You searched for: Sci-Fi

Monsters / one sheet / teaser / USA

12.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Monsters
AKA
--
Year of Film
2010
Director
Gareth Edwards
Starring
Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Mario Zuniga Benavides, Annalee Jefferies
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Mario Zuniga Benavides, Annalee Jefferies,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2010
Designer
Gravillis Inc.
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
It's our turn to adapt

British director Gareth Edwards’ excellent Monsters was one of the best films released in 2010 and transcended a micro-budget to become one of the freshest entries in the sci-fi genre for several years. The film is set slightly in the future and several years after a NASA probe crashed back to earth infected with alien life. Half of Mexico had to be quarantined off as the creatures grew and took over the area, and the US military patrols the borders. Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) is a US photojournalist who is hired by his boss to escort his daughter Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) from the safe part of Mexico back to the States. The pair are forced to head through the quarantined zone despite the threat of the creatures who are moving across the country on their yearly ‘migration’.

The film was shot entirely on location by a tiny crew, using prosumer cameras and, aside from the two leads, the majority of the characters were played by non-actors. The dialogue was improvised around a loose scene outline and the results were edited whilst the crew was on the road. Gareth Edwards had previously worked as a special effects editor and spent four months designing and creating all of the effects himself, once again using off the shelf equipment and software. It’s a superb achievement and well worth a watch, but don’t go in expecting some kind of fast-paced, gory creature-feature as some cinema-goers were, back in 2010.

This striking US one sheet teaser was designed by Gravillis Inc. and features Whitney Able in a gas mask with a reflection of one of the creatures in the visor. Because the poster is so dark it’s hard to photograph without losing some of the details so check out the original digital file here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan / screen print / regular / Tyler Stout / USA

29.04.13

Poster Poster

The Wrath of Khan was the follow up to 1979s Star Trek – The Motion Picture, which was the first feature film to hit cinemas following the ending of the original series 10 years previously. Even though the show was cancelled by the network (NBC) after only three seasons, it had garnered a significant cult following and had made a major impact on popular culture, helped greatly by broadcast syndication on channels across the US during the 1970s. Despite earning significant box-office takings, many critics and fans of the original series were disappointed with the first feature film and reviews tended to criticise it as overlong, bereft of any significant action and, worst of all, boring.

A sequel was inevitable, but Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the original series and executive producer of the first film, was removed from its production by Paramount after they claimed that Roddenberry had forced the first film over budget and had muddled the script with too many re-writes. His replacement was Harve Bennett, with Roddenberry given an ‘executive consultant’ role. Bennett studied the original series for inspiration having decided that the film should be more action-packed and regain some of the swashbuckling feel that had been lost in the first film. Deciding that the sequel needed a decent bad guy, Bennett settled on the character of Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically engineered super solider, who had featured in the first series episode Space Seed, which had long been a fan favourite. At the end of that episode Khan and some of his comrades had been banished to the inhospitable planet of Ceti Alpha V so his return in the film would not be against the series’ canon.

Mexican actor Ricardo Montalban agreed to reprise his role as Khan and the story sees him escaping exile and seeking revenge against Captain Kirk, whom he blames for the death of his wife. After commandeering the USS Reliant, Khan learns of the Genesis Device, a torpedo which is intended to reorganise matter to create a hospitable world but can also destroy planets if used in the wrong way. The crew of the Starship Enterprise sets out to stop Khan but their intervention will not be without sacrifice and the ending of the film sees Leonard Nimoy’s Spock seemingly dead after sacrificing himself to save his comrades. This story arc would continue for two more films, concluding with The Voyage Home in 1986. Among several memorable scenes is the moment when Khan taunts Kirk with a threat against his wife, leading to this infamous outburst. KHAAAAAAAAAN!

When Mondo, the incomparable limited-edition screen print outfit, announced they were opening a gallery in their hometown of Austin, anticipation quickly reached fever pitch, with fans desperate to see what artwork would be on the walls when the doors opened for the first time. The answer was kept secret until the evening of March the 10th, 2012 when the opening night was held and the theme of their first show was revealed to be that of classic sci-fi. Most of Mondo’s premier artists turned in some incredible pieces for the show, as can be seen on this recap blog post on their website and on this SlashFilm post.

One of the highlights of the show was fan-favourite artist Tyler Stout’s print for The Wrath of Khan. A brilliantly composed image featuring Ricardo Montalban‘s unforgettable, titular bad guy, the poster was printed in two flavours; a red and gold regular and a silver and gold variant. Whilst adding the regular version to the Film on Paper collection I wanted to interview the man himself about the creation of the poster and that article can be read here.

The Terminator / Thailand

05.10.15

Poster Poster

James Cameron’s seminal sci-fi classic The Terminator celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and it cannot be overstated how much of an impact the film has had on cinema and culture in general. The careers of Cameron and star Arnold Schwarzenegger were given stratospheric boosts (not so much poor Michael Biehn) and the concepts of time-travel, and killer cyborgs will forever be tied to what would go on to become the Terminator franchise. The film is also arguably the original 80s action blockbuster and would be followed by a slew of increasingly more muscular, explosive flicks starring the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Wills and, of course, Arnie.

