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Streets of Fire / one sheet / advance / purple style / USA

23.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Streets of Fire
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Walter Hill
Starring
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - purple style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 41 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A Rock & Roll Fable.

Ace director Walter Hill‘s 1984 Streets of Fire is an odd mix of action, musical and comedy and, despite being released with the hope of it becoming a summer blockbuster, the film was something of a critical and commercial failure, with the US box office takings ending at just over half of its original budget. It has since garnered a significant cult following, thanks in part to its brilliant Wagnerian soundtrack.

The plot sees an ex-soldier, Tom Cody (Michael Paré) returning to his old town to rescue ex-girlfriend and lead singer of a rock group, Ellen Aim (Diane Lane), who has been kidnapped by a psychotic biker gang lead by Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe). Hill had apparently conceived the idea for the film whilst making 48 Hrs and, according to the film’s original press kit, Hill wanted to make what he’d have thought was a perfect film when he was a teenager, and he put in all of the things that he felt were “great then and which I still have great affection for: custom cars, kissing in the rain, neon, trains in the night, high-speed pursuit, rumbles, rock stars, motorcycles, jokes in tough situations, leather jackets and questions of honor.”

Plans for a trilogy of films featuring Tom Cody were shelved when it became clear how much of a flop the film had been. A non-official sequence called Road To Hell was made in 2008 directed by Albert Pyun and with Paré playing Cody again.

This US one sheet is one of several advance posters that were printed using silkscreen techniques and day-glo inks. I have added two other designs at the same time as this one and each one is available in various striking colours, including bright green, mauve, red and orange. Some of the close up pictures reveal the details of the silkscreen printing.

The final one sheet is on this site here and the film’s original trailer is on YouTube.

Streets Of Fire / one sheet / advance / orange style / USA

23.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Streets Of Fire
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Walter Hill
Starring
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - orange style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Riehm
Size (inches)
27" x 41 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
---
Tagline
A Rock & Roll Fable

Ace director Walter Hill‘s 1984 Streets of Fire is an odd mix of action, musical and comedy and, despite being released with the hope of it becoming a summer blockbuster, the film was something of a critical and commercial failure, with the US box office takings ending at just over half of its original budget. It has since garnered a significant cult following, thanks in part to its brilliant Wagnerian soundtrack.

The plot sees an ex-soldier, Tom Cody (Michael Paré) returning to his old town to rescue ex-girlfriend and lead singer of a rock group, Ellen Aim (Diane Lane), who has been kidnapped by a psychotic biker gang lead by Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe). Hill had apparently conceived the idea for the film whilst making 48 Hrs and, according to the film’s original press kit, Hill wanted to make what he’d have thought was a perfect film when he was a teenager, and he put in all of the things that he felt were “great then and which I still have great affection for: custom cars, kissing in the rain, neon, trains in the night, high-speed pursuit, rumbles, rock stars, motorcycles, jokes in tough situations, leather jackets and questions of honor.”

Plans for a trilogy of films featuring Tom Cody were shelved when it became clear how much of a flop the film had been. A non-official sequence called Road To Hell was made in 2008 directed by Albert Pyun and with Paré playing Cody again.

This US one sheet is one of several advance posters that were printed using silkscreen techniques and day-glo inks. I have added two other designs at the same time as this one and each one is available in various striking colours, including bright green, mauve, red and orange. Some of the close up pictures reveal the details of the silkscreen printing.

The final one sheet is on this site here and the film’s original trailer is on YouTube.

Streets Of Fire / one sheet / advance / yellow style / USA

23.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
Streets Of Fire
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Walter Hill
Starring
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - yellow style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Riehm
Size (inches)
27" x 41 4/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A Rock & Roll Fable

Ace director Walter Hill‘s 1984 Streets of Fire is an odd mix of action, musical and comedy and, despite being released with the hope of it becoming a summer blockbuster, the film was something of a critical and commercial failure, with the US box office takings ending at just over half of its original budget. It has since garnered a significant cult following, thanks in part to its brilliant Wagnerian soundtrack.

