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True Romance / B2 / cast style / Japan

07.04.14

Poster Poster

Following the shocking death of British director Tony Scott in 2012 there was plenty of discussion amongst fans as to the film that defined his career, which included such titles as the none-more-80s Top Gun and several excellent Denzel Washington-starring thrillers such as Crimson Tide. There was only one film that I reached for from my blu-ray collection when I wanted to pay tribute to Scott and that was True Romance, the 1993 crime thriller starring  and a whole host of acclaimed actors. Featuring a fantastic script by Quentin Tarantino, the film is arguably the apex of Tony Scott’s directing career and clearly benefits from his skill at injecting energy and verve into every scene. The film is also likely to be the defining role in the careers of both Slater and Arquette who were perfectly cast as Clarence and Alabama, the young lovers thrown together at the start of the film and who set off on a rollercoaster ride that leads them from Detroit to Los Angeles with murderous gangsters on their tail.

Clarence is a film-obsessed, lonely video store clerk who is at a cinema watching a triple-bill of Sonny Chiba films when he is approached by Alabama. The pair strike up a friendship and before the night is over are head over heels in love. The only issue is that Alabama is a hooker, hired by Clarence’s work colleagues as a birthday present, and her pimp Drexl (a memorable ) is a violent drug dealer who none too keen to let her leave his employ. After a violent confrontation which sees Drexl dead and Clarence escaping with a suitcase full of cocaine. The pair first head to see Clarence’s father () and then travel across the country to Los Angeles to see Clarence’s friend Dick Ritchie () who has a potential lead for selling the drugs. Hot on their heels are a bunch of mobsters, as well as a pair of police detectives.

This is one of two styles of Japanese B2 posters and I’ve called this one the cast style. The other features a photo of Arquette clutching a shotgun in one of the more intense scenes of the film. Note that one of the cast members shown at the top of the poster is not actually seen in the film and if you’ve watched it you’ll know which one!

True Romance / B2 / Shotgun scream style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Following the shocking death of British director Tony Scott in 2012 there was plenty of discussion amongst fans as to the film that defined his career, which included such films as the none-more-80s Top Gun and several excellent Denzel Washington-starring thrillers such as Crimson Tide. There was only one film that I reached for from my blu-ray collection when I wanted to pay tribute to Scott and that was True Romance, the 1993 crime thriller starring  and a whole host of acclaimed actors. Featuring a fantastic script by Quentin Tarantino, the film is arguably the apex of Tony Scott’s directing career and clearly benefits from his skill at injecting energy and verve into every scene. The film is also likely to be the defining role in the careers of both Slater and Arquette who were perfectly cast as Clarence and Alabama, the young lovers thrown together at the start of the film and who set off on a rollercoaster ride that leads them from Detroit to Los Angeles with murderous gangsters on their tail.

Clarence is a film-obsessed, lonely video store clerk who is at a cinema watching a triple-bill of Sonny Chiba films when he is approached by Alabama. The pair strike up a friendship and before the night is over are head over heels in love. The only issue is that Alabama is a hooker, hired by Clarence’s work colleagues as a birthday present, and her pimp Drexl (a memorable ) is a violent drug dealer who none too keen to let her leave his employ. After a violent confrontation which sees Drexl dead and Clarence escaping with a suitcase full of cocaine. The pair first head to see Clarence’s father () and then travel across the country to Los Angeles to see Clarence’s friend Dick Ritchie () who has a potential lead for selling the drugs. Hot on their heels are a bunch of mobsters, as well as a pair of police detectives.

This is one of two styles of Japanese B2 posters and I’ve called this one the shotgun scream style as it features Arquette clutching a shotgun in one of the more intense scenes of the film. The other style features photographs of the rest of the cast and can be seen here.

