene, car following motorcycle, that ranks among the very best of any movie anywhere, including those in poliziotteschis. That alone makes the movie.

Lady Ice / 30×40 / USA

22.02.12

Poster Poster
Title
Lady Ice
AKA
I diamanti dell'ispettore Klute [The diamonds of inspector Klute] (Italy)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Tom Gries
Starring
Donald Sutherland, Jennifer O'Neill, Robert Duvall, Patrick Magee, Jon Cypher, Eric Braeden, Buffy Dee, Perry Lopez
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Sutherland, Jennifer O'Neill, Robert Duvall, Patrick Magee, Jon Cypher, Eric Braeden, Buffy Dee, Perry Lopez,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ron Lesser
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/199
Tagline
That "Klute" guy and that "Summer of '42" girl pull of the coolest caper of the year.

Ron Lesser artwork on this 30×40 for the American release of this 1973 crime thriller starring Donald Sutherland and the gorgeous Jennifer O’Neill. Sutherland plays an insurance investigator who begins romancing O’Neill’s character when he suspects her of being a diamond thief. It was apparently made following the success of other ‘romance and thievery’ films such as The Thomas Crown Affair.

Lesser studied as a fine artist and much of his output appears to have been in the area of Western and military paintings, with particular focus on the American Civil War. He also worked on a number of book covers and multiple film posters during the 1970s, including the fantastic one sheet for High Plain’s Drifter. This website features galleries of his work as well as a mini biography.

The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

I’m a big fan of the none-more-1970s typeface used for the title and top-billed names, and it can be seen on a number of posters from the era. You’ll notice an Aston Martin DB5 is featured inside the diamond, along with several other scenes from the film.

The tagline references the previous hits of the two stars and for some reason the Italian title of the film even has Klute in the title, despite Sutherland playing a completely different character.

Le Gang / B2 / montage style / Japan

30.06.16

Poster Poster
Title
Le Gang
AKA
The Gang (USA - video title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Jacques Deray
Starring
Alain Delon, Xavier Depraz, Roland Bertin, Adalberto Maria Merli, Maurice Barrier, Raymond Bussières, Giampiero Albertini, Laura Betti, Nicole Calfan
Origin of Film
Italy | France
Genre(s) of Film
Alain Delon, Xavier Depraz, Roland Bertin, Adalberto Maria Merli, Maurice Barrier, Raymond Bussières, Giampiero Albertini, Laura Betti, Nicole Calfan,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Montage style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of two Japanese B2 posters (that I’m aware of) for the release of the 1977 crime drama Le Gang. The film was an Italian-French co-production and was directed by Jacques Deray, a Frenchman who helmed a number of crime thrillers during his career. French superstar Alain Delon, who collaborated with Deray on a number of similar films, plays the leader of the titular gang of criminals. The story is set in France during the 1940s and the plot, apparently based on true events, is described thusly on IMDb:

In 1945, as World War Two comes to a close, five small time crooks unite to form a gang. After several bold robberies they become notorious as “the front-wheel drive gang”. The police attempt to stop their crime spree with little success, but how long will their luck last?

The other style B2 can be seen on emovieposter.com here.

Robocop / one sheet / Turkey

21.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Robocop
AKA
Robocop: O batsos robot (Greece)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Starring
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Turkey
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Omer Muz
Size (inches)
26 6/16" x 39 5/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork by Omer Muz features on this Turkish one sheet for Paul Verhoeven‘s sci-fi masterpiece, Robocop. Set in a dystopian future Detroit where organised crime is rampant and the city is close to financial ruin, the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products enters into an agreement with the city to run the police force and plans to introduce a robotic enforcer to work alongside the human officers. When tests with a weaponised droid called ED-209 go awry and an OCP junior executive is killed, the chairman agrees to back the plans of Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer), another OCP executive with designs for a cyborg (half-man, half-machine) cop.

Shortly after, veteran officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is brutally attacked and effectively killed on his first patrol at a new precinct and Morton sees him as the perfect candidate for his Robocop program. OCP quickly goes about transforming his ravaged body into the future of law enforcement, but when he reawakens Murphy initially struggles with his transformation and loss of his family. Soon he sets about avenging his ‘death’ at the hands of crime boss Clarence Bodicker (an unforgettable performance from Kurtwood Smith) and attacks the corruption that is destroying Detroit, which leads all the way to the boardroom of OCP.

