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O Brother, Where Art Thou? / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
AKA
--
Year of Film
2000
Director
Joel Coen
Starring
George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Charles Durning
Origin of Film
UK | France | USA
Genre(s) of Film
George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Charles Durning,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2000
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They have a plan, but not a clue.

Brother / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Brother
AKA
--
Year of Film
2000
Director
Takeshi Kitano
Starring
Takeshi Kitano, Omar Epps, Claude Maki
Origin of Film
USA | UK | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Takeshi Kitano, Omar Epps, Claude Maki,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2000
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: the Dream Child / B2 / art style / Japan

26.10.16

Poster Poster

Unique artwork features on this Japanese B2 for the release of the fifth entry in the much-loved horror franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5. The film’s subtitle ‘the Dream Child’ hints at the plot for the film, which sees Freddy attempting to return from hell by using the mind of an unborn baby. The child belongs to Alice (Lisa Wilcox) who was the main character in the previous film and the father is her boyfriend Dan (Danny Hassel) who also returns from Part 4. The Dream Child was only the second film directed by Stephen Hopkins, the Jamaican-born English-Australian director best known for helming Predator 2 and the 1998 reboot of Lost in Space.

Set a year after the previous film, the story sees Alice and her friends graduating from high school with Freddy Krueger seemingly vanquished for good. Alice begins to have strange dreams in which she finds herself in the asylum where Freddy’s mother, a nun named Amanda, was attacked and raped by the inmates. Later she has another dream in which she witnesses Amanda giving birth to a strange, deformed baby. The creature scuttles off and ends up in the church where Alice vanquished Freddy in Part 4 whereupon it grows into an adult Krueger. He immediately begins to taunt Alice, claiming he has found a way to return for good. When she wakes from the dream she immediately summons Dan to her but he falls asleep at the wheel of his motorbike and Freddy attacks and, during a gruesome sequence, melds him together with the bike before crashing him into a truck. Soon afterwards she learns that she is pregnant with Dan’s child and immediately begins to fear for its safety.

Alice and her friends must once again battle together with the spirit of Amanda Krueger to stop Freddy before he is able to return and take over the mind of Alice’s unborn son (Jacob). To be honest, the film gets very confusing and it’s hard to follow what’s happening most of the time, never mind how an unborn baby suddenly becomes a ten-year-old child in some of the sequences. The usual dream deaths are pretty dark and there are some gruesome moments for horror hounds, but the story barely hangs together, with choppy editing and hammy acting not helping at all. Although not a box-office disaster, the film failed to take anywhere near the box-office of Part 3 and 4 and audiences were certainly cooling towards the franchise by this point.

This artwork is a modified take on the photographic image of Freddy with the pram seen on the German A1 poster. I’m not sure who was responsible for the painting so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch. The small illustrated figure in the bottom right is actually from the alternate style Japanese B2 poster which I also have in the collection here.

The Living Daylights / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Living Daylights
AKA
007 zona pericolo [Dangerous area] (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John Glen
Starring
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
David Reneric
Artist
Art direction by Jeffrey Bacon, photography by Jim McCrary
Size (inches)
TBC
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
870004
Tagline
Living on the edge. It's the only way he lives.

Knightriders / one sheet / advance / USA

16.06.11

Poster Poster
Title
Knightriders
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
George A. Romero
Starring
Ed Harris, Gary Lahti, Tom Savini, Amy Ingersoll, Patricia Tallman, Christine Forrest, Warner Shook, Brother Blue, Cynthia Adler, John Amplas
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Ed Harris, Gary Lahti, Tom Savini, Amy Ingersoll, Patricia Tallman, Christine Forrest, Warner Shook, Brother Blue, Cynthia Adler, John Amplas,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Boris Vallejo
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The Games...The Romance...The Spirit...Camelot is a state of mind.

One of George A. Romero‘s lesser known titles, mainly because it’s quite unlike any of his other output, this tale of a traveling troupe of motorcycle-riding jousters is often cited as one of his best by those that have seen it. This advance one sheet features superb artwork by the great Boris Vallejo. You’ll notice that the bike (a Honda CBX1000 apparently) has been rendered with careful detail and I’m a big fan of the tagline too. You might also spot that the title has been trademarked.

You can watch the trailer with or without a commentary from Mick Garris on the superb Trailers From Hell site.

