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Jurassic Park / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Joe Kidd / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Joe Kidd
AKA
--
Year of Film
1972
Director
John Sturges
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon, Don Stroud, Stella Garcia, James Wainwright, Paul Koslo
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon, Don Stroud, Stella Garcia, James Wainwright, Paul Koslo,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

King Kong / 2005 / quad / advance / T-Rex style / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong
AKA
--
Year of Film
2005
Director
Peter Jackson
Starring
Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Kyle Chandler, Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis
Origin of Film
New Zealand | USA | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Kyle Chandler, Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Advance - T-Rex style
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
2005
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

Predator / original artwork / Thailand

28.09.16

Poster Poster
Title
Predator
AKA
O Predador (Brazil / Portugal)
Year of Film
1987
Director
John McTiernan
Starring
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves,
Type of Poster
Original artwork
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
2016
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
28 5/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Earlier this year I commissioned (through a mutual friend) the legendary Thai artist Tongdee to reimagine a poster for one of my favourite films, Predator (1987). The film was released in Thailand at a time when the use of painted artwork was being phased out and the original Thai poster is a photographic design that was based on the US one sheet. I’m a huge fan of Thai film poster artwork because of the typically lurid use of colours and lack of censoring, which led to some incredible posters like Tongdee’s Apocalypse Now and the one for Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond.

Because the original photographic poster was comparatively disappointing, I was excited to see what Tongdee would create. I gave him free reign with the exception of a couple of things I was keen to see (the iconic thermal-vision being one) and after a few weeks was sent a sketch with his idea for the layout. After requesting a couple of very minor tweaks I gave the go ahead and Tongdee began working on the actual painting. Last week I received the finished article and I’m very happy with the result. I love the layout and the use of colours, including the incorporation of the thermal-vision Predator hand. I also love the artistic licence he took on a few elements (I’ll let you figure out what I’m talking about) which was typical of his paintings from the original period of him working on film posters.

The painting is just over American one sheet size and I plan to get it framed as soon as possible. I’ve tried to take as many pictures as possible so you can see the details, and you’ll be able to see the grain from the canvas onto which Tongdee painted. I’ve also included three pictures that I was sent showing the painting with Tongdee in his studio. There’s also one photo (fourth from last) which shows the painting as it was sent to me, having been removed from the wooden frame over which it was stretched for painting.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was incredibly prolific during the 70s, 80s and 90s and, although he no longer paints official film posters for Thai distributors he is still painting for other clients. I’ve been unable to find out much about him from a biographical point of view other than that he was born in 1947. My hope is to someday travel to Thailand to meet and interview him.

One of the best films of the 1980s and certainly one of the Austrian Oak‘s finest roles, Predator is a film I’ve seen more times than I care to remember. Directed by John McTiernan, who would go on to helm Die Hard the following year (arguably the greatest action movie ever made), the film is an excellent mix of gung-ho action and sci-fi horror with a truly iconic monster that has gone on to appear in several (not so great) sequels and spin-offs.

The story sees Schwarzenegger’s team of single-monikered, rough-neck commandos dropped into a dangerous South-American jungle ostensibly on a rescue mission. When they discover a series of butchered and skinned corpses it soon becomes clear that they’re dealing with more than just a bunch of gun-toting guerrillas and someone, or something, is following them through the jungle. The film features several memorable characters, including Native American Sonny Landham‘s Billy, a man-mountain with much-needed tracking skills and the first one to realise they’re not alone, and Bill Duke‘s Mac who memorably leads the charge with a mini-gun when one of his comrades is killed. Like many of Schwarzenegger’s films, Predator is eminently quotable and features countless memorable lines spoken by several of the characters – ‘If it bleeds, we can kill it!’

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

 

Dirty Harry / one sheet / 1971 original / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Dirty Harry
AKA
Ispettore Callaghan: il caso Scorpio è tuo [Inspector Callaghan: The Scorpio case is yours] (Italy)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Don Siegel
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Andy Robinson, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni, John Vernon
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Andy Robinson, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni, John Vernon,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 >1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Detective Harry Callahan. He doesn't break murder cases. He smashes them.

