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Force 10 from Navarone / B2 / Japan

04.04.16

Poster Poster

Typically detailed artwork by the British artist Brian Bysouth features on this Japanese poster for the release of the 1978 film Force 10 From Navarone. Created as a sequel to the 1961 film The Guns of Navarone, the film is loosely based on the 1968 novel of the same name by Alistair MacLean. The 17 year gap between films was due to MacLean’s treatment of a sequel to ‘Guns…’, written shortly after the original film was met with box-office success, becoming bogged down in development hell. When it was clear that the production was going nowhere MacLean turned his treatment into a novel. The Producer of ‘Guns…’, Carl Foreman, spent years trying to get the sequel off the ground and eventually succeeded by scraping together a budget from five different international sources. The final screenplay bears little resemblance to MacLean’s novel released a decade earlier.

Because almost two decades had passed since ‘Guns…’, the two actors who had played the leads in that film, Gregory Peck and David Niven, were decided to be too old to convince as the leads and the parts of Miller and Mallory were awarded to Edward Fox and Robert Shaw. Brit director Guy Hamilton, best known for a number of James Bond adventures, including Goldfinger and Diamonds are Forever, was given the task of directing, having impressed with his 1969 WWII film ‘Battle of Britain’.

The story sees the pair tasked with hunting down a traitor from the original mission, a German spy who has infiltrated the Yugoslavian resistance and is masquerading as Captain Lescovar (Franco Nero). They join up with an elite American sabotage unit, known as Force 10, which is led by Colonel Barnsby (Harrison Ford, fresh off the success of Star Wars in 1977) who have a mission to carry out of their own. The crew steal an RAF Lancaster bomber and head towards the mission site but the plane is shot down by German fighters and most of the squad are lost. Miller, Mallory and the remaining soldiers are soon captured and imprisoned by German forces but all is not lost as they have a spy of their own in the ranks, Maritza (Barbara Bach) who helps them to escape and continue their mission. Soon they come across Lescovar and the Partisan army. A plan to destroy a large bridge being used by the German forces unites them together, but the German spy’s double-crossing threatens to jeopardise everything.

Force 10 would prove to be Shaw’s penultimate role as he died a year later during the filming of Avalanche Express. The film was met with less than stellar box-office results and general audience indifference, likely not helped by there being such a large gap between the films.

The artwork on this poster was painted by Brian Bysouth who is one of my favourite poster artists and was responsible for many classic posters from the 1960s to the 1980s, including the final painted poster for a James Bond film, The Living Daylights. In 2012 I was fortunate to meet and interview Brian for this site and the article can be read here. The other posters I’ve collected by Brian can be seen by clicking here.

The artwork was reused around the world with the original title, painted to resemble part of the dam, redrawn depending on the language required. The results page for Force 10 on emovieposter.com shows some of these alternative versions, including those for the French and Italian releases. Interestingly this Japanese poster features the title printed down the left hand side, rather than painted onto the dam.

Note that there is an alternative style of poster for the film, the artwork of which can be seen here, that also features the dam bursting and is, I’m fairly certain, erroneously credited to Brian on emovieposter. If anyone has any ideas who the artist of that version is please get in touch or leave a comment below.

Jaws / one sheet / USA

17.10.14

Poster Poster
Title
Jaws
AKA
Les dents de la mer [The teeth of the sea] (France)
Year of Film
1975
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Seiniger Advertising | Magidell Agency | Universal in-house design
Artist
Roger Kastel
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/155
Tagline
The terrifying motion picture from the terrifying No.1 best seller

I’ve waited many years to add this iconic one sheet for Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece Jaws to the Film on Paper collection as I wanted to find a rolled copy, which is no meant feat considering the film’s popularity and the fact that it was released in the mid-1970s (rolled posters from this period are rare). I finally won this copy in an auction earlier this year and what’s notable is that when other rolled originals of Jaws appear they almost always have the same NSS information layout at the bottom as this one, which many dealers and collectors believe means they originate from the Cleveland, Ohio NSS office. CineMasterpieces have a number of Jaws one sheets in their inventory (many already sold) and you can compare the different layouts of the NSS information (here’s an example).

The instantly recognisable image was painted by the American artist Roger Kastel and was originally commissioned for the paperback cover of Peter Benchley’s novel, but when Universal saw the artwork they bought the rights to use it for the poster and following the worldwide success of the film it would go onto become one of the most imitated and parodied images of all time, as well as a merchandising product in its own right.

Collector’s Weekly published a fascinating article about the creation of the poster and the events that led up to Kastel being commissioned to work on the poster. The artist recalls the day the project dropped into his lap:

“I had just delivered a painting to Bantam’s art director, Len Leone,” he says. “Bantam was just loaded with great artists at that time, and Len really gave Bantam its look. I was sitting in Len’s office when Oscar Dystel, Bantam’s publisher, came in. He said, ‘Wait a minute. Don’t leave. I have a great book for you to read’. And he ran out and came back with ‘Jaws.’”

