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Death Wish / 30×40 / USA

24.03.14

Poster Poster
Title
Death Wish
AKA
Il giustiziere della notte [The vigilante of the night] (Italy)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats, William Redfield
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats, William Redfield,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Diener-Hauser
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
74/225
Tagline
Vigilante, city style - judge, jury and executioner.

This is the original US 30×40 poster for the release of director Michael Winner‘s infamous Death Wish, the good-guy-turned-vigilante flick that marked a turning point in star Charles Bronson‘s career, launching him to international stardom and establishing his brand as a tough-guy leading man. Based on the novel of the same name by Brian Garfield, the original script by Wendell Mayes went through multiple revisions and the film itself was in protracted development before it was handed to Winner who was chosen thanks to his track record with gritty thrillers, including The Mechanic  and The Stone Killer, both starring Bronson. Winner pushed to get the star onboard but his agent’s concerns about the content and the script’s description of the main character as a meek accountant meant negotiations stalled.

Eventually the film passed into the hands of legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis who, after securing distribution and financing, requested script revisions that made the role more suitable for Bronson, plus Winner tweaked a few scenes that meant upping the violence. Filming eventually took place in New York City during the winter of 1973-74. Bronson plays architect Paul Kersey whose wife and daughter are viciously attacked one day in their apartment with his wife later dying from her injuries and the daughter being left in a catatonic state.

After the funeral, Kersey flies to Arizona to meet a business client and before leaving a few weeks later he is given a Colt revolver as a gift. One night following his return to New York he is approached by a mugger who attempts to rob him, but Kersey pulls his own gun and shoots him dead. Although initially sick that he killed another human, Kersey’s motivation for revenge gets the better of him and he deliberately starts to put himself at risk by walking around the city at night looking for criminals and the body count starts to mount.  Unbeknownst to Kersey, the police are starting to close in and it’s not long before his risk taking catches up with him.

The film was savaged by most critics on release for what they saw as its celebration of vigilante violence, with some calling it an ‘immoral threat to society’ and voicing concerns that it would encourage similar behaviour in society. It was, however, a box office success and audiences responded positively amidst a climate of rising violence on American streets. The film spawned four sequels all starring Bronson, and all of steadily diminishing quality, although the first film definitely still has a cult following forty years later.

This poster was designed by the now defunct American advertising agency Diener-Hauser who were responsible for a number of iconic 197os one sheets, including ChinatownThe Towering Inferno and Saturday Night Fever.

Scorpio / B2 / Japan

16.01.17

Poster Poster
Title
Scorpio
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Paul Scofield, John Colicos, Gayle Hunnicutt, J.D. Cannon
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Paul Scofield, John Colicos, Gayle Hunnicutt, J.D. Cannon,
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
--

Scorpio is a 1973 spy thriller directed by the late Michael Winner. It was one of the first films that Winner worked on for American producers and reunited him with Burt Lancaster. The actor had starred in Winner’s American directorial debut, Lawman, three years earlier. French-Swiss superstar Alain Delon also stars and the film was one of several attempts the actor made to break into Hollywood. Lancaster plays Cross, an aging CIA agent and assassin, who is tasked with training Delon’s younger Jean ‘Scorpio’ Laurier in order to be his replacement. The plot is described on IMDb:

Cross is an old hand at the CIA, in charge of assassinating high-ranking foreign personalities who are an obstacle to the policies of the USA. He often teams up with Frenchman Jean Laurier, alias “Scorpio”, a gifted free-lance operative. One day, the CIA orders Scorpio to eliminate Cross — and leaves him no choice but to obey. Scorpio is cold-blooded and very systematic; however, as a veteran agent, Cross knows many tricks. He can also rely upon a network of unusual personal contacts, some dating back to the troubled years preceding WWII. A lethal game of hide-and-seek is programmed, but what are the true motives of every single player?

By all accounts the film was only a moderate success at the box-office and is largely forgotten today.

This Japanese B2 features a unique design but note the stylised logo that also features on some of the items used for the American campaign.

The Wicked Lady / one sheet / USA

29.08.17

Poster Poster
Title
The Wicked Lady
AKA
--
Year of Film
1983
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Faye Dunaway, Alan Bates, John Gielgud, Denholm Elliott, Prunella Scales, Oliver Tobias, Glynis Barber, Joan Hickson, Helena McCarthy
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Faye Dunaway, Alan Bates, John Gielgud, Denholm Elliott, Prunella Scales, Oliver Tobias, Glynis Barber, Joan Hickson, Helena McCarthy,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
830033
Tagline
She's wild. She's wicked. And she really knows how to whip up a good time.