Out Of Sight / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Out of Sight
AKA
Un Romance Muy Peligroso [A Very Dangerous Romance] (Spain)
Year of Film
1998
Director
Steven Soderbergh
Starring
George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Steve Zahn, Albert Brooks, Dennis Farina, Luis Guzman, Isaiah Washington, Michael Keaton
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Steve Zahn, Albert Brooks, Dennis Farina, Luis Guzman, Isaiah Washington, Michael Keaton,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1998
Designer
BLT & Associates
Artist
--
Size (inches)
26 11/16" x 39 11/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Out Of Sight / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Out of Sight
AKA
Un Romance Muy Peligroso [A Very Dangerous Romance] (Spain)
Year of Film
1998
Director
Steven Soderbergh
Starring
George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Steve Zahn, Albert Brooks, Dennis Farina, Luis Guzman, Isaiah Washington, Michael Keaton
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Steve Zahn, Albert Brooks, Dennis Farina, Luis Guzman, Isaiah Washington, Michael Keaton,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1998
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
Opposites attract

Nijinsky / one sheet / USA

27.02.17

Poster Poster
Title
Nijinsky
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Herbert Ross
Starring
Alan Bates, George De La Pena, Leslie Browne, Alan Badel, Carla Fracci, Colin Blakely, Ronald Pickup, Ronald Lacey, Vernon Dobtcheff, Jeremy Irons
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Alan Bates, George De La Pena, Leslie Browne, Alan Badel, Carla Fracci, Colin Blakely, Ronald Pickup, Ronald Lacey, Vernon Dobtcheff, Jeremy Irons,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Richard Hamsel
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
800034
Tagline
Genius. Madman. Animal. God. Nijinsky. | A True Story.

Richard Amsel artwork features on this one sheet for the release of the biographical drama Nijinsky. The film tells the story of the celebrated Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky who was born in 1889 in what is now Kiev, Ukraine and died in 1950 in London, England. Often cited as the greatest dancer of the 20th Century he was celebrated for his virtuosity, his ability to dance en pointe and his gravity defying leaps. The film was based on the dancer’s personal diaries and the 1934 biography that was written by his wife Romola de Pulszky. It was directed by the late Herbert Ross, a sometime actor, choreographer, producer and director who is perhaps best known for Footloose (1984).

The plot is described thusly on IMDb:
Set in the early 1910s at a time of passionate artistic experimentalism, and based on biographical fact, this is the story of Vaslav Nijinsky, the young and brilliant but headstrong premier danseur and aspiring choreographer of the Ballets Russes. The company is managed by the famous Sergei Diaghilev, himself a controlling and fiercely possessive impresario. The increasing tension between these powerful egos, exacerbated by homosexual desire and jealousy, becomes triangular when the young ballerina Romola de Pulsky determinedly attempts to draw the increasingly mentally unstable Nijinsky away from Diaghilev.

Richard Amsel was born in Philadelphia in 1947 and studied at the city’s College of Art. Whilst there he entered and won a nationwide artist competition to paint the poster for the film ‘Hello Dolly!’. Amsel was just 22 at the time and this win helped him quickly establish a career in New York where he worked on album covers (including one for Barry Manilow) as well as magazine covers and editorial art. In addition, he worked on posters some of the most important films of the 1970s, including Chinatown, Nashville and The Sting. During the 1970s he also worked on a series of covers for the American magazine TV Guide, which are still celebrated to this day.

In the 1980s Amsel worked on what is my favourite Indiana Jones poster, the Raiders of the Lost Ark 1982 re-release one sheet. He had also painted the original release version, featuring a much more serious looking Indy. The artist’s final film poster was the one sheet for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. Amsel sadly died of AIDS-related complications that same year. He leaves behind a great legacy of unforgettable artwork, some of which I already have in the Film on Paper collection and which can be seen here.

Better Off Dead / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Better Off Dead
AKA
Sapore di hamburger [Taste of hamburger] (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Savage Steve Holland
Starring
John Cusack, David Ogden Stiers, Diane Franklin, Curtis Armstrong
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Cusack, David Ogden Stiers, Diane Franklin, Curtis Armstrong,
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
You've blown up your neighbor's mom. Your seven-year-old brother has better luck with women than you do. Your girlfriend has a new boyfriend. Relax, you're never...