The US poster features an iconic photograph of Arnie alongside a lengthy tagline, whilst the UK quad went for an illustration depicting a battle-damaged Terminator showing the endoskeleton underneath. This poster for the Polish release of the film features a stylised silhouette of Arnie as the Terminator with coloured circles, some of which represent the red eyes of the Endoskeleton underneath.

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

Note that this poster is slightly larger than the standard Thai poster size (of about 21″ x 31″) and also note that this poster has sustained water damage to the bottom right side and has lost part of the artwork as a result. A few copies of this poster have surfaced in this condition and it’s believed that they were found in a stack in a warehouse that had sustained flood damage (very common in Thailand, sadly) and were damaged when they were later pulled apart. As a result the level of damage varies in some of the posters. You can see what’s missing on this image of the poster from an old emovieposter auction.

To see the other Thai posters in the Film on Paper collection click here.

Dreamscape / one sheet / USA

28.02.12

Poster Poster
Title
Dreamscape
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Joseph Ruben
Starring
Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, Kate Capshaw, David Patrick Kelly, George Wendt, Larry Gelman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, Kate Capshaw, David Patrick Kelly, George Wendt, Larry Gelman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840071
Tagline
Enter a world beyond your wildest imagination where anything can happen | Close your eyes and the adventure begins

Drew Struzan artwork on this poster for the 1984 sci-fi thriller Dreamscape, starring a young and fresh-faced Dennis Quaid, alongside the lovely Kate Capshaw. It also features veteran actors Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow who were, coincidentally, up against each other for the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ prize at the 2012 Academy Awards. Plummer went on to win for the first time in his long career.

Quaid plays psychic Alex Gardner who has been using his skills for personal gain after disappearing from a research project run by Dr. Paul Novotny (Von Sydow). Novotny tracks down Alex and coaxes him into joining his new experiment, which sees psychics’ abilities being used to infiltrate the dreams and nightmares of others. Whilst inside the dreams the psychics are able to influence events with the intention of ridding them of any sleep disorders they’re suffering. Although intended for benevolent purposes, a shadowy government agent (Plummer) clearly has other plans and an ally in the form of deranged psychic (David Patrick Kelly). It’s not long before the life of the President of the USA is in danger and only Alex can save him.

If the idea of infiltrating dreams sounds familiar it’s probably because Christopher Nolan’s 2010 sci-fi masterpiece, Inception, uses a similar conceipt of dream infiltration, although for different purposes and without the use of psychic powers. Despite some notably dodgy effects, Dreamscape is a fun watch and is definitely one of Quaid’s better lead roles. David Patrick Kelly plays a typically excellent bad guy and this was one of several memorable roles for him during the 1980s.

Some of the dreams situations are pretty creepy and well executed, particularly those involving the apocalyptic visions of the President.

Struzan’s artwork features several images taken from dream sequences as well as a couple of the ‘real world’ action scenes in the film. My only criticism of it is that it does make the film look like something of an action-adventure, which is definitely not the case, and the kid depicted as one of the main characters only features for a few brief minutes.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Battlestar Galactica / one sheet / teaser / USA

11.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
Battlestar Galactica
AKA
Saga of a Star World (original pilot title)
Year of Film
1978 (released in the US in 1979)
Director
Richard A. Colla
Starring
Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, Lorne Greene, Herbert Jefferson Jr., John Colicos, Maren Jensen, Noah Hathaway, Laurette Spang, Tony Swartz, Terry Carter
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, Lorne Greene, Herbert Jefferson Jr., John Colicos, Maren Jensen, Noah Hathaway, Laurette Spang, Tony Swartz, Terry Carter,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ralph McQuarrie
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Before there was earth there was a great war

A rarely seen teaser one sheet for the theatrical release of the pilot of the original Battlestar Galactica TV series. Created by legendary producer Glen A. Larson, who would later go on to work on the likes of The Fall GuyMagnum, P.I. and Knight Rider, the decision was made by Universal Studios to cut the pilot down from its three hour running time and release it in cinemas to try and recoup some of the high production costs. It was first released in Canada, Australia and several European countries in 1978 and this poster dates from the domestic release in 1979. Universal would later repeat this idea with the Buck Rogers movie, also produced by Larson, in the same year.

Originally named Saga of a Star World, the pilot sets up the backstory of the 1,000 year war between a colony of humans living in a distant cosmos and the robotic race known as Cylons, who wish to wipe out the entire human race. The humans are betrayed by a traitor known as Baltar (John Colicos) who helps the Cylons launch a surprise attack during a supposed armistice between the two sides. The assault almost wipes out all 12 of the human colonies, with only the Galactaca surviving along with a bunch of smaller civilian ships. The fleet sets off on a journey across the galaxy in search of their long-lost sister civilisation, our planet Earth, with the Cylons in hot pursuit.

The original artwork was done by the late, legendary artist Ralph McQuarrie who was responsible for creating concept designs for the TV series. The site Sci-fi-o-Rama has an article that features several of his illustrations, including the image on this poster. It appears to have been redrawn (check the explosions, for example), but I’m going to give the artist credit to McQuarrie.

The Fly / video / UK

14.08.17

Poster Poster
Title
The Fly
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz,
Type of Poster
Video
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Richard Mahon (pod artwork)
Size (inches)
23 7/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A unique design features on this UK poster for the video release of David Cronenberg‘s sci-fi classic, The Fly. Loosely based on a 1957 short story of the same name by George Langelaan, which was first adapted for the big screen in 1958, the screenplay was written by Cronenberg himself and based on an initial draft by Charles Edward Pogue. The director rewrote most of the characters and dialogue and added themes of identity, sexuality and body horror with which he’d become synonymous.

