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Apocalypse Now / Thailand

23.09.15

Poster Poster

This is the very scarce original 2-sheet poster for the Thai release of arguably the best war film ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.  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 film had several interesting posters printed for its release, including the great Bob Peak artwork used around the world, but this Thai 2-sheet is up there, in my mind, as one of the best posters ever painted full stop. The amount of detail, use of colour and expertly arranged montage all add up to a visual feast of a design and I find some new detail every time I look at it. I’ve added 70 photos for you to really get a sense of the poster.

This poster was painted by the artist 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 but 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.

The two sides of the poster were printed separately and then joined together once they were displayed at cinemas. I tried my best to join them together with Photoshop but it’s not that easy to get them to match. Photos 2 and 3 show the two halves separately. It’s interesting to note that Tongdee actually painted the original art on two canvases as can be seen on this photograph showing him and the British collector Neil Pettigrew that was published in issue 168 of Dark Side magazine. This means that getting a totally seamless join between the two halves is impossible.

Note that there was a reprint made of this poster several years ago where someone in Thailand scanned the poster when the two halves were joined together and then printed it as a single sheet poster at the standard Thai film poster size of around 21″ x 31″. These have sometimes been sold as ‘commercial posters’ but are nothing more than unauthorised fakes and should be avoided at all costs. Permission was not sought from the distributor or the artist to make these copies and their sale should not be supported.

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.

Tron / Thai

27.10.14

Poster Poster
Title
Tron
AKA
Tron: The Electronic Gladiator (Australia)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Steven Lisberger
Starring
Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes, Dan Shor, Peter Jurasik
Origin of Film
USA | Taiwan
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes, Dan Shor, Peter Jurasik,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
21 7/16" x 30 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A unique and colourful montage by artist Tongdee features on this Thai poster for the release of Disney’s groundbreaking sci-fi film, Tron. Another title that was released in the incredible summer of 1982, which included Blade Runner, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial and The Thing, the film follows the adventures of hacker Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who finds himself broken down into data and absorbed into a 3D computer world of his own making. There he must join forces with his lover Yori and the titular Tron to battle the malevolent Master Control Program and liberate the system from its dictatorial grip, which is the only way Flynn can return to the real world.

The film features seminal use of computer graphics to depict the world inside the mainframe and, although the visuals date the film somewhat when viewed today, back in 1982 they wowed audiences worldwide and were instrumental in CGI’s rise to prominence in the years that followed.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but 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. A knowledgeable collector of Thai posters told me that the artists would rarely if ever see the film they were creating the poster for and would instead paint images based on still photos or posters from other countries. This led to some wild designs and even some artwork with characters and elements that didn’t even appear in the actual film!

Return of the Living Dead / Thai

19.11.14

Poster Poster

Unique artwork by artist Tongdee on this Thai poster for the release of the 80s zombie classic Return of the Living Dead, featuring a depiction of the memorable character played by Linnea Quigley (represented here in undead form). When I first saw the film I was a little mystified by her ‘Barbie doll’ look (smooth bump) when she’s naked in the graveyard and only later found out that one of the producers made her wear prosthetics to cover up her privates. I can only imagine that it confused a lot of impressionable teenagers who were watching this back in the 1980s.

I recently bought the blu-ray and have to say the film still holds up really well – the creature designs and music are particular standouts. I’m definitely going to pick up ‘The Complete History of the Return of the Living Dead’ book, which is meant to be excellent.

Tongdee Panumas (he signs his posters with just his first name) was an incredibly prolific Thai film poster artist during the 70s, 80s and 90s but 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. A knowledgeable collector of Thai posters told me that the artists would rarely if ever see the film they were creating the poster for and would instead paint images based on still photos or posters from other countries. This led to some wild designs and even some artwork with characters and elements that didn’t even appear in the actual film!

The US one sheet is markedly different and can be seen here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Die Hard / Thai

22.12.14

Poster Poster
Title
Die Hard
AKA
Jungla de cristal (Spain) | Die hard: Operasjon skyskraper (Norway)
Year of Film
1988
Director
John McTiernan
Starring
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Godunov, Paul Gleason
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Godunov, Paul Gleason,
Type of Poster
Thai
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Thailand
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Tongdee Panumas
Artist
Tongdee Panumas
Size (inches)
21 7/16" x 30 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original Thai poster for what is regarded by many film fans as the best action movie of all time. Die Hard stars Bruce Willis in arguably his most iconic role (certainly the part that made him a megastar) as John McClane, the good cop having a very bad day when a terrorist group takes control of Nakatomi Plaza, the office building in which his wife works. John McTiernan was the right director to deliver excitement and unremittingly violent thrills since he’d proven his skill with the superb Predator (1987) and the action in Die Hard continues to escalate to a nail-biting crescendo, with several unforgettable set-pieces.

Alan Rickman delivers an iconic performance as the leader of the terrorists, Hans Gruber, who meets his demise in an oft-parodied, slow-motion manner. What makes the film work so well is the perfectly-balanced script that features a great mix of nerve-shredding action with just the right amount of humour and a series of well-realised characters. The other thing the script does well is to not make the character of John McClane an unstoppable, invincible superhero – he’s a flawed man with his own set of problems and he bleeds when cut just like the rest of us – think the glass on the floor!

This Thai poster was painted by the artist 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 but 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. A knowledgeable collector of Thai posters told me that the artists would rarely if ever see the film they were creating the poster for and would instead paint images based on still photos or posters from other countries. This led to some wild designs and even some artwork with characters and elements that didn’t even appear in the actual film!