Omer Muz is a prolific Turkish artist whose signature appears on many posters from the country but I’ve been unable to find out much about him. If anyone has any details please get in touch.

Scarface / B2 / blue style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Scarface
AKA
--
Year of Film
1983
Director
Brian De Palma
Starring
Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, F. Murray Abraham, Harris Yulin
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, F. Murray Abraham, Harris Yulin,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Blue style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of three B2 posters printed for the Japanese release of Brian De Palma‘s unforgettable 1983 crime epicScarface. Unquestionably one of the all-time great gangster films, it’s hard to believe now but the film was originally released to mixed critical reception and audience ambivalence, much to De Palma and screenwriter Oliver Stone‘s dismay. Over the course of the following three decades the story of Cuban refugee Tony Montana’s rise to the top of the Miami drug world has been embraced by fans worldwide, including a multitude of African American rappers who cite his story as an inspiration and frequently reference the film in their music.

In one of his most memorable film performances, Al Pacino portrays Montana who arrives in Miami following the (real-life) Mariel boatlift, which saw thousands of Cubans leave the island in a bid to escape internal tensions and grinding poverty that had caused months of strife in the country. Hundreds of small boats made the journey across shark-infested waters to the Miami coast in an attempt to seek asylum in the Peruvian embassy. Fidel Castro also ordered the release of criminals from Cuban jails and joined the exodus and Montana and his friend Manny Ribera (Steven Bauer) are two such exiles who start their new life in America stuck in a refugee camp. After agreeing to murder a former Cuban government official, who is also in the camp, the pair are released with the help of a Miami drug kingpin Frank Lopez (played byRobert Loggia).

Tony and Manny get involved in a drug deal arranged by one of Lopez’s henchmen called Omar (F. Murray Abraham) that quickly goes horribly wrong and almost sees Tony being butchered with a chainsaw until Manny comes to his rescue and the pair turn the tables on the murderous gang. Suspecting that they may have been set up by Omar, Tony insists on delivering the recovered drugs and money to Frank who is impressed and offers them a job. The rest of the film deals with Tony’s violent rise to the top of the Miami drug trade, which sees him usurp and murder Frank, steal his woman Elvira (an early performance by Michelle Pfeiffer) and mess with the wrong Bolivian drug crime lord. The finale sees a cocaine-crazed Tony defend his palatial mansion from machine-gun toting killers, resulting in bullet-spraying mayhem and one of the most famous lines in cinematic history: “Say hello to my little friend!”

One of the other Japanese B2s can be seen by clicking here.

The Great Train Robbery / one sheet / USA

03.04.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Great Train Robbery
AKA
The First Great Train Robbery (UK - full title)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Michael Crichton
Starring
Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Alan Webb, Malcolm Terris, Robert Lang, Michael Elphick, Wayne Sleep, Pamela Salem, Gabrielle Lloyd
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland, Lesley-Anne Down, Alan Webb, Malcolm Terris, Robert Lang, Michael Elphick, Wayne Sleep, Pamela Salem, Gabrielle Lloyd,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Roger Kastel
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
790007
Tagline
Never have so few taken so much from so many.

Roger Kastel artwork on this poster for the 1978 heist-caper starring Donald Sutherland and Sean Connery and directed by the late Michael Crichton. The film is based on his book of the same name, which is itself loosely based on an actual heist known as the Great Gold Robbery of 1855 in which a large quantity of gold was stolen from a train by a master thief and his accomplices. Pierce (Connery) works with Agar (Sutherland) to acquire the four keys that are required to break into the storage compartment on the moving train and must then attempt to escape with the loot.

The film is notable for the stunt-work, including walking on the roof of a moving train, that was apparently done by Connery himself. It’s also worth noting that the film was renamed to The First Great Train Robbery in the UK so it wouldn’t get confused with an infamous British train robbery in 1963 in which £2.6 million was stolen from a train in Buckinghamshire. The crime was dubbed The Great Train Robbery by the British press.

Roger Kastel’s website can be viewed here and it features plenty of great images of his brilliant work, including the iconic image that he originally drew for the paperback cover of Jaws, which was later used on movie posters for the film all over the world.. He’s also responsible for the excellent ‘Gone with the Wind’ style one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back.

The original trailer for the film is on YouTube.