Cronenberg cast Jeff Goldblum as the gifted but eccentric scientist Seth Brundle who has secretly been working on teleportation of objects from one place to another instantly. He works for Bartok Science Industries but has been working on a pair of ‘telepods’ at his home laboratory. When he’s introduced to the journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) at a ‘meet the press’ event he decides to risk taking her to see his work, which he demonstrates by teleporting inanimate objects. Impressed, Veronica agrees to keep quiet in return for exclusive rights to the story.

Soon afterwards the pair start a romantic relationship as Brundle continues to work on the pods. He decides that he wants to have the pods teleport living tissue and eventually manages to do so successfully with a baboon he’s borrowed from his company. Flushed with success Brundle begins drinking and starts to get paranoid that Veronica has rekindled her relationship with her editor and former lover Stathis Borans John Getz. He decides to try teleporting himself but unbeknownst to him a housefly gets inside the pod with him.

He emerges in the other pod seemingly fine and initially feels he’s come out of the pod an ‘improved’ human with higher strength and stamina. However over the following weeks Brundle’s mood becomes highly erratic and he begins a bodily transformation that starts out with unwanted hairs and fingernails falling out but begins to progress into something much more destructive as he realises his pod had been contaminated. The transformation into ‘Brundlefly’ sees the scientist scrambling for a cure before it’s too late, desperately imploring a pregnant Veronica to help him.

Goldblum’s performance was rightly celebrated and it remains one of his most memorable roles to date. The special effects depicting Brundle’s deterioration were executed by Chris Walas‘ company and ended up rightfully winning an Academy Award. The film is as impressive as it was 30 years ago and is definitely one of Cronenberg’s best.

The close-up image of a fly’s eyes is, I believe, unique to this poster but note that it also features the illustrated telepod that appeared on the US one sheet, which was painted by Richard Mahon. The logo is also the same one seen on the American poster and British quad.

Here’s the film’s original trailer.

Innerspace / one sheet / re-release / USA

23.01.12

Poster Poster
Title
Innerspace
AKA
Salto Nel Buio [Jump in the dark] (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Joe Dante
Starring
Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Fiona Lewis, Robert Picardo, Vernon Wells, Henry Gibson, Wendy Schaal, Harold Sylvester, William Schallert, John Hora
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Fiona Lewis, Robert Picardo, Vernon Wells, Henry Gibson, Wendy Schaal, Harold Sylvester, William Schallert, John Hora,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987?
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Dan Goozee
Size (inches)
26 2/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A huge dose of comedy in one big gulp! "Inner's" out again... for the millions who are going to love it.

I believe this to be the US re-release one sheet for Joe Dante’s 1987 sci-fi comedy in which Dennis Quaid plays a test pilot who is shrunk to miniature size and accidentally injected into the body of Martin Short. The film is definitely one of the high points in the myriad of high-concept films of the 1980s and I rate it as one of Joe Dante’s best films.

It’s definitely not from the time of the first release and the text ‘Inner’s out again… for the millions who are going to love it’ leads me to believe the film may have been given a wider release, perhaps a few months after it first opened. If anyone knows this for sure please get in touch.

The artwork is by one of my favourite American artists, Dan Goozee, and the other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

To see the other posters I have collected for Innerspace click here. The original trailer is on YouTube.

Innerspace / one sheet / advance / USA

23.01.12

Poster Poster
Title
Innerspace
AKA
Salto Nel Buio [Jump in the dark] (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Joe Dante
Starring
Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Fiona Lewis, Robert Picardo, Vernon Wells, Henry Gibson, Wendy Schaal, Harold Sylvester, William Schallert, John Hora
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Fiona Lewis, Robert Picardo, Vernon Wells, Henry Gibson, Wendy Schaal, Harold Sylvester, William Schallert, John Hora,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27" x 40 3/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
An adventure of incredible proportions | This summer take a trip you'll never forget

John Alvin artwork features on this advance US one sheet for Joe Dante’s 1987 sci-fi comedy in which Dennis Quaid plays a test pilot who is shrunk to miniature size and accidentally injected into the body of Martin Short. The film is definitely one of the high points in the myriad of high-concept films of the 1980s and I rate it as one of Joe Dante’s best films.

This design was also used for the ‘final’ one sheet and I feel is up there as one of Alvin’s most memorable designs of the period.

The other posters I’ve collected with artwork by Alvin can be seen here.

To see the other posters I have for Innerspace click here. The original trailer is on YouTube.

Innerspace / one sheet / international

23.01.12

Poster Poster
Title
Innerspace
AKA
Salto Nel Buio [Jump in the dark] (Italy)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Joe Dante
Starring
Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Fiona Lewis, Robert Picardo, Vernon Wells, Henry Gibson, Wendy Schaal, Harold Sylvester, William Schallert, John Hora
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Fiona Lewis, Robert Picardo, Vernon Wells, Henry Gibson, Wendy Schaal, Harold Sylvester, William Schallert, John Hora,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Morgan
Size (inches)
27" x 40 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Within 24 hours he will experience an amazing adventure... and become twice the man!