The plot sees an ex-soldier, Tom Cody (Michael Paré) returning to his old town to rescue ex-girlfriend and lead singer of a rock group, Ellen Aim (Diane Lane), who has been kidnapped by a psychotic biker gang lead by Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe). Hill had apparently conceived the idea for the film whilst making 48 Hrs and, according to the film’s original press kit, Hill wanted to make what he’d have thought was a perfect film when he was a teenager, and he put in all of the things that he felt were “great then and which I still have great affection for: custom cars, kissing in the rain, neon, trains in the night, high-speed pursuit, rumbles, rock stars, motorcycles, jokes in tough situations, leather jackets and questions of honor.”

Plans for a trilogy of films featuring Tom Cody were shelved when it became clear how much of a flop the film had been. A non-official sequence called Road To Hell was made in 2008 directed by Albert Pyun and with Paré playing Cody again.

This US one sheet is one of several advance posters that were printed using silkscreen techniques and day-glo inks. I have added two other designs at the same time as this one and each one is available in various striking colours, including bright green, mauve, red and orange. Some of the close up pictures reveal the details of the silkscreen printing.

The final one sheet is on this site here and the film’s original trailer is on YouTube.

Streets Of Fire / screen print / Kevin Tong / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Streets Of Fire
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Walter Hill
Starring
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Kevin Tong
Artist
Kevin Tong
Size (inches)
11 15/16" x 24 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Streets Of Fire / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Streets Of Fire
AKA
--
Year of Film
1984
Director
Walter Hill
Starring
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, Willem Dafoe, Deborah Van Valkenburgh,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
840057
Tagline
Tonight is what it means to be young. | A Rock & Roll Fable.

Mean Streets / quad / 1993 re-release / UK

22.08.16

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

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

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

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

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

Violent Streets / quad / UK

27.09.12

Poster Poster
Title
Violent Streets
AKA
Thief (USA)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Michael Mann
Starring
James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, James Belushi, Robert Prosky, Tom Signorelli, Dennis Farina, Nick Nickeas
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, James Belushi, Robert Prosky, Tom Signorelli, Dennis Farina, Nick Nickeas,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Tonight his take-home pay is $410,000...tax free. He's a thief.

Ace director Michael Mann‘s debut film was released as Violent Streets in the UK (and was originally filmed with that title) but is now better known as Thief. Starring James Caan, in arguably his best role outside of The Godfather, it’s a neo-noir crime caper featuring the ‘one last job’ plot device. Frank (Caan) is an expert safecracker, jewel thief and hardened ex-con who works with a dedicated team of thieves on high-end robberies that are planned to an exacting degree. After a run in with the Chicago mob Frank agrees to do one last big heist that will allow him to follow his dream of getting out of the game to spend time with his new wife Jessie (Tuesday Weld). It quickly becomes clear that getting out isn’t as easy as Frank hoped and, as the caper escalates, his usual wariness and mistrust is set aside, putting his very life at risk.

This quad features a unique design not seen on any other poster for the film, with neon colours evocative of the noir urban settings seen in the film. The American one sheet is markedly different and features stylised artwork of Caan, which can be seen on the cover of the record advertisement as detailed to the left.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Violent Streets / one sheet / international

06.10.14

Poster Poster
Title
Violent Streets
AKA
Thief (USA)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Michael Mann
Starring
James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, James Belushi, Robert Prosky, Tom Signorelli, Dennis Farina, Nick Nickeas
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, James Belushi, Robert Prosky, Tom Signorelli, Dennis Farina, Nick Nickeas,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Cheat him, and he'll BLOW YOU AWAY!