A cover had already been painted by the renowned book cover illustrator for the Doubleday hardback edition of the book but as Kastel remembers it Dystel wasn’t happy with the first cover:

“He wanted me to read the book to pick out a new part to illustrate. But, of course, the best part was the beginning, where Chrissie goes into the water nude.” Turns out the Doubleday concept, if not the execution, was not so bad after all. Kastel did a sketch for Dystel and Leone to critique. “The only direction Oscar and Len gave me was to make the shark bigger, and very realistic.”

Kastel visited his usual go-to source for reference material, the Museum of Natural History in New York, but came up short:

“They didn’t have anything I could use, so I asked if they had a shark exhibit. They said they did but that it was closed for cleaning. It was lunchtime, so I went upstairs anyway, and there were all these different stuffed sharks, just laying on boards. I had my camera with me so I took a few pictures. The shark in my painting developed from there. I just tried to paint a ferocious-looking shark that was still realistic.”

When the book was released the graphic nature of the image saw the paperback banned from shelves in Boston, Massachusetts, and St. Petersburg, Florida, but Bantam didn’t mind the publicity as it greatly boosted sales. The cover also caught the attention of the film studio who were developing the story for the big screen:

“Apparently Universal had tried other poster ideas, but in the end they picked mine. They changed the color of the ‘JAWS’ lettering, added the actor names and other credits, and blurred the girl’s breasts with some foam.”

Kastel is unsure what fate befell the original oil painting (which was approximately 20″ x 30″) and the last time he saw it was when the paperback was first released:

“It was hanging at the Society of Illustrators in New York,” he says. “It was framed because it was on a book tour, and then it went out to Hollywood for the movie. I expected it to come back, but it never did. Either someone has it or it’s lost in storage at Universal. They really should report it as stolen.”

I’ve credited the design of the poster to three parties, although Tony Seiniger (and his agency) is most often cited as the man behind it. This article on Posterwire features comments that also call out another agency called Magidell who apparently had input as well as Universal’s in-house marketing team. Kastel also painted the ‘Gone with the Wind’ style one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back. Check out his official site here.

Jaws / Turkey

26.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Jaws
AKA
Les dents de la mer [The teeth of the sea] (France)
Year of Film
1975
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie,
Type of Poster
Turkish
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Turkey
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Lou Feck (original shark) | Renato Casaro (original woman)
Size (inches)
26 11/16" x 39.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Lurid artwork features on this Turkish poster for Steven Spielberg’s 1975 masterpiece Jaws. Apparently the film wasn’t actually released in Turkey until 1981 which explains why the enterprising designer of this poster has used American artist Lou Feck’s illustration of a shark from the poster for Jaws 2 (1978) and inserted a bikini-clad victim into its mouth (as well as blood dripping from the shark’s teeth). Feck’s illustration was used around the world to promote the sequel after originally appearing on the front of the Jaws 2 novel and I have the Japanese B2 in the Film on Paper collection.

The US one sheet’s instantly recognisable image was painted by the American artist Roger Kastel and was originally commissioned for the paperback cover of Peter Benchley’s novel, but when Universal saw the artwork they bought the rights to use it for the poster and following the worldwide success of the film it would go onto become one of the most imitated and parodied images of all time, as well as a merchandising product in its own right.

Friend of the site Steve Guariento got in touch to point out that the bikini-clad lady was also adapted from another piece of art, namely the Italian four sheet for the Hammer film Dracula AD 1972 (click here to see it) that was painted by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro. The designer of the poster clearly had a Turkish artist paint some open eyes and an open mouth over the original art since the woman is asleep on Casaro’s poster. All of which makes it a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster of a poster!

Jaws / program / Japan

26.01.18

Poster Poster
Title
Jaws
AKA
Les dents de la mer [The teeth of the sea] (France)
Year of Film
1975
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie,
Type of Poster
Program
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Roger Kastel (cover)
Size (inches)
8 4/16" x 11 10/16"
SS or DS
--
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This is the original cinema program that was sold at Japanese screenings of Steven Spielberg’s classic 1975 horror, Jaws. The instantly recognisable image was painted by the American artist Roger Kastel and was originally commissioned for the paperback cover of Peter Benchley’s novel, but when Universal saw the artwork they bought the rights to use it for the poster and following the worldwide success of the film it would go onto become one of the most imitated and parodied images of all time, as well as a merchandising product in its own right. Kastel also painted the ‘Gone with the Wind’ style one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back. Check out his official site here.

I also have the original US one sheet which can be seen on my site here.

Note that this program features images of and details about the production, the director and several of the actors. It also includes a hand-written message especially for Japanese ‘movie buffs’.

The Taking of Pelham 123 / quad / UK

23.11.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Taking of Pelham 123
AKA
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (alternative title) | Il colpo della metropolitana - un ostaggio al minuto [The underground hit - one hostage a minute] (Italy)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Joseph Sargent
Starring
Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Jerry Stiller, Hector Elizondo, Dick O'Neill, Earl Hindman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Jerry Stiller, Hector Elizondo, Dick O'Neill, Earl Hindman,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
29 14/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Before this train reaches the next station it will become the scene of the most spectacular hijack ever attempted

A really striking design on this British quad for the release of the original New York subway-based action thriller, The Taking of Pelham 123. Directed by Joseph Sargent, whose career seems to have consisted mostly of TV movies, the film stars the late Robert Shaw as the psychotic leader of a gang of criminals who board and hijack a subway train. The gang demand a ransom of $1million and threaten to execute a passenger for every minute over the deadline.