Great artwork on this international one sheet (used in English-speaking territories outside the USA) for Joe Dante’s 1987 sci-fi comedy in which Dennis Quaid plays a test pilot who is shrunk to miniature size and accidentally injected into the body of Martin Short. The film is definitely one of the high points in the myriad of high-concept films of the 1980s and I rate it as one of Joe Dante’s best films.

The design, which is probably my favourite out of the various Innerspace posters, is by an artist called Morgan, about whom I know very little. It’s possible ‘Morgan’ could be the artist Morgan Weistling as I know that he started his career illustrating movie posters before moving into fine art. I intend to contact him to confirm and will update this page if it does turn out to be one of his pieces.

If you have any more information on this please get in touch.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Outland / quad / UK

30.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Outland
AKA
Atmosfera zero (Italy) | Outland - Comando Titânio (Brazil) | Rumstation Jupiter (Denmark) | Operation Outland (Sweden)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Peter Hyams
Starring
Sean Connery, Peter Boyle, Frances Sternhagen, James Sikking, Kika Markham, Clarke Peters, Steven Berkoff
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sean Connery, Peter Boyle, Frances Sternhagen, James Sikking, Kika Markham, Clarke Peters, Steven Berkoff,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
DFS
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
On Jupiter's moon, something deadly is happening

One of my favourite non-James Bond roles for Sean Connery, this 1981 Sci-Fi thriller still stands up 30 years after its release. The film was an acknowledged influence on Duncan Jones‘ superb 2009 film Moon, which I can heartily recommend. It also has one of the best posters of the past few years.

I was lucky enough to see a double-bill of the two films together presented by Jones (at the Prince Charles Cinema in London) where he talked about his love for Outland and the influence it had on his directorial debut. Without spoiling things, the design of a particular space craft in Moon is a great homage to one in Outland.

I’ve had some trouble identifying who the artist’s initials ‘DFS’ belong to and would appreciate any help with confirming this.

Here’s the trailer for the film.

Robocop / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Robocop
AKA
Robocop: O batsos robot (Greece)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Starring
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
B.D. Fox Independent
Artist
Mike Bryan
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
870047
Tagline
Part man. Part machine. All cop. | The future of law enforcement.

An iconic design on this poster for the US release of Paul Verhoeven‘s sci-fi masterpiece, Robocop. Set in a dystopian future Detroit where organised crime is rampant and the city is close to financial ruin, the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products enters into an agreement with the city to run the police force and plans to introduce a robotic enforcer to work alongside the human officers. When tests with a weaponised droid called ED-209 go awry and an OCP junior executive is killed, the chairman agrees to back the plans of Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer), another OCP executive with designs for a cyborg (half-man, half-machine) cop.

Shortly after, veteran officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is brutally attacked and effectively killed on his first patrol at a new precinct and Morton sees him as the perfect candidate for his Robocop program. OCP quickly goes about transforming his ravaged body into the future of law enforcement, but when he reawakens Murphy initially struggles with his transformation and loss of his family. Soon he sets about avenging his ‘death’ at the hands of crime boss Clarence Bodicker (an unforgettable performance from Kurtwood Smith) and attacks the corruption that is destroying Detroit, which leads all the way to the boardroom of OCP.

This one sheet was designed by the Los Angeles based marketing company B.D. Fox Independent, who have been working on film posters for over 35 years, creating some truly iconic images, including Halloween and The Fly. The brilliant, photo-realistic artwork was painted by the American artist Mike Bryan. In March 2014 the original painting was sold at auction (reaching almost $48k) and it was accompanied by a letter by the artist and that can be read here.

Robocop / one sheet / Turkey

21.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Robocop
AKA
Robocop: O batsos robot (Greece)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Starring
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Turkey
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Omer Muz
Size (inches)
26 6/16" x 39 5/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork by Omer Muz features on this Turkish one sheet for Paul Verhoeven‘s sci-fi masterpiece, Robocop. Set in a dystopian future Detroit where organised crime is rampant and the city is close to financial ruin, the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products enters into an agreement with the city to run the police force and plans to introduce a robotic enforcer to work alongside the human officers. When tests with a weaponised droid called ED-209 go awry and an OCP junior executive is killed, the chairman agrees to back the plans of Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer), another OCP executive with designs for a cyborg (half-man, half-machine) cop.

Shortly after, veteran officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is brutally attacked and effectively killed on his first patrol at a new precinct and Morton sees him as the perfect candidate for his Robocop program. OCP quickly goes about transforming his ravaged body into the future of law enforcement, but when he reawakens Murphy initially struggles with his transformation and loss of his family. Soon he sets about avenging his ‘death’ at the hands of crime boss Clarence Bodicker (an unforgettable performance from Kurtwood Smith) and attacks the corruption that is destroying Detroit, which leads all the way to the boardroom of OCP.

Omer Muz is a prolific Turkish artist whose signature appears on many posters from the country but I’ve been unable to find out much about him. If anyone has any details please get in touch.