Guardian Of Hell / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Guardian Of Hell
AKA
L'altro inferno [The other hell] (Italy - original title) | The Other Hell (International - English title) / USA (video title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Bruno Mattei
Starring
Franca Stoppi, Carlo De Mejo, Francesca Carmeno, Susan Forget, Franco Garofalo, Paola Montenero, Sandy Samuel, Andrea Aureli
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Franca Stoppi, Carlo De Mejo, Francesca Carmeno, Susan Forget, Franco Garofalo, Paola Montenero, Sandy Samuel, Andrea Aureli,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
C. W. Taylor
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
IT HAS AWAKENED!

Pan’s Labyrinth / one sheet / special / UK

06.07.11

Poster Poster

Guillermo Del Toro’s sublime, fantastic fairy tale Pan’s Labyrinth almost had an official cinema poster by the great Drew Struzan, that is until the studio suits had their way. The poster you see here is from a special screening in London and the design was never actually used as a cinema poster in any country. The final American Pan’s Labyrinth one sheet can be seen here.

The full story of how Struzan and Del Toro worked together on the poster can be found in the fantastic book ‘The Art of Drew Struzan’, which is an absolute must-buy for anyone who who has even a passing interest in Drew’s work (it’s currently only £16.49 on Amazon UK and $23.07 on Amazon.com). The stories associated with each of the artworks are a fascinating insight into what it’s like to work with directors and studios during the creation of a film poster.

These excerpts are taken from the Pan’s Labyrinth section of the book.

Drew on the completion of the artwork:

Then the shit hit the fan – the studio never used the painting. It did wind up on a special vinyl issue of the soundtrack album though.

Once the image had been released online there were many who couldn’t believe that Drew’s artwork wasn’t used for the final poster.

They were having a press conference in Europe, and a reporter actually stood up and asked one of the suits, “How come you didn’t use Struzan’s artwork for the poster?” … The suit’s reply was: “We didn’t use it because it looks too much like art.”

That statement from the studio representative says it all really. It seems like they genuinely believe that cinema-goers won’t respond to illustrated posters any more and that the photoshopped monstrosities so prevalent today are the only way to sell films successfully.

This particular example of the poster was obtained from a very established and trusted poster dealer that had bought them from a contact in London, who managed to secure a few after the event had finished. I’m assuming it was for the UK premiere or a large press screening, but I’d love to know for sure so please get in touch if you have any more details. I’m certain it’s not a bootleg poster as it measures the standard size for one sheets, is printed on decent paper and the details are sharp when viewed up close.

The Godfather / screen print / Ñiko / Cuba

18.06.12

Poster Poster

In August 2011 I was lucky enough to visit the island of Cuba for a ten day trip, which was a fantastic experience. It really does feel like a country stuck in a time warp, circa 1965, particularly once you leave the capital and head into the countryside. It’s a stunningly beautiful island with very hospitable people but the relative poverty of the country is clear to see. It’s often said that the government is likely to relax the current freeze on foreign (particularly Western) investment once ‘Comandante’ Fidel Castro passes away, although with his brother Raul currently in charge very little has changed. This article on the BBC gives you an insight into the current situation.

The Cuban people’s love for film and cinema-going is legendary and our guidebook claimed that at the end of the 1950s there were over 300 cinemas in the capital Havana alone. Today, these great old buildings continue to thrive and whilst there I witnessed the queues of people lining up to see the latest releases. I took this picture of the Yara cinema in the Vedado area of Havana before the evening crowds descended.

Whilst in Havana I visited a bookshop that was selling original Cuban propaganda posters printed in the 1950s and 60s by OSPAAAL. They also had a handful of screen-printed film posters, all of which were reprints of the original Cuban cinema posters or re-imagined designs by local artists. They are officially screen printed by the ICAIC (Instituto Cubano de Artes Industrias Cinematografia) in Havana.