The Green Hornet / B2 / Japan

09.05.13

Poster Poster
Title
The Green Hornet
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
William Beaudine, Norman Foster, E. Darrell Hallenbeck
Starring
Van Williams, Bruce Lee, Wende Wagner, Lloyd Gough, Walter Brooke, William Dozier
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Van Williams, Bruce Lee, Wende Wagner, Lloyd Gough, Walter Brooke, William Dozier,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Legendary action star Bruce Lee was given his break into acting after being cast as Kato, one half of the crime-fighting duo in the 1960s TV show The Green Hornet. The masked vigilante began life as a radio show that was created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker and aired in 1936. It went on to be produced as film serials and as comic book series in the 1940s, before being adapted for a TV series in the 1960s.

Van Williams starred as Britt Reid, the playboy owner of The Daily Sentinel who runs his media empire whilst simultaneously fighting criminal gangs as the titular vigilante with assistance from his martial-artist sidekick Kato. The series was to only last for one season of 26 episodes but nevertheless proved popular in the States and elsewhere, with Lee being catapulted to fame on the back of the show. In Japan the series was apparently even aired as The Kato Show.

This Japanese B2 poster was printed for the 1975 release of the first of two films based on the character that were cobbled together from several episodes of the TV show and are apparently as incoherent as that would suggest. As can be seen from the design, the emphasis was placed firmly on Lee’s character, particularly since the studio was clearly keen to cash in on the star’s fame following his run of classic action films that ended with Enter the Dragon (1973) and his untimely death that same year.

Trick Baby / B2 / Japan

10.10.12

Poster Poster
Title
Trick Baby
AKA
--
Year of Film
1972
Director
Larry Yust
Starring
Kiel Martin, Mel Stewart, Dallas Edward Hayes, Beverly Ballard, Vernee Watson-Johnson, Donald Symington, Don Fellows, Thomas Anderson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kiel Martin, Mel Stewart, Dallas Edward Hayes, Beverly Ballard, Vernee Watson-Johnson, Donald Symington, Don Fellows, Thomas Anderson,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A nice photo montage on this poster for the Japanese release of Trick Baby, a 1972 crime caper, often placed in the blaxploitation genre, despite featuring a lot more in the way of plot and character development than many of the films under that banner.  Based on the novel of the same name by the infamous former pimp Iceberg Slim, the film follows two conmen, ‘White Folks’ (Kiel Martin)  and ‘Blue’ Howard (Mel Stewart), as they pull off the biggest score of their lives and inadvertently raise the ire of the local Mafia and a corrupt cop.

The former was given the odd moniker after he was born to mixed-race parents and can pass as a white man, which proves useful for the pair’s criminal antics. The title Trick Baby comes from the other nickname he is given because of his prostitute mother and ‘trick’ father.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

True Romance / B2 / Shotgun scream style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Following the shocking death of British director Tony Scott in 2012 there was plenty of discussion amongst fans as to the film that defined his career, which included such films as the none-more-80s Top Gun and several excellent Denzel Washington-starring thrillers such as Crimson Tide. There was only one film that I reached for from my blu-ray collection when I wanted to pay tribute to Scott and that was True Romance, the 1993 crime thriller starring Christian SlaterPatricia Arquette and a whole host of acclaimed actors. Featuring a fantastic script by Quentin Tarantino, the film is arguably the apex of Tony Scott’s directing career and clearly benefits from his skill at injecting energy and verve into every scene. The film is also likely to be the defining role in the careers of both Slater and Arquette who were perfectly cast as Clarence and Alabama, the young lovers thrown together at the start of the film and who set off on a rollercoaster ride that leads them from Detroit to Los Angeles with murderous gangsters on their tail.

Clarence is a film-obsessed, lonely video store clerk who is at a cinema watching a triple-bill of Sonny Chiba films when he is approached by Alabama. The pair strike up a friendship and before the night is over are head over heels in love. The only issue is that Alabama is a hooker, hired by Clarence’s work colleagues as a birthday present, and her pimp Drexl (a memorable Gary Oldman) is a violent drug dealer who none too keen to let her leave his employ. After a violent confrontation which sees Drexl dead and Clarence escaping with a suitcase full of cocaine. The pair first head to see Clarence’s father (Dennis Hopper) and then travel across the country to Los Angeles to see Clarence’s friend Dick Ritchie (Michael Rapaport) who has a potential lead for selling the drugs. Hot on their heels are a bunch of mobsters, as well as a pair of police detectives.

This is one of two styles of Japanese B2 posters and I’ve called this one the shotgun scream style as it features Arquette clutching a shotgun in one of the more intense scenes of the film. The other style features photographs of the rest of the cast and can be seen here.