The advance American one sheet features a sweaty Willis clutching a gun but I much prefer the darker image that features on the final American one sheet and the UK quad.

Weekend / 1967 / one sheet / 2011 re-release / USA

21.08.17

Poster Poster
Title
Weekend
AKA
Week End (France - alt. original title)
Year of Film
1967
Director
Jean-Luc Godard
Starring
Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon
Origin of Film
France | Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Steve Chow
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This one sheet was printed by Janus films for their 2011 re-release of Jean-Luc Godard‘s celebrated 1967 film Weekend (or Le Week End). One of the most anarchic and surreal films ever committed to celluloid, Weekend is a satire which takes aim at, amongst other things, the bourgeois status and money-obsessed French middle-class. The story, such as there is one, focuses on a self-obsessed couple played by Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne who have plotted to murder her parents and collect their inheritance. They set off from their home in the city and travel into the French countryside where they come across all manner of scenes, including fatal car crashes and a (justifiably famous) sequence of a traffic jam which the audience watches them traverse with horns blaring the entire time. Society appears to be crumbling around them as they make their way to the small village where her parents live. Eventually, things take a turn for the deadly when they end up in the clutches of a band of hippie, cannibalistic revolutionaries.

This one sheet was created by the Vancouver-based designer Steve Chow who is a regular collaborator with Janus and its sister company The Criterion Collection (the film was released on disc soon after its cinema outing in 2011). Chow has worked on hundreds of posters, magazines, advertising elements and covers for home video releases of various films. Check out his official website to see a gallery of his work and a short biography about his career so far.

In 2011, the Criterion website featured a short interview with Chow on the creation of this poster and I’ve copied the detail here (in case that page disappears one day):

What was your inspiration for the new poster for Weekend?
That particular image really only works with all the elements intact—cropping was not doing us any favors—so we figured, Why not use it whole? It’s just that in order to do that, we had to turn it sideways. It was a natural choice—and it seemed to fit the film’s unpredictable, violent, and humorous tenor. It’s like, “WTF just happened? Is that a plane? A body? How did that car end up like that?” It’s kind of like the visual punch line to a joke that starts with “two materialistic bourgeois jerks go on a road trip . . .”

Where does your interest in Godard films come from?
Godard’s influence is everywhere—in contemporary advertising, commercials, music videos. You could be watching something that is “Godard” and not even realize it. (Just the other night, I saw a new Mexican film that riffed on Anna Karina’s back-of-the-head introduction in Vivre sa vie.) His 1960s works, in particular, still resonate with so much life and excitement. So daring, and so very, very cool, even decades later.

Do you have a particular approach to designing for them?
With all of these Godard posters, I pretty much tried to just get out of the way and let the image speak for itself, and in the end, the most intuitive options were successful. With Pierrot le fou and Vivre sa vie, the resonance of those particular images is strong; title treatments that are too heavy or that get too much attention wouldn’t help tell their stories. Similarly, for Weekend, we’d have a hard time creating an image or a collage that captured the crazy, chaotic energy and direction of the film as well as the one we ended up using. So, with regards to these three posters, if I never hear “Wow, that’s a killer title treatment!” I’ll consider that a success.

Chow also designed the Janus re-release one sheets for Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou and Vivre Sa Vie and both can be seen in this Mubi.com ‘Movie Poster of the Week’ article.

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.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial / one sheet / bike over moon style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
AKA
Night Skies (USA working title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Bike over moon
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
B.D. Fox Independent (B.D. Fox & Friends, Inc.)
Artist
--
Size (inches)
26 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Unquestionably the most famous image from Spielberg’s 1982 classic, this poster was never actually used to promote the film in cinemas. The ‘fingers touching’ design is the final US one sheet and there is an advance known as the ‘spaceship in the clouds’ .

It is believed that Spielberg himself requested the poster to be designed by B.D. Fox Independent and that they were to be given out to cast, crew and other people associated with the film and his production company. There were two printings done with the only major difference being the dimensions. There are known reprints of this poster and the first time I picked one up I inadvertently bought a fake. I was able to return the poster and eventually found what I believe to be an original.

There are several guides online to recognising an original and I’ve tried to collect as many as I can here.

Mel at Moviepostercollectors.com has created an excellent guide to spotting a fake along with lots of detailed photographs.

In any event this poster (in any size) was never distributed to theaters.  The exact reason is unknown.  According to reports, it was created solely for the purpose of internal distribution to cast and crew members. (It was reported on MOPO that the posters were placed in the company lobby for employees to pick up.) Many of these posters have personal notes to/from executives and crew members.  It is known that Spielberg used the image as the logo for his company, so perhaps he did not want it released to the public.  I’ve also read speculation that Spielberg believed it gave away a major plot point from the movie.

From Dave at Cinemasterpieces.com (scroll down to find the poster):

The bike/moon one sheet is EXTREMELY RARE. Not intended for theatrical use, but rather a “Studio Issue” for cast and crew. All of the originals we have personally handled (a few came straight from former ILM employees) measure 26 3/4″ x 40 1/2 (or within 1/8″ of those numbers). There are reports from long time highly credible collectors of an authentic full size 27″ x 41″ version. This 27″ x 41″ version if authentic (we believe it is….although we haven’t seen it) is undoubtedly much rarer than the 26 3/4″ x 40 1/2″ version as few have ever come to light within the collecting community. There are also reprints/bootlegs of this poster with varying sizes…..so collectors beware!!