Basket Case / quad / UK

27.01.12

Poster Poster
Title
Basket Case
AKA
¿Dónde te escondes, hermano? [Where are you hiding, brother?] (Spain)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Frank Henenlotter
Starring
Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner, Robert Vogel, Diana Browne, Lloyd Pace, Bill Freeman, Joe Clarke
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner, Robert Vogel, Diana Browne, Lloyd Pace, Bill Freeman, Joe Clarke,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The tenant in room 7 is very small, very twisted and very mad.

Frank Henenlotter’s marvellously sleazy Basket Case is a true cult classic and is a film that transcended it’s micro budget to become a mainstay of midnight movies across the globe. Technically the film shouldn’t work; the acting is terrible throughout and makes the cast of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room look like Oscar-winning legends, the special effects are laughable and the editing is seriously rough in places, but the film has a certain charm that allows you to forgive it’s faults and revel in its trashy delights.

The film is definitely a love letter to a New York City, specifically the area around Times Square and 42nd street, that has long since changed. On the film’s excellent audio commentary Henenlotter talks about how he could see the change coming and shot lots of footage of the area so he could capture what it was like before it was cleaned up and sanitised beyond all recognition. Times Square was once a haven of sleazy nightclubs, nude shows and sex shops, full of weird and wonderful characters, particularly once the sun went down. Basket Case was shot in and around the area and you can really feel the griminess in every scene, particularly the opening shots where Duane (poodle-haired Kevin Van Hentenryck) makes his way through these streets on his way to Hotel Broslin.

Like many low-budget ($35k apparently) films Basket Case had some trouble getting into cinemas in the form that the director had envisioned. This is talked about in the commentary and is mentioned on Hotelbroslin.com, the official website:

When Analysis Films first released “Basket Case,” they cut it. They removed most of the gore so the film would be “funnier.” Obviously, the gore is part of the punch line so their cut version was awful, few came to see it, and the film died almost the moment it was released in April of ’82. However, “Drive-In Movie Critic” Joe Bob Briggs wanted to host the Dallas premiere of the film in June but wouldn’t host a cut version. So Analysis sent it to Dallas uncut and let it play there. The film quickly started selling out. So Analysis quietly replaced the cut version with the uncut version everywhere else and the film suddenly became a hit. After three weeks of the uncut version playing in New York’s Waverly Theatre in Greenwich Village, Analysis finally put an ad in the Village Voice announcing that, yes, it’s finally uncut.

The film was recently released on blu-ray and it’s a revelation to see the film as the director intended. It was shot on 16mm and so was originally full frame (4:3). To be able to show it at cinemas the distributor blew it up to 1:85:1 widescreen and, as Henenlotter notes, it made everything look squashed and claustrophobic, whilst also seriously affecting the many night scenes. For the blu-ray transfer the original 16mm negatives were used and the film has never looked better, particularly if, like me, you first saw the film on murky VHS.

This British quad features a surreal background made up of images from the Times Square of the time. There are various genuine brands in there as well as what I assume are fictional ones. I’m pretty sure the unknown artist’s name is one of the signs too, but can’t be certain. Note the cinema hoarding showing the 1971 horror film ‘Let’s Scare Jessica to Death’. The character holding the basket doesn’t look massively like Van Hentenryck but I think this can be forgiven!

The tagline and logo are also undoubted classics and rank up there as some of the best ever to grace British horror posters.

The film’s original trailer is on YouTube.

The Living Daylights / one sheet / teaser / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Living Daylights
AKA
007 zona pericolo [Dangerous area] (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John Glen
Starring
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Keith Hamshere (photo)
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The most dangerous Bond. Ever.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
AKA
--
Year of Film
1978
Director
Philip Kaufman
Starring
Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy, Art Hindle
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy, Art Hindle,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
780188
Tagline
From deep space... | The seed is planted...terror grows.

Ravagers / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Ravagers
AKA
--
Year of Film
1979
Director
Richard Compton
Starring
Richard Harris, Art Carney, Anthony James, Ann Turkel, Alana Stewart, Woody Strode, Ernest Borgnine, Seymour Cassel, Bob Westmoreland
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Harris, Art Carney, Anthony James, Ann Turkel, Alana Stewart, Woody Strode, Ernest Borgnine, Seymour Cassel, Bob Westmoreland,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
790101
Tagline
1991: Civilization Is Dead. Violence, hunger and horror are rampant... There is no law! All that are left are bands of Ravagers.