Sleeper / one sheet / 1980 re-release / international

06.06.12

Poster Poster
Title
Sleeper
AKA
Woody et les robots (France)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Woody Allen
Starring
Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, John Beck, Mary Gregory, Don Keefer, John McLiam, Bartlett Robinson, Chris Forbes, Mews Small
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, John Beck, Mary Gregory, Don Keefer, John McLiam, Bartlett Robinson, Chris Forbes, Mews Small,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert McGinnis
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Woody Allen takes a nostalgic look at the future

Artwork by the brilliant Robert McGinnis on this US one sheet for the 1980 re-release of Woody Allen‘s 1973 sci-fi comedy Sleeper. Allen stars as Miles Monroe, a musician and health store owner who is cryogenically frozen by accident in 1973 and then revived 200 years later to discover that 22nd-century America is now an oppressive police state ruled by a dictator. Monroe falls in with a group of rebels who are trying to infiltrate the government’s top secret Aires Project, and it’s not long before he is on the run from the authorities with a kidnapped socialite Luna Schlosser (Diane Keaton) in tow.

One of the director’s earliest and best, in my opinion, the film is a frequently hilarious slapstick adventure that differs greatly from many of his later, more serious and introspective films. Incredibly, Allen was able to complete editing almost 35 hours of footage down to the release running time of two hours; a feat he managed with two days to spare. The film was released with the title ‘Woody and the Robots’ in French-speaking Canada and this led the director to ensure he had a clause in all future contracts that prevented his film titles being changed by third parties.

Robert McGinnis is an American artist and illustrator who is perhaps best known for his work on several James Bond posters, as well the iconic one sheet for the first release of Breakfast at Tiffanys. These and many others can be seen on this website. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

The brilliantly bonkers trailer can be seen on YouTube.

Soylent Green / 30×40 / USA

23.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
Soylent Green
AKA
Soirento geriin (Japan) | 2022: i sopravvissuti [2022: The Survivors] Italy
Year of Film
1973
Director
Richard Fleischer
Starring
Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Connors, Joseph Cotten, Brock Peters, Paula Kelly, Edward G. Robinson, Stephen Young, Mike Henry, Lincoln Kilpatrick
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Connors, Joseph Cotten, Brock Peters, Paula Kelly, Edward G. Robinson, Stephen Young, Mike Henry, Lincoln Kilpatrick,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Solie
Size (inches)
30 3/16" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/30
Tagline
It's the year 2022... People are still the same. They'll do anything to get what they need. And they need SOYLENT GREEN.

Wonderfully detailed artwork by American artist John Solie for this 1973 dystopian sci-fi in which a police detective (Charlton Heston) finds his life is in danger after investigating the secrets behind a revolutionary new foodstuff called Soylent Green. You’d be hard pressed to find a film fan worth their salt who doesn’t know the secret ingredient.

John Solie has been working as an illustrator for over 40 years and 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.

Here’s the great original trailer.

 

Star Wars / quad / Oscars version / UK

12.09.11

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Oscars version
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1977 (this version printed 1978)
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tom Chantrell
Size (inches)
30" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
May the force be with you

Not only is this probably the best poster artwork for the film that started the biggest sci-fi franchise of all, it’s also considered by many to be the greatest work by the late, great British artist Tom Chantrell. Declaring it so is not an easy decision to make since Chantrell illustrated thousands of posters during his long career and there are many classic designs to choose from, including several Hammer posters and a brilliant design for ‘One Million Years B.C.’. I have a number of other posters by him on this site for you to peruse.

In 2013 I interviewed Chantrell’s widow Shirley about their life together and she recalled how Tom would often ask her to pose so he could capture the correct stance for female characters appearing on his posters. Shirley recalls how the project came about for Tom:

Tom was given an invite to the premier showing and we all went along as a family. As soon as he’d seen the film he had the synopsis, the 10” x 8” press stills and then he started to think about how he was going to tackle the project. From beginning to end it took one month, which is a lot of work for one poster. He’d never taken that long before and I don’t think he did again.

Shirley once again posed for Tom and this time she was his Princess Leia. She not only still has the reference photos taken that day but also still has the same dress she wore.

This poster perfectly captures the excitement and adventure of the seminal sci-fi blockbuster and, although originally intended just to be used for the UK market on the quad, the art was liked so much by Lucasfilm that the decision was made to use it for this style C one sheet, as well as for other posters around the world. George Lucas himself would later purchase the original artwork for his archives and I like to imagine it’s hanging on a wall in Skywalker Ranch.

This particular style of the poster is known as the ‘Oscars version’, so called because it was printed once the film had won a handful of Academy Awards a few months after the original UK release. Whilst it would be nice to have the non-Oscar version I’m certainly not complaining, especially since this one is rolled and in fantastic condition.

Sadly, Tom Chantrell passed away in 2001 and poster historian Sim Branaghan wrote his obituary for the Guardian. He may no longer be with us but his classic designs have stood the test of time and continue to impress decades later.

Blade Runner / quad / UK

28.11.11

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
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Jouineau Bourduge
Artist
Jouineau Bourduge
Size (inches)
29 14/16" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A chilling, bold, mesmerizing, futuristic detective thriller.

Ridley Scott‘s seminal sci-fi classic needs no introduction and is on many people’s ‘top 10 films of all-time’ list, including my own.

This British quad is based on the French poster by Jouineau Bourduge, a French poster designer who was responsible for many classic posters from 1960s through to the 1980s. Eatbrie.com has a gallery of posters by him, as does cinemaffiche.com. I’ve been unable to find anything in the way of a biography online so please get in touch if you have more information.