True Romance / B2 / cast style / Japan

07.04.14

Poster Poster

Following the shocking death of British director Tony Scott in 2012 there was plenty of discussion amongst fans as to the film that defined his career, which included such titles as the none-more-80s Top Gun and several excellent Denzel Washington-starring thrillers such as Crimson Tide. There was only one film that I reached for from my blu-ray collection when I wanted to pay tribute to Scott and that was True Romance, the 1993 crime thriller starring Christian SlaterPatricia Arquette and a whole host of acclaimed actors. Featuring a fantastic script by Quentin Tarantino, the film is arguably the apex of Tony Scott’s directing career and clearly benefits from his skill at injecting energy and verve into every scene. The film is also likely to be the defining role in the careers of both Slater and Arquette who were perfectly cast as Clarence and Alabama, the young lovers thrown together at the start of the film and who set off on a rollercoaster ride that leads them from Detroit to Los Angeles with murderous gangsters on their tail.

Clarence is a film-obsessed, lonely video store clerk who is at a cinema watching a triple-bill of Sonny Chiba films when he is approached by Alabama. The pair strike up a friendship and before the night is over are head over heels in love. The only issue is that Alabama is a hooker, hired by Clarence’s work colleagues as a birthday present, and her pimp Drexl (a memorable Gary Oldman) is a violent drug dealer who none too keen to let her leave his employ. After a violent confrontation which sees Drexl dead and Clarence escaping with a suitcase full of cocaine. The pair first head to see Clarence’s father (Dennis Hopper) and then travel across the country to Los Angeles to see Clarence’s friend Dick Ritchie (Michael Rapaport) who has a potential lead for selling the drugs. Hot on their heels are a bunch of mobsters, as well as a pair of police detectives.

This is one of two styles of Japanese B2 posters and I’ve called this one the cast style. The other features a photo of Arquette clutching a shotgun in one of the more intense scenes of the film. Note that one of the cast members shown at the top of the poster is not actually seen in the film and if you’ve watched it you’ll know which one!

The Two Jakes / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Two Jakes
AKA
Chinatown II (Finland)
Year of Film
1990
Director
Jack Nicholson
Starring
Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Meg Tilly, Madeleine Stowe, Eli Wallach, Rubén Blades, Frederic Forrest, David Keith, Richard Farnsworth, Tracey Walter, Joe Mantell, James Hong
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Meg Tilly, Madeleine Stowe, Eli Wallach, Rubén Blades, Frederic Forrest, David Keith, Richard Farnsworth, Tracey Walter, Joe Mantell, James Hong,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Seiniger Advertising | Steven Chorney
Artist
Robert Rodriguez
Size (inches)
27" x 40 1/4"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They say money makes the world go round. But sex was invented before money.

The artwork for Two Jakes, a quasi-sequel to the classic 1974 crime-thriller Chinatown, was painted by the American artist Robert Rodriguez (not to be confused with the Texan film director of the same name). He has his own website which can be seen here and on one of the blog posts he talks about his work on Two Jakes. I’m reproducing it here in case his site ever disappears:

Sherman, set the WABAC machine to March 1990…. That would take us to about the time that I was pulling all-nighters in order to finish the poster for “The Two Jakes”.  Originally Steve Chorney had done a series of small watercolor sketches for the movie. They were fast sketches, but the colors were beautiful. Seiniger Advertising was about the hottest movie poster design studio at that time, and they were doing the poster. I had never seen so many concepts for one movie before. I know they took Steve’s sketches and gave them out to five illustrators to develop into comps. Later they had each of us do a completely different image, but I can’t even remember what those looked like. These were all very finished comps, but done at about half size. Everyone was really happy with what I did for the original comp and from the beginning it was in the running. I went off on vacation for a few weeks and when I got back, they told me that my art was still the top choice, only they had revised it and I would need to repaint it at full size.

They had made Jack Nicholson larger, made his shoulders wider, made Meg Tilly’s hat cover her face almost completely, and changed Steve’s beautiful yellow/green color scheme to a grey/teal blue combination. Even with those revisions I still loved the art, so I was very happy to proceed with the finish. I feel like it was the best movie poster I ever did.

They told me at the time that with movie posters, the poster that was the top choice when they ran out of money or ran out of time, was the one that would become the poster. Until one of those things happened, they would just keep doing new art. I think all illustrators miss those days of Illustrated Movie Posters.

