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Starflight One / quad / UK

27.06.13

Poster Poster
Title
Starflight One
AKA
Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land (USA - original title) | Airport 85 (Philippines)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Jerry Jameson
Starring
Lee Majors, Hal Linden, Lauren Hutton, Ray Milland, Gail Strickland, George DiCenzo, Tess Harper, Terry Kiser, Heather McAdam, Michael Sacks, Gary Bayer, Pat Corley, Robert Webber
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Lee Majors, Hal Linden, Lauren Hutton, Ray Milland, Gail Strickland, George DiCenzo, Tess Harper, Terry Kiser, Heather McAdam, Michael Sacks, Gary Bayer, Pat Corley, Robert Webber,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Eddie Paul
Artist
Josh Kirby
Size (inches)
30" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The first hypersonic passenger plane marooned in outer space helpless... ready for certain death

Superb artwork by the British artist Josh Kirby (not to be confused with the American comic book artist Jack Kirby) on this UK quad for the release of Starflight One, which was originally shown as a TV movie in the US with the considerably clunkier title of Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land. Unquestionably the final hurrah for the ‘airplane in peril’ subgenre of the disaster movie that started with Airport in 1970 – Starflight’s director Jerry Jameson was actually at the helm of Airport ’77 – the film was unofficially dubbed Airport ’83. The world’s first ‘hypersonic’ passenger plane, which can make the flight from New York to Sydney in a mere four hours, sets off on its maiden voyage before an unexpected encounter with a rocket sends it up into space and on a decaying orbit around earth. The plane will burn up on atmospheric re-entry and the crew and a team from NASA must work out a way to rescue the passengers before time runs out. The film is, by all accounts, significantly less interesting than that premise makes it sound.

Josh Kirby was born Ronald William Kirby in the town of Waterloo, Lancashire in 1928 and went on to study at Liverpool City School of Art from 1943 to 1949. He gained the nickname Josh after a fellow pupil noticed how similar his early work was to the painting of Joshua Reynolds. As detailed in Sim Branaghan’s must-own book British Film Posters: An Illustrated History, Kirby moved down to London soon after graduating and secured a job at Pulford Publicity, an agency that specialised in the creation of film marketing materials. Kirby worked on a number of quads for Pulford publicity during the 1950s whilst also painting posters for a film company in Paris.

He also began work on book jackets for the likes of Pan Publicity, which included the first paperback edition of Ian Fleming’s Moonraker in 1956, and eventually turned out over 400 of them. In the 1970s Kirby began freelancing for the film publicity agency FEREF, working with the likes of the designer Eddie Paul on a number of posters, including one for the 1972 film Henry VIII and his Six Wives. He worked on this superb illustration for Monty Python’s Life of Brian in 1979 but it was unused, apparently because several of the character illustrations were considered too risqué for cinema-goers.

Kirby’s preferred genres were unquestionably sci-fi and fantasy and much of his best-loved work was in this area, including the UK quads for The Beastmaster, Krull and probably most famously Return of the Jedi, for which he created a wonderfully colourful montage of characters and vehicles from the film. When the market for poster illustration dried up towards the middle of the 1980s, Kirby began what would prove to be a long relationship working on the brilliantly detailed book covers for author Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of novels. Josh Kirby passed away unexpectedly in his sleep at his home in Norfolk in October 2001 leaving behind an incredible body of work and a legion of fans.

Hanover Street / one sheet / USA

08.03.17

Poster Poster
Title
Hanover Street
AKA
--
Year of Film
1979
Director
Peter Hyams
Starring
Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down, Christopher Plummer, Alec McCowen, Richard Masur, Michael Sacks, Patsy Kensit, Max Wall, Shane Rimmer, Keith Buckley, Sherrie Hewson
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down, Christopher Plummer, Alec McCowen, Richard Masur, Michael Sacks, Patsy Kensit, Max Wall, Shane Rimmer, Keith Buckley, Sherrie Hewson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
790064
Tagline
Love hasn't been like this since 1943. | It was a time of courage and honor - of passion and sacrifice. This is the story of two people swept up in that time - who met - and fell in love.

John Alvin artwork features on this American one sheet for the Anglo-American wartime romantic film Hanover Street. The film was directed by Peter Hyams (Outland, Timecop) and was originally intended to star Kris Kristofferson. When the actor pulled out of the project, deciding instead to go on tour with his band, he was replaced by Harrison Ford. Luckily for the production, Ford was already over in Europe as he was shooting Force 10 from Navarone, another World War II-set film. Lesley-Anne Down plays Margaret, a British nurse with whom Ford’s American airman becomes romantically involved. 

The plot is described on IMDb:

During the Second World War, an American Pilot stationed in England meets a young British nurse during an air raid on London. The two instantly fall in love, despite the fact that the young Nurse is already married; a secret she keeps hidden from her American lover. After being shot down behind enemy lines, while being assigned to ferry a British agent into France, the American pilot realizes that his secret agent cargo is in fact his lover’s husband, and that the two must now work together in order to survive.

The film was apparently a reasonable box-office hit, thanks to the draw of Harrison Ford, but was largely critically mauled. It has garnered something of a following in the years since thanks to the well-staged flying sequences that used actual World War II bombers (B-25 Mitchells).

The late American designer and artist John Alvin was responsible for over 135 film poster designs over a thirty year period. Alvin painted many unforgettable pieces of artwork, including Blade Runner and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. The gallery of his posters on IMPAwards gives you an idea of the range of his work. Alvin sadly passed away too early, just shy of his 6oth birthday (in 2008), but his fantastic designs will live on for generations to come.

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

The Sugarland Express / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Sugarland Express
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Goldie Hawn, Ben Johnson, Michael Sacks, William Atherton, Gregory Walcott, Steve Kanaly, Louise Latham
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Goldie Hawn, Ben Johnson, Michael Sacks, William Atherton, Gregory Walcott, Steve Kanaly, Louise Latham,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--