This poster for Francis Ford Coppola‘s classic crime epic The Godfather was designed and illustrated by Antonio Pérez González Ñiko. Born in Havana in 1941, Ñiko (as he is known) studied a Bachelor degree in Art at the city’s university before getting a job at a graphic design agency. He was instrumental in designing multiple posters for the Cuban revolutionary movement in the 1960s and 1970s as well as many film posters in conjunction with the ICAIC.

Now a resident of Mexico, Ñiko works as a professor of Graphic Design at the Gestalt Design School in Xalapa, Veracruz. He continues to design and paint and his work has been featured in countless exhibitions around the world. His personal blog can be viewed here. Galleries of his work can be viewed on his Cargo Collective website here, and the sheer number of film posters he’s worked on is nothing short of incredible.

Whilst in Havana I also picked up a few other posters, one of which (A Clockwork Orange) I have already posted here.

Apocalypse Now Redux / B1 / Japan

04.09.14

Poster Poster

This is the Japanese B1 poster for the 2001 re-release of arguably the best war film ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. This release, known as ‘Redux’ was a new version prepared by the director and his editor and long-time collaborator Walter Murch that saw almost 50 minutes inserted back into the film with several sequences extended and the flow of the film altered as a result. Set during America’s war in Vietnam, the film follows Martin Sheen‘s US Army Army and special forces veteran Benjamin Willard as he journeys up the dangerous Nung River and deeper into the jungle in the search of the rogue Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando in an unforgettable role). Willard is told that an insane Kurtz has gathered together an army of indigenous fighters inside neutral Cambodia and that he must ‘terminate with extreme prejudice’. After landing at the mouth of the river in a spectacular sequence in which Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall) first attacks an enemy village from helicopters whilst blasting Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries from loudspeakers, then orders some of his men to surf despite the fact that mortar shells continue to land all around them, Willard  joins the crew of a Navy PBR boat that transports him on his fateful journey up river.

Apocalypse Now is famous for its fraught production in which the shoot went over time and over budget, sets were destroyed by storms, Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack and other woes that caused Coppola to famously say, “We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane”, and “My film is not about Vietnam, it is Vietnam”. The director’s wife Eleanor helped to put together the acclaimed documentary of the troubled production called Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, which is an essential watch for fans of the film. Despite the production woes, the film was a huge critical and commercial success, with its cultural impact undeniable.

The Redux version, which involved re-recording several of the original actors’ dialogue 30 years since the original filming, plus the addition of newly recorded music, was met with generally positive reviews. Many critics felt that the revisions made the film an even richer, stranger experience, whilst some felt that the new cut was self-indulgent and that the new sequences, particularly one set in a French plantation, slowed the film down too much. Check out this wikipedia article for details of the changes. I personally prefer the original cut but the new additions are undoubtedly interesting to watch.

The Japanese title on this poster is made from a photographic image of burning wood and the explosion and helicopters are taken from the now iconic ‘Charlie don’t surf’ sequence.

 

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!

The House by the Cemetery / quad / UK

01.11.12

Poster Poster

Nicknamed The Godfather of Gore, the late Italian director Lucio Fulci is responsible for several memorable entries in the horror genre and The House by the Cemetery is one of what I consider to be the big four Fulci films (the others being Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Beyond and City of the Living Dead), which were all made within two years of each other. The director tried his hand at various genres, including westerns and comedies, but it was horror where he found the greatest success and for which he is best remembered.

The House by the Cemetery is the third film in the unofficial ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy of Fulci films that began with 1980s City of the Living Dead and was followed by The Beyond. It stars British actress Catriona MacColl (credited on the poster as Katherine MacColl) who had collaborated with Fulci on the previous two entries. The story sees Dr Norman Boyle (Paolo Malco), a professor at a New York University, being sent on research trip to New Whitby, Boston, taking his wife (MacColl) and young son with him. Their base is a big old house situated, as the title suggests, in the grounds of an old graveyard. After moving in and meeting a few of the locals, it soon becomes clear to the family that they aren’t the only ones living in the house and slowly but surely the dark secret of the previous occupant is revealed.