He also has a picture of a known fake for comparison.

 

Barbarella / one sheet / 1977 re-release / International

23.05.14

Poster Poster
Title
Barbarella
AKA
Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy (alt. title)
Year of Film
1968
Director
Roger Vadim
Starring
Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Pallenberg, Milo O'Shea, Marcel Marceau, Claude Dauphin, David Hemmings, Ugo Tognazzi
Origin of Film
France | Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Pallenberg, Milo O'Shea, Marcel Marceau, Claude Dauphin, David Hemmings, Ugo Tognazzi,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Boris Vallejo
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
770161
Tagline
Who can save the universe?

There’s nothing quite like Barbarella! A French/Italian co-production, this kitsch sci-fi adventure is one of the downright silliest films ever committed to celluloid and was unquestionably the defining role for Jane Fondawho plays the titular ‘astronavigator’. Based on the landmark ‘adult’ comic by Frenchman Jean-Claude Forest, the film was helmed by Roger Vadim, the French director, screenwriter (and occasional actor), who was also Fonda’s husband at the time of production. Vadim would spend most of his life dating or being married to several of the most beautiful women in film, including Brigitte BardotAnnette Stroyberg and Catherine Deneuve.

You don’t watch Barbarella for the plot, especially since there’s not much of one to speak of, but the film is set in the 41st century and sees our heroine dispatched from an Earth without war and violence (only love) in search of the missing scientist Durand Durand (Milo O’Shea) who has apparently built a weapon called the Positronic Ray that threatens peace across the galaxy. After crash-landing on an icy planet, Barbarella is kidnapped by a pair of strange girls who subject her to an attack by evil dolls. She’s rescued by ‘The Catchman’ Mark Hand (Ugo Tognazzi) who she rewards with sex before he points her in the direction of Sogo City, the realm of The Great Tyrant (Anita Pallenberg).

The story and script may be nonsense but the film is never less than gorgeous to look at, with brilliant production and costume design throughout, whilst the music by Charles Fox is also memorable. The film also features several other cult actors, including Marcel MarceauJohn Phillip Law and David Hemmings (Suspiria). 

This poster is for the 1977 re-release of the film which saw the film edited to achieve a PG rating and re-released with the subtitle of ‘Queen of the Galaxy’, which was done to capitalise on the success of Star Wars. The original 1968 one sheet had been painted by Robert McGinnis and for this release the distributors turned to Boris Vallejo, a Peruvian painter who emigrated to the US in 1964 and was acclaimed primarily as a fantasy and erotica artist. Vallejo started out painting paperback covers for the likes of Tarzan and Conan the Barbarian and this work would lead to him being commissioned by various studios to paint the posters for films including Knightriders, Q (the Winged Serpent) and two posters for the National Lampoon series.

Vallejo continues to paint alongside his wife Julie Bell, also a fantasy artist, and the pair’s official website can be viewed here and features extensive galleries of work. To see the other posters I’ve collected by Vallejo click here.

Note that this is the international one sheet because it was printed without the PG-rating box seen on the US version.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
AKA
--
Year of Film
1992
Director
David Lynch
Starring
Sheryl Lee, Moira Kelly, David Bowie, Chris Isaak, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Wise, Kyle MacLachlan, Heather Graham
Origin of Film
France | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Sheryl Lee, Moira Kelly, David Bowie, Chris Isaak, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Wise, Kyle MacLachlan, Heather Graham,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1992
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
In a town like Twin Peaks, no one is innocent.

Despite the phenomenal ratings success that David Lynch and Mark Frost‘s Twin Peaks TV series had enjoyed during its first season, the viewing figures dropped sharply in the middle of the second and the show was put on hiatus by ABC. After a letter-writing campaign by fans, dubbed COOP (Citizens Opposed to the Offing of Peaks), the studio relented and agreed to show the remaining six episodes. The biggest problem the show faced was that halfway through the second series the killer of Laura Palmer had been revealed, which had been the main storyline focus up until that point, and the following episodes failed to hold viewer interest as much.

When ABC revealed they were not planning to make a third series the show’s cancellation was confirmed. Only a month after this happened, Lynch announced that he was planning to make a Twin Peaks film in conjunction with French company CIBY-2000, which ended up being both a prequel and an epilogue to the original show. Working without Mark Frost, Lynch was able to assemble most of the original cast, with the exception of Lara Flynn BoyleSherilyn Fenn and Richard BeymerKyle MacLachlan had been reluctant to return as FBI Agent Dale Cooper and is only featured briefly in the film, which lead Lynch and his co-screenwriter to change the focus of the film, with another murder case and the life of Laura Palmer being key facets of the plot.

In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Chris Isaak plays FBI Agent Chester Desmond who, along with his new partner Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland), are sent to investigate the murder of Teresa Banks in the town of Deer Meadow. After finding an important clue, Desmond mysteriously disappears and the film then cuts to one year later in the town of Twin Peaks, picking up the story of homecoming queen Laura Palmer whose eventual murder has a direct link to that of Teresa Banks.

Despite the cult following of the TV series, the film was both a critical and commercial flop and was greeted with boos and jeers at the Cannes Film Festival, with Quentin Tarantino confessing “After I saw Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me at Cannes, David Lynch had disappeared so far up his own ass that I have no desire to see another David Lynch movie until I hear something different. And you know, I loved him. I loved him.” It also saw poor box-office takings in the USA after the ratings drop of the second series and the unforgiving plot for people unfamiliar with the Twin Peaks universe.