I’ve always found it interesting that Deckard (Harrison Ford) is given a very stylistic representation on the poster whilst the other two characters are displayed using photographs. It’s also slightly bizarre that the studio decided to promote a tie-in to win a Volkswagen Polo – talk about a mismatch of content and product!

One interesting thing to note is that the book tie-in shown in the bottom right corner features artwork by Drew Struzan. The design was proposed for the American one sheet but the production team ultimately went with John Alvin’s illustration instead. Drew would later be asked to design the poster for the release of the final cut in 2007.

The other Blade Runner posters I have collected can be seen here.

Blade Runner / one sheet / ‘odd NSS’ version / USA

18.05.11

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
'Odd NSS'
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.

As is clear from my photos, the version I have is the ‘Odd NSS Version’. I bought this particular example about five years ago from a very reputable and established dealer who has been in business over 25 years. I have also seen this version sold by the major auction houses on a number of occasions and have seen it in the collections of several long-time collectors.

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.

The Terminal Man / B2 / Japan

04.02.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Terminal Man
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
George Segal, Joan Hackett, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, Michael C. Gwynne, William Hansen, Jill Clayburgh, Norman Burton, James Sikking
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
George Segal, Joan Hackett, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, Michael C. Gwynne, William Hansen, Jill Clayburgh, Norman Burton, James Sikking,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B2 poster for the release of The Terminal Man, a 1972 sci-fi film from Mike Hodges, the director of Get Carter and Flash Gordon, and based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name. George Segal stars as a computer scientist who, after suffering a series of seizures and violent episodes, agrees to have a microcomputer inserted into his brain. Unfortunately the operation has some unwanted side effects and triggers his brain into craving more violent stimuli, sending him over the edge.

The film wasn’t particularly well received at the box office and was never given a UK cinema release. It was only released on DVD in 2009 as a part of the on demand Warner Archive program.

There’s a strange bit of trivia on the Wikipedia page for the film:  Terrence Malick, the director of Badlands, reportedly has written to Hodges expressing how much he loved watching The Terminal Man.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Metalstorm / quad / 3D sticker version / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Metalstorm
AKA
Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (full title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Charles Band
Starring
Jeffrey Byron, Michael Preston, Tim Thomerson, Kelly Preston, Richard Moll, R. David Smith
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeffrey Byron, Michael Preston, Tim Thomerson, Kelly Preston, Richard Moll, R. David Smith,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
3D sticker version
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Eddie Paul (Feref-James)
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 39 6/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
It's High Noon at the end of the Universe.

This British quad for the sci-fi clunker Metalstorm was designed by Eddie Paul at the FEREF design agency and the artwork was painted by British artist Brian Bysouth. In 2012 I met and interviewed the artist and the resulting article can be read here.

Planet Of The Apes / screen print / Martin Ansin / regular / AP / USA

20.06.14

Poster Poster
Title
Planet Of The Apes
AKA
Apornas planet (Sweden)
Year of Film
1968
Director
Franklin J. Schaffner
Starring
Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly, Linda Harrison
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly, Linda Harrison,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular - Artists Proof
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Martin Ansin
Artist
Martin Ansin
Size (inches)
24" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Another superb design by Martin Ansin on this screen print for the original 1968 sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes, which was released in January 2012 as part of a series of Apes inspired prints by Mondo, the celebrated Austin-based limited-edition art boutique. A true cult classic, the first Planet of the Apes was adapted from the book La Planète des singes by the French author Pierre Boulle and went through several iterations at the scripting stage, with the first draft handled by American TV legend Rod Serling, plus a few potential directors before Franklin J. Schaffner was handed the job and production began. The film was shot mostly on location and used some stunning locales, including Lake Powell in Utah/Arizona and along the Colorado river.

Charlton Heston stars as George Taylor, one of a group of astronauts who awake from deep space hibernation to discover that their craft has crash landed on an alien planet 2000 years into the future. The group set-off across the barren landscape in search of life. Eventually they come to an area with lush vegetation and fresh-water lake, which they dive into with relief. Soon afterwards they come across a group of primitive, mute humans but suddenly the whole group is attacked and rounded up by talking, armed, unif0rm-wearing gorillas. One of the astronauts is killed by gunfire, Taylor is shot in the throat and he and his friend are captured and taken back to Ape City. There he meets chimpanzee archaeologist Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) and his fiancee, animal psychologist Zira (Kim Hunter), who soon discover Taylor is not like the other primitives. Eventually he regains his ability to talk and must answer to the President of the apes Assembly Dr. Zaius (James Whitmore) who is determined to discover Taylor’s origins at any cost.

Fearing his life is in danger, Cornelius and Zira help Taylor escape the city and lead him to a cave by the sea in which the history of the planet’s inhabitants is shown to be at odds with the Assembly’s teachings. After an ambush by the Dr Zaius and his gorilla troops, Taylor is eventually allowed to leave and before long he has made a horrifying discovery about the planet, in what is arguably the most famous twist ending in the history of cinema. The film was a success worldwide and spawned a number of sequels of varying quality, plus a short-lived TV series, and a whole raft of merchandising, including what is often cited as the first action-figures tied to a film property, certainly pre-dating the phenomenally successful Star Wars figures.

