You Searched For: John%2BFrankenheimer

French Connection II / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
French Connection II
AKA
Il braccio violento della legge n.2 [The violent arm of the law no.2] (Italy)
Year of Film
1975
Director
John Frankenheimer
Starring
Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Bernard Fresson, Philippe Léotard, Ed Lauter, Charles Millot, Jean-Pierre Castaldi
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Bernard Fresson, Philippe Léotard, Ed Lauter, Charles Millot, Jean-Pierre Castaldi,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Challenge / one sheet / USA

20.03.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Challenge
AKA
Sword of the Ninja (US alt. title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Frankenheimer
Starring
Scott Glenn, Toshirô Mifune, Donna Kei Benz, Atsuo Nakamura, Calvin Jung, Clyde Kusatsu, Sab Shimono, Kiyoaki Nagai
Origin of Film
USA | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Scott Glenn, Toshirô Mifune, Donna Kei Benz, Atsuo Nakamura, Calvin Jung, Clyde Kusatsu, Sab Shimono, Kiyoaki Nagai,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
C.W. Taylor
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820127
Tagline
He has trained every thought, every muscle, every nerve, for this moment of truth. | One American against all odds.

Directed by John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, Seconds) The Challenge is a 1982 action film that was an American/Japanese co-production and is largely set in the latter country. Scott Glenn stars as Rick Murphy, a down-and-out boxer who is hired to transport an ancient sword (one of a pair called ‘The Equals’) that had been stolen during WWII back into Japan and into the hands of a Hideo (Atsuo Nakamura), a member of the Yoshida family. On arrival in Japan, Murphy discovers that the sword is a fake and he’s inadvertently landed himself in the middle of a feud between the ruthless businessman Hideo and his more traditional Samurai brother Toru (Toshirô Mifune).

At first Murphy sides with Hideo and attempts to steal the real sword from Toru, but he soon realises which man is more honorable and eventually asks Toru to train him in swordsmanship and the ways of the samurai. Eventually he strikes up a relationship with Toru’s daughter Akiko but Hideo still wants the sword and will stop at nothing to steal it. Murphy must team up with Toru and his daughter and put his training to the test.

The film’s martial arts choreography was organised by non other than Steven Seagal six years before his own career in front of the camera began. The film was later released in the US in a cut-down form as Sword of the Ninja. Despite being something of a box-office and critical success The Challenge has never been released on DVD and is frustratinly hard to see at the moment. Fingers crossed for a HD release sometime in the future.

The artwork on this one sheet is by an American artist called C. Winston Taylor, about whom very little can be found online. The Lost Video Archive blog has a post on the artist that features images of some of his other posters and video covers. In the 1990s the artist was hired to paint the covers for a Quantum Leap comic book series and a gallery of those images can be viewed on this site, which also features three images of the artist himself. Comicbookdb.com features a small profile of Taylor with the following mini-biography:

C. Winston Taylor always knew from a young age that he would communicate through his drawings. Fighting in the jungles of Vietnam, where he earned two Bronze Stars, helped solidify this vision. After graduating with honors from the Art Center College of Design, in Los Angeles, he quickly became a well-respected illustrator. His work has received numerous awards and he served as the president of The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles. 

The other posters I’ve collected with artwork by C.W. Taylor can be seen by clicking here.

99 and 44/100% Dead / 30×40 / USA

12.12.11

Poster Poster
Title
99 and 44/100% Dead
AKA
Call Harry Crown (re-title)
Year of Film
1974
Director
John Frankenheimer
Starring
Richard Harris, Edmond O'Brien, Bradford Dillman, Ann Turkel, Constance Ford, Zooey Hall, Kathrine Baumann, Janice Heiden, Max Kleven
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Edmond O'Brien, Bradford Dillman, Ann Turkel, Constance Ford, Zooey Hall, Kathrine Baumann, Janice Heiden, Max Kleven,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
74/187
Tagline
Everyone is dying to meet Harry Crown.

I’ll admit to not having seen John Frankenheimer’s film about a war between two rival crime gangs and the hitman (the late Richard Harris) who is caught between them. From reading various reviews and articles online it seems like the film is trapped between genres; it was intended as a black comedy but apparently features many scenes of over-the-top violence and the humour often falls flat. This quote from an IMDb review gives you some idea:

The substandard mafia plot sits second tier to the film’s sporadic comedy spoofing and mugging, much of what both fails and succeeds simultaneously at the hands of its dramatic director who must have been at the peek of his well publicized cocaine binge.

It certainly sounds like an interesting film (one reviewer describes it as a ‘beautiful mistake’) and I intend to check it out soon because Shout Factory, a US DVD label, are releasing the film in a double-bill with another 1974 film The Nickel Ride this week.

The title is definitely an odd one and is apparently referencing the advertising slogan (at the time) of Ivory Soap, a popular brand of cleaning product that is still available today. Here’s a none-more-1970s advert that features the tagline. The name was obviously simplified at a certain point as it’s now known as ‘Call Harry Crown’ on IMDb.

This US 30×40 poster was designed by the great Bill Gold and features a Roy Lichtenstein-esque pop-art image. I’m not sure who is responsible for the artwork but it’s possible it could be John Van Hamersveld who illustrated the awesome Get Carter pop-art style one sheet. If anyone knows this for sure I’d appreciate the confirmation so leave a comment or send me an email.

This pop-art inspiration also extended to the opening sequence that can be watched here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.