As was typical with all of Fulci’s output during this period, the film features several scenes of brutal, graphic gore and there’s one death scene in particular that would fall foul of the BBFC, the folks responsible for passing the film for release in the UK. This page on IMDB details the various cuts the UK release of the film was given over the years; in 1984 the film was caught up in the infamous Video Nasties situation and the VHS was banned outright. When it was re-released on tape in 1988 there were almost five minutes cut from its running time and it wasn’t until 2009 that a fully uncut version was available.

This is the UK quad poster for the first release of the film in British cinemas in 1982. It features artwork that is based on the Italian poster that was painted by the great artist Enzo Sciotti who has painted countless fantastic horror, sci-fi and exploitation posters over the years. As anyone who has seen the film will know, the knife-wielding character that dominates the poster doesn’t actually feature in the film itself. It’s said that the decision was taken to depict a psychotic killer that resembled Jack Nicholson’s character in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining after that film had proven such an international success only a year previously.

It is my belief that this artwork has been adapted from Sciotti’s original by a British artist, quite possibly Ted Baldwin who is thought to be responsible for the art on the quad for Zombie Creeping Flesh. Note the clear differences between the Italian poster and the details seen on this quad, particularly the evil character, the orientation and size of the house, and the layout of the graveyard. Obviously the original poster is in a portrait format so the decision may well have been taken to redraw it to better fit the landscape format of the quad.

Enzo Sciotti‘s official site has galleries of his work, some of which is for sale. Wrong Side of the Art has a selection of some of his work, and Eatbrie.com also features several of his designs. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Codename Wildgeese / quad / UK

05.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Codename Wildgeese
AKA
Geheimcode: Wildgänse (Germany - original title) | Arcobaleno selvaggio [Wild Rainbow] (Italy) | Code name: Wild Geese (alt. spelling)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Antonio Margheriti
Starring
Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Klaus Kinski, Manfred Lehmann, Mimsy Farmer
Origin of Film
Italy | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Klaus Kinski, Manfred Lehmann, Mimsy Farmer,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Tom Chantrell
Artist
Enzo Sciotti (original artwork) | Tom Chantrell (quad adaptations)
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Codename Wildgeese is a 1984 entry in the ‘Macaroni Combat‘ genre of Italian-made action/war films that was helmed by the prolific director Antonio Margheriti (most often credited as Anthony M. Dawson) and is usually associated with the 1978 British film The Wild Geese. Both films are ensemble-cast action films in which Western mercenaries are sent into ‘wild’, lawless, dictator-ruled countries to carry out a mission and escape alive. Both films feature aging cast members who probably should have known better and I don’t doubt that Margheriti and his enterprising distributors chose the Wildgeese element of the title to capitalise on the success of the earlier film.

The late Lewis Collins, known for his leading man roles in action-fare such as TVs The Profressionals and the 1982 British action film Who Dares Wins, appears as the leader of a mercenary group which is employed covertly by the DEA (in the shape of Ernest Borgnine) and sent into the opium-producing area in Asia known as the Golden Triangle to attempt to stem the supply of illegal opium to the west. His team, which includes pilot China (Lee Van Cleef), make their way into the Triangle and engage an enemy base in a quarry before pushing onto the factories and a fiery showdown.

The film is largely a damp squib with very little in the way of memorable action sequences or an engaging script. The effects and gunplay are largely poor and the editing and soundtrack are notably bad. It’s certainly not a patch on The Wild Geese, which in itself was no masterpiece.

A reader of the site, Andrew Lamb, got in touch to confirm that the quad is an adaptation of artwork that was painted by the Italian artist Enzo Sciotti and originally intended for, I believe, the German poster. Andrew commented the following (the original can be seen at the bottom of the page):

It was later adapted for the UK quad using a photo duplicate of the original artwork, with paint applied around the edges to fill the quad size, then new titles applied over the top. This was done by Tom Chantrell. My guess is that he was commissioned to paint the artwork and liked Sciotti’s art so much that it was suggested by him and agreed upon to be used instead. I’m not 100% certain of this, however I own the original artwork layout for the UK quad and it came from a lot of Tom Chantrell’s work. So that’s my hunch.