The Wicked Lady is a period drama that was directed by the late Michael Winner and was based on the 1945 film of the same name. Faye Dunaway stars as Barbara whose sister Caroline (Glynis Barber) is due to marry wealthy landowner, Sir Ralph Skelton (Denholm Elliott). Seemingly devoid of any scruples, Barbara seduces Ralph and takes her sister’s place at the wedding. She soon grows bored of just being the wife of a wealthy man and decides to take up highway robbery, depriving wealthy coach travelers of their jewels and other trinkets. Eventually she meets and falls in with a real highway robber, Jerry Jackson (the late Alan Bates), and the pair step up their game by robbing gold bullion-filled stage coaches. Eventually their sloppiness catches up with them and people around Barbara begin to suspect she has some involvement in the robberies. 

The film was a critical and commercial failure and was compared unfavourably with the original film. Dunaway’s character is totally unlikeable and her performance is nothing short of bizarre. Perhaps the worst aspect of the film is the pointless nudity, including one really cringeworthy sex scene by a fire, with a stockings removal setup that’s tortuously long. You can practically hear the sleazy Winner rubbing his knees at the back of the set. Despite a strong cast on paper this is a squandered opportunity.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the art on this American one sheet so if you have an idea please get in touch. It’s not to be confused with the artwork that was used elsewhere around the globe, including the British quad, that was painted by Brian Bysouth.

The Stone Killer / quad / UK

29.11.16

Poster Poster
Title
The Stone Killer
AKA
Le cercle noir [The black circle] (France) | América violenta [Violent America] (Spain)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin, Paul Koslo, Norman Fell, David Sheiner, Stuart Margolin, Ralph Waite, Alfred Ryder, Walter Burke, Kelley Miles
Origin of Film
Italy | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin, Paul Koslo, Norman Fell, David Sheiner, Stuart Margolin, Ralph Waite, Alfred Ryder, Walter Burke, Kelley Miles,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
This cop plays dirty! | Take away his badge and he'd top the Ten Most Wanted list!

This is the British quad poster for the release of the 1973 crime drama The Stone Killer. The film was one of a number that starred action legend Charles Bronson and was directed by Michael Winner. Their most successful collaboration (in box-office terms), Death Wish, was released a year later. The film features a cop who bends the rules to crack a case and was made in the wake of the hugely successful Clint Eastwood film, Dirty Harry (1971). That film also focused on a detective willing to play dirty, as this poster’s tagline shouts.

Bronson plays detective Lou Torrey who has recently been transferred to a Los Angeles beat. After the murder of a former hitman, he uncovers a plot involving the local mafia. The don, Al Vescari (Martin Balsam) has instigated a number of murders in revenge for killings that took place in 1931. This spree saw Sicilian capos executed across the US (a real-life crime dubbed the Night of the Sicilian Vespers). Vescari has decided to use Vietnam vets to carry out the killings and Torrey must race against time to stop the hitmen before the revenge plot is complete.

The stark imagery on this quad also featured on the US one sheet (see here) and the title block and main tagline have also been recycled by the British designer.

Death Wish / A1 / Germany

26.09.14

Poster Poster
Title
Death Wish
AKA
Ein Mann sieht rot (Germany) | Il giustiziere della notte [The vigilante of the night] (Italy)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats, William Redfield
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats, William Redfield,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Gerold Kratzsch
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
23 7/16" x 33 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original German A1 poster for the release of director Michael Winner‘s infamous Death Wish, the good-guy-turned-vigilante flick that marked a turning point in star Charles Bronson‘s career, launching him to international stardom and establishing his brand as a tough-guy leading man. Based on the novel of the same name by Brian Garfield, the original script by Wendell Mayes went through multiple revisions and the film itself was in protracted development before it was handed to Winner who was chosen thanks to his track record with gritty thrillers, including The Mechanic  and The Stone Killer, both starring Bronson. Winner pushed to get the star onboard but his agent’s concerns about the content and the script’s description of the main character as a meek accountant meant negotiations stalled.