This US one sheet features a portrait of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and the split necklace. Notably this one sheet is double-sided and will have been one of the first to be printed in this way.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Frightmare / one sheet / USA

07.08.17

Poster Poster
Title
Frightmare
AKA
Horror Star (working title / international English title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Norman Thaddeus Vane
Starring
Ferdy Mayne, Luca Bercovici, Nita Talbot, Jeffrey Combs, Leon Askin, Jennifer Starrett, Barbara Pilavin, Alan Stock
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Ferdy Mayne, Luca Bercovici, Nita Talbot, Jeffrey Combs, Leon Askin, Jennifer Starrett, Barbara Pilavin, Alan Stock,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Skull style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Terry Lamb (original artwork, adapted and tweaked)
Size (inches)
27 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
There is no escape, not even death...

This is the ‘skull style’ US one sheet for the release of the low-budget 1983 horror Frightmare (AKA Horror Star), directed by the late Norman Thaddeus Vane. The film is largely forgotten today and only really notable as featuring the first appearance of genre legend Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator). The film stars the late German-British actor Ferdy Mayne, a prolific actor who appeared in over 230 films and TV shows over a 60 year period. He is perhaps best known for his performance as Count von Krolock in Roman Polanski’s 1967 film, The Fearless Vampire Killers.

In Frightmare Mayne plays an aging horror film star called Conrad Razkoff, who is very much in the mould of the legendary British actor Christopher Lee – in fact, Lee appears on TV several times playing Dracula, which the audience are meant to infer is Razkoff in his prime. The actor has been reduced to appearing in adverts for dentures and is also suffering from poor health, fainting during a talk to drama students at a university. Soon afterwards Razkoff passes away, but not before he smothers his abusive agent. After his coffin is placed inside an improbably large crypt, which is lit by neon lights, a young group of fans of the star break into the cemetery and decide to steal his corpse.

After returning to the mansion in which they all live, the group sit him at the head of the table and later dance with his corpse before returning him to his coffin in the attic. Razkoff’s wife has discovered that her husband’s body is missing and uses a medium to try and contact him in the afterlife and find out where his body is. This has the unfortunate side-effect of reviving the actor as a murderous zombie who proceeds to work his way through the group of fans, killing each one using different methods. Eventually one of the survivors realises his body must be returned to his crypt. There’s barely anything in the way of character development and it’s hard to care for any of the victims when you have no clue who they are. Mayne’s performance is at least respectable and you do buy him as a fading horror star. It’s also pretty clear what producers like Charles Band saw in a young Jeffrey Combs.

This US one sheet is unusual in that it borrows some key artwork painted for a previous horror film, the 1974 Amicus anthology From Beyond the Grave, and tweaks it slightly in terms of colours and the removal of some elements. The original artwork was painted by the American illustrator Terry Lamb and can be seen here. You can see that the two living creatures were removed and various other elements were modified, but it’s unquestionably the same piece of art. If anyone has any more information as to why the recycling of art took place please get in touch.

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.

Hot Fuzz / one sheet / USA

13.06.11

Poster Poster
Title
Hot Fuzz
AKA
Chumbo Grosso (Brazil)
Year of Film
2007
Director
Edgar Wright
Starring
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Paddy Considine, Edward Woodward, Billie Whitelaw, Rafe Spall
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Paddy Considine, Edward Woodward, Billie Whitelaw, Rafe Spall,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2007
Designer
New Wave Creative
Artist
--
Size (inches)
26 13/16" x 39 6/8"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They're Bad Boys. They're Die Hards. They're Lethal Weapons. They are...

Make no mistake about it, this poster is a direct homage to the US one sheet for Michael Bay’s nutso action ‘classic’ Bad Boys 2. As well as being one of several action films that are referenced and paid homage to in Hot Fuzz, it also features as one half of the double-bill of DVDs that Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) shows to Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg). I like this bit of trivia on the IMDb.

This infamous line was also featured in Fuzz: Shit just got real (HD)

Playing the marketing campaign straight-faced really works and unaware American cinema-goers would have been forgiven for thinking they were in for a traditional all-American action fest. The international one sheet is also great and features the skyline of the sleepy English town where the film is set.

This article from 2006 discusses the poster references in more detail.

Here’s the official trailer for the film and a nice alternative one. If you haven’t caught it already, the film is an absolute must-see.

Last Days / one sheet / USA

24.07.17

Poster Poster

A striking photographic image features on this one sheet for the release of Gus Van Sant‘s 2005 drama, Last Days. The film is a fictionalized account of the last few days in the life of a musician who is reminiscent of Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana. Van Sant had been planning the project for over a decade and at one point had wanted to make a biography of the singer. After befriending Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, the director realised that doing so would cause too much pain for Love and the deceased singer’s family, so he decided to fictionalise the story.

Michael Pitt plays the main character Blake and Van Sant had cast him in the part seven years before filming commenced. The rest of the cast includes Lukas HaasAsia Argento and Nicole Vicius, with notorious director Harmony Korine appearing as a character in one scene set in a nightclub. The plot is thin and Van Sant uses a technique he’s employed in a few of his films where the same scene is shown from different view points but at different times throughout the film, with the audience not given clear indication that this has happened. Most of the scenes follow Blake and take place in and around a large house surrounded by trees. Several interactions between him and his housemates, as well as visitors to the house take place, all leading up to a fatal moment with Blake and a shotgun at the end of the film.

