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Once Upon A Time In The West / A1 / 1987 re-release / Czechoslovakia

15.09.12

Poster Poster

A striking design on this poster for the 1987 Czechoslovakian re-release of Sergio Leone’s masterpiece Once Upon a Time in the West. The epic 1968 Western stars Charles Bronson as the mysterious Harmonica who arrives in a frontier town and is memorably attacked by a group of trench coat-wearing assassins. Meanwhile, the family of Jill McBain (the gorgeous Claudia Cardinale), who has arrived in the town looking for a fresh start, is brutally slaughtered by unknown perpetrators. The prime suspect Cheyenne (Jason Robards) befriends the widow and joins forces with Harmonica to go after Frank (Henry Fonda in an atypical role), the ruthless gang leader protecting the interests of a railroad company.

This re-release poster features a design by the celebrated Czech artist Zdenek Ziegler. Born in Prague in 1932, Ziegler studied at the Czech Technical University and graduated in 1961. He went on to design over 200 film posters during a 26-year period from 1963 to 1989. The website Terry Posters has a page with a biography of Ziegler and a gallery of his work (with some of them being available to purchase). Since 1990 Ziegler has been a teacher at Academy of Arts in Prague.

Some of his most celebrated designs include a 1970 poster for Hitchock’s Psycho and a great design for Truffaut’s Jules et Jim. His take on the poster for Ridley Scott’s Alien is also very unique.

Meteor / B2 / Japan

01.06.15

Poster Poster

Arriving at the tail-end of the 1970s, a decade that saw the release of a number of successful disaster movies like The Towering Inferno and Earthquake, Meteor ended up as an all-star clunker and is easily one of the worst entries in the genre. Helmed by the British filmmaker Ronald Neame, who had seen success with 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure, the film focuses on the outcome of the eponymous lump of rock barrelling towards earth after being knocked off course by a comet. Sean Connery plays Paul Bradley, a scientist who masterminded the creation of a space-based weapon named Hercules that was originally intended to protect earth from such a threat, but was instead taken over by the military and aimed at the Soviet Union due to escalating Cold War tensions.

The plot sees the US and Russia agreeing to work together after much (dull) handwringing and Paul Bradley works with his opposite number from the CCCP Alexei Dubov (Brian Keith) to ensure the Russian’s own weapons platform can combine forces with Hercules and fire both payloads at the rock. Meanwhile, fragments of the asteroid begin hitting earth in some unconvincing sequences featuring uniformly awful special effects. Eventually, and improbably, a large chunk hits Manhattan, which just happens to be where Paul Bradley and most of the other characters are located, leading to some sequences of mild peril that end up with Connery covered in mud and a few dead background characters. The special effects are truly, inexcusably awful and I can’t think of one well-executed sequence. The rock hitting New York is mostly done with what is clearly red-tinted stock footage of buildings being knocked down by controlled demolition.

The biggest problem with the film is that most of the actors look bored and, with the exception of a crazy-eyed Martin Landau, like they’d rather be somewhere else. It doesn’t help that the Cold War machinations, whilst maybe more relevant in 1979, are totally boring today and way too much of the film is spent focused on discussions to try and resolve differences between the two nations.

Whilst the film is a stinker, the same can’t be said for this moody artwork showing an obliterated Manhattan that was illustrated by Noriyoshi Ohrai, my favourite Japanese artist and certainly in my top five greatest film poster illustrators of all time. He’s responsible for a number of other posters in the Godzilla franchise, some of which can be seen here. He also worked on a number of Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. In March 2014 a retrospective exhibition was held in Japan of Ohrai’s work and I made the trip over to Miyazaki to see the exhibition. I’m very glad I did as it featured most of his original artwork and a whole array of posters and book covers. A full report will follow soon.

The posters I’ve managed to collect by Noriyoshi Ohrai can be seen by clicking here.

Ash Wednesday / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Ash Wednesday
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Larry Peerce
Starring
Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Fonda, Helmut Berger
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Fonda, Helmut Berger,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Never Give a Inch / one sheet / 1975 re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Never Give a Inch
AKA
Sometimes a Great Notion (USA - original title) | Never Give An Inch (UK)
Year of Film
1970
Director
Paul Newman
Starring
Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Lee Remick, Michael Sarrazin, Richard Jaeckel, Linda Lawson, Cliff Potts, Sam Gilman, Lee de Broux
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Lee Remick, Michael Sarrazin, Richard Jaeckel, Linda Lawson, Cliff Potts, Sam Gilman, Lee de Broux,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 40 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Once Upon A Time In The West / quad / 2000 BFI re-release / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Once Upon A Time In The West / screen print / Aesthetic Apparatus / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Tentacles / B2 / Ohrai artwork style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Tentacles
AKA
Tentacoli (Italy - original title) | Macki (Poland)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Oliver Hellman
Starring
John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins, Henry Fonda, Delia Boccardo, Cesare Danova, Alan Boyd, Sherry Buchanan, Franco Diogene, Marc Fiorini
Origin of Film
Italy | USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins, Henry Fonda, Delia Boccardo, Cesare Danova, Alan Boyd, Sherry Buchanan, Franco Diogene, Marc Fiorini,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Ohrai artwork style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Tentacles / B2 / boob style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Tentacles
AKA
Tentacoli (Italy - original title) | Macki (Poland)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Oliver Hellman
Starring
John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins, Henry Fonda, Delia Boccardo, Cesare Danova, Alan Boyd, Sherry Buchanan, Franco Diogene, Marc Fiorini
Origin of Film
Italy | USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins, Henry Fonda, Delia Boccardo, Cesare Danova, Alan Boyd, Sherry Buchanan, Franco Diogene, Marc Fiorini,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Boob
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--