One other interesting story connected with that poster…I was told that the night before the art was to be delivered to the printer, Jack Nicholson called Frank Mancuso, Sr., the CEO of Paramount to say he had changed his mind about the poster. Nicholson wanted to use a different painting that had been done. Mancuso took both posters over to Nicholson’s house and they met until midnight to talk about which way to go. Basically Mancuso said, “We have been through more than a hundred movie posters and all along, this was the one everyone agreed on. In the meeting yesterday, we again looked at the top runners and everyone decided this was the strongest image. What do we have to do in order to make you happy with this version?” Nicholson said that he liked the colors of his face better in the other poster. So it was agreed that if I could repaint his face to one that he was happy with, they would proceed with my poster art. They gave me four days to repaint the head, and I remember the day I delivered it, the art director gave me a fistful of colored pencils and had me sit on her floor and paint out some additional wrinkles. But in the end, everyone was happy with the art.  My first major film poster!

His website also features another blog post about his work with Steven Chorney on the poster (see here):

Steven Chorney is the wonderful movie poster artist and illustrator who did the concept sketches for The Two Jakes [see here too] in the very beginning. I remember there were five of us who took these and developed them as comps, and even came up with other designs too. I was assigned the first one he laid out.

I asked him if he still had the comps, and this morning he sent them along so I could post them. I think Thomas Blackshear did a comp using a variation of the second design, which Steven said was his favorite concept because of the tension in Nicholson’s face.

Steven said he was thinking about the Scarface movie poster in his design. Based on his days doing illustrations for TV Guide, he felt there was something missing from his sketch. We needed the girl!  “…we need 2 guys, a girl, and a gun!” He must have mentioned that to the art director, because by the time I got the job, they were asking for me to add the girl in there.

This was done back before color xeroxes were very accurate. Steven had done the grey background version, but they had made a color copy for me, and it had turned a sort of acid yellow.  I loved it, so I  tried to match the color.  It reminded me of that Van Gogh painting of the pool hall interior with the yellow lights and the green felt. Van Gogh wrote “In my picture of the Night Café I have tried to express the idea that the café is a place where one can ruin oneself, go mad or commit a crime.” 

But even though they liked my Two Jakes art, they wanted to go with the grey of Steven’s original version (which I had never seen). They had me hide Meg Tilly’s face with her hat, make Nicholson larger, and make his coat and lapels oversized.

The only bad experience with the whole project was the reference they gave me for Jack Nicholson’s face. It was a blurry, two inch tall, b&w photo from The Witches of Eastwick. I kept asking, “Seriously?  Jack Nicholson, and this is the best reference you have?” I think I painted his head about 9″ tall on my poster. And as it turned out, his face was the only problem anyone had with my image.

The artist’s website also features a biography which I’ll also reproduce in its entirety:

Chances are you’ve been having breakfast with Robert Rodriguez for years and never knew it….If you’ve ever fixed yourself a bowl of Quaker Oatmeal, his painting of the old Quaker has probably been watching over you as you ate.

After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), he embarked on a career as an illustrator, picking up awards and medals along the way.  From being a Grammy Award finalist for best album cover art, to gold and silver medals, to receiving a platinum award for his “Cowboys of the Silver Screen” postage stamps this last year.  From doing Broadway theater posters for plays like, “Anything Goes”, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, “Sister Act” and “Lend Me A Tenor”, to a SuperBowl poster, a half dozen Ringling Bros. Circus posters, several movie posters, and creating the poster art over the last four years for the Tales of the Cocktail event held in New Orleans every summer, he is finally finding time to do some gallery work, exploring new directions and larger paintings.

The Valachi Papers / B2 / Japan

31.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Valachi Papers
AKA
Cosa Nostra (international)
Year of Film
1972
Director
Terence Young
Starring
Charles Bronson, Lino Ventura, Jill Ireland, Walter Chiari, Joseph Wiseman, Gerald S. O'Loughlin, Amedeo Nazzari, Fausto Tozzi, Pupella Maggio, Angelo Infanti
Origin of Film
France | Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Lino Ventura, Jill Ireland, Walter Chiari, Joseph Wiseman, Gerald S. O'Loughlin, Amedeo Nazzari, Fausto Tozzi, Pupella Maggio, Angelo Infanti,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Based on the biography of the same name by Peter Maas, The Valachi Papers recounts the story of Joseph Valachi a mafia member turned government informant in the 1960s. Director Terence Young, famous for directing the first two James Bond films (and Thunderball), was reunited with Charles Bronson whom he’d collaborated on for his previous two films (Red Sun and Cold Sweat). The film begins in the 60s in a Federal Penitentiary with an ageing Valachi (Bronson) serving time for heroin smuggling. In prison he meets the boss of the crime family he worked for Vito Genovese (Lino Ventura) who is convinced that Valachi is an informant and gives him the ‘kiss of death’. When Valachi later kills a prisoner whom he mistakenly thinks has been sent to assassinate him, he agrees to be an informant for the government. The rest of the film deals with incidences from his life, all the way back to the 1930s when he was starting out as a young criminal.