One of my favourite artists working today, Martin Ansin‘s work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series like this amazing Phantom of the Opera print and an excellent Dracula (1931) one. You only have to look at the gallery on his official site to see how talented an artist he is, with an eye for composition and detail unmatched by most of the artists in Mondo’s roster. To see the other posters I’ve collected so far that were designed by Ansin, click here.

Robocop / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

13.04.15

Poster Poster
Title
Robocop
AKA
Robocop: O batsos robot (Greece)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Starring
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Regular
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2014
Designer
Martin Ansin
Artist
Martin Ansin
Size (inches)
24" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Part man. Part machine. All cop.

A striking design by Martin Ansin on this screen print for Paul Verhoeven‘s sci-fi masterpiece, Robocop. Set in a dystopian future Detroit where organised crime is rampant and the city is close to financial ruin, the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products enters into an agreement with the city to run the police force and plans to introduce a robotic enforcer to work alongside the human officers. When tests with a weaponised droid called ED-209 go awry and an OCP junior executive is killed, the chairman agrees to back the plans of Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer), another OCP executive with designs for a cyborg (half-man, half-machine) cop.

Shortly after, veteran officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is brutally attacked and effectively killed on his first patrol at a new precinct and Morton sees him as the perfect candidate for his Robocop program. OCP quickly goes about transforming his ravaged body into the future of law enforcement, but when he reawakens Murphy initially struggles with his transformation and loss of his family. Soon he sets about avenging his ‘death’ at the hands of crime boss Clarence Bodicker (an unforgettable performance from Kurtwood Smith) and attacks the corruption that is destroying Detroit, which leads all the way to the boardroom of OCP.

This print was one of several created by Martin Ansin for a joint show with fellow artist Kevin Tong held at the Mondo Austin gallery during March 2014. Tong also worked on a print for Robocop and other films covered included Flash Gordon and Alien. Badass Digest (now Birth Movies Death) went to the show and interviewed Ansin and Tong, which can be read here and Collider.com ran an article featuring loads of images from the show. There was a variant of this print available that was printed with metallic inks and has a different colour scheme, see here.

One of my favourite artists working today, Martin Ansin‘s work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series like this amazing Phantom of the Opera print and an excellent Dracula (1931) one. You only have to look at the gallery on his official site to see how talented an artist he is, with an eye for composition and detail unmatched by most of the artists in Mondo’s roster. To see the other posters I’ve collected so far that were designed by Ansin, click here.

Wizards / one sheet / style A / USA

02.03.12

Poster Poster
Title
Wizards
AKA
--
Year of Film
1977
Director
Ralph Bakshi
Starring
Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus, David Proval, James Connell, Steve Gravers, Mark Hamill, Susan Tyrrell
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus, David Proval, James Connell, Steve Gravers, Mark Hamill, Susan Tyrrell,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
William Stout
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
77/10
Tagline
An epic fantasy of peace and magic

Great artwork by the legendary fantasy artist William Stout for Ralph Bakshi‘s post-apocalyptic fantasy sci-fi animation Wizards. The film was Bakshi’s first fantasy story and was something of a departure from the urban settings seen is his earlier works, including Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic. His intention was to create a family film that had the same kind of impact of his previous adult features. It’s essentially a good versus evil story set two million years after a nuclear war where fairies, elves and dwarves have returned to reclaim parts of the earth, whilst the rest of the human survivors are mutants roaming the wasteland.

The film sees two wizards called Avatar and Blackwolf, one kind and gentle and the other a grumpy mutant, born to a fairy (stay with me) who end up battling each other to prevent Blackwolf from using his band of mutants to destroy all goodness left on the earth. The film is described on the DVD audio commentary as being ‘an allegorical comment on the moral neutrality of technology and the potentially destructive powers of propaganda’. Blackwolf uses old projections of (genuine) Nazi propaganda marches to inspire his evil troops and frighten his enemies.

The film is notable for its rough animation style and its use of rotoscoping, a technique of painting over live-action footage, to create several of the major sequences, which was employed after Fox (the studio financing the film) refused an increase to the budget. Bakshi would later use the same technique for his 1978 version of the The Lord of the Rings.

This was William Stout’s first film poster and he went on to illustrate over 120 more, a few of which can be seen on his official website. Stout is known for being an incredibly versatile artist and he has worked in multiple fields throughout his long career, including motion picture design, comic art, book illustration, CD covers and paleontological illustration. He worked as conceptual artist and production designer on an impressive range of films, including both of the original Conan adventures, First Blood and The Return of the Living Dead; Stout designed the brilliant Tar-Man. Check out his impressive bio for more details and there are plenty of galleries on the same site.

The creature depicted is Necron 99, a robot assassin who is eventually controlled by Avatar and renamed as Peace.

The official trailer is on YouTube.

Star Wars / one sheet / style D / studio version / USA

23.07.14

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style D - studio version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Charles White III | Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

This is the excellent ‘style D’ poster for the original sci-fi classic Star Wars, which was printed for the 1978 re-release of the film in the US. The artwork, which only appears on this US one sheet, was a collaboration between two talents; Charles White III who was at the time an established and well regarded artist well known for his skills with an airbrush, and Drew Struzan who was early in his film poster painting career and yet to paint the iconic images for which he is famous for today. This is Struzan’s first poster for the Star Wars franchise and he would later go on to be one of Lucasfilm’s most trusted artists, painting several other posters and related images for the Star Wars universe over the following 35 years.