The film received mixed critical notices and failed to make much of a dent at the box-office in the US. It received limited releases in several territories, including the UK.

This American one sheet was designed by Shoolery Design which now appears to be defunct as a company but was responsible for a large number of film posters from the mid-1990s up to 2007. A gallery of these designs can be seen on IMPAwards. The man who started the company, Mark Shoolery, seems to still be active and he has a website on which a lot of his work, including film posters, can be seen. It looks like he continues to work as an independent art director and artist and his Instagram feed features logo design work. According to his resume Shoolery has worked on projects for the film industry, the music industry, packaging for various products including toys, and marketing strategy for several companies. The LinkedIn entry for Shoolery design notes the following:

Conceived, developed and executed creative advertising campaigns for major studios, network and cable television, home entertainment, music and live events. Oversaw all in and out of-home advertising, collateral and promotional materials. Directed staff of 80-90 employees producing high-end advertising campaigns. Consulted with studio marketing executives as well as producers and directors of major motion pictures. Supervised celebrity photo shoots worldwide.

The other posters I have that were created by Shoolery Design can be seen here.

The House of Seven Corpses / one sheet / USA

03.07.17

Poster Poster
Title
The House of Seven Corpses
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Paul Harrison
Starring
John Ireland, Faith Domergue, John Carradine, Carole Wells, Charles Macaulay, Jerry Strickler, Ron Foreman, Dennis Record, Marty Hornstein
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Ireland, Faith Domergue, John Carradine, Carole Wells, Charles Macaulay, Jerry Strickler, Ron Foreman, Dennis Record, Marty Hornstein,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 4/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
74/20
Tagline
Eight graves! Seven bodies! One killer... and he's already dead.

This is the US one sheet for the release of the largely forgotten 1974 horror, The House of Seven Corpses. The film was the sole feature film directing credit for Paul Harrison who seems to have spent more time as a screenwriter. It stars the prolific character actor John Ireland who is known for his many appearances in Westerns (and the 1960 classic Spartacus) and Faith Domergue, star of some 1950s sci-fi flicks such as This Island Earth. John Carradine, the ridiculously prolific actor (351 appearances!) and father of several actors, including David, also appears.

Ireland plays Eric Hartman, a film director who has decided to shoot his next picture in the titular mansion where seven members of the same family met their untimely ends in various ways. Hoping that the location will provide a suitable ambience to the picture, Hartman only has to put up with the cantankerous caretaker Edgar Price (Carradine) and a difficult star in Gayle Dorian (Domergue) who it’s hinted Hartman had a relationship with in the past. The director’s assistant David discovers the Tibetan Book of the Dead in the house (as you do) and decides to suggest some of the text is used in the witchcraft scenes in the film. Unfortunately, this then triggers the reanimation of a zombie from the graveyard outside the mansion and it proceeds to work it’s murderous way through the cast and crew.

Sadly, the film is almost entirely lacking in any sense of tension or horror and it’s over an hour (of a 90 minute film) before the zombie rises up. None of the characters are particularly appealing so it’s a fairly dull watch for most of the time. There’s a twist that’s incredibly badly handled, so much so that I had no idea it had taken place until I read a plot synopsis afterwards!

This one sheet is at least fairly interesting, with a creepy graveyard image that has been made using a cut and paste photomontage technique. The film’s logo is also very 1970s.

Prime Cut / one sheet / style A / USA

27.06.17

Poster Poster
Title
Prime Cut
AKA
Carnage (France)
Year of Film
1972
Director
Michael Ritchie
Starring
Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Angel Tompkins, Gregory Walcott, Sissy Spacek, Janit Baldwin, William Morey, Clint Ellison, Howard Platt, Les Lannom
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Angel Tompkins, Gregory Walcott, Sissy Spacek, Janit Baldwin, William Morey, Clint Ellison, Howard Platt, Les Lannom,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
72/57
Tagline
Together They're Murder In...

A painting by the American artist Tom Jung, who is best known for his work on the style A poster for the release of the first Star Wars film, features on this one sheet for the 1972 crime-drama, Prime Cut. The film was directed by the late Michael Ritchie (Fletch, Downhill Racer) and stars two heavyweight actors of the time in Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman. The former had a string of box-office hits playing tough guys in films such as Point Blank and The Dirty Dozen, and the latter had just starred in the unforgettable The French Connection and was to appear in The Poseidon Adventure in the same year as Prime Cut. It also marked the acting debut of Sissy Spacek who would appear in her most famous role four years later in Brian De Palma’s Carrie.

The plot sees Nick Devlin (Marvin), a Chicago mob enforcer, sent with a crew of men to Kansas City to track down Mary Ann (Hackman) and recover a $500,000 debt. Previous men sent by the mob have disappeared and we witness one being ‘processed’ through Mary Ann’s meat factory, ending up as the filling in a string of sausages that are then sent to the mob boss as a taunt. After driving to Kansas, Devlin first attacks Mary Ann’s brother and warns him that the group are there to collect the debt. The following day they find Mary Ann in a barn where he is the ringleader of a white-slave auction in which young girls are being auctioned off to older men. The women are kept naked in pens like livestock and drugged up so they don’t try to escape. Devlin threatens Mary Ann and rescues one of the women called Poppy (Spacek) “on account”. The rest of the film sees him attempting to secure the missing money and avoiding Mary Ann’s gang of denim-wearing, shotgun-toting farm boys.