THX 1138 / special video poster / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
THX 1138
AKA
L'uomo che fuggì dal futuro [The man who's escaping from the future] (Italy)
Year of Film
1971
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe, Sid Haig
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe, Sid Haig,
Type of Poster
Special
Style of Poster
Video
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Jeff Wack
Size (inches)
19 14/16" x 29 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Back To The Future / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Back To The Future
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Robert Zemeckis
Starring
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Studio style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
850064
Tagline
He was never in time for his classes... He wasn't in time for his dinner... Then one day... he wasn't in his time at all.

Back To The Future / one sheet / advance / USA

21.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Back To The Future
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Robert Zemeckis
Starring
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
He was never in time for his classes... He wasn't in time for his dinner... Then one day... he wasn't in his time at all.

Youth in Revolt / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Youth in Revolt
AKA
Be Bad! (France)
Year of Film
2010
Director
Miguel Arteta
Starring
Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Mary Kay Place, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long, Ray Liotta, Steve Buscemi
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Mary Kay Place, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long, Ray Liotta, Steve Buscemi,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2010
Designer
Gravillis Inc.
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Every "Revolution" Needs A Leader

Porno / B1 / Poland

31.05.17

Poster Poster

A striking illustration features on this Polish B1 poster for the release of the Polish comedy-romance Porno. Directed by Marek Koterski and starring Zbigniew Rola, I believe the film was not released outside its native country. The plot is described on IMDb:

[A] Middle aged man lies sleeplessly in bed, recalling his numerous sexual encounters. The various couplings are haphazard, loveless affairs in which most of the women are as anxious to release sexual tension as he is. He fails to find fulfilment and is left with feelings of despair and hopelessness.

According to IMDb it was the top grossing Polish film of 1990.

This Polish poster was designed and illustrated by Andrzej Pagowski, a prolific film poster artist who was born in Warsaw in 1953 and studied at the celebrated University of Fine Arts in Poznań, graduating in 1978 under the tutorship of the noted artist Waldemar Świerzy. In 1990 he started his own graphic design studio called Studio P, which he developed into an advertising agency by 1993. According to the biography on his official site, Pagowski has illustrated over 1000 posters during his career and has also done work for books, magazines and music covers. In addition, he is also a TV and theatre stage designer and a screenwriter. Undoubtedly a man of many talents!

Pagowski’s official site features an extensive gallery of his work, including several of the posters. Polishposter.com also features multiple pages worth of his movie posters and this culture.pl article is well worth a read too.

To see the other Pagowski-designed posters I’ve collected click here.

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.

What a Lady You Are… / B1 / Poland

06.03.17

Poster Poster
Title
What a Lady You Are...
AKA
Cózes ty za pani...
Year of Film
1979
Director
Tadeusz Kijanski
Starring
Ewa Borowik, Waldemar Kownacki, Jan Kobuszewski, Boleslaw Plotnicki, Erwin Nowiaszek, Mieczyslaw Hryniewicz, Arkadiusz Jakubik
Origin of Film
Poland
Genre(s) of Film
Ewa Borowik, Waldemar Kownacki, Jan Kobuszewski, Boleslaw Plotnicki, Erwin Nowiaszek, Mieczyslaw Hryniewicz, Arkadiusz Jakubik,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Waldemar Swierzy
Artist
Waldemar Swierzy
Size (inches)
26 2/16" x 37 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking design by Waldemar Świerzy on this B1 poster for the domestic release of the Polish film What a Lady You Are… (released in Poland as Cózes ty za pani…). The film was directed by Tadeusz Kijanski and was one of only three films he helmed. According to IMDb, his directorial career ended a year later in 1980. 