The design on this Japanese B2 is unique to the poster.

I Saw the Devil / one sheet / style A / USA

16.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
I Saw the Devil
AKA
Akmareul boatda (South Korea - original title)
Year of Film
2010
Director
Jee-woon Kim
Starring
Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Gook-hwan Jeon, Ho-jin Jeon, San-ha Oh, Yoon-seo Kim
Origin of Film
South Korea
Genre(s) of Film
Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Gook-hwan Jeon, Ho-jin Jeon, San-ha Oh, Yoon-seo Kim,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Gravillis Inc.
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Evil lives inside

Not one for the faint of heart, Jee-woon Kim‘s ‘I Saw the Devil‘ is further proof that some of the most exciting, visceral and challenging cinema continues to come out of South Korea. The film sees a serial killer, played by Min-sik Choi [Oldboy], enter into a brutal game of cat and mouse with a secret agent (Byung-hun Lee ) after killing his pregnant fiance. To say it features some disturbing scenes would be an understatement – this is not a date movie – it’s still a must see for fans of crime thrillers and Korean cinema; if you enjoyed Chan-wook Park‘s Vengeance Trilogy you need to see this film.

This simple but effective one sheet was designed by Gravillis Inc. for the limited release in the US earlier this year. There is also a style B one sheet which is markedly different but just as good, IMO.

The trailer is on YouTube.

99 and 44/100% Dead / 30×40 / USA

12.12.11

Poster Poster
Title
99 and 44/100% Dead
AKA
Call Harry Crown (re-title)
Year of Film
1974
Director
John Frankenheimer
Starring
Richard Harris, Edmond O'Brien, Bradford Dillman, Ann Turkel, Constance Ford, Zooey Hall, Kathrine Baumann, Janice Heiden, Max Kleven
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Edmond O'Brien, Bradford Dillman, Ann Turkel, Constance Ford, Zooey Hall, Kathrine Baumann, Janice Heiden, Max Kleven,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
74/187
Tagline
Everyone is dying to meet Harry Crown.

I’ll admit to not having seen John Frankenheimer’s film about a war between two rival crime gangs and the hitman (the late Richard Harris) who is caught between them. From reading various reviews and articles online it seems like the film is trapped between genres; it was intended as a black comedy but apparently features many scenes of over-the-top violence and the humour often falls flat. This quote from an IMDb review gives you some idea:

The substandard mafia plot sits second tier to the film’s sporadic comedy spoofing and mugging, much of what both fails and succeeds simultaneously at the hands of its dramatic director who must have been at the peek of his well publicized cocaine binge.

It certainly sounds like an interesting film (one reviewer describes it as a ‘beautiful mistake’) and I intend to check it out soon because Shout Factory, a US DVD label, are releasing the film in a double-bill with another 1974 film The Nickel Ride this week.

The title is definitely an odd one and is apparently referencing the advertising slogan (at the time) of Ivory Soap, a popular brand of cleaning product that is still available today. Here’s a none-more-1970s advert that features the tagline. The name was obviously simplified at a certain point as it’s now known as ‘Call Harry Crown’ on IMDb.

This US 30×40 poster was designed by the great Bill Gold and features a Roy Lichtenstein-esque pop-art image. I’m not sure who is responsible for the artwork but it’s possible it could be John Van Hamersveld who illustrated the awesome Get Carter pop-art style one sheet. If anyone knows this for sure I’d appreciate the confirmation so leave a comment or send me an email.

