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Shaft in Africa / 30×40 / USA

25.11.13

Poster Poster
Title
Shaft in Africa
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Richard Roundtree, Frank Finlay, Vonetta McGee, Neda Arneric, Debebe Eshetu, Spiros Focás, Jacques Herlin, Jho Jhenkins, Willie Jonah
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Roundtree, Frank Finlay, Vonetta McGee, Neda Arneric, Debebe Eshetu, Spiros Focás, Jacques Herlin, Jho Jhenkins, Willie Jonah,
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"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
THE Brother Man in the Motherland. Shaft is stickin' it... all the way.

Shaft in Africa is the final entry in the trilogy of films featuring Blaxploitation hero Shaft (Richard Roundtree). This time the eponymous detective is kidnapped from his New York apartment and coerced into assuming the identity of a native-speaking itinerant worker. His ’employer’ wants Shaft to smash a human trafficking ring, run by the dastardly Amafi (Frank Finlay), that’s bringing African workers into Europe to exploit them. Much more of an adventure film than the previous two entries, which were pretty much entirely set in urban areas, this film was actually shot on location in Ethiopia and has less of a blaxploitation feel and more of a James Bond-style action style. Gordon Parks, the director of the previous entries, was replaced by the British director John Guillermin who would helm the box-office smash The Towering Inferno the following year.

The all-action artwork on this 30×40 poster is by the American artist John Solie who has been working as an illustrator for over 40 years. Film posters are just one aspect of his output, which also includes book and magazine covers, sculptures, portraits and work for NASA. He continues to paint today in Tucson, Arizona. Another gallery of his work can be viewed on Wrong Side of the Art. Solie also painted the art for the US poster for Shaft’s Big Score.

Here are the posters by John Solie I have collected to date.

You can view the trailer on YouTube.

Rambo III / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Rambo III
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Peter MacDonald
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Marc de Jonge, Kurtwood Smith, Spiros Focás, Sasson Gabai, Doudi Shoua, Randy Raney, Marcus Gilbert, Alon Aboutboul
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Marc de Jonge, Kurtwood Smith, Spiros Focás, Sasson Gabai, Doudi Shoua, Randy Raney, Marcus Gilbert, Alon Aboutboul,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
30" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The first was for himself. The second for his country. This time it's to save his friend.

Rambo III / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Rambo III
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Peter MacDonald
Starring
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Marc de Jonge, Kurtwood Smith, Spiros Focás, Sasson Gabai, Doudi Shoua, Randy Raney, Marcus Gilbert, Alon Aboutboul
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Marc de Jonge, Kurtwood Smith, Spiros Focás, Sasson Gabai, Doudi Shoua, Randy Raney, Marcus Gilbert, Alon Aboutboul,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
880029
Tagline
The first was for himself. The second for his country. This time it's to save his friend.

The Jewel of the Nile / one sheet / USA

11.12.17

Poster Poster
Title
The Jewel of the Nile
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Lewis Teague
Starring
Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Spiros Focás, Avner Eisenberg, Paul David Magid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Spiros Focás, Avner Eisenberg, Paul David Magid,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert Rodriguez
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They're back again... Romancing a brand new stone.

Colourful artwork, and a nicely stylised logo, feature on this one sheet for the 1985 action-adventure sequel, The Jewel of the Nile. It followed only a year after the original film, Romancing the Stone, which was directed by Robert Zemeckis and had been a worldwide box-office hit, launching the career of star Kathleen Turner and cementing Michael Douglas‘ leading-man credentials. The sequel was apparently rushed into production, with both leads contractually tied to making it, but Zemeckis declined to return to the director’s chair. Douglas and Turner were apparently both unsure about returning, although the former was onboard as producer and the latter threatened to leave the project until Douglas intervened and had the script rewritten to assuage her worries. Danny DeVito also reprises his comedic role from the first film.