Tenebrae / quad / UK

20.01.14

Poster Poster
Title
Tenebrae
AKA
Tenebre (alternate spelling) | Shadow (Japan - English title) | Unsane (USA)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Dario Argento
Starring
Anthony Franciosa, Christian Borromeo, Mirella D'Angelo, Veronica Lario, Ania Pieroni, Eva Robins, Carola Stagnaro, John Steiner, Lara Wendel, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi, Giuliano Gemma
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Anthony Franciosa, Christian Borromeo, Mirella D'Angelo, Veronica Lario, Ania Pieroni, Eva Robins, Carola Stagnaro, John Steiner, Lara Wendel, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi, Giuliano Gemma,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Graffiti Productions Limited
Artist
Renato Casaro (original art) | An unknown British artist added the bow
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
From the undisputed master of the macabre... | Terror beyond belief

This is the incredibly scarce British quad for the release of Dario Argento‘s Tenebrae (AKA Tenebre), which marked the Italian horror maestro’s return to the giallo genre with which he made his name, following two excursions into supernatural horror with Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980). Argento often credits himself with starting the trend for Italian giallo films with The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), despite the fact that directors including Mario Bava and Umberto Lenzi had been working on films that met all the criteria of the sub-genre since 1963. After a bruising experience whilst making Inferno in conjunction with Hollywood (in the form of 20th Century Fox) and the film meeting a lukewarm reception upon release, Argento returned with fresh enthusiasm to create what is arguably one of the best giallos of all.

Italian-American actor Anthony Franciosa stars as the American author Peter Neal, famous for having written a series of violent horror novels, who travels to Rome to promote his latest novel ‘Tenebrae’. Soon after arriving Neal is confronted by two police detectives (played by Giuliano Gemma and Carola Stagnaro) who inform him that a murder has been committed by a killer obsessed with his novels, and a letter sent to his hotel room confirms this. Soon after, a journalist who had accused Neal of creating ‘misogynist filth’ and her lesbian lover are brutally murdered by the same razor blade-wielding killer. Another letter arrives at Neal’s hotel room and the author decides to try and discover who is behind the murders as the threat to him and his entourage escalates. This being a giallo, and an Argento one at that, there are plenty of twists to keep the viewer discombobulated right to the end.

Argento claims that the inspiration for the story came from an experience he had at the hands of an obsessive fan whilst working on an unfinished project in Hollywood towards the end of the 1970s. What started as a friendly series of phone calls from someone claiming to love his work escalated into something darker and more threatening, and the director eventually fled back to Rome when it became clear that the person was seriously unhinged. It’s also something of a riposte to the criticisms Argento had received from some critics and commentators who claimed his films were overly violent towards women and that his casual misogyny could encourage real-world violence from his films’ fans. There’s a reason Peter Neal remarks to a pushy journalist ‘Let me ask you something? If someone is killed with a Smith & Wesson revolver… Do you go and interview the president of Smith & Wesson?’

Tenebrae was released into UK cinemas in 1982 with 4 seconds of cuts imposed by the BBFC, but soon after its release on video in 1983 the film fell foul of the infamous video nasty debacle which saw 72 films deemed to be in violation of the obscene publications act. 39 films on the Director of Public Prosecutions‘ list were successfully prosecuted and banned from rental or sale in the UK, despite the fact that many, including Tenebrae, had already seen cinema releases with BBFC approval. It took years before relaxation in censorship saw many of the films being re-released on video and DVD, and it wasn’t until 2003 that Tenebrae was finally available in a completely uncut form.

The image of the murdered woman on this quad was originally painted by the Italian artist Renato Casaro for the Italian poster but the bloody cut in the throat seen on the original was clearly seen as too much for the British market and a red bow was painted in its place. The quad’s design was handled by the London-based studio Graffiti Productions, which was started in 1969 by two friends Paul Brown-Constable and Nimal Jayasekera. The pair worked on marketing for an eclectic range of films, including several international releases, plus homegrown titles like Scum and a few Hollywood productions. As well as posters the firm was one of the first to take on work for  home video distributors at the start of the boom in the early 1980s. Most of their posters are easy to identify because they either feature a stylised company logo or a line of text, as on this poster.