The film is fairly brisk at just under 90 minutes and both leads are entertaining to watch throughout. Spacek is also excellent as Poppy and it’s not hard to see why her career took off quickly following her appearance in Prime Cut. There are several memorable scenes in the film, including one faintly ridiculous one where Devlin and Poppy are chased through a wheatfield by a combine harvester, which then goes onto chew up an entire car!

As well as the iconic one sheet for Star Wars, Tom Jung is also known for the style B one sheet for The Empire Strikes Back. He was a prolific designer and illustrator for film campaigns from the 1950s through to the 1980s. IMPAwards features a gallery of his work and his Wikipedia article has a selected list of the many posters he worked on. Rather unusually, at least in comparison to other film poster artists, Jung was also a designer of his posters as well as the artist. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Note that this is the Style A one sheet and style B is photographic. Rather unusually, the decision was taken to insert ‘A’ in next to the title at the bottom of the poster which makes it look like the title is ‘A Prime Cut’.

I Saw the Devil / one sheet / style A / USA

16.11.11

Poster Poster
Title
I Saw the Devil
AKA
Akmareul boatda (South Korea - original title)
Year of Film
2010
Director
Jee-woon Kim
Starring
Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Gook-hwan Jeon, Ho-jin Jeon, San-ha Oh, Yoon-seo Kim
Origin of Film
South Korea
Genre(s) of Film
Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Gook-hwan Jeon, Ho-jin Jeon, San-ha Oh, Yoon-seo Kim,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Gravillis Inc.
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Evil lives inside

Not one for the faint of heart, Jee-woon Kim‘s ‘I Saw the Devil‘ is further proof that some of the most exciting, visceral and challenging cinema continues to come out of South Korea. The film sees a serial killer, played by Min-sik Choi [Oldboy], enter into a brutal game of cat and mouse with a secret agent (Byung-hun Lee ) after killing his pregnant fiance. To say it features some disturbing scenes would be an understatement – this is not a date movie – it’s still a must see for fans of crime thrillers and Korean cinema; if you enjoyed Chan-wook Park‘s Vengeance Trilogy you need to see this film.

This simple but effective one sheet was designed by Gravillis Inc. for the limited release in the US earlier this year. There is also a style B one sheet which is markedly different but just as good, IMO.

The trailer is on YouTube.

Metropolis / one sheet / 1984 re-release / USA

25.03.13

Poster Poster
Title
Metropolis
AKA
--
Year of Film
1927
Director
Fritz Lang
Starring
Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Origin of Film
Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Tom Nikosey
Artist
Tom Nikosey
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Fritz Lang’s 1927 sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis was given a cinema re-release in 2010 after missing scenes, long thought lost, were discovered in an Argentinian museum and reintegrated back into the film. 26 years earlier, music producer Giorgio Moroder produced and released an alternative version of the film which was restored and had various scenes that were missing from the first US release reinserted back in.

Controversially, Moroder also replaced the original orchestral score by Gottfried Huppertz with contemporary rock and pop music from the likes of Pat BenatarBonnie TylerAdam Ant and Freddie Mercury. Despite the heated debate that this re-release provoked it did have the benefit of bringing the film back into the public consciousness and led to further restorations over the following years. The discovery of the lost footage in 2008 was a complete revelation and brought the film very close to its original release version, which many feared was lost forever.

This one sheet was designed and illustrated by the American artist and designer Tom Nikosey who has been working since the 1970s and has created hundreds of iconic logos, posters and music album covers. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Nikosey moved to Los Angeles in 1972 and began working heavily for the music industry, designing covers for artists such as Eric Clapton, Commodores and The Bee Gees. He’s also worked on hundreds of iconic logos, including ones for American sports teams, the NFL Super Bowl and multiple entertainment companies.

I was contacted by Tom in late 2018 and he was kind enough to answer some questions I had about his career and the creation of this poster. The questions and answers are below:

Thanks for agreeing to answer my questions. Can I ask how your career progressed once you settled on doing art and design for a living?
Very quickly in those days. After graduation from Art School in 1972 I ventured west to Los Angeles. I got my first job at a newspaper then a couple of advertising agencies as an assistant designer. After later being laid off work in 1974 I started freelancing and by 1975 I had started Tom Nikosey Design.

Had you done any work on film posters before Metropolis?
Not really as I’m mainly known as a lettering/logo artist. Over the years I did logos for ‘Prizzi’s Honor’, ‘Labyrinth’, ‘Flight of The Navigator’, ‘Adventures in Babysitting’, ‘Sgt.Pepper’s’ (the Bee Gees film), ‘Corvette Summer”, ‘Hooper’, ‘Pure Country’ but never the complete poster.

What was the sequence of events that saw you become involved in the Metropolis release? Was it an enjoyable project?
I met Giorgio through my friend Richie Zito the great music producer. I went on to create logos and graphics for all of Giorgio’s music projects and branded his recording studios in North Hollywood. When the project came together he asked me to create the posters for his re-release of Metropolis. There are actually two posters; the first one I created was for the international release of the film, then I did another version of the poster intended for the soundtrack double album cover fold out, which was what became the official one sheet.

Did you have many interactions with Giorgio Moroder himself?
Many and we’re still in touch.