The film’s plot is described on the Polish site filmweb (Google translated)

The film is set during the First World War. Jacob lives in a village on the border of two partitions: an Austrian and Russian. Here marries Magda. When war breaks out, Jacob goes to the front. He must fight not only the enemy, but also Poles from another partition.

The full film is available to watch on Youtube, should you wish.

The late Waldemar Świerzy is considered to be one of the most important Polish designers and artists and it’s estimated he’s worked on over 2500 posters during his career. He was born in Katowice in 1931 and graduated from the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts in 1952. He later became professor in the University of Fine Arts in Poznań from 1965 and Professor in the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 1994. The artist was one of the key figures in the influential Polish School of Posters a movement to push the level of quality of Polish posters forward which was active for over 30 years, starting in the 1950s. Świerzy won multiple awards during his career and had several exhibitions of his work held over the years. He sadly passed away in 2003.

Polishposter.com has seven pages of his work and this biography on culture.pl goes into great detail about his life and work. Poster.com.pl has another gallery of his work.

The Philadelphia Experiment / quad / UK

08.08.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Philadelphia Experiment
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Stewart Raffill
Starring
Michael Paré, Nancy Allen, Eric Christmas, Bobby Di Cicco, Louise Latham, Kene Holliday, Joe Dorsey, Michael Currie, Stephen Tobolowsky
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Paré, Nancy Allen, Eric Christmas, Bobby Di Cicco, Louise Latham, Kene Holliday, Joe Dorsey, Michael Currie, Stephen Tobolowsky,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The terrifying story of an experiment that went wrong. | They opened a whole in time. Now there is no going back.

Unique artwork features on this British quad for the release of the science-fiction film The Philadelphia Experiment. Based on the urban legend of the same name in which the US Navy was said to have temporarily rendered one of its destroyer escorts, the USS Eldridge, invisible (or rather cloaked) to the naked eye in October 1943. The experiment has never been validated, despite investigations (most famously by an astronomer and researcher called Morris Jessup) and several unverified accounts of the events.

The film takes the experiment as the basis for a story in which two sailors aboard the ship, David Herdeg (Michael Paré) and Jim Parker (Bobby Di Cicco), are transported through time during the 1943 experiment and end up in 1984. A scientist called Dr Longstreet (Eric Christmas) tried to use the same experiment in 1984 to protect a town in Nevada from a missile attack. The plan backfired, causing the town to disappear, David and Jim to be sucked through time and a black hole opens up at the site of the town. David agrees to help the scientist close the vortex before it destroys the planet.

This quad was created by the British designer and artist Brian Bysouth who I interviewed for this site in 2012. He is one of my favourite artists and worked on multiple classic posters from the 1960s to the 1980s, including the final painted poster for a James Bond film, The Living Daylights. The other posters I’ve collected by Brian can be seen by clicking here.

Children Of A Lesser God / one sheet / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Children Of A Lesser God
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Randa Haines
Starring
William Hurt, Marlee Matlin, Piper Laurie, Philip Bosco
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
William Hurt, Marlee Matlin, Piper Laurie, Philip Bosco,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41 1/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
860105
Tagline
She is the most mysterious, independent, beautiful person he has ever met. He is the first man who has ever gotten close enough to love her.

Legend / quad / UK

10.10.16

Poster Poster
Title
Legend
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Peter O'Farrell, Kiran Shah, Annabelle Lanyon, Robert Picardo
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Peter O'Farrell, Kiran Shah, Annabelle Lanyon, Robert Picardo,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"I am Darkness"

John Alvin artwork features on this British quad for the release of director Ridley Scott‘s 1985 fantasy oddity, Legend. It’s a film that is often scrubbed from both Scott and star Tom Cruise’s filmography whenever their previous films are discussed. There are a number of reasons for this, not least the fact that it had a troubled production as well as a fairly brutal critical mauling. Cruise’s performance is a shadow of what the actor brought to Tony Scott’s seminal Top Gun only a year later. part of the blame for this has to be down to the way the film was extensively edited by both Scott and the studio prior to release. Scott’s first version ran 125 minutes and this was then cut down to 113 minutes following some test screenings. The final UK (European?) release was 95 minutes and US audiences had another 6 minutes removed for their version.