Eventually the film passed into the hands of legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis who, after securing distribution and financing, requested script revisions that made the role more suitable for Bronson, plus Winner tweaked a few scenes that meant upping the violence. Filming eventually took place in New York City during the winter of 1973-74. Bronson plays architect Paul Kersey whose wife and daughter are viciously attacked one day in their apartment with his wife later dying from her injuries and the daughter being left in a catatonic state.

After the funeral, Kersey flies to Arizona to meet a business client and before leaving a few weeks later he is given a Colt revolver as a gift. One night following his return to New York he is approached by a mugger who attempts to rob him, but Kersey pulls his own gun and shoots him dead. Although initially sick that he killed another human, Kersey’s motivation for revenge gets the better of him and he deliberately starts to put himself at risk by walking around the city at night looking for criminals and the body count starts to mount.  Unbeknownst to Kersey, the police are starting to close in and it’s not long before his risk taking catches up with him.

The film was savaged by most critics on release for what they saw as its celebration of vigilante violence, with some calling it an ‘immoral threat to society’ and voicing concerns that it would encourage similar behaviour in society. It was, however, a box office success and audiences responded positively amidst a climate of rising violence on American streets. The film spawned four sequels all starring Bronson, and all of steadily diminishing quality, although the first film definitely still has a cult following forty years later.

According to the credit on the lower left hand side of the poster it was designed by the Gerold Kratzsch advertising agency who appear to have been based in Berlin in Germany (I don’t believe they still exist).

Death Wish 3 / quad / UK

28.12.11

Poster Poster
Title
Death Wish 3
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin, Ed Lauter, Martin Balsam, Gavan O'Herlihy
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin, Ed Lauter, Martin Balsam, Gavan O'Herlihy,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Stan Watts
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
He's back in New York bringing justice to the streets...

The legendary Charles Bronson in full effect on this British quad for director Michael Winner’s final Death Wish film (Bronson would go on to star in two more). Today, the film has a cult following despite being critically panned upon release. Although it’s set in New York the majority of filming took place in London and the British actors later had their voice dubbed over by American airmen based in the UK.

The film features a lot of memorably over-the-top action – a prime example would be the ‘Giggler’ scene – and several spectacularly cheesy lines of dialogue; “It’s like killing roaches – you have to kill ’em all, otherwise what’s the use?”

The quad is an adaptation of the American one sheet featuring artwork by Stan Watts that can be seen here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

The Mechanic / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Mechanic
AKA
Killer of Killers (USA - reissue title)
Year of Film
1972
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland, Linda Ridgeway, Frank DeKova, James Davidson, Lindsay Crosby
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland, Linda Ridgeway, Frank DeKova, James Davidson, Lindsay Crosby,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Death Wish II / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Death Wish II
AKA
Death Wish 2 (alt. spelling)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Vincent Gardenia, J.D. Cannon, Anthony Franciosa, Ben Frank, Robin Sherwood, Silvana Gallardo, Robert F. Lyons, Michael Prince
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Vincent Gardenia, J.D. Cannon, Anthony Franciosa, Ben Frank, Robin Sherwood, Silvana Gallardo, Robert F. Lyons, Michael Prince,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Stone Killer / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Stone Killer
AKA
Le cercle noir [The black circle] (France) | América violenta [Violent America] (Spain)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin, Paul Koslo, Norman Fell, David Sheiner, Stuart Margolin, Ralph Waite, Alfred Ryder, Walter Burke, Kelley Miles
Origin of Film
Italy | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin, Paul Koslo, Norman Fell, David Sheiner, Stuart Margolin, Ralph Waite, Alfred Ryder, Walter Burke, Kelley Miles,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Chato’s Land / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Chato's Land
AKA
--
Year of Film
1972
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Jack Palance, James Whitmore, Simon Oakland, Ralph Waite, Richard Jordan, Victor French, Richard Basehart
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Jack Palance, James Whitmore, Simon Oakland, Ralph Waite, Richard Jordan, Victor French, Richard Basehart,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Death Wish / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Death Wish
AKA
Il giustiziere della notte [The vigilante of the night] (Italy)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats, William Redfield
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats, William Redfield,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Death Wish 3 / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Death Wish 3
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin, Ed Lauter, Martin Balsam, Gavan O'Herlihy
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin, Ed Lauter, Martin Balsam, Gavan O'Herlihy,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--