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Local Hero / one sheet / USA

20.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
Local Hero
AKA
--
Year of Film
1983
Director
Bill Forsyth
Starring
Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Fulton Mackay, Denis Lawson, Norman Chancer, Peter Capaldi, Rikki Fulton, Alex Norton, Jenny Seagrove, Jennifer Black, Christopher Rozycki, Gyearbuor Asante, John M. Jackson, Dan Ammerman
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Fulton Mackay, Denis Lawson, Norman Chancer, Peter Capaldi, Rikki Fulton, Alex Norton, Jenny Seagrove, Jennifer Black, Christopher Rozycki, Gyearbuor Asante, John M. Jackson, Dan Ammerman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
830088
Tagline
A beautiful coastline... A rich oil man wants to develop it. A poor beach bum wants to live on it. An entire town wants to profit by it. And a real-live mermaid wants to save it... Only one of them will get their way.

One of the best British films of all time, and certainly one of the best comedies, Local Hero was directed by Scotsman Bill Forsyth and tells the story of what happens when a Texan company reveals plans to turn a tiny stretch of the Northern Scottish coastline into a massive oil refinery. Burt Lancaster plays Felix Happer, the head of Knox Oil and Gas, who sends one of his hot-shot executives Mac (Peter Riegert) to the tiny village of Ferness to make a purchase offer to the residents. Mac meets up with local Knox representative Oldsen (Peter Capaldi) and the pair start negotiations with the help of local solicitor and pub owner Urquhart (Peter Capaldi).

Despite the enthusiasm of the majority of the locals, who relish the idea of the money heading their way, things don’t exactly go to plan as Mac starts to enjoy life in the sleepy village, Oldsen meets and falls in love with a local girl (mermaid?) called Marina and an old beachcomber who lives in a shack on the beach reveals he has no plans to sell up and move on.

The film features a brilliantly sharp script full of memorable characters, hilarious exchanges and some wonderful sight gags; one in particular featuring an abseiling therapist spelling out a message on a window is perfectly done. It also features a very memorable score by Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler. Local Hero could rightly be called a treasure of a movie and I strongly urge you to check it out if you’re yet to experience it.

The village of Pennan near Aberdeen was used for the village location shots and is now a scene of pilgrimage for the fans of the film, particularly the red phone box that plays a prominent role in the story. In 2008, the British critic Mark Kermode travelled to the village with Bill Forsyth to interview him about the film and hold a special screening on the 25th anniversary of its release. The video of the event can be watched here.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the artwork on this US one sheet but the UK quad also features a very similar image of Mac (with the addition of the phone box). If you have any ideas who might have been responsible please get in touch.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Tokyo! / B1 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Tokyo!
AKA
--
Year of Film
2008
Director
Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, Bong Joon-ho
Starring
Ayako Fujitani, Ryo Kase, Denis Lavant, Jean-François Balmer, Teruyuki Kagawa, Yū Aoi
Origin of Film
France | Japan | Germany | South Korea
Genre(s) of Film
Ayako Fujitani, Ryo Kase, Denis Lavant, Jean-François Balmer, Teruyuki Kagawa, Yū Aoi,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
White
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 10/16" x 40 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Day Of The Jackal / B2 / close up style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Uncanny / one sheet / UK

22.06.15

Poster Poster

A striking design on this poster for the 1977 British-Canadian horror anthology The Uncanny, which is based around the unlikely theme of malevolent cats. The film is often mistakenly credited as being an Amicus Productions anthology (like Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror) but it was in fact a Rank release with the involvement of Milton Subotsky, one half of the Amicus team, which had disbanded in 1975.

The film features three stories told as part of an overarching framing tale that sees Peter Cushing as a British author visiting his agent in Montreal to present the idea for his next book, which is that all cats are inherently evil, supernatural creatures. To illustrate his reasoning he tells three separate tales, each from different eras and locations. The first is set in London and sees Miss Malkin (Joan Greenwood) a sick, wealthy widower leave her fortune to her houseful of cats, which angers her only nephew. He enlists the help of the housemaid Janet (Susan Penhaligon) who attempts to steal the copies of the will but disturbs the elderly woman as she’s doing so and kills her in the struggle that follows. Much to Janet’s surprise, the moggies then take their revenge on her and the nephew.

The second story is based in Quebec and sees Lucy (Katrina Holden Bronson) an orphaned girl, going to live with her Aunt and bringing her beloved cat Wellington with her. After being mistreated by the family who decide to try and dispose of Wellington, Lucy seeks help from her collection of witchcraft books and takes out her anger on her malicious cousin Angela. The final story is set in Hollywood during the 1930s and features Donald Pleasence giving it his all as an actor who rigs an onset accident that kills his wife so he can shack up with his mistress, a younger actress. Unfortunately, his wife’s cat is none too pleased with its owner being offed and sets out to get its revenge, which it does in a ridiculous finale.

The film features very little in the way of horror, with only some very fake looking blood in a few scenes and absolutely nothing in the way of suspense. The special effects are mostly awful and in the scenes where cats are supposedly attacking people you can practically see the hands of the animal handlers who’ve just thrown them at the victim. The middle story set in Canada is particularly poor, thanks to a woeful performance by the actress playing Lucy. The simple fact is that cats are not particularly scary and anyone who owns a cat knows that the worst that might happen is a bit of scratched skin. Apparently the film flopped at the box office and was never even given a release in American cinemas.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Vic Fair, who is one the most important designer/artists ever to work on British film marketing. He is responsible for several iconic posters, including The Man Who Fell To Earth, posters for Hammer horrors like Vampire Circus, and the withdrawn advance one sheet for A View to a Kill. I interviewed Vic for this site and that article can be viewed by clicking here.

To see the other posters I’ve collected by him click here.

The Day Of The Jackal / B2 / target style / Japan

09.09.15

Poster Poster

A striking design on this Japanese B2 for the release of the 1974 thriller The Day of the Jackal, which was based on the 1971 novel of the same name by the English author Frederick Forsyth. The story is set in 1962 and focuses on a fictional assassination attempt on France’s then president Charles de Gaulle who had angered many in his own country by deciding to grant independence to the French colony of Algeria. An underground resistance group called the OAS had formed to fight this decision and both the novel and the film start with a real incident in which de Gaulle’s car had been sprayed with machine gun fire, but he had miraculously survived unscathed. In the film the OAS decide to cut their losses and hire a professional assassin. They settle on an Englishman (played by Edward Foxwho decides on the call sign ‘Jackal’.

The film follows The Jackal as he prepares for the assassination by traveling all over Europe to procure identity documents, a special weapon, and other items necessary for the task. The French authorities become aware that someone has been hired for the job and appoint ‘France’s best detective, Lebel (Michael Lonsdale, best known for his role as the villain in Moonraker), to lead the hunt for him. Lebel calls in favours from all over Europe in the hunt and eventually they strike it lucky with enquiries by Scotland Yard in the UK. The film ratchets up the tension as the French authorities close in on The Jackal, but he manages to evade them long enough to line de Gaulle up in his sights. 

The film is almost two and a half hours long but maintains a brisk pace and is certainly thrilling throughout. It makes brilliant use of real locations and the Wikipedia page for the film points out some of the places the production visited. The film was very well critically acclaimed but failed to perform as spectacularly at the box-office as some had hoped, something later blamed on the fact that the lead was the then unknown Fox.

This is one of two styles of Japanese posters for the film and I also have the ‘face’ style, which can be seen here.