Halloween / Thailand

03.05.16

Poster Poster
Title
Halloween
AKA
The Babysitter Murders (USA - working title) | Halloween: la notte delle streghe [The night of the witches] (Italy)
Year of Film
1978
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown (central image based on Bob Gleason art from US one sheet)
Size (inches)
21.5" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Thai poster for the release of John Carpenter‘s seminal horror film Halloween. An independent release, financed by one man (Moustapha Akkad), the film was produced on a low budget of $300k and would go on to gross over $70m worldwide. Halloween kickstarted a franchise that would run for seven sequels (and a recent remake) and the masked character of Michael Myers would enter the horror pantheon as one of its most memorable monsters.

Carpenter wrote the screenplay with his then girlfriend, producer Debra Hill and is often credited as being the the first in a long line of slasher films, although films like Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho were obvious inspirations. The film has little in the way of gore or violence and instead uses clever camera work and sound design to brilliant effect, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats throughout. There have been countless imitations over the years but few that match up to the taught, perfectly-paced original Halloween.

This Thai poster features the classic illustration of a knife blade morphing into a carved pumpkin that was created by the American artist Bob Gleason and used on the US one sheet and several other posters around the globe. The lurid montage at the bottom of the poster was created by a local Thai artist whose signature I’ve been unable to identify. If anyone has any ideas who was responsible, please get in touch.

In March 2016 Gleason’s original artwork was put up for auction (selling for just under $84k) and was accompanied by a letter from the artist talking about its creation, which is well worth a read.

I, Robot / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
I, Robot
AKA
Yo, robot (Argentina / Chile / Mexico / Peru / Spain)
Year of Film
2004
Director
Alex Proyas
Starring
Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, Alan Tudyk, Shia LaBeouf, Terry Chen
Origin of Film
USA | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, Alan Tudyk, Shia LaBeouf, Terry Chen,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2004
Designer
Art Machine
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
What will you do with yours?

The Emerald Forest / Thailand

20.10.15

Poster Poster

A detailed painting on this Thai poster for the release of John Boorman‘s adventure film The Emerald Forest. Bill Markham (Powers Boothe) is an engineer working on the construction of a dam in the jungles of Brazil who has brought his wife and young children with him to live there. One day his son Tommy disappears and the family discover that he has been kidnapped by an indigenous tribe called the Invisible People. Markham spends years searching for his son and it’s not until a decade later that he finally locates him, only to discover that he’s now fully assimilated into the tribe. The dam is nearing completion and Markham decides to help his son’s adopted tribe before their way of life is totally destroyed. Tommy/Tomme is played by Charley Boorman, the director’s own son.

The painting was done by the Thai artist Tongdee Panumas and elements of it were based on the design and illustration that was done for the British poster by Vic Fair and Brian Bysouth (notably the faces at the top and the figures running away in the bottom left). The art was one of several collaborations between the two immensely talented British designer-illustrators Like the withdrawn A View to a Kill UK one sheet, Vic was on design duties and is responsible for this brilliantly clever composition that juxtaposes the face of Powers Boothe with that of a tribesman, using the device of the multi-stranded leaf. Brian executed the final illustration in his typically detailed style with the use of careful brush strokes and airbrush techniques to give the whole thing a nice texture.

Vic and Brian were unquestionably two of the greatest talents ever to work on British film posters, which make collaborations like this even more special. For more information on the pair I highly recommend picking up a copy of ‘British Film Posters‘ as it features sections on both men. Here are the posters I’ve collected so far by Brian Bysouth and those by Vic Fair (with more to add over the coming months). In December 2012 I met and interviewed Brian Bysouth and this poster was discussed.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but I’ve been unable to find out much about him, other than that he was born in 1947. If anyone has any more information please get in touch.

A Passage to India / B1 / Poland

22.04.15

Poster Poster

This is the Polish poster for the release of British director David Lean‘s final film behind the camera, 1984’s A Passage to India. Lean hadn’t helmed a feature film since 1970’s Ryan’s Daughter, the poor reception of which had put him off directing for a few years, and an abandoned attempt to make a pair of films based on the Mutiny of the Bounty also took up several years of Lean’s life. The film is an adaptation of English author E. M. Forster’s novel of the same name and also a stage production of the book by Indian-born American playwright Santha Rama Rau.

