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Taxi Driver / one sheet / USA

01.10.12

Poster Poster
Title
Taxi Driver
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
Martin Scorsese
Starring
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Guy Peellaert
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
76/14
Tagline
--

An iconic painting of Robert De Niro on one of the best posters of the 1970s for director Martin Scorsese’s brilliant Taxi Driver. The film follows De Niro’s Travis Bickle, an unstable Vietnam veteran who works as a taxi driver on the streets of New York City, and whose anger at the perceived corruption and sleaze around him takes him down a path of violence from which there may be no return. Cybill Shepherd plays Betsy, a worker for a presidential campaign with whom Bickle attempts to start a relationship, and a young Jodie Foster stars as a prostitute who he decides needs ‘saving’ from her predicament.

The artwork on this poster is by the late Belgian artist, illustrator and cartoonist Guy Peellaert. Born in 1934, Peellaert studied fine arts in Brussels and was heavily influenced by American and British pop culture, as well as film noir and pulp literature. He moved to Paris in the 1960s and began work as a set decorator, as well as an advertising designer. He subsequently began work on two comic strips that were featured in the controversial magazine Hara-Kiri.

In 1973 Peellaert collaborated with the British rock journalist Nik Cohn on the incredibly successful Rock Dreams, a book featuring stylised, exaggerated paintings of musicians that celebrated the rebellious side of rock and roll. The book apparently sold over one million copies and helped to propel the artist’s career to the point where he was collaborating with artists such as The Rolling Stones (on the cover for It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll) and perhaps most famously with David Bowie on the controversial cover for Diamond Dogs, which depicted the singer as a half-man, half-dog creature, complete with genitalia (censored for later releases).

He also worked on film posters with directors such as Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas), Robert Altman (Short Cuts) and on this brilliant image for Taxi Driver that perfectly depicts the strange character of Travis Bickle and the loneliness and alienation he feels on the streets of New York. Peellaert sadly passed away, aged 74, in 2009 but left behind an incredible legacy of art and design that will live on for decades to come.

I was completely thrilled to find and win this one sheet in near mint, unfolded condition. It’s crude to talk about the cost of a poster but it didn’t come cheap and I feel the expense was worth it for such an iconic one sheet.

Guy Peellaert’s official website can be found here.

Taxi Driver / quad / UK

19.08.13

Poster Poster
Title
Taxi Driver
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
Martin Scorsese
Starring
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
On every street in every city there's a nobody who dreams of becoming a somebody

This is the original UK quad for director Martin Scorsese’s superb Taxi Driver. The film follows De Niro’s Travis Bickle, an unstable Vietnam veteran who works as a taxi driver on the streets of New York City, and whose anger at the perceived corruption and sleaze around him takes him down a path of violence from which there may be no return. Cybill Shepherd plays Betsy, a worker for a presidential campaign with whom Bickle attempts to start a relationship, and a young Jodie Foster stars as a prostitute who he decides needs ‘saving’ from her predicament.

This poster features an image of Travis Bickle walking down a New York street and the same photograph features on several other Taxi Driver posters, including the Japanese B2, this ‘reviews’ style US one sheet and the Park Circus 2006 re-release quad for the film. There is also an international one sheet for the film that has the same blue colouring as this quad.

Taxi Driver / one sheet / reviews style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Taxi Driver
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
Martin Scorsese
Starring
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Reviews
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Murray Smith (Smolen, Smith and Connolly)
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This is a ‘review’ one sheet and was originally meant to have local reviews printed into the blank space on the right side, as seen here.

Taxi Driver / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Taxi Driver
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
Martin Scorsese
Starring
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This Sporting Life / one sheet / UK

15.08.12

Poster Poster

This Sporting Life was the first full-length film by the late British director Lindsay Anderson (best known for ‘If….‘ and ‘O Lucky Man!‘) and starred Richard Harris in what is now acknowledged as his breakout role. The story follows the exploits of Frank Machin (Harris) a tough, young miner in a Northern England town who finds success as a Rugby League player and must deal with his violent tendencies as he copes with his new found fame. The film also featured Rachel Roberts in a memorable turn as the widower landlady of Machin with whom he has been having a strained relationship.

This UK one sheet features artwork by Renato Fratini, an Italian painter who came over to England to work in film publicity at the end of the 1950s and is regularly cited by many of his contemporaries as one of the greatest artists ever to have worked in the business. Fratini was born in Rome in 1932 and went on to study at the city’s Academy of Fine Art before landing a job at Studio Favalli, which was part of the legendary Cinecittà studios and handled film publicity for many Italian productions. Eric Pulford, who was head of Downton Advertising in London, began to enlist the help of the Italian artists in the mid-1950s once it became clear how much talent studio head Augusto Favalli had enlisted, and, perhaps crucially, how relatively cheap the work was.

Fratini was brought over to London by Pulford and put on a retainer for Downtons in 1958. He quickly impressed with his technical ability and skilful draughtsmanship, which was often marvelled upon by other artists working at the time. Ace British designer Vic Fair recalls the speed with which Fratini was able to work – ‘He was incredible. He was like a machine – he could just bash things out overnight’. Fratini very much enjoyed his life in London and was infamous for his love of a good party, quickly gaining a reputation as a man who enjoyed the finer things in life. Despite this he was still able to turn out stunning pieces of artwork with relatively little notice.

Perhaps Fratini’s most famous work is the quad he painted for From Russia With Love (in 1963 – the same year as this poster), which is probably the best of all the James Bond quads. Later he would work on a number of posters for the Carry On series of films, known for their colourful and brilliantly stylised designs, as well as some incredibly detailed artwork on posters such as the quad for Waterloo (1970), for which he was paid a then record fee of £2000. In 1969 Fratini had a broken marriage behind him and was losing money through tax bills, so he made the decision to leave London and head for Mexico from where he continued to paint for advertising firms in America and the odd assignment for Downtons. Sadly, in 1973 Fratini collapsed whilst at a beach party and died from massive heart attack, his years of excess finally catching up with him.

He was only 40 years old at the time and, as Sim Branaghan (author of the brilliant ‘British Film Posters‘ book) described in my interview with him, his tragic end perfectly embodies the stereotypical profile of a ‘doomed bohemian genius’. Sim’s book contains a lot more information on Fratini and is an absolute must-buy if you have even a passing interest in the artists behind these great posters.

It’s worth noting that this is one of the few pieces of artwork that prominently features Fratini’s signature.

The trailer for the film is on YouTube.

Taxi Driver / quad / 2006 re-release / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Taxi Driver
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
Martin Scorsese
Starring
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2006
Designer
Randak
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--