There are things to admire about the film, including the production and set design which created some memorable environments in which the action takes place. Tim Curry is near unrecognisable as the evil Darkness (as featured on this poster) and the make-up effects, created by Rob Bottin and his team, are incredible. Mia Sara also impresses as Lili and it’s hard to believe she was just 16 at the time of filming. Whilst it failed to recoup its budget on initial release, the film has definitely gained something of a cult following in the years since, particularly with those coming of age around the time of its release on home video. 

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, and this image he created for Legend was used around the globe to promote the film, including in multiple European countries and on the international one sheet. 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.

Mean Streets / quad / 1993 re-release / UK

22.08.16

Poster Poster
Title
Mean Streets
AKA
Mean Streets - Domenica in chiesa, lunedì all'inferno [Sunday in church, Monday in hell] (Italy)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Martin Scorsese
Starring
Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson, Richard Romanus, Cesare Danova, Victor Argo, George Memmoli, Lenny Scaletta, Jeannie Bell, Murray Moston, David Carradine, Robert Carradine
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson, Richard Romanus, Cesare Danova, Victor Argo, George Memmoli, Lenny Scaletta, Jeannie Bell, Murray Moston, David Carradine, Robert Carradine,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
"You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it on the streets..."

This is a British quad poster for a 1993 re-release of Martin Scorsese‘s 1973 film Mean Streets. Whilst not the director’s earliest full-length feature, it’s certainly the one that put him firmly on the map ahead of 1976’s global hit Taxi Driver. Co-written by Scorsese, Mean Streets is also a film that is very personal to the director because the film is set in and around the Manhattan neighbourhood he grew up in. The story was shaped by his experience of living in Little Italy and the encounters he had with the various types of characters that live there, including members of the New York Mafia, with whom his father had dealings.

Scorsese also peppered the film with the kind of music he’d been listening to as a youth, which included the likes of the Rolling Stones and The Ronettes. It’s reckoned that half of the film’s budget was spent on clearing these songs for use in the soundtrack, but their inclusion makes for some memorable moments. One such example is the entrance of Joey (Robert De Niro) into the club soundtracked to the Stones’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’.

Harvey Keitel plays Charlie, a small-time member of the mafia who spends his days collecting protection money on behalf of his uncle, the local boss Giovanni (Cesare Danova). He’s also torn between his feelings of Catholic responsibility, and devotion to the church, with his desire to move up the chain in the outfit. Charlie is also hampered by his friendship with the unhinged Johnny Boy (De Niro), an inveterate gambler who owes money to various unsavoury loan sharks around the neighbourhood. Johnny’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and threatens Charlie’s position as a wiseguy and his secret relationship with Johnny’s cousin Teresa (Amy Robinson). As tension rises, the group try to escape to Brooklyn but the neighbourhood has other plans for them.

I’m not totally sure why this film was given a 1993 re-release but it could have had something to do with the success of his 1990 gangster film Goodfellas. It’s also possible that the distributor (Electric Pictures) decided to show the film as part of a particular season of films. Note that all the films mentioned along the bottom of the poster are all based in London so it’s possible it wasn’t a nationwide re-release. The film’s original quad, for the film’s release in the 1970s, is hugely uninspiring (see here) and nothing beats the classic artwork created for the US campaign (see here).

Roller Boogie / B2 / style A / Japan

16.08.16

Poster Poster

This is the style A Japanese B2 poster for the release of the 1979 musical oddity Roller Boogie, featuring artwork by Yasuo Nemoto. One of those films that’s something of a time capsule, the film was put into production by Irwin Yablans the independent producer who had struck gold a year earlier with John Carpenter’s Halloween. Yablans is credited with the film’s story and the intention was to capitalise on the then craze for rollerskating that was sweeping the States.

