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The Thirty-Nine Steps / 1978 / one sheet / UK

03.11.17

Poster Poster

This is the UK one sheet (sometimes referred to as English one sheet) for the 1978 version of The Thirty-Nine Steps, based on the 1915 magazine serial-turned-book of the same name by the Scottish author John Buchan. The story has been turned into a film a number of times, including a 1935 version by Alfred Hitchcock that was later remade in 1959. This version, directed by the late Don Sharp (Psychomania, a couple of Hammer horror films), is considered to be the most faithful to Buchan’s original book. The film is set in the UK in 1914 and focuses on the character of Richard Hannay (whom Buchan would return to for five other novels) who becomes embroiled in a nefarious plot by German sleeper agents to start a war by assassinating a visiting foreign minister. Robert Powell plays Hannay and a host of notable British actors also feature, including John MillsDavid Warner and Eric Porter

The film makes great use of real locations all over the UK, including in Scotland where the bulk of the film takes place. It’s most known for a climactic sequence that occurs on the clock face of London’s Big Ben tower (in reality a large scale model on a set) that aped a sequence from Harold Lloyd’s 1923 film Safety Last. The film was a box-office success and would later spawn a TV series featuring the same character and starring Powell, called simply Hannay.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Vic Fair, who was one the most important designer/artists ever to work on British film marketing. He was responsible for several iconic posters, including The Man Who Fell To Earth, posters for Hammer horrors like Vampire Circus, and the withdrawn advance one sheet for A View to a Kill. I interviewed Vic for this site and that article can be viewed by clicking here. He sadly passed away in early 2017 but his great legacy lives on.

It shares some similarities with another poster Fair designed and illustrated for Rank (the production company and distributor), the 1977 horror anthology The Uncanny.

Note also that there’s another version of this one sheet which has a stylised title logo in the space on the right and can be seen here. I’m not sure why some have it and others don’t but I suspect the one without was a printing error, or a first printing.

To see the other posters I’ve collected that were designed and/or illustrated by Vic Fair click here.

Fist of Fury / B2 / 1983 re-release / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Fist of Fury
AKA
Jing wu men (Hong Kong - original title) | School for Chivalry (Hong Kong - literal English title - Mandarin title) | The Chinese Connection (USA - alternate title) | Tekken (Japan) | Dalla Cina con furore [From China With Fury] (Italy)
Year of Film
1972
Director
Wei Lo
Starring
Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, James Tien, Maria Yi, Robert Baker, Fu Ching Chen, San Chin, Ying-Chieh Han, Riki Hashimoto, Jun Katsumura
Origin of Film
Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, James Tien, Maria Yi, Robert Baker, Fu Ching Chen, San Chin, Ying-Chieh Han, Riki Hashimoto, Jun Katsumura,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Hard Eight / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Hard Eight
AKA
Sydney (USA - original title) | Last Exit Reno (Germany - video title)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring
Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel Jackson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robert Ridgely, Melora Walters
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel Jackson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robert Ridgely, Melora Walters,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
If you stay in this game long enough, you'll see everything, win everything, and lose everything.

Speedtrap / B2 / artwork style / Japan

03.09.13

Poster Poster
Title
Speedtrap
AKA
Speed Interceptor III (Italy)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Earl Bellamy
Starring
Joe Don Baker, Tyne Daly, Richard Jaeckel, Robert Loggia, Morgan Woodward, Lana Wood, Timothy Carey, James Griffith, Lucky Hayes
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Joe Don Baker, Tyne Daly, Richard Jaeckel, Robert Loggia, Morgan Woodward, Lana Wood, Timothy Carey, James Griffith, Lucky Hayes,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A highly detailed illustration graces this Japanese B2 for the release of Speedtrap, a little-seen automotive action flick that was made in the mould of the original Gone in 60 Seconds, which was released only a couple of years earlier – this poster even references the film (hence the ’60’ above the red title at the bottom). The story sees private eye Pete Novick, played by the respected character actor Joe Don Baker (best known for the original Walking Tall and several appearances in Brosnan-era Bond films), hired by an insurance company to track down the mysterious ‘Road Runner’ a master car thief responsible for the disappearance of hundreds of high-end automobiles.

After teaming up with an ex-girlfriend who also happens to be a police detective (Tyne Daly, who featured in The Enforcer), Novick sets his sights on the master criminal and goes all out to stop him striking again. Robert Loggia appears as a mafia boss who falls victim to the Road Runner when his drug-filled Rolls-Royce disappears.

The exciting artwork is by Seito, one of my favourite Japanese artists, who was responsible for several fantastic illustrated posters during the 1970s and 1980s. Little is known about the man himself, even in his native country. Seito also worked on the original Japanese poster for the release of Gone in 60 Seconds, which I have in the collection and can be seen here.

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