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Bloody Birthday / one sheet / international

30.08.13

Poster Poster
Title
Bloody Birthday
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Ed Hunt
Starring
Lori Lethin, Melinda Cordell, Julie Brown, Joe Penny, Bert Kramer, K.C. Martel, Elizabeth Hoy, Billy Jayne, Andy Freeman, Susan Strasberg, José Ferrer, Ben Marley, Erica Hope, Ellen Geer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Lori Lethin, Melinda Cordell, Julie Brown, Joe Penny, Bert Kramer, K.C. Martel, Elizabeth Hoy, Billy Jayne, Andy Freeman, Susan Strasberg, José Ferrer, Ben Marley, Erica Hope, Ellen Geer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They couldn't wait to grow up... to kill. | The Nightmare Begins With The Kids Next Door

A wild design on this one sheet for the 1981 horror featuring a trio of demonic kids. From IMDb:

In 1970, three children are born at the height of a total eclipse. Due to the sun and moon blocking Saturn, which controls emotions, they have become heartless killers ten years later, and are able to escape detection because of their youthful and innocent facades. A boy and his teenage sister become endangered when they stumble onto the bloody truth.

Director Ed Hunt would retire from filmmaking a few years after Bloody Birthday was released with a modest ten films to his name.

I also have the alternative style one sheet in the collection. You can watch the trailer on YouTube.

The Long Good Friday / one sheet / international

08.02.12

Poster Poster

Ron Fenton is the artist behind this exciting montage for the classic British gangster film, starring Bob Hoskins in arguably his best film role. The poster features Hoskins alongside great portraits of Helen Mirren, the late Eddie Constantine (perhaps most famous for his role in Alphaville) and P.H. Moriarty (as the psychotic Razors).

The film focuses on Harold Shand (Hoskins) an underworld kingpin whose grand plans to develop the London Docklands, with the backing of the American Mafia, start to go awry when a series of bombs kill his associates and undermine his credibility. Harold needs to discover who is behind the killings and exact revenge before the deal is lost. The film is notable for its use of real London locations and it’s a thrill to watch the film now and see how much of the capital has changed. It was only made 33 years ago but the city is barely recognisable compared to today.

The film had a fairly tumultuous time getting into cinemas and was saved from being cut to shreds and offloaded as a TV special after its original production company (ITC) weren’t happy with the results. Helen Mirren was friends with Eric Idle who saw the film and recommended it to George Harrison who had just started up Handmade Films. Harrison saw commercial potential and was able to purchase the rights for less than the original production cost. The film went on to be a solid success for Handmade.

I’ve had no luck finding any other poster art that can be attributed to Ron Fenton, but Sim Branaghan (British Film Posters) has confirmed that he did work on other posters around this time. I’ll update the article if any more information comes to light. The artwork was used as a DVD cover for certain releases of the film.

This international one sheet is vastly superior to the rather terrible quad. This particular copy is not in perfect condition, as is obvious from the pictures, but it’s one of those posters that hardly ever shows up so I was more than happy to add it to my collection.

The original trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

Raiders of the Lost Ark / quad / style A / UK

06.01.12

Poster Poster
Title
Raiders of the Lost Ark
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Richard Amsel
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The creators of Jaws and Star Wars now bring you the Ultimate Hero in the Ultimate Adventure

This was the first British poster released for the first film in Steven Spielberg‘s legendary Indiana Jones series. The poster uses artwork by American artist Richard Amsel, as featured on the US one sheet. Both posters had the task of selling the new character to cinema-goers and you’ll notice that they emphasise two previous hit films from Spielberg (Jaws) and George Lucas (Star Wars).

This is technically the style A quad because, as I understand it, the British distributors (Paramount UK?) decided that the artwork was too dark and Indy looks too dour and thus commissioned a second poster to be designed and printed. This resulted in the Style B quad with artwork by the great British artist Brian Bysouth. The montage on that poster leaves no doubt that the film contains plenty of action and adventure. It also ditches the now classic Indiana Jones logo and some folks balk at the fact that Indy is depicted without his fedora and leather jacket.

I believe this poster was then withdrawn once the Style B was available. I do like Richard Amsel’s artwork but I feel that Brian Bysouth’s portrait of Indy and the great composition of the other characters means the replacement is the better of the two posters.

My overall favourite Indiana Jones poster is by Richard Amsel and was for the 1982 re-release of the film in the US. It can be seen here.

Other posters by Richard Amsel I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

Raiders of the Lost Ark / quad / style B / UK

06.01.12

Poster Poster
Title
Raiders of the Lost Ark
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A superb montage by the great British artist Brian Bysouth for the first film in Steven Spielberg‘s legendary Indiana Jones series. This is technically the Style B quad because, as I understand it, the British distributors (Paramount UK?) decided that the artwork on the first quad (Style A) was too dark and Indy looks too dour and thus commissioned a second poster to be designed and printed.

The artwork on this replacement quad is definitely more exciting and leaves no question that the film contains plenty of action and adventure. It does ditch the now classic Indiana Jones logo, and some balk at the fact that Indy is depicted without his fedora and leather jacket, but it does a much better job of selling the film than the first poster, in my opinion.

In my 2012 interview with Brian this poster was discussed:

What about the Raiders of the Lost Ark quad? You must have done that whilst still with Ken [Hayter]?
Yes, that was done for the Lonsdale Advertising agency. They showed me their revised pencil visual and the first poster that had been done by Richard Amsel. They said that they didn’t like it because it didn’t show anything of what the film was about; it was a very dark poster, and the film isn’t like that, is it? It’s an absolutely classic, boys-own thriller and a very colourful film. Whilst the Amsel version is a great piece of art I think my painting does a better job of showing what the film is really about.