Ace director Michael Mann‘s debut film was released as Violent Streets in the UK and in several other countries (it was originally filmed with that title) but is now better known as Thief. Starring James Caan, in arguably his best role outside of The Godfather, it’s a neo-noir crime caper featuring the ‘one last job’ plot device. Frank (Caan) is an expert safecracker, jewel thief and hardened ex-con who works with a small, close-knit team of thieves on high-end robberies that are planned to an exacting degree.

After a run in with the Chicago mob Frank agrees to do one last big heist that will allow him to follow his dream of getting out of the game to spend time with his new wife Jessie (Tuesday Weld). It quickly becomes clear that getting out isn’t as easy as Frank hoped and, as the caper escalates, his usual wariness and mistrust is set aside, which puts his very life at risk.

This one sheet was printed in the USA for use in international English-speaking countries and features a unique design not seen on any other poster for the film. The rain-soaked street scene is very evocative of the film itself and I believe the figure of James Caan is actually a photograph that has been touched-up with paint (check out the close-ups). The American one sheet is markedly different and features stylised artwork of Caan and the UK quad can be seen here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Black Hooker / one sheet / USA

15.05.13

Poster Poster
Title
Black Hooker
AKA
Streets Sisters (USA - alternative title) | Black Mama (USA - video title) | Don't Leave Go My Hand (USA - alternative title)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Arthur Roberson
Starring
Sandra Alexandra, Jeff Burton, Kathryn Jackson, Teddy Quinn, Gioya Roberson, Durey Mason, Mary Reed, Alan Bass
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sandra Alexandra, Jeff Burton, Kathryn Jackson, Teddy Quinn, Gioya Roberson, Durey Mason, Mary Reed, Alan Bass,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Clyde Knudson
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
She was lovable... She Was Mean.... Damn mean! | What would you do if your mama was a hooker?

They sure don’t make, title or market them like this anymore! Black Hooker is an obscure 1974 drama that was written, produced and directed by a man named Arthur Roberson whose sole film credits are all for this film (according to IMDb he also did the production design, art direction and set decoration). Seemingly only released in the States, the reason for its obscurity is explained in the reviews section of its IMDb page. In 2004 a reviewer with the handle ‘spropes’ wrote the following:

‘When I worked with L.A. County, I knew Art Roberson fairly well, tho I have no idea of his current status or whereabouts. We were both social workers in the ghetto (really) in the 1970s. My impression was that being a social worker was his day job, that being a movie maker was his primary ambition…so what else is new? The movie, some interiors of which were shot at the legendary Joe Jost’s in Long Beach, premiered for friends and associates at Warner Bros. screening room in Burbank. At the end of the showing, it was greeted by dead silence, replacing excitement or applause. 

I think the viewers realized that the director had blown a pretty good chance to do something worthwhile after all his work, investment and attention to this film. Originally entitled something like “Don’t Leave Go My Hand” (or maybe “Don’t Let Go My Hand”), it was supposed to sensitively portray the horrible life of a neglected (or abused, I don’t recall which) black child, the son of a…you guessed it…black hooker! But that original intent didn’t play, so the title was changed to “Black Hooker,” presumably to piggyback on the blaxploitation movement at the time.’

This would explain why the film has several alternative titles and why it is often listed as a blaxploitation film despite the storyline having barely anything in common with other entries in the genre. Another reviewer sums up the film thusly:

‘Whatever the hell this is, it is quite the mean-spirited, uncomfortable little obscurity, which caters only to collectors of the most obscure B-cinema available. A hostile, impersonal story, with zero light at the end of the tunnel. none of the characters even have names. What kind of director makes a movie like this? A director who didn’t have a very happy childhood, that’s who. I mean, this isn’t exactly Cannibal Holocaust, or I Spit On Your Grave, or anything like that, but Black Hooker is just hateful.’

I have no clues as to who is responsible for the design or artwork of this one sheet and I doubt I’ll ever be able to discover who should be credited with it, but if you have any ideas please get in touch.