This pop-art inspiration also extended to the opening sequence that can be watched here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

The Godfather / screen print / Ñiko / Cuba

18.06.12

Poster Poster

In August 2011 I was lucky enough to visit the island of Cuba for a ten day trip, which was a fantastic experience. It really does feel like a country stuck in a time warp, circa 1965, particularly once you leave the capital and head into the countryside. It’s a stunningly beautiful island with very hospitable people but the relative poverty of the country is clear to see. It’s often said that the government is likely to relax the current freeze on foreign (particularly Western) investment once ‘Comandante’ Fidel Castro passes away, although with his brother Raul currently in charge very little has changed. This article on the BBC gives you an insight into the current situation.

The Cuban people’s love for film and cinema-going is legendary and our guidebook claimed that at the end of the 1950s there were over 300 cinemas in the capital Havana alone. Today, these great old buildings continue to thrive and whilst there I witnessed the queues of people lining up to see the latest releases. I took this picture of the Yara cinema in the Vedado area of Havana before the evening crowds descended.

Whilst in Havana I visited a bookshop that was selling original Cuban propaganda posters printed in the 1950s and 60s by OSPAAAL. They also had a handful of screen-printed film posters, all of which were reprints of the original Cuban cinema posters or re-imagined designs by local artists. They are officially screen printed by the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Artes Industrias Cinematografia) in Havana.

This poster for Francis Ford Coppola‘s classic crime epic The Godfather was designed and illustrated by Antonio Pérez González Ñiko. Born in Havana in 1941, Ñiko (as he is known) studied a Bachelor degree in Art at the city’s university before getting a job at a graphic design agency. He was instrumental in designing multiple posters for the Cuban revolutionary movement in the 1960s and 1970s as well as many film posters in conjunction with the ICAIC.

Now a resident of Mexico, Ñiko works as a professor of Graphic Design at the Gestalt Design School in Xalapa, Veracruz. He continues to design and paint and his work has been featured in countless exhibitions around the world. His personal blog can be viewed here. Galleries of his work can be viewed on his Cargo Collective website here, and the sheer number of film posters he’s worked on is nothing short of incredible.

Whilst in Havana I also picked up a few other posters, one of which (A Clockwork Orange) I have already posted here.

White Line Fever / one sheet / style B / USA

07.07.12

Poster Poster
Title
White Line Fever
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Jonathan Kaplan
Starring
Jan-Michael Vincent, Kay Lenz, Slim Pickens, L.Q. Jones, Sam Laws, Don Porter, R.G. Armstrong, Leigh French, Johnny Ray McGhee, Dick Miller, Martin Kove, Jamie Anderson
Origin of Film
Canada | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jan-Michael Vincent, Kay Lenz, Slim Pickens, L.Q. Jones, Sam Laws, Don Porter, R.G. Armstrong, Leigh French, Johnny Ray McGhee, Dick Miller, Martin Kove, Jamie Anderson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/158
Tagline
Carol Jo Hummer - A working man who's had enough!

White Line Fever was made during the heyday of trucking in American popular culture and tells the story of Vietnam veteran Carol Jo-Hummer (played by Jan-Michael Vincent) who returns from the war and takes over his father’s trucking business, only to run up against the corrupt shipping firm Red River who are a front for an organised crime gang. Kay Lenz stars as Carol’s sweetheart Jerri who awaited his return from Vietnam and eventually helps him take a stand against the gang.

It would later be followed by other trucking-based action films such as the Burt Reynolds mega hit Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and Sam Peckinpah’s Convoy (1978). Director Jonathan Kaplan would go on to direct Jodie Foster to an Oscar win in 1988’s The Accused.

This style B US one sheet depicts a moment from one of the climactic scenes in the film and I’m unsure who is responsible for the artwork so please get in touch if you have any ideas.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Blue Thunder / B1 / Poland

31.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
Blue Thunder
AKA
Blekitny grom (Poland)
Year of Film
1983
Director
John Badham
Starring
Roy Scheider, Warren Oates, Candy Clark, Daniel Stern, Paul Roebling, David Sheiner, Joe Santos, Malcolm McDowell
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Roy Scheider, Warren Oates, Candy Clark, Daniel Stern, Paul Roebling, David Sheiner, Joe Santos, Malcolm McDowell,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
28.5" x 38 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A wild design on this Polish poster for the 1983 American action film Blue Thunder. The late Roy Scheider stars as Frank Murphy, an LAPD pilot who’s given the chance to fly the world’s most advanced helicopter, nicknamed Blue Thunder, and use it in the war against crime. Following the death of a city councilwoman Frank begins a covert investigation and discovers that there are corrupt forces at work who plan to use the stealth helicopter for more than just crime prevention.