City of the Living Dead / version A / Thailand

02.05.17

Poster Poster
Title
City of the Living Dead
AKA
Paura nella città dei morti viventi [Fear in the city of the living dead] (Italy - original title) | Gates of Hell (US - alternative title) | Twilight of the Living Dead
Year of Film
1980
Director
Lucio Fulci
Starring
Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, Fabrizio Jovine, Luca Venantini, Janet Agren
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher George, Catriona MacColl, Carlo De Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, Fabrizio Jovine, Luca Venantini, Janet Agren,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
Version A
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noppadol | Enzo Sciotti (original heads rising from the grave imagery)
Size (inches)
21 6/16" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Nicknamed The Godfather of Gore, the late Italian director Lucio Fulci is responsible for several memorable entries in the horror genre and City of the Living Dead is one of what I consider to be the ‘big four’ Fulci films (the others being Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery), which were all made within two years of each other. The director tried his hand at various genres, including westerns and comedies, but it was horror where he found the greatest success and for which he is best remembered.

City of the Living Dead is the first film in the unofficial ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy of Fulci films and was followed by The Beyond in 1981. It stars British actress Catriona MacColl (credited on the poster as Katherine MacColl) who then collaborated with Fulci on the next two entries. The plot sees Father Thomas, a priest in the small New England town of Dunwich, hang himself in a misty cemetery. For reasons that aren’t made clear, this causes the gates of hell to open and the dead to return from the grave. Meanwhile in New York City, Mary Woodhouse (MacColl) is taking part in a séance where she sees the priest’s actions and apparently dies from fright.

A reporter named Peter Bell (Christopher George) hears about the situation and tries to gain entry to the building before being turned away. He later visits Mary’s grave, discovers she has been buried alive and frees her with a pick-axe. The pair then decide to travel to Dunwich where they meet up with a local psychiatrist called Gerry (Carlo De Mejo) and attempt to locate the tomb of Father Thomas to try and close the gates of hell. However, the evil is spreading through the town and ghouls have begun to rise from the ground.

As was typical with all of Fulci’s output during this period, the film features several scenes of brutal, graphic gore and the Thai artist has decided to go for broke, depicting the more memorable moments on this poster. There’s one death scene in particular, featuring a giant drill, that would fall foul of the BBFC, the folks responsible for passing the film for release in the UK. Upon its original cinema release the drill scene was cut from the film, as was the case with the initial VHS release. The film was then caught up in the infamous Video Nasties situation in the early 1980s and, although not on the infamous list (unlike The House by the Cemetery), the VHS had to be resubmitted and had almost two and a half minutes excised from it. An uncut version finally saw UK release in 2001.

This Thai poster features artwork that is largely unique to it which was painted by the Thai artist known as Noppadol, about whom I’ve been able to discover very little. The montage does feature a reproduction of the artwork found on the Italian locandina poster that was painted by the Italian artist Enzo Sciotti. It’s worth noting that there is an alternative Thai poster (version B) with the US release title of Gates of Hell (see here) that features some elements of this poster and which was also painted by Noppadol.

Although folded and not in great condition this is a scarce poster and one that’s getting increasingly hard to find. I’ll continue to try and locate one without the fold lines but suspect it won’t be easy.