Set in India during the 1920s when there was a growing Indian independence movement in the British Raj, the film sees young British woman Adela Quested (Judy Davistravel to India to visit her fiancee Ronny Heaslop (Nigel Havers) who is serving as a magistrate in the town of Chandrapore. Accompanying her on the trip is Ronny’s mother Mrs Moore (Peggy Ashcroft). The pair spend time in the company of British colonials but when Mrs Moore meets a local doctor named Aziz Ahmed (Victor Banerjee) they see the opportunity to experience ‘the real India.’ Aziz agrees to take them on an expedition to the remote Marabar Caves (actually based on the real life Barabar Caves) but when Adela is attacked and almost raped, Aziz is accused of the crime and relations between the natives and the British quickly break down.

This poster was painted for the first release of the film in Poland in 1988 and was created by the Polish artist Wiktor Sadowski who was born in Olendry in 1956 and later graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Sadowski has painted hundreds of film posters during his career and has won several prestigious awards, including a gold medal at Poster Biennale of Poland in 1984 and a gold medal from the New York Society of Illustrators in 1994. There are multiple galleries of his work online, including this one on the Polish Poster Gallery website and this one on Polishposter.com that both clearly show the quality of his artwork.

The Princess Bride / quad / UK

31.03.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Princess Bride
AKA
Princess Bride Story (Japan - English title) | La storia fantastica [The fantastic story] Italy
Year of Film
1987
Director
Rob Reiner
Starring
Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, André the Giant, Christopher Guest, Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, André the Giant, Christopher Guest, Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Hat Art Ltd.
Artist
Steve Crisp
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Heroes. Giants. Villains. Wizards. True Love. Not just your basic, average, everyday, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, ho-hum fairy tale.

This is the UK quad for the 1987 fantasy-adventure film The Princess Bride, featuring artwork unique to the British advertising campaign. Helmed by actor-director Rob Reiner, who was also behind the 80s classics This is Spinal Tap and Stand By Me, the film is based on the 1973 book by legendary author, playwright and screenwriter William Goldman (who also adapted the screenplay). The main story is framed by present day scenes in which an old grandfather (Peter Falk) reads a book to his Nintendo-playing grandson, who is suspicious of being read an old dusty book at first but soon gets into the story. 

Ostensibly a classic fairy tale adventure, the film is based in the Renaissance-era fictional country of Florin in which a beautiful princess named Buttercup (Robin Wright) is set to marry the odious Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). One day she is kidnapped by a oddly-matched trio of petty criminals, including diminutive gang boss Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), Spanish master fencer Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and the giant Fezzik (legendary wrestler André the Giant) who have been hired to start a war between two nations by killing Buttercup and leaving her body on the shore of rival country Guilder.

The trio haven’t counted on the actions of the mysterious Dread Pirate Roberts (Cary Elwes) who pursues them across the sea, eventually freeing Buttercup from the gang. Buttercup discovers that the pirate is in fact her long lost love Westley who disappeared five years earlier whilst on a voyage. Before long, Humperdinck and his nefarious, six-fingered sidekick Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) catches up with the lovers and promises Buttercup that he’ll let Westley go if she’ll return to Florin and marry him. She reluctantly agrees but the prince doesn’t stick to his word and Rugen traps Westley in the underground ‘Pit of Despair’. It’s up to Inigo Montoya, who has a grudge to settle with Rugen, and Fezzik to free Westley and break into the prince’s castle before it’s too late.

The film has a genuinely funny script that is elevated further by some classic performances from Elwes, Patinkin and Guest, with a brilliant cameo from Billy Crystal. It has a pitch-perfect mix of non-cheesy romance, with exciting action and adventure, including an epic swordfight atop a cliff. The Princess Bride has been embraced by generations of film fans and continues to be loved by audiences of all ages, with several of the most quoted lines entering the cultural lexicon.

The design of the poster is credited (in the bottom right) to a company called Hat Art Ltd about whom I’ve been able to discover next to nothing, so if anyone has any information about them please get in touch. The artwork bears a signature of ‘Crisp’, which is short for the British artist Steve Crisp. According to the artist’s profile on a now defunct art website, Crisp was born in Kent in 1955 and started painting as early as 5 years old. He studied at the noted St Martins School of Art in London in the 70s and for the past 30 years has worked on book covers for the likes of Stephen King (11 in total), Ray Bradbury and James Herbert, as well as film posters like this one and home video covers for films like Mad Max.

He’s also noted for his work on illustrated jigsaws and the Jigsaw Junkies website interviewed him in 2016. The resultant article can be read here.

