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Nighthawks / one sheet / UK

16.10.13

Poster Poster
Title
Nighthawks
Year of Film
1981
Director
Bruce Malmuth
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner, Persis Khambatta, Nigel Davenport, Rutger Hauer, Hilary Thompson, Joe Spinell, Walter Mathews
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner, Persis Khambatta, Nigel Davenport, Rutger Hauer, Hilary Thompson, Joe Spinell, Walter Mathews,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ron Fenton (unconfirmed)
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Can a cop's code of honour win against an assassin's ruthlessness?

This is the scarce UK one sheet for the release of the little-seen 1981 thriller Nighthawks, which stars Sylvester Stallone as a New York City detective who, along with partner Billy Dee Williams, is assigned to a team charged with apprehending an international terrorist played by Rutger Hauer. This is arguably Stallone’s last starring role where he was playing a ‘normal’ man, rather than the invincible tough guys he would later be most associated with – First Blood (Rambo) would be released a year after this film. Nighthawks also marked the first Hollywood role for Hauer following a run of Paul Verhoeven directed features in his native Holland – only a year later he would be starring in arguably his most iconic role as the replicant Roy Batty in Blade Runner.

Nighthawks starts with a bang as Hauer’s international terrorist Wulfgar Reinhardt blows up a department store in London (a scene actually filmed on location in Clapham, I believe) in what is implied to be a job for the IRA. When the bomb causes more carnage than his employers desired – several children are killed – Wulfgar decides to travel to New York City where he plans to carry out a series of attacks to advertise his skills to potential future benefactors. Stallone’s brilliantly named detective Deke DeSilva and his partner Matthew Fox (Dee Williams) are taken off their usual street work and given to the task force charged with hunting down and ‘terminating’ Wulfgar.

What follows is a very solid thriller featuring several well-staged chases and a tense showdown centred around a cable car. The film makes excellent use of real locations and features some great stunt work, particularly from Stallone who apparently did all of his own without the use of a double. It’s certainly an impressive debut feature from director Bruce Malmuth and Hauer, Stallone and Billy Dee Williams give very solid performances that make up for some weaknesses in the supporting cast.

This one sheet features UK-exclusive artwork that was also used on the quad. I’m not 100% certain but I believe it to be the work of an artist called Ron Fenton who also worked on the one sheet for The Long Good Friday that was printed only a year before. Check out the pictures on this page to see the similarities. The only thing is that Nighthawks is missing the signature that Fenton scrawled on the LGF one sheet. If anyone knows for sure that Fenton can be credited with the poster please get in touch.

Walking the Edge / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Walking the Edge
AKA
--
Year of Film
1983
Director
Norbert Meisel
Starring
Robert Forster, Nancy Kwan, Joe Spinell, A Martinez, James McIntire, Wayne Woodson, Doug Toby, Phil H. Fravel, Luis Contreras
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Forster, Nancy Kwan, Joe Spinell, A Martinez, James McIntire, Wayne Woodson, Doug Toby, Phil H. Fravel, Luis Contreras,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They drove him to the edge, and on the edge there are no rules. | This Cabby Ain't Askin' For No Tips.

Paradise Alley / B2 / Japan

27.06.12

Poster Poster

The Italian Stallion‘s directorial debut, Paradise Alley was written by Stallone in the early 1970s and was given the green light following the success of Rocky (1976). The film focuses on three Italian-American brothers living in the tough neighbourhood of Hell’s Kitchen, New York in the 1940s and who are all yearning to escape to a better life. Stallone plays Cosmo, the eldest brother who realises that  Victor (Lee Canalito) could use his size and strength to make it big as a wrestler, and persuades him to enter a local contest. Lenny (Armand Assante) agrees to manage Victor’s career but it’s not long before the Cosmo realises that the life of a wrestler is more damaging than he imagined and the brothers’ relationship begins to suffer.

As well as writing, directing and acting in the film, Stallone was also responsible for singing the theme tune over the credits, which can be heard here.

The artwork on this Japanese poster is by the American artist John Solie who has been working as an illustrator for over 40 years. Film posters are just one aspect of his output, which also includes book and magazine covers, sculptures, portraits and work for NASA. He continues to paint today in Tucson, Arizona. Here are the posters by John Solie I have collected to date.

The US one sheet is significantly different in style and can be seen here.

Starcrash / one sheet / USA

29.07.11

Poster Poster
Title
Starcrash
AKA
Scontri stellari oltre la terza dimensione [stellar clashes beyond the third dimension] (Italy) | Star Battle Encounters (Philippines - English title)
Year of Film
1978
Director
Luigi Cozzi
Starring
Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer, David Hasselhoff, Robert Tessier, Joe Spinell, Nadia Cassini, Judd Hamilton, Hamilton Camp
Origin of Film
USA | Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer, David Hasselhoff, Robert Tessier, Joe Spinell, Nadia Cassini, Judd Hamilton, Hamilton Camp,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Solie
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
790050
Tagline
From a vast and distant galaxy... A Space Adventure for all Time!

This American one sheet for Starcrash, Luigi Cozzi’s 1978 Star Wars ‘homage’, has excellent artwork by John Solie, featuring Caroline Munro as the superbly monikered Stella Star. Critically panned on release, it has since gained cult status thanks to the camp script and infamous special effects. It was recently re-released on blu-ray under the ‘Roger Corman Cult Classics’ series. The film also features a score by the late John Barry – I like this bit of trivia on IMDb.

Witness David Hasselhoff battling space droids with a ‘lightsword’ on YouTube.

Check out the original trailer on YouTube (edited by the great Joe Dante) and bear witness to the quality of the effects.

Director Eli Roth has recorded a commentary to the trailer on the Trailer From Hell site.