Shaft / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Shaft
AKA
Les nuits rouges de Harlem [The red nights of Harlem] (France)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Gordon Parks
Starring
Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi, Christopher St. John, Gwenn Mitchell, Lawrence Pressman, Victor Arnold, Sherri Brewer, Rex Robbins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi, Christopher St. John, Gwenn Mitchell, Lawrence Pressman, Victor Arnold, Sherri Brewer, Rex Robbins,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Reuben, Reuben / quad / UK

15.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Reuben, Reuben
AKA
--
Year of Film
1983
Director
Robert Ellis Miller
Starring
Tom Conti, Kelly McGillis, Roberts Blossom, Cynthia Harris, E. Katherine Kerr, Joel Fabiani, Kara Wilson, Lois Smith, Ed Grady, Damon Douglas, Rex Robbins, Jack Davidson, Angus MacLachlan
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Conti, Kelly McGillis, Roberts Blossom, Cynthia Harris, E. Katherine Kerr, Joel Fabiani, Kara Wilson, Lois Smith, Ed Grady, Damon Douglas, Rex Robbins, Jack Davidson, Angus MacLachlan,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Meet Gowan McGland, poet. He drinks and lies. Sleeps with other men's wives. And he hasn't written a word in years.

A striking portrait of actor Tom Conti on the British quad for this little seen film based on the play Spofford by Herman Shumlin, which was itself adapting the book Reuben, Reuben by Peter De Vries. Conti plays Gowan McGland, a character clearly based on the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, a compulsive womaniser and lifelong alcoholic who died from liver poisoning whilst on tour in the US in 1953.

The film follows Gowan, who is coping with writer’s block and depression, as he tours his poetry around various clubs and societies, seducing married women and drinking himself into oblivion. A chance encounter sees him meeting and falling in love with student Geneva Spofford (Kelly McGillis in her first film role), but can Geneva save him from himself before it’s too late? The film is notable for its sharp script and strong performance by Conti who was nominated for an Academy Award for the role. Frustratingly, it has never been released on DVD and there is no legal way of watching it currently.

I’ve struggled to discover who is the artist behind this UK poster but the US one sheet has practically identical art, so it’s either an adaptation of that or the same art was simply re-used. If you have any ideas who was responsible please get in touch.

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.

Death Race 2000 / B2 / photo style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Death Race 2000
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Paul Bartel
Starring
David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sylvester Stallone, Sandy McCallum, Louisa Moritz, Don Steele
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sylvester Stallone, Sandy McCallum, Louisa Moritz, Don Steele,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Montage
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito (female figure)
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Death Race 2000 / B2 / Seito style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Death Race 2000
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Paul Bartel
Starring
David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sylvester Stallone, Sandy McCallum, Louisa Moritz, Don Steele
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sylvester Stallone, Sandy McCallum, Louisa Moritz, Don Steele,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Seito
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Death Race 2000 / quad / UK

28.09.11

Poster Poster
Title
Death Race 2000
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Paul Bartel
Starring
David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sylvester Stallone, Sandy McCallum, Louisa Moritz, Don Steele
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sylvester Stallone, Sandy McCallum, Louisa Moritz, Don Steele,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tom Chantrell
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
In the year 2000 hit and run driving is no longer a crime. It's The NATIONAL SPORT!

Striking Tom Chantrell artwork for this Roger Corman-produced cult classic Death Race 2000. It’s set in a dystopian America where deadly cross-country road races are the national sport and focuses on the teams of racers as they drive from coast to coast smashing into anything that gets in their way (pedestrians equal points).

It features a memorable turn by David Carradine as part-man, part-machine Frankenstein, who apparently wanted a change of role after having just left his iconic TV series ‘Kung Fu‘. This is also considered by many to be Sylvester Stallone’s breakout role and one which, according to IMDb salary details, he apparently only received $700 for.

The artwork is unique to this UK quad and is one of my favourite of Chantrell’s myriad designs. A minor bit of trivia is that it uses the American poster‘s tagline but changes the word ‘felony’ to ‘crime’.

The superb original trailer is on YouTube.

This Is Spinal Tap / screen print / The Small Stakes / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

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.