Bronco Billy / one sheet / USA

27.02.12

Poster Poster

One of Clint Eastwood’s lesser known outings, Bronco Billy is nevertheless apparently one of the actor-director’s favourites amongst his myriad films. It was pitched firmly in the vein of his earlier Orangutan-featuring screwball comedy dramas, Every Which Way But Loose and its sequel. The studio presumably hoped to ape their success, but in the end the film failed to generate similar box-office numbers.

Eastwood stars as the titular Billy, the leader of a traveling Wild West show and so-called ‘fastest guns in the West’. Things aren’t looking too great for the show and go from bad to worse when they pick up Antoinette Lilly (Sondra Locke) a wealthy heiress who has been abandoned by her future husband. Antoinette must learn to cope without the luxuries she has become accustomed to whilst Billy struggles to keep the show afloat. Eventually the pair strike up a relationship, but it’s not long before Antoinette’s former life catches up with her.

This US one sheet features artwork by American Roger Huyssen, a commercial artist who has worked on advertising campaigns for some of the world’s largest brands, as well as magazine covers, packaging design and several movie posters. His website features plenty of samples of his work and this poster can be seen on there. He often partners with lettering designer Gerard Huerta (working as 2H studio) as is the case on this poster. You’ll notice both signatures are included on the poster.

It’s a brilliantly detailed and colourful design and works perfectly for the film it’s advertising. I particularly like the idea of using a billboard in the style of the Wild West show to display the film’s title.

The film’s trailer is on YouTube.

Cobra / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Cobra
AKA
Die City Cobra (Austria / West Germany)
Year of Film
1986
Director
George P. Cosmatos
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, Brian Thompson, Art LaFleur, Lee Garlington
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, Brian Thompson, Art LaFleur, Lee Garlington,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Intralink Film Graphic Design
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Crime is the disease. Meet the Cure.

Cobra / B2 / photo style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Cobra
AKA
Die City Cobra (Austria / West Germany)
Year of Film
1986
Director
George P. Cosmatos
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, Brian Thompson, Art LaFleur, Lee Garlington
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, Brian Thompson, Art LaFleur, Lee Garlington,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Photo style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Future Cop / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Future Cop
AKA
Trancers (USA - original title)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Charles Band
Starring
Tim Thomerson, Helen Hunt, Michael Stefani, Art LaFleur, Telma Hopkins, Richard Herd, Anne Seymour, Miguel Fernandes
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tim Thomerson, Helen Hunt, Michael Stefani, Art LaFleur, Telma Hopkins, Richard Herd, Anne Seymour, Miguel Fernandes,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
2247 collides with 1985 . . . when a 23rd century crime fighter heats it up in L.A., today

Gleaming The Cube / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Gleaming The Cube
AKA
California Skate (Italy)
Year of Film
1989
Director
Graeme Clifford
Starring
Christian Slater, Steven Bauer, Richard Herd, Le Tuan, Min Luong, Art Chudabala, Peter Kwong, Max Perlich, Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Slater, Steven Bauer, Richard Herd, Le Tuan, Min Luong, Art Chudabala, Peter Kwong, Max Perlich, Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
USA
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Intralink Film Graphic Design
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
880126
Tagline
All he cared about was Gleaming the Cube...until the night they killed his brother.

Vertigo / one sheet / 1996 re-release / USA

27.01.16

Poster Poster
Title
Vertigo
AKA
La donna che visse due volte [The woman who lived twice] (Italy)
Year of Film
1958
Director
Alfred Hitchcock
Starring
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey, Ellen Corby
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey, Ellen Corby,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Saul Bass
Artist
Saul Bass | Art Goodman (figures)
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This US one sheet was printed to mark the 1996 re-release of a restored print of director Alfred Hitchcock‘s classic thriller Vertigo. The film marked the first time Hitchcock worked with the celebrated American designer Saul Bass and the pair would collaborate on two further films together. Hitchcock had himself started his film career developing inter-title cards for silent movies and he commissioned Bass to create the title sequences for Vertigo, North by Northwest and Psycho. As detailed in the must-own book ‘Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design’ (designed by Bass’ daughter Jennifer), the director knew of Bass’ work well before the commission as he kept a close eye on movie graphics and was a subscriber to Graphis, a print journal that had featured Saul’s work.

