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King Kong / 1976 / B2 / top of tower style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster
Title
King Kong
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Top of tower
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Berkey
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

King Kong / 1976 / B2 / train style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Train
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Berkey
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

King Kong / 1976 / B2 / snake style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Snake
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Berkey
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

King Kong / 1976 / B2 / climbing style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Climbing
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Berkey
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

King Kong / 1976 / one sheet / teaser / USA

16.05.17

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Diener-Hauser
Artist
John Berkey
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
76/212
Tagline
The most exciting original motion picture event of all time.

Great artwork by the late American artist John Berkey features on this teaser one sheet for the release of the 1976 remake of the 1933 classic, King Kong. Legendary Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis conceived of the idea of remaking and updating the original. He worked with the screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. (Batman the TV series, Flash Gordon) – a regular collaborator with the producer – and asked for the script to be more light-hearted than the original version. British director John Guillermin, who had seen great box-office success with The Towering Inferno a couple of years earlier, was given the director’s job. The two leads were a young Jeff Bridges and the stunning Jessica Lange in her debut role – De Laurentiis had spotted her modelling and asked her to audition. The rest of the cast is filled with respected character actors, including Charles GrodinJohn Randolph and Ed Lauter.

The film follows the overall plot of the original fairly closely, although some of the details are updated to reflect its contemporary setting and the special effects are no longer stop-motion. An American oil company sets sail onboard a research vessel to find a mysterious, f0g-shrouded island that has long been rumoured to exist somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Jack Prescott (Bridges), a primate paleontologist stows away onboard and eventually reveals himself to exhibition leader Fred Wilson (Grodin) and the rest of the crew. As he’s about to be put into lock-up, Jack spots a life raft drifting in the middle of the ocean and the crew discover an unconscious woman. Dwan (Lange) is apparently the sole survivor from a yacht that exploded and killed the rest of the passengers. After she wakes she’s told of aim and destination of the ship that has rescued her.

After discovering the island, several of the crew venture inland and encounter a primitive tribe carrying out some kind of ritual near a giant wooden wall. After returning to their boat when the natives charge them, the crew pauses to rethink their plans. In the darkness of night, a canoe full of natives steal Dwan from the ship and take her to the wall where she is prepared as an offering to Kong. The beast takes her to his lair in the jungle where he spends a while ogling over her. Jack and some of the other crew manage to track her down but not before Kong offs several crew members and a giant snake. Eventually, Kong is subdued using chloroform and a giant pit and Fred Wilson decides to salvage the exhibition by transporting the ape back to America onboard an oil tanker. Needless to say, he doesn’t stay captive for very long when he reaches New York, and soon Kong is climbing the Twin Towers with Dwan in his hand.

De Laurentiis had hired both Carlo Rambaldi (most famous for E.T.) and Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London) to work on the special effects for the creature, and the result was Baker himself wearing an ape suit in the majority of shots. A giant mechanical version of Kong was built but wasn’t ready in time for many of the shots and had severe issues when it did finally appear. Only about 15 seconds of the mechanical version survive in the last cut of the film. Baker was apparently displeased with the final version of the suit and it’s arguably what dates the film most when viewed today. There’s also some terrible rear-projection scenes, which were shoddy even in 1976. In some ways it might have been better to film using stop-motion animation, which was still being employed by the likes of Ray Harryhausen, even in the latter half of the 1970s, but the production must have decided that audiences were tired of that style of creature effects. Critics weren’t kind to the film at the time of its release but it still performed well at the box-office, thanks in part to the significant amount of tie-in marketing campaigns that De Laurentiis set in motion.

This teaser one sheet artwork was actually one of several painted by John Berkey for the film, and depicts Kong at the top of the World Trade Centre, clutching a destroyed helicopter as a jet buzzes him. This painting was actually updated later and replaced the helicopter with a jet, as well as adding a shadow beneath Kong. It can be seen on one of four Japanese B2 posters that featured Berkey’s artwork. Other posters for the film, painted by Berkey can be seen via this emovieposter archive link. The artist is perhaps best known for his science-fiction artwork which graced hundreds of novels from the 1960s into the 2000s. This page features links through to many of the covers. His estate has a website on which it sells both original artwork and prints of his art, primarily focused on his space-based paintings. It’s well worth a look to see the quality of his artwork.