Were you given any directions for the re-design?
No. I knew I had to make it more exciting and if you look at the poster you’ll notice that the free brushwork helps to give it movement. I had to paint it quickly because the first quad was already up on the Underground and all over the country. Lonsdales wanted the new poster to replace the Amsel one as quickly as possible.

One thing that people often remark about in your Raiders quad is that Indy is missing his Fedora and leather jacket, which later became his trademarks.
I was given a headshot of Harrison Ford with no body reference to paint from. I struck the likeness from the reference I was given. I didn’t think the original reference photo was the best image of Harrison Ford but I did my best with what I was given. At that time the jacket and fedora had not become iconic and were not considered a requirement.

It’s interesting to note that the decision was taken to drop the text referencing two previous hit films from Spielberg (Jaws) and George Lucas (Star Wars). This artwork was later re-used when the film was re-released at cinemas (the press-quote was replaced) and was also printed as a UK one sheet.

My overall favourite Indiana Jones poster is by Richard Amsel and was for the 1982 re-release of the film in the US. It can be seen here.

Other posters by Brian Bysouth I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

 

Wild At Heart / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Wild At Heart / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

This is the US one sheet poster for David Lynch’s 1990 twisted road trip Wild at Heart. Based on Barry Gifford’s 1989 novel of the same name, the film is arguably the most conventional film that Lynch has ever made, but it’s no less weird and wonderful than the rest of his output. Nicolas Cage turns in one of his career best performances as Sailor Ripley, a young man sent to jail for killing a knife-wielding attacker in North Carolina.

Upon his release, he is met by his girlfriend Lula Fortune (Laura Dern) at the prison gates and the pair decide to run away to California to escape her domineering mother Marietta (a memorable performance by Diane Ladd). Marietta is a twisted bully and totally disapproves of Sailor and Lula’s relationship. It’s revealed that she sent the knife-wielding killer after him to begin with and when they disappear she hires both a private detective and a dangerous mobster to track them down.

The lovers end up in Texas where they meet an old friend called Perdita Durango (Isabella Rossellini) who they hope will be able to help them, but also encounter the psychotic gangster Bobby Peru (a terrifying Willem Dafoe) who leads Sailor astray with terrible consequences. The film is full of Lynch’s trademark surreal sequences and shocking moments of violence, including one involving a shotgun that is hard to forget. Apparently the film tested badly upon completion and Lynch recalls that over 100 people walked out during one screening. It received a pretty mixed critical reception but it did win the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was a moderate financial success in the US and internationally.

The Dark Knight / B1 / burning building style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Knight
AKA
Rory's First Kiss (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Burning building
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 10/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unforgiven / one sheet / teaser / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Super Cops / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Super Cops
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Gordon Parks
Starring
Ron Leibman, David Selby, Sheila Frazier, Pat Hingle, Dan Frazer, Joseph Sirola, Arny Freeman, Bernard Kates, Alex Colon
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Ron Leibman, David Selby, Sheila Frazier, Pat Hingle, Dan Frazer, Joseph Sirola, Arny Freeman, Bernard Kates, Alex Colon,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 3/16" x 28 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Shawshank Redemption / one sheet / 10th anniversary re-release / USA

12.01.12

Poster Poster

The Greatest Film Ever Made (IMDb) was re-released with a brief cinema run on its 10th anniversary in 2004. Director Frank Darabont approached legendary illustrator Drew Struzan and asked him to work on the poster. This design is featured in the brilliant book ‘The Art of Drew Struzan’ (available at Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk).

The book reveals several of the other designs that he and Darabont worked on together and explains how the pair first met:

You know how I met Frank Darabont? He ordered two copies of the Creature from the Black Lagoon print and liked them so much he called me on the phone, out of the blue, to thank me and ask to meet. Frank became my friend through his appreciation of my work, same as Guillermo [Del Toro].

Once Frank approached Drew to work on the Shawshank re-release poster the pair quickly struck up a close working relationship:

Warner Bros. Home Video was ready to accept whatever Frank wanted, so I did some comps [comprehensive roughs] directly for him. The trouble with working a director who loves my stuff: He couldn’t decide what he wanted: he wanted them all! He ultimately chose my reprise of Tim Robbins in the rain for the cover.

Drew clearly has a fond recollection of the project and remarks on the fact that the style of painting stands out from the rest of his work:

It was a real blessing – he got me the job, he used the art, and I got to do a kind of painting that is completely different from what I had done for movie posters. The experience was all about Frank. We didn’t meet in some office; he came over to my house, we collaborated, I showed him my pictures, and he watched me work.

And the fate of the other comps that can be seen in the Art of Drew Struzan book?

In the end, they’re hanging in his house because he fell in love with the art, and I fell in love with him.
The original US one sheet is the single photographic image of Andy (Tim Robbins) in the rain after his escape and, whilst that image is a well-known one, I do prefer Drew’s moody collage. The use of light and dark on the faces is superbly done and the layout of each of the characters works very well.

The other posters in my Drew Struzan collection can be seen here.

The Shawshank Redemption / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Dark Knight / one sheet / advance / ‘Why so serious?’ style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Knight
AKA
Rory's First Kiss (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - Why so serious?
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Intralink Film Graphic Design
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Why so serious?

The Dark Knight / B2 / home video release / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Knight
AKA
Rory's First Kiss (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Home video release
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Dark Knight / B1 / advance / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Knight
AKA
Rory's First Kiss (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Advance
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 Dark Knight / B1 / Joker style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Knight
AKA
Rory's First Kiss (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Joker
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 10/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Dark Knight / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Knight
AKA
Rory's First Kiss (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
Welcome to a world without rules.