Very cool! Were you given a specific brief for the poster? Was there another designer involved or were you working alone?
No, Giorgio gave me free reign creatively.

How long did it take for you to settle on the final artwork?
Actually rather quickly. After the teaser version which was used for the international release, I then created the soundtrack/one sheet version. The international poster won the Hollywood Reporter award that year for Best Foreign Film Poster.

What happened to the finished artwork after it had been copied for print?
Someone stole it. It breaks my heart to this day. Probably from the color separator or printing shop back then. Giorgio doesn’t know what happened either.

Did your work on the poster result in more film-related commissions?
Not sure, probably not.

What have you done since then and are you still actively working?
I’m still working. Metropolis was in 1984 and I was 33 when I created that piece. That was 34 years ago and I’ve done many, many projects since then. 

By the way, I came across some images in my collection related to Metropolis. The first one (see here) is the info on the first ‘teaser’ poster that was used as the International release that American Film Magazine referenced. The second one (see here) has a very small thumbnail sketch that I did to show Giorgio how I was intending to create a ‘fold out’ album cover image for the Metropolis soundtrack LP. Along with this is the printer’s proof for the Soundtrack Cassette package. I thought these would interest you.

Thanks so much Tom, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.
You’re very welcome, thank you!

—————————-

Tom’s official website features galleries of his excellent work. The Album Cover Hall of Fame website also features a two-part interview with the artist that is well worth reading.

Queen’s music video for their song ‘Radio Ga Ga’ was released at the same time as Moroder’s version and featured footage for the film.

As well as the original restored film, the Moroder version was released on blu-ray in 2011.

The original trailer for this version of Metropolis is on YouTube.

Kiss of the Spider Woman / one sheet / international

19.10.12

Poster Poster

This international one sheet for Kiss of the Spider Woman features a stunning Art Deco inspired design, which is unique to this poster. The film was directed by Argentine-born Brazilian Hector Babenco and is based in a jail in an unnamed South American country ruled by a dictatorship. Luis Molina (William Hurt) is a homosexual imprisoned for ‘corrupting a minor’ who shares a cell with Valentin Arregui (the late Raul Julia), a member of a revolutionist group who has been tortured and imprisoned.

To pass the time, and to take Arregui’s mind off the abuse he suffers whilst imprisoned, Molina recounts scenes from his favourite film, a romantic thriller set during World War II featuring Sonia Braga as Leni La Maison, AKA the Spider Woman, in this film within a film. The storyline mirrors the experiences of the two cell-mates and slowly a friendship develops between the pair, but Molina has been harbouring a secret which endangers the lives of them both.

William Hurt won the Best Actor gong at the 1986 Academy Awards as well as several other prizes for his portrayal of Molina. The film, itself adapted from a novel by Argentine author Manuel Puig, was later made into a successful Broadway musical in 1993.

The artist responsible is called Richard Mahon who is perhaps best known for his iconic image that was used to advertise David Cronenberg’s The Fly around the world, including on the American one sheet. He has an official website that features a gallery of his illustration work. The image may look grainy but this is actually an element of the design (the green background is particularly rough).

The trailer is on YouTube.

Magnum Force / one sheet / USA

05.09.12

Poster Poster
Title
Magnum Force
AKA
Dirty Harry 2 (Japan - English title) | Magnum .44 (Argentina / Finland / Peru / Venezuela)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Ted Post
Starring
Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook, Mitchell Ryan, David Soul, Felton Perry, Robert Urich, Tim Matheson
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook, Mitchell Ryan, David Soul, Felton Perry, Robert Urich, Tim Matheson,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
Philippe Halsman (photography)
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/318
Tagline
--

A classic design by the great Bill Gold on this one sheet for Magnum Force, the second entry in the Dirty Harry franchise starring acting legend Clint Eastwood. The follow up to the 1971 original, this entry saw ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan face off against a group of vigilante cops who have taken the law into their own hands and are bumping off criminals who manage to escape conviction. The film was helmed by Ted Post who had previously directed Eastwood in the TV series Rawhide and in his hit Western Hang ‘Em High (1968).

Bill Gold has had a working relationship with Eastwood that has lasted over four decades. He worked on the iconic one sheet for Dirty Harry and went on to design the American poster for every Eastwood film since, which includes the brilliant one for Clint’s last Western, Unforgiven (1992). Gold has also designed posters for some of Hollywood’s greatest directors, including the likes of Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange, with artwork by Philip Castle) and Alfred Hitchcock (Dial M For Murder).

Born in New York City in 1921, Gold studied illustration and design at the Pratt Institute before starting his professional design career in 1941 in the publicity department for Warner Brothers. One of his earliest designs was for the classic Humphrey Bogart film Casablanca and within a few years he went on to become the head of the studio’s poster department. In 1962 he started Bill Gold Advertising in New York and then spent the next four decades creating hundreds of memorable poster designs and collaborating with some of the best illustrators in the business, including the brilliant Bob Peak.

Gold started to design less posters towards the end of the 1990s, with only a handful of posters for Eastwood films being credited to him. His last poster was for the 2011 film J. Edgar (directed by Eastwood), which Gold agreed to work on after an unsuccessful period of retirement following the poster he worked on for Mystic River in 2003. He continues to live in Upstate New York and in 2011 a book was released to coincide with his 90th birthday called Bill Gold Posterworks, which features 450 pages worth of his incredible designs and details his creative process. Unfortunately, it has an eye-watering price tag that has prevented me picking a copy up but I hope that one day a more affordable version will be released.