Born in 1932, Berkey lived in Minnesota and spent most of his career as a freelance artist. He worked on a few film posters over the years, including one for Star Wars that appeared inside the vinyl soundtrack, as well as the poster for The Towering Inferno and one for another De Laurentiis creature-feature, Orca. The emovieposter archive features lots of his posters. The artist sadly passed away in 2008 from heart failure but he leaves behind an incredible legacy of artwork.

To see the other posters I’ve collected by Berkey click here.

Shaft in Africa / 30×40 / USA

25.11.13

Poster Poster
Title
Shaft in Africa
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Richard Roundtree, Frank Finlay, Vonetta McGee, Neda Arneric, Debebe Eshetu, Spiros Focás, Jacques Herlin, Jho Jhenkins, Willie Jonah
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Roundtree, Frank Finlay, Vonetta McGee, Neda Arneric, Debebe Eshetu, Spiros Focás, Jacques Herlin, Jho Jhenkins, Willie Jonah,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Solie
Size (inches)
30 3/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
THE Brother Man in the Motherland. Shaft is stickin' it... all the way.

Shaft in Africa is the final entry in the trilogy of films featuring Blaxploitation hero Shaft (Richard Roundtree). This time the eponymous detective is kidnapped from his New York apartment and coerced into assuming the identity of a native-speaking itinerant worker. His ’employer’ wants Shaft to smash a human trafficking ring, run by the dastardly Amafi (Frank Finlay), that’s bringing African workers into Europe to exploit them. Much more of an adventure film than the previous two entries, which were pretty much entirely set in urban areas, this film was actually shot on location in Ethiopia and has less of a blaxploitation feel and more of a James Bond-style action style. Gordon Parks, the director of the previous entries, was replaced by the British director John Guillermin who would helm the box-office smash The Towering Inferno the following year.

The all-action artwork on this 30×40 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. Another gallery of his work can be viewed on Wrong Side of the Art. Solie also painted the art for the US poster for Shaft’s Big Score.

Here are the posters by John Solie I have collected to date.

You can view the trailer on YouTube.

The Towering Inferno / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

King Kong Lives / B2 / Ohrai style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong 2
AKA
King Kong Lives (USA / UK)
Year of Film
1986
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Ohrai
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

King Kong Lives / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong Lives
AKA
King Kong 2 (Japan / Brazil / France / Italy / Spain)
Year of Film
1986
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Intralink Film Graphic Design
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
America's Biggest Hero is back...and He is not happy.

King Kong Lives / B2 / style A / Japan

20.11.13

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong 2
AKA
King Kong Lives (USA / UK)
Year of Film
1986
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

King Kong Lives is the critically-mauled and commercially disastrous sequel to the ill-advised 1976 remake of the classic big ape monster movie, which was shepherded into life by the legendary Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis. I’m not entirely sure why a decade passed before this sequel was put into production, but both De Laurentiis (or at least his company DEG) and director  returned and definitely shouldn’t have bothered. The gap is explained in the film by having Kong in a 10 year coma following his fall from the World Trade Center at the end of the previous film.

Linda Hamilton (who should have known better) stars as Dr. Amy Franklin who is attempting to perform a heart transplant with an electronic replacement but Kong has lost too much blood for the operation to proceed. Luckily the adventurer Hank Mitchell () finds and captures another giant ape in the jungles of Borneo and brings it to the US so that the operation can go ahead. It turns out that the new ape is a female and once Kong’s heart is replaced it’s not long before he escapes with ‘Lady Kong’ and chaos ensues. Unfortunately, despite the premise, the entire cast looks as if they’d rather be somewhere else and the shoddy effects can’t paper over the cracks.

This artwork is exclusive to the style A Japanese poster but has some elements that are similar to the American one sheet. I’ve struggled to find out who the artist is for this poster so please get in touch if you have an idea. There is also a style B Japanese poster that was illustrated by the great Noriyoshi Ohrai that I also have in the collection and can be viewed here.

King Kong Lives / B0 / Japan

26.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong 2
AKA
King Kong Lives (USA / UK)
Year of Film
1986
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden,
Type of Poster
B0
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
39 6/16" x 55 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

King Kong Lives is the critically-mauled and commercially disastrous sequel to the ill-advised 1976 remake of the classic big ape monster movie, which was shepherded into life by the legendary Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis. I’m not entirely sure why a decade passed before this sequel was put into production, but both De Laurentiis (or at least his company DEG) and director John Guillermin returned and definitely shouldn’t have bothered. The gap is explained in the film by having Kong in a 10 year coma following his fall from the World Trade Center at the end of the previous film.

