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Poppies Are Also Flowers / A1 / Germany

21.09.15

Poster Poster

Five great portraits painted by Renato Casaro feature on this German re-release poster for Poppies Are Also Flowers (AKA Danger Grows Wild and several other titles). Made as an anti-drug trafficking film with the help of the United Nations, it was sponsored by corporate entities, including Xerox.  As this poster attests, it was based on a screenplay by James Bond creator Ian Fleming, was directed by Bond director Terence Young and had a seriously star-studded cast. The likes of Yul BrynnerAngie DickinsonTrevor Howard and Marcello Mastroianni all signed up and, so the story goes, worked for $1 each. Some serious favours must have been called in as I find it hard to believe they were all passionately anti-narcotics!

The story is described thusly on the film’s Wikipedia page:

In an attempt to stem the heroin trade at the Afghanistan–Iran border, a group of narcotics agents working for the United Nations inject a radioactive compound into a seized shipment of opium, in the hopes that it will lead them to the main heroin distributor in Europe.

Now largely forgotten, the film is apparently in the public domain and is available to watch on YouTube and elsewhere (although the quality of all copies out there is atrocious). Although originally intended for TV, the film was given a cinema release in several countries, including Japan, UK (as Danger Grows Wild) and Germany. This poster is apparently for a 1973 re-release (for what reason I’m not certain) and the original German release poster can be seen here. Casaro was clearly tasked with making the film appear as exciting as possible and added the action scenes in the bottom half of the poster. It’s safe to say that for all the effort that went it to making the film it wasn’t exactly successful in curtailing the activities of the international drug trade!

One of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro is an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

Barbarosa / one sheet / USA

13.07.16

Poster Poster
Title
Barbarosa
AKA
La Vengeance mexicaine (France)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Fred Schepisi
Starring
Willie Nelson, Gary Busey, Isela Vega, Gilbert Roland, Danny De La Paz, Alma Martinez, George Voskovec, Sharon Compton
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Willie Nelson, Gary Busey, Isela Vega, Gilbert Roland, Danny De La Paz, Alma Martinez, George Voskovec, Sharon Compton,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
George Tsui
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820030
Tagline
The Outlaw... The Outcast... And the Legend that was bigger than both of them.

Great artwork features on this US one sheet for the little-seen 1982 western Barbarosa. The film was the first American film to be directed the Australian producer/director Fred Schepisi who would go on to international success with films such as Roxanne and Six Degrees of Separation. It stars the legendary country musician Willie Nelson who forged a career in acting towards the end of the 1970s and this was one of his first feature films. He appears alongside Gary Busey who plays a young farm boy who joins up with Nelson’s titular outlaw. The plot is described thusly on IMDb:

Karl Westover (Busey), an inexperienced farm boy, runs away after unintentionally killing a neighbor, whose family pursues him for vengeance. He meets Barbarosa, a gunman of near-mythical proportions, who is himself in danger from his father-in-law Don Braulio, a wealthy Mexican rancher. Don Braulio wants Barbarosa dead for marrying his daughter against the father’s will. Barbarosa reluctantly takes the clumsy Karl on as a partner, as both of them look to survive the forces lining up against them.

The film appears to have only been released in a few countries, including the US and Australia but was well received by critics at the time. The artwork on this one sheet appears to have been used to promote the film in most of the markets in which it was released. It features the signature (see picture 9) beloning to an artist called George Tsui. A reader of the site commented and helped me identify him after I’d struggled to read the signature originally. I’ve struggled to find out much in the way of biographical details about him other than that he was born in Hong Kong and moved to New York in the late 60s. He first studied at the School of Visual Arts and later majored in oil painting at the Art Students League.

According to this site Tsui worked for NBC for a number of years and won the 1997 Emmy Award for Best Individual Art and Craft. That site also features other pictures of his work. Apparently he worked on other film posters (the titles of which I’m struggling with) and a series of posters for the 1984 Winter Olympics. If anyone has any more information about the artist and his work on film posters please get in touch.

Islands In The Stream / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Islands In The Stream
AKA
--
Year of Film
1977
Director
Franklin J. Schaffner
Starring
George C. Scott, David Hemmings, Gilbert Roland, Susan Tyrrell, Richard Evans, Claire Bloom, Julius Harris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
George C. Scott, David Hemmings, Gilbert Roland, Susan Tyrrell, Richard Evans, Claire Bloom, Julius Harris,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Bob Peak
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
77/62
Tagline
--