Walter Matthau plays a world-weary New York City Transit Authority police lieutenant who ends up being the chief negotiator between the gang, working to try and foil their plans. Famously the gang have colour-based nicknames, which they use instead of their real names (Robert Shaw is blue, for example). Director Quentin Tarantino would later use this idea for his film debut Reservoir Dogs. This film was remade by the late Tony Scott in 2009

This design is unique to the British quad and brilliantly uses the colourful lines of the real New York subway map designed by Massimo Vignelli as the background to the sweeping train made from the title of the film. The front element of the shadowy figure standing in the door is actually taken from the American advance one sheet, which can be seen here. I’m unsure who is responsible for the design of the quad so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

I had been hunting for a rolled copy of this quad for over a decade after seeing it in the book ‘Film Posters of the 1970s’ and I was thrilled to finally track down a copy as I consider it to be one of the best British posters ever printed.

Swashbuckler / 30×40 / USA

30.12.11

Poster Poster
Title
Swashbuckler
AKA
The Scarlet Buccaneer (UK) | Le pirate des Caraïbes [The Pirate Of The Caribbean] (France) | Il corsaro della Giamaica [The Pirate of Jamaica] (Italy)
Year of Film
1976
Director
James Goldstone
Starring
Robert Shaw, James Earl Jones, Peter Boyle, Geneviève Bujold, Beau Bridges, Geoffrey Holder, Avery Schreiber, Tom Clancy, Anjelica Huston, Bernard Behrens, Dorothy Tristan
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Shaw, James Earl Jones, Peter Boyle, Geneviève Bujold, Beau Bridges, Geoffrey Holder, Avery Schreiber, Tom Clancy, Anjelica Huston, Bernard Behrens, Dorothy Tristan,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Solie
Size (inches)
29 7/8" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
76/164
Tagline
Come have a wonderful time - Enjoy the Biggest Grandest Pirate Movie ever!

Great artwork featuring the legendary actor Robert Shaw in a dramatic pose for this largely forgotten pirate romp Swashbuckler. The film is known as Scarlet Buccaneer in several other English-speaking territories, including the UK. The Japanese poster featuring an adaptation of this artwork can be seen here.

The artwork on this poster is by the American artist John Solie who has been working as an illustrator for over 40 years. Film posters are just one aspect of his output, which also includes book and magazine covers, sculptures, portraits and work for NASA. He continues to paint today in Tucson, Arizona. Here are the posters by John Solie I have collected to date.

The original trailer can be viewed on IMDb.

The Scarlet Buccaneer / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Scarlet Buccaneer
AKA
Swashbuckler (USA) | Le pirate des Caraïbes [The Pirate Of The Caribbean] (France) | Il corsaro della Giamaica [The Pirate of Jamaica] (Italy)
Year of Film
1976
Director
James Goldstone
Starring
Robert Shaw, James Earl Jones, Peter Boyle, Geneviève Bujold, Beau Bridges, Geoffrey Holder, Avery Schreiber, Tom Clancy, Anjelica Huston, Bernard Behrens, Dorothy Tristan
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Shaw, James Earl Jones, Peter Boyle, Geneviève Bujold, Beau Bridges, Geoffrey Holder, Avery Schreiber, Tom Clancy, Anjelica Huston, Bernard Behrens, Dorothy Tristan,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Solie
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Deep / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Deep
AKA
Dip (Turkey)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Peter Yates
Starring
Robert Shaw, Jacqueline Bisset, Nick Nolte, Louis Gossett, Jr., Eli Wallach, Dick Anthony Williams, Earl Maynard, Bob Minor
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Shaw, Jacqueline Bisset, Nick Nolte, Louis Gossett, Jr., Eli Wallach, Dick Anthony Williams, Earl Maynard, Bob Minor,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Gary Meyer
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
77/101
Tagline
Is anything worth the terror of The Deep?

The Deep / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Deep
AKA
Dip (Turkey)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Peter Yates
Starring
Robert Shaw, Jacqueline Bisset, Nick Nolte, Louis Gossett, Jr., Eli Wallach, Dick Anthony Williams, Earl Maynard, Bob Minor
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Shaw, Jacqueline Bisset, Nick Nolte, Louis Gossett, Jr., Eli Wallach, Dick Anthony Williams, Earl Maynard, Bob Minor,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Gary Meyer
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
AKA
Il colpo della metropolitana - un ostaggio al minuto [The underground hit - one hostage a minute] (Italy)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Joseph Sargent
Starring
Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Jerry Stiller, Hector Elizondo, Dick O'Neill, Earl Hindman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Jerry Stiller, Hector Elizondo, Dick O'Neill, Earl Hindman,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Mort Kunstler
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--