 Mark L. Lester (known for Commando and Class of 1984) was hired to direct and Linda Blair (The Exorcist) was given the starring role opposite an award-winning amateur skating champion called Jim Bray who was originally attached as a stuntman but was later given acting lessons when the production struggled to find a leading actor.

Blair plays Terry Barkley a Beverly Hills rich girl who is largely ignored by her parents who are determined to see her attend a prestigious school in New York and carry on as a flautist. One day whilst visiting Venice Beach she meets a hotshot skater named Bobby James (Bray) who dreams of making it to the Olympics. The pair strike up a friendship and eventually Terry asks Bobby if she can teach him how to skate and create a routine for them both so they can compete in a Roller Boogie contest at a skating rink called Jammer’s. Unfortunately a nefarious property developer plans to buy Jammer’s and raze it to the ground, so the pair team up with other skaters to put a stop to the plans whilst practicing their routines ready for the big night.

The film was largely panned on its release but found success with teen audiences and has since gone on to have something of a cult following. Plans for a mooted sequel were scrapped when disco music and roller skating lost their popularity.

The artwork is credited to someone called Yasuo Nemoto but I’ve been unable to find out anything about them online. If anyone has any further details about Nemoto please get in touch. I also have the style B Japanese B2 in the collection and it can be viewed here.

Something Wild / quad / UK

05.07.16

Poster Poster
Title
Something Wild
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Jonathan Demme
Starring
Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, Ray Liotta, George 'Red' Schwartz, Leib Lensky, Tracey Walter, Maggie T., Patricia Falkenhain, Sandy McLeod, Robert Ridgely
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, Ray Liotta, George 'Red' Schwartz, Leib Lensky, Tracey Walter, Maggie T., Patricia Falkenhain, Sandy McLeod, Robert Ridgely,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Something different, something daring, something dangerous

A colourful design features on this UK quad for the release of the 1986 cult flick Something Wild. Directed by Jonathan Demme (best known for Silence of the Lambs) the film is a difficult one to categorise as it has elements of comedy, action and also something of a road trip setup. The script was written by E. Max Frye whilst he was still at film school and made its way into Demme’s hands, with the director committing to filming it straight away.

Jeff Daniels stars as the straight-laced financier Charles Driggs who lives in a New York suburb and commutes every day into Manhattan. We first see him inside a greasy spoon diner from where he sneaks out without paying (in what he later calls a small act of rebellion) but not without attracting the attention of a sultry brunette who calls herself Lulu (a sexy turn from Melanie Griffith). Although reluctant at first, Charles is persuaded to accompany her on a spontaneous road trip out of the city.

Lulu first seduces him in a hotel room and then the pair continue on to her home town in Pennsylvania where she introduces Charles to her mother, saying that the pair have recently married. Lulu, who reveals her real name is Audrey, takes Charles along to a high school reunion. Whilst there Audrey’s ex-husband Ray Sinclair (an electrifying Ray Liotta), who she thought was still in prison for a string of robberies, appears and is initially friendly towards the couple. Things soon take a dark turn as Ray forces Charles to leave and drives off with Audrey. However, Charles realises how smitten he is with her and begins to tail them with a plan to prize her away from Ray.

The artwork on this UK quad is the same that is featured on the US one sheet and was clearly originally painted for that poster. I’ve struggled to identify who the artist is so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch. The colour schemes are similar on both posters but the logo is different and the quad has the additional photo of Ray Liotta.

Silver Streak / one sheet / style A / USA

31.05.16

Poster Poster
Title
Silver Streak
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
Arthur Hiller
Starring
Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Pryor, Patrick McGoohan, Ned Beatty, Clifton James, Ray Walston, Stefan Gierasch, Len Birman, Valerie Curtin, Lucille Benson, Scatman Crothers, Richard Kiel, Fred Willard
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Pryor, Patrick McGoohan, Ned Beatty, Clifton James, Ray Walston, Stefan Gierasch, Len Birman, Valerie Curtin, Lucille Benson, Scatman Crothers, Richard Kiel, Fred Willard,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Unknown
Artist
George Gross
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
76/200
Tagline
By plane, by train, by the edge of your seat, it's the most hilarious suspense ride of your life!