Used Cars / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Used Cars
AKA
La fantastica sfida [The fantastic challenge] (Italy)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Robert Zemeckis
Starring
Kurt Russell, Jack Warden, Gerrit Graham, Frank McRae, Deborah Harmon, Joe Flaherty, David L. Lander, Michael McKean, Michael Talbott, Alfonso Arau, Al Lewis, Woodrow Parfrey, Dub Taylor
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Jack Warden, Gerrit Graham, Frank McRae, Deborah Harmon, Joe Flaherty, David L. Lander, Michael McKean, Michael Talbott, Alfonso Arau, Al Lewis, Woodrow Parfrey, Dub Taylor,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Roger Huyssen (logo and type)
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
800089
Tagline
Estimated Laugh Count: 287 City, 410 Highway. Use these numbers only for comparison. Your actual laughs may vary depending on how you feel about used car salesmen, nude women, spectacular car stunts, and the President of the United States.

Cocoon / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Cocoon
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Maureen Stapleton, Gwen Verdon, Steve Guttenberg, Brian Dennehy, Jack Gilford, Herta Ware, Barret Oliver, Tahnee Welch
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Maureen Stapleton, Gwen Verdon, Steve Guttenberg, Brian Dennehy, Jack Gilford, Herta Ware, Barret Oliver, Tahnee Welch,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Intralink Film Graphic Design
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
850054
Tagline
It is everything you've dreamed of. It is nothing you expect.

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.

Blade Runner / one sheet / studio version / USA

15.09.14

Poster Poster
Title
Blade Runner
AKA
Blade Runner - Metropolis 2020 (Finland)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah
Origin of Film
USA | Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Studio version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Intralink Film Graphic Design
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820007
Tagline
Man Has Made His Match... Now It's His Problem

One of my top five films of all time, Blade Runner was released with easily one of the most iconic sci-fi one sheets ever printed. The design and artwork is by the late, great John Alvin, a man responsible for several of the most memorable film posters of the past 40 years. This is perhaps his most well known piece since it featured on posters across the globe, was reused for the 1992 Director’s cut release and has been on the cover of home video releases for many years.

In August 2014 a book entitled The Art of John Alvin was released after four years of preparation by his wife and studio partner Andrea. An absolute must-own for any fan of film posters and the art of cinema, the book features almost all of John’s most memorable posters which are each given their own section. As well as images of the printed poster, there are also early sketches, painted concepts and pictures of the original artwork itself, plus Andrea has provided fascinating commentary detailing the creation of each piece.

Blade Runner is given six pages and the section features a look at the original graphite sketches done by Alvin to show to Ridley Scott and the studio’s marketing department. Elements of these were then combined to create the painting we know today. Andrea notes that the posters for the film were originally conceived to focus on the relationship with the characters and the futuristic city, but by the time of release Harrison Ford was a global star so Alvin was asked to make him more prominent in the artwork.

John apparently always regretted not featuring Rutger Hauer’s android Roy Batty so when he was asked to revisit the design for a 25th anniversary print he reworked several elements, including the two portraits of Harrison Ford and Sean Young and added the face of Roy Batty looming large over them. The print was called ‘I’ve Seen Things’ by John and can be viewed here.

There are known reprints of this poster and this particular version is one of three known variants. LAMP has a guide to all three here. To summarise:

Variation 1 – NSS Version
This version has NOTHING in the bottom left corner; Litho in U.S.A. (AND) the NSS tag in the center; BLADE RUNNER 820007 in the bottom right

Variation 2 – Studio Version
This variation has “PRINTED IN U.S.A.” in the bottom left corner; NOTHING in the center; and “NSS 820007” in the bottom right.

Variation 3 – Odd NSS Version
In the bottom left corner has “PRINTED IN U.S.A.”; in the center ‘IN SMALLER PRINT’ has “LITHO IN U.S.A.” (AND) the NSS tag; In the bottom right has “BLADE RUNNER NSS 820007” in ‘UNEVEN’ print.

This is the second variation (studio version) but I also have the ‘Odd NSS Version’, which can be viewed here. A dealer in London once told me he believes all NSS versions of this poster are reprints/restrikes. If this is the case then the poster has fooled both respected dealers and collectors alike.