In an interview with Airbrush Magazine in August 1999, Struzan said:

‘I will never fail to give credit to Charlie White for what he did for me. It may have been a small thing to him, but a life changer for me. He is an extraordinary artist famed for his airbrush work. He had the desirable assignment to do the one-sheet poster for the re-release of Star Wars in 1978. He is marvellous at painting objects, but was hesitant to paint portraits for the poster. Somehow, he asked me to paint the portraits while he would paint the droids and the like…Only an extraordinary individual does anything so generous and unselfish. It is the individual who deserves the honor. I have no doubt that there was a desire on Charlie’s part to do the best job possible on the Star Wars project…It was to his advantage to use the best talent he could find. He also gave the lettering to a great letterer. It made for an outstanding poster. All of us who worked on it have been proud ever since to have had the opportunity. It remains a perennial favorite, even among Hollywood executives.’

The style D page on TheForce.net notes that this is said to be George Lucas’ favourite Star Wars poster and the original artwork apparently hangs on the wall in his house. It is often described as being a ‘circus’ style poster as the main image has been illustrated to appear that it’s sitting on a wooden board with other older, torn paper surrounding it.

In another interview with Struzan carried out by Cinefantastique in 1997, the artist recalls how the design came about:

‘The novel idea of making the poster appear as if it were pasted on a wall came about almost by accident. “We had already done the lettering of the title, painting it in as part of the poster,” recalled Struzan. “Then, when we got the billing, we discovered there wasn’t enough room for all the credits, so we had to figure out a way to make more space. We thought, ‘Why don’t we take what we already have and paint it to look like it’s wild posted on top of other posters?’ That gave us the extra room we needed for the billing at the bottom. It was a case of Necessity being the Mother of Invention.” …”We had to do other art to fill it out, so we had a chance to include more characters. We added Han Solo in a little vignetted circle, and Alec Guinness was an afterthought. It kind of grew to include everybody.”‘

Note that this is the ‘studio’ version of the one sheet and there is also the National Screen Service (NSS) version which has all of the associated markings on the bottom edge of the poster. The studio style was printed by the studio itself, whilst the NSS version would have been produced at one of their own printing offices. There were also two official reprints done around the time of the film’s 15th anniversary but they are pretty easy to spot since they are undersized and feature several new lines of text (copyright and so on). Moviepostercollectors.com features a page on the poster that’s well worth a read.

Drew Struzan barely needs an introduction to film fans worldwide but he also has an official website featuring galleries of his work. To see the other posters I’ve collected by Struzan click here.

Star Wars / quad / UK

25.11.14

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
First printing
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Tom Chantrell
Artist
Tom Chantrell
Size (inches)
30" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
May the force be with you

Not only is this probably the best poster artwork for the film that started the biggest sci-fi franchise of all, it’s also considered by many to be the greatest work by the late, great British artist Tom Chantrell. Declaring it so is not an easy decision to make since Chantrell illustrated thousands of posters during his long career and there are many classic designs to choose from, including several Hammer posters and a brilliant design for ‘One Million Years B.C.’. I have a number of other posters by him on this site for you to peruse.

In 2013 I interviewed Chantrell’s widow Shirley about their life together and she recalled how Tom would often ask her to pose so he could capture the correct stance for female characters appearing on his posters. Shirley recalls how the project came about for Tom:

Tom was given an invite to the premier showing and we all went along as a family. As soon as he’d seen the film he had the synopsis, the 10” x 8” press stills and then he started to think about how he was going to tackle the project. From beginning to end it took one month, which is a lot of work for one poster. He’d never taken that long before and I don’t think he did again.

Shirley once again posed for Tom and this time she was his Princess Leia. She not only still has the reference photos taken that day but also still has the same dress she wore.

This poster perfectly captures the excitement and adventure of the seminal sci-fi blockbuster and, although originally intended just to be used for the UK market, the art was liked so much by Lucasfilm that the decision was made to use it for a style C one sheet as well as for other posters around the world. George Lucas himself would later purchase the original artwork for his archives and I like to imagine it’s hanging on a wall in Skywalker Ranch.

This particular style of the poster is the first printing of the poster for the initial 1977 release in cinemas and this can be distinguished from the later printing known as the ‘Oscars version’, so called because it was printed once the film had won a handful of Academy Awards a few months after the original UK release. The ongoing success and phenomenon of the film meant that many more copies of the second version were printed as it was shown around the UK. The Oscars version is also in the Film on Paper collection and can be viewed here.

During the time I spent with Shirley we browsed through several boxes of the plentiful material she has kept from the days that Tom was working on film posters. I was amazed to see that he had retained the original invoice that he had sent to 20th Century Fox (Star Wars’ UK distributors) and some letters from Fox relating to the invoice, which confirmed that he had been paid the sum of £1000 for his original work on the art. These can be viewed by accessing picture thumbnails 28 and 29.

Sadly, Tom Chantrell passed away in 2001 and my friend, and author of the must own British Film Posters: An Illustrated History, Sim Branaghan wrote his obituary for the Guardian. He may no longer be with us but Tom Chantrell’s classic artworks have stood the test of time and continue to impress decades later.