To see the other posters I’ve collected that were designed by Gold click here.

King Kong / 1976 / one sheet / teaser / USA

16.05.17

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, Julius Harris, Jack O'Halloran, Dennis Fimple, Ed Lauter,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Diener-Hauser
Artist
John Berkey
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
76/212
Tagline
The most exciting original motion picture event of all time.

Great artwork by the late American artist John Berkey features on this teaser one sheet for the release of the 1976 remake of the 1933 classic, King Kong. Legendary Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis conceived of the idea of remaking and updating the original. He worked with the screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. (Batman the TV series, Flash Gordon) – a regular collaborator with the producer – and asked for the script to be more light-hearted than the original version. British director John Guillermin, who had seen great box-office success with The Towering Inferno a couple of years earlier, was given the director’s job. The two leads were a young Jeff Bridges and the stunning Jessica Lange in her debut role – De Laurentiis had spotted her modelling and asked her to audition. The rest of the cast is filled with respected character actors, including Charles GrodinJohn Randolph and Ed Lauter.

The film follows the overall plot of the original fairly closely, although some of the details are updated to reflect its contemporary setting and the special effects are no longer stop-motion. An American oil company sets sail onboard a research vessel to find a mysterious, f0g-shrouded island that has long been rumoured to exist somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Jack Prescott (Bridges), a primate paleontologist stows away onboard and eventually reveals himself to exhibition leader Fred Wilson (Grodin) and the rest of the crew. As he’s about to be put into lock-up, Jack spots a life raft drifting in the middle of the ocean and the crew discover an unconscious woman. Dwan (Lange) is apparently the sole survivor from a yacht that exploded and killed the rest of the passengers. After she wakes she’s told of aim and destination of the ship that has rescued her.

After discovering the island, several of the crew venture inland and encounter a primitive tribe carrying out some kind of ritual near a giant wooden wall. After returning to their boat when the natives charge them, the crew pauses to rethink their plans. In the darkness of night, a canoe full of natives steal Dwan from the ship and take her to the wall where she is prepared as an offering to Kong. The beast takes her to his lair in the jungle where he spends a while ogling over her. Jack and some of the other crew manage to track her down but not before Kong offs several crew members and a giant snake. Eventually, Kong is subdued using chloroform and a giant pit and Fred Wilson decides to salvage the exhibition by transporting the ape back to America onboard an oil tanker. Needless to say, he doesn’t stay captive for very long when he reaches New York, and soon Kong is climbing the Twin Towers with Dwan in his hand.

De Laurentiis had hired both Carlo Rambaldi (most famous for E.T.) and Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London) to work on the special effects for the creature, and the result was Baker himself wearing an ape suit in the majority of shots. A giant mechanical version of Kong was built but wasn’t ready in time for many of the shots and had severe issues when it did finally appear. Only about 15 seconds of the mechanical version survive in the last cut of the film. Baker was apparently displeased with the final version of the suit and it’s arguably what dates the film most when viewed today. There’s also some terrible rear-projection scenes, which were shoddy even in 1976. In some ways it might have been better to film using stop-motion animation, which was still being employed by the likes of Ray Harryhausen, even in the latter half of the 1970s, but the production must have decided that audiences were tired of that style of creature effects. Critics weren’t kind to the film at the time of its release but it still performed well at the box-office, thanks in part to the significant amount of tie-in marketing campaigns that De Laurentiis set in motion.

This teaser one sheet artwork was actually one of several painted by John Berkey for the film, and depicts Kong at the top of the World Trade Centre, clutching a destroyed helicopter as a jet buzzes him. This painting was actually updated later and replaced the helicopter with a jet, as well as adding a shadow beneath Kong. It can be seen on one of four Japanese B2 posters that featured Berkey’s artwork. Other posters for the film, painted by Berkey can be seen via this emovieposter archive link. The artist is perhaps best known for his science-fiction artwork which graced hundreds of novels from the 1960s into the 2000s. This page features links through to many of the covers. His estate has a website on which it sells both original artwork and prints of his art, primarily focused on his space-based paintings. It’s well worth a look to see the quality of his artwork.

Born in 1932, Berkey lived in Minnesota and spent most of his career as a freelance artist. He worked on a few film posters over the years, including one for Star Wars that appeared inside the vinyl soundtrack, as well as the poster for The Towering Inferno and one for another De Laurentiis creature-feature, Orca. The emovieposter archive features lots of his posters. The artist sadly passed away in 2008 from heart failure but he leaves behind an incredible legacy of artwork.

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

Moonraker / one sheet / advance / style A / USA

09.04.13

Poster Poster
Title
Moonraker
AKA
Agente 007, Moonraker: Operazione Spazio [Operation Space] (Italy)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Lewis Gilbert
Starring
Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel, Corinne Clery, Bernard Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell, Toshirô Suga, Blanche Ravalec
Origin of Film
UK | France
Genre(s) of Film
Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel, Corinne Clery, Bernard Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell, Toshirô Suga, Blanche Ravalec,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Dan Goozee
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 40 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Outer space now belongs to 007

Although considered by most Bond fans to be one of the weakest of the series, I know I’m not the only one to have a soft spot for Moonraker, Roger Moore‘s fifth outing as James Bond. Thanks to endless TV showings during the 1980s and early 1990s I’ve probably seen this more than any other in the series and, like Live and Let Die, it had a huge impression on my young mind.