Silver Streak, a 1976 comedy thriller, marked the first time that the celebrated comic actors Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor would appear together in a film and there would be a further three pairings following this one. Directed by Arthur Hiller, who would helm See No Evil, Hear No Evil starring Wilder and Pryor 13 years later, the film is mostly set onboard the eponymous long distance train. Wilder plays George Caldwell a book editor who is traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago for his sister’s wedding. Whilst onboard he meets Hilly (Jill Clayburgh) and the pair strike up a romance, but soon George is battling to stay alive after he witnesses the murder of an art historian and attracts the attention of the killers.

The gang plan to impersonate the dead historian in order to pass of a pair of forged Rembrandt paintings as original. George is forcefully removed from the train several times and it’s during one of these escapades that he meets the criminal Grover T. Muldoon (Pryor) who he enlists in helping him reach the train to climb back onboard and bring the conspiracy to light. As this poster artwork suggests, the film ends in a spectacular train crash.

The artwork is by George Gross, an American who is best known as an artist of pulp book covers but, as this short biography details, he also worked on magazine illustrations and covers for popular novels. The artist was born in 1909 in Brooklyn and he followed his father into the area of commercial illustration, with both of his siblings eventually making it a proper family affair. This site has a gallery of his pulp covers. I’ve been unable to determine if he painted any other film posters so please get in touch if you know of any others.

It’s worth noting that the central figures have been rather crudely cut out and placed over the background scenes, which have also been cut up in places (see if you can spot the replicated policeman).

Weekend / one sheet / 2011 / USA

26.04.16

Poster Poster

This is the US one sheet for the release of the 2011 British drama Weekend, written and directed by Andrew Haigh. The film was shot on location in and around Nottingham on a micro budget. It follows gay man Russell (Tom Cullen) who goes to a house party with his straight friends and then onto a gay club alone afterwards looking for a hookup. There he meets Glen (Chris New), an art gallery employee and aspiring artist, and the pair head back to Russell’s flat for what they both assume will just be a one night stand.

Things don’t work out that way and the pair spend the next 48 hours (the titular period) getting to know each other in bars, clubs and bedrooms. Glen eventually reveals he’s hours away from moving to America to attend a two year art course and by the end of the weekend the pair have affected each other more than they could possibly have imagined. The film is a memorable and sensitive depiction of a budding relationship and the performances are wonderfully natural throughout. Haigh’s script is heartfelt but unsentimental and has a genuine emotional truth about it. In my opinion it’s one of the best romantic dramas of the past few decades.

This one sheet was created by Sam Ashby, a London-based graphic designer who has worked on a number of film posters, including quads for films like Beauty. According to this interview Sam used to work at the poster design firm AllCity as Head of Design before leaving to set up his own studio in 2010. His website hasn’t been updated in a number of months so I’m not sure if he’s still active as a film poster designer.

In addition to this one sheet, Ashby designed several other posters for the film, including the UK quad.

The Crying Game / quad / UK

14.03.16

Poster Poster

This UK quad poster for the release of Neil Jordan‘s 1992 drama The Crying Game is notable for marking the end of an era of British film posters featuring painted artwork. As Sim Branaghan writes in his must-own book British Film Posters: An Illustrated History, ‘By the time this [quad] appeared in 1992, illustration on British posters was effectively dead.’ After this time it was a rare exception that a film wasn’t advertised using a photographic montage, often with the same image being used around the globe to promote a film.

The production company behind the film, Palace Pictures, had worked with Jordan on other features, including Mona Lisa and The Company of Wolves and had regularly worked with artists and illustrators when it came to the posters for the films they released. Celebrated artist Graham Humphreys received his big break into working as an illustrator for film posters when he was asked to paint the artwork to be used on the quad for The Evil Dead, which Palace were distributing in the UK. For more details see the Film on Paper interview with Humphreys which can be read here.