The artwork on the poster is by Wieslaw Walkuski who was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

The trailer for Blue Thunder is on YouTube.

Violent Streets / quad / UK

27.09.12

Poster Poster
Title
Violent Streets
AKA
Thief (USA)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Michael Mann
Starring
James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, James Belushi, Robert Prosky, Tom Signorelli, Dennis Farina, Nick Nickeas
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, James Belushi, Robert Prosky, Tom Signorelli, Dennis Farina, Nick Nickeas,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Tonight his take-home pay is $410,000...tax free. He's a thief.

Ace director Michael Mann‘s debut film was released as Violent Streets in the UK (and was originally filmed with that title) but is now better known as Thief. Starring James Caan, in arguably his best role outside of The Godfather, it’s a neo-noir crime caper featuring the ‘one last job’ plot device. Frank (Caan) is an expert safecracker, jewel thief and hardened ex-con who works with a dedicated team of thieves on high-end robberies that are planned to an exacting degree. After a run in with the Chicago mob Frank agrees to do one last big heist that will allow him to follow his dream of getting out of the game to spend time with his new wife Jessie (Tuesday Weld). It quickly becomes clear that getting out isn’t as easy as Frank hoped and, as the caper escalates, his usual wariness and mistrust is set aside, putting his very life at risk.

This quad features a unique design not seen on any other poster for the film, with neon colours evocative of the noir urban settings seen in the film. The American one sheet is markedly different and features stylised artwork of Caan, which can be seen on the cover of the record advertisement as detailed to the left.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

St. Ives / 30×40 / USA

08.02.13

Poster Poster
Title
St. Ives
AKA
Candidato all'obitorio [Candidate at the morgue] (Italy)
Year of Film
1976
Director
J. Lee Thompson
Starring
Charles Bronson, John Houseman, Jacqueline Bisset, Maximilian Schell, Harry Guardino, Harris Yulin, Dana Elcar, Michael Lerner
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, John Houseman, Jacqueline Bisset, Maximilian Schell, Harry Guardino, Harris Yulin, Dana Elcar, Michael Lerner,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
M. Daily
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
76/151
Tagline
Charles Bronson is Ray St. Ives | He's clean. He's mean. He's the go-between.

An excellent, stylised portrait of legendary actor Charles Bronson and the gorgeous English actress Jacqueline Bisset on this 30×40 for the US release of St Ives. Bronson stars as Raymond St. Ives, a former crime reporter and struggling author who is hired by a wealthy eccentric named Abner Procane (John Houseman) to help him secure the return of some important ledgers that were stolen from his mansion. After several unsuccessful attempts to recover them, he eventually gets his hands on the documents but then discovers that a few important pages are missing. He must then team up with Procane and his femme-fatale protege, Janet Whistler (Bisset), to track down the missing pages and St. Ives winds up caught up in a criminal plot that he didn’t see coming.

The film was the first of eight subsequent collaborations between British director J. Lee Thompson and Bronson, which included the likes of The White Buffalo (1977) and 10 to Midnight (1983).

Leon / B2 / Japan

11.03.13

Poster Poster
Title
Leon
AKA
Léon (France - original title) | The Professional (USA)
Year of Film
1994
Director
Luc Besson
Starring
Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello, Michael Badalucco, Ellen Greene, Willi One Blood, Don Creech
Origin of Film
France
Genre(s) of Film
Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello, Michael Badalucco, Ellen Greene, Willi One Blood, Don Creech,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1995
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork on this poster for the Japanese release of French director Luc Besson‘s classic ‘hitman with a heart’ film, Leon (AKA The Professional in the US). The film reunited Besson with his  regular collaborator Jean Reno (he was one of the leads in Besson’s The Big Blue, amongst other roles), who’s superb as the titular assassin wrestling with his strict code of ethics after he witnesses the massacre of a family that leaves one survivor, a twelve-year-old girl called Mathilda (Natalie Portman in a breakout role). The perpetrator is the psychotic, corrupt policeman Stansfield, played brilliantly by Gary Oldman, and Leon decides to take Mathilda under his wing to protect her, but Mathilda wants revenge and Stansfield will stop at nothing to track down the witness to his heinous crime.

This Japanese B2 actually features a still from the director’s cut of the film. Japan was one of the only countries in the world (including France) to see a theatrical release of the so-called ‘Version Integrale’, or International cut, of the film that adds 26 minutes of extra footage – the poster for that release can be seen here. I also have the UK quad and the American one sheet.