Linda Hamilton (who should have known better) stars as Dr. Amy Franklin who is attempting to perform a heart transplant with an electronic replacement but Kong has lost too much blood for the operation to proceed. Luckily the adventurer Hank Mitchell (Brian Kerwin) finds and captures another giant ape in the jungles of Borneo and brings it to the US so that the operation can go ahead. It turns out that the new ape is a female and once Kong’s heart is replaced it’s not long before he escapes with ‘Lady Kong’ and chaos ensues. Unfortunately, despite the premise, the entire cast looks as if they’d rather be somewhere else and the shoddy effects can’t paper over the cracks.

This artwork appears on the Japanese B1 and B0 posters. The B0 size of poster is typically used in larger cinemas and in advertising spots in the Tokyo metro. I’ve struggled to find out who the artist is for this poster so please get in touch if you have an idea. There are also two B2 posters for the film (style A and style B).

Death On The Nile / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Death On The Nile
AKA
Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile (UK complete title)
Year of Film
1978
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Peter Ustinov, Simon MacCorkindale, Lois Chiles, Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, George Kennedy, Maggie Smith, Angela Lansbury, Olivia Hussey, David Niven
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Ustinov, Simon MacCorkindale, Lois Chiles, Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, George Kennedy, Maggie Smith, Angela Lansbury, Olivia Hussey, David Niven,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Merv Bloch | Larry Lurin
Artist
Richard Amsel
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
780107
Tagline
--

Skyjacked / 30×40 / USA

18.07.12

Poster Poster
Title
Skyjacked
AKA
Il pirata dell'aria [The Pirate of the Air] (Italy) | Sky Terror (USA - TV title)
Year of Film
1972
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, James Brolin, Claude Akins, Jeanne Crain, Susan Dey, Roosevelt Grier, Mariette Hartley, Walter Pidgeon, Ken Swofford, Leslie Uggams, Ross Elliott, Nicholas Hammond
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, James Brolin, Claude Akins, Jeanne Crain, Susan Dey, Roosevelt Grier, Mariette Hartley, Walter Pidgeon, Ken Swofford, Leslie Uggams, Ross Elliott, Nicholas Hammond,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
72/181
Tagline
--

Skyjacked was just one of multiple plane-hijacking films that followed the release of 1970’s Airport and starred Charlton Heston as the pilot of a Boeing 707 hijacked by a crazed Vietnam vet (James Brolin). The hijacker forces the plane to be diverted to Anchorage, Alaska and then onto Russia where he hopes to defect to the Soviets, but he doesn’t count on the determination of the pilot.

The simplified, symbolic image of the airplane on this 30×40 US poster has the feeling of a Saul Bass design but I don’t believe it to be the work of the legendary graphic designer. If you have any ideas of who is responsible for it please get in touch.

The original trailer is on YouTube (in poor quality).

Shaft in Africa / B2 / Japan

30.06.14

Poster Poster
Title
Shaft in Africa
AKA
Shaft e i mercanti di schiavi [Shaft and the slave merchants] (Italy)
Year of Film
1973
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Richard Roundtree, Frank Finlay, Vonetta McGee, Neda Arneric, Debebe Eshetu, Spiros Focás, Jacques Herlin, Jho Jhenkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Roundtree, Frank Finlay, Vonetta McGee, Neda Arneric, Debebe Eshetu, Spiros Focás, Jacques Herlin, Jho Jhenkins,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B2 for Shaft in Africa, the final entry in the trilogy of films featuring Blaxploitation hero Shaft (Richard Roundtree). This time the eponymous detective is kidnapped from his New York apartment and coerced into assuming the identity of a native-speaking itinerant worker in an African country. His ‘employer’ wants Shaft to smash a human trafficking ring, run by the dastardly Amafi (Frank Finlay), that’s bringing African workers into Europe to exploit them.

Much more of an adventure film than the previous two entries, which were pretty much entirely set in urban areas, this film was actually shot on location in Ethiopia and has less of a blaxploitation feel and more of a James Bond-style action style. Gordon Parks, the director of the previous entries, was replaced by the British director John Guillermin who would helm the box-office smash The Towering Inferno the following year.

The photo montage is unique to Japan and the US poster features excellent artwork by John Solie. The fact that the designer chose to tint Shaft blue in the image of him kissing a white woman is more than a little strange and one can only guess at the motivations behind that decision.

You can view the trailer on YouTube.