Jewel was helmed by Lewis Teague, who is perhaps best known for a pair of animal-themed Stephen King adaptations; Cujo (1983) and Cat’s Eye (also 1985). Reports during filming painted a poor picture of the director who was apparently struggling with the location shooting and action scenes. The plot finds ex-smuggler Jack (Douglas) and novelist Joan (Turner) onboard their yacht, moored off a sleepy town in the South of France. The love affair that started during ‘Romancing…’ is growing stale as Joan finds the easy life too boring. At a book signing event she meets Omar (Spiros Focás), a charming Arab ruler, and is invited to travel with him back to his country to write his biography. Despite Jack’s protestations, she takes up the offer.

Soon after Joan leaves Jack meets up with Ralph (DeVito), the swindler who is still after the titular stone from the first film. He’s then visited by another arab called Tarak (Paul David Magid) who warns Jack that Omar is not the benevolent ruler he claimed to Joan and that she’s in danger. He also informs him that Omar is in possession of “The Jewel of the Nile”. As Tarak finishes his explanation the yacht mysteriously explodes and so Jack and Ralph set off to track down Joan and see if they can’t get their hands on the “Jewel”. Despite less than favourable critical notices, the film was another box-office success, earning even more than the original film.

With thanks to readers of the site, the artist of the poster has been identified as Robert Rodriguez, an American artist not to be confused with the Texas-based film director of the same name. I own at least two other posters that were painted by Rodriguez, the US one sheet for the Jack Nicholson-starring Two Jakes (1990) and the US one sheet for a 1994 re-release of The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

His own website, which can be seen here, features a biography which I’ll reproduce in its entirety in case the site ever disappears:

Chances are you’ve been having breakfast with Robert Rodriguez for years and never knew it….If you’ve ever fixed yourself a bowl of Quaker Oatmeal, his painting of the old Quaker has probably been watching over you as you ate.

After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), he embarked on a career as an illustrator, picking up awards and medals along the way.  From being a Grammy Award finalist for best album cover art, to gold and silver medals, to receiving a platinum award for his “Cowboys of the Silver Screen” postage stamps this last year.  From doing Broadway theater posters for plays like, “Anything Goes”, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, “Sister Act” and “Lend Me A Tenor”, to a SuperBowl poster, a half dozen Ringling Bros. Circus posters, several movie posters, and creating the poster art over the last four years for the Tales of the Cocktail event held in New Orleans every summer, he is finally finding time to do some gallery work, exploring new directions and larger paintings.

Shaft in Africa / B2 / Japan

30.06.14

Poster Poster
Title
Shaft in Africa
AKA
Shaft e i mercanti di schiavi [Shaft and the slave merchants] (Italy)
Year of Film
1973
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Richard Roundtree, Frank Finlay, Vonetta McGee, Neda Arneric, Debebe Eshetu, Spiros Focás, Jacques Herlin, Jho Jhenkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Roundtree, Frank Finlay, Vonetta McGee, Neda Arneric, Debebe Eshetu, Spiros Focás, Jacques Herlin, Jho Jhenkins,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B2 for Shaft in Africa, the final entry in the trilogy of films featuring Blaxploitation hero Shaft (Richard Roundtree). This time the eponymous detective is kidnapped from his New York apartment and coerced into assuming the identity of a native-speaking itinerant worker in an African country. His ‘employer’ wants Shaft to smash a human trafficking ring, run by the dastardly Amafi (Frank Finlay), that’s bringing African workers into Europe to exploit them.

Much more of an adventure film than the previous two entries, which were pretty much entirely set in urban areas, this film was actually shot on location in Ethiopia and has less of a blaxploitation feel and more of a James Bond-style action style. Gordon Parks, the director of the previous entries, was replaced by the British director John Guillermin who would helm the box-office smash The Towering Inferno the following year.

The photo montage is unique to Japan and the US poster features excellent artwork by John Solie. The fact that the designer chose to tint Shaft blue in the image of him kissing a white woman is more than a little strange and one can only guess at the motivations behind that decision.

You can view the trailer on YouTube.