The Crying Game was written by Jordan (he would later win an Academy Award for the screenplay) and stars Stephen Rea as a member of an IRA crew who kidnap a British soldier called Jody (Forest Whitaker) by luring him into a wood with the promise of sex from one of their squad, Jude (Miranda Richardson). The group demand the release of imprisoned IRA members and threaten to execute Jody if their requests are not met.

Fergus and the soldier strike up an uneasy friendship, despite their differences. When the hostage situation goes horribly wrong Fergus is forced into hiding and moves to London, assuming a new identity as ‘Jimmy’. There he looks up Jody’s girlfriend Dil (Jaye Davidson) whom Jody had spoken a lot about and eventually the pair form a tentative relationship. But there’s more to Dil than Fergus realises and the danger that his past life will be uncovered by her grows ever larger.

The film was met with critical praise and glowing reviews around the globe but failed to perform at the UK and Ireland box-office, something that is now felt to be due to its heavy political undertones and the public’s attitude towards the IRA. It was released in the US by Miramax and became a sleeper hit over the following weeks. As hinted at by one of the press quotes on the poster, it’s one of those films that has a plot twist so significant that it becomes the main reason people are aware of and discuss the film (see also ‘The Sixth Sense’).

 

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

Once Upon a Time in China II / B2 / Japan

14.12.15

Poster Poster
Title
Once Upon a Time in China II
AKA
Wong Fei Hung II: Nam yee tung chi keung (Hong Kong - original title)
Year of Film
1992
Director
Tsui Hark
Starring
Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan, Siu Chung Mok, David Chiang, Donnie Yen, Tielin Zhang, Xin Xin Xiong, Paul Fonoroff, Shi-Kwan Yen, Ka-Kui Ho, Michael Miller, Dion Lam, Shu-Kei Chow
Origin of Film
Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan, Siu Chung Mok, David Chiang, Donnie Yen, Tielin Zhang, Xin Xin Xiong, Paul Fonoroff, Shi-Kwan Yen, Ka-Kui Ho, Michael Miller, Dion Lam, Shu-Kei Chow,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1992
Designer
Unknown
Artist
M. Tsuchiya
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Great artwork by a Japanese artist who has signed the work ‘M. Tsuchiya’ features on this B2 for the release of the 1992 action-adventure sequel, Once Upon a Time in China II. Celebrated producer and director Tsui Hark (who also co-wrote the screenplay) would end up helming all 6 films in the OUATIC franchise that ended in 1997 with ‘Once Upon a Time in China and America’. The legendary martial artist Jet Li appeared once more as the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung and Donnie Yen, another celebrated action star, plays one of the main bad guys in the film.

Set during the Qing dynasty at the end of the 19th century, the film sees Wong Fei-hung traveling to Guangzhou with his love interest ’13th Aunt’ (Rosamund Kwan) and apprentice Leung Foon (Siu Chung Mok) to attend a medical seminar. Whilst there he gets caught up in the troubles wrought by the White Lotus Sect an extremely xenophobic group who are against any form of Westernisation or influence in China and have been attacking foreigners and anyone allied to them.

After protecting 13th Aunt from kidnap, Wong then deals with an attack on the seminar, followed by one on a group of school children. Eventually he joins forces with a revolutionary group planning to overthrow the Qing dynasty, who count Westernised doctor Sun Yat-Sen (Tielin Zhang) amongst their number, and attack the White Lotus Sect’s base. Psychotic leader Gao Kung (Xin Xin Xiong) isn’t about to go down without a fight and this is before Wong and the others must confront Yen’s military Commander Nap-lan who is out to crush the revolution.

I’ve struggled to find anything of note about ‘M. Tsuchiya’ so if anyone knows anything about the artist please get in touch and I’ll add the details here.