As well as creating the influential title sequences for each film, Bass was also commissioned to design the advertising campaign for Vertigo. He created the central motif of two figures swirling in a vortex, which is detailed in ‘A Life in Film & Design’:

‘The main poster also captures the sensation of vertigo by having a couple sucked into a vortex. The slightly off-kilter, irregular capitals further hint at the vertiginous. The figures were drawn by Art Goodman, who recalled Saul specifying and sketching out a black silhouette for the man and a light outline, like an apparition, for the woman of his obsessions.’

Several different colours and variations were utilised for the various elements of the ad campaign (trade ads, large posters, brochures, etc) with the concept that the variation of colour and design around a central theme ‘was spinning the viewer in another direction’. Some of these alternatives can be seen in this excellent blog post.

Even if the film wasn’t a great box-office and critical triumph during its initial release, with a reappraisal and celebration not happening until several years later, the title sequence advertising campaign was declared an immediate success and was to win Bass several awards. This one sheet is practically identical to the original 1958 poster with the exception of an altered credits block at the bottom and slightly darker shade of orange (note that this poster is also double-sided, for use in lightboxes)

The film’s Wikipedia article details how the 1996 restoration proved quite controversial since the experts charged with the task were forced to alter the soundtrack (during the creation of a new 6 channel track) and restore the colour as best as they could since the original negatives had faded over the years.

This article on Mubi.com by Adrian Curry does a thorough job of detailing all the various posters printed for Vertigo around the world.

For more on Bass I thoroughly recommend picking up ‘Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design’ and also check out the extensive page about him on the brilliant Art of the Title

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Jerry Paris
Starring
Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith, David Graf, Michael Winslow, Bruce Mahler, Marion Ramsey, Colleen Camp, Art Metrano, Howard Hesseman, George Gaynes
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith, David Graf, Michael Winslow, Bruce Mahler, Marion Ramsey, Colleen Camp, Art Metrano, Howard Hesseman, George Gaynes,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Watch out! They've got to clean up the worst crime district in the world. But that's no problem. They're the worst police force in the universe.

Matilda / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Living Daylights / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Living Daylights
AKA
007 zona pericolo [Dangerous area] (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John Glen
Starring
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé
Origin of Film
UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Brian Bysouth | Bernie Goddard | Mike Bell | Stephen Laws
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
27" x 40 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The new James Bond... living on the edge.

Unquestionably the last truly great James Bond poster was painted by the British artist Brian Bysouth and the design was discussed during my 2012 interview with him:

“The last painting I did was for The Living Daylights. There were a number of us involved with the initial design ideas for that poster, including Bernie Goddard, a freelance designer who often worked with FEREF. Mike Bell and Stephen Laws also produced some concept roughs. Using the original Bond spiral gun barrel idea was a concept that featured on some of the designs and Bernie submitted one using it. The final concept was an amalgamation of ideas and I was tasked with composing the montage that became the poster. I produced the final colour rough that was sent to the client and we were all very glad when it was approved and I was able to start the finished painting.

I came across the rough a little while ago and it’s in reasonable condition considering it’s age.

That design ended up being used around the world and, as Sim Branaghan disclosed in his book, you were paid the highest fee ever given to a British film poster artist for that.
[Laughs] I probably shouldn’t have told Sim that! I don’t know if it was the highest fee ever paid, as I have no idea what other artists in Britain were getting for their work. But later I read somewhere that Bob Peak was being paid up to $50,000 for one poster at the beginning of the 1980s, and other artists such as Drew Struzan were perceived as being extremely well rewarded. I used to charge a day rate and always felt there was a downward pressure on the fees I charged. I was aware that as a director of the company I felt obliged not to inflate my prices, always making allowance for the company mark-up.  With the wisdom of hindsight, maybe I was wrong and I should have charged more. Anyway, I remember being content at the time.

I never knew how much FEREF were charging the client and I never thought to enquire. I decided that I was going to charge £3000 for my work on The Living Daylights because I had been working on the campaign for weeks. The fee was agreed and that was fine. Looking back in retrospect at an illustration that was used around the world to market a James Bond film do you really think that was a lot of money? It’s peanuts! Especially in comparison to the enormous budget the studio would have allotted to the marketing in total. Finally, I hope I am right in believing the client thought well of FEREF because we didn’t ridiculously inflate the price of the work we did for them. We sincerely believed we were the best at what we did, and it was upmost in our minds that we had to be competitive with our charges.”
The article also features pictures of the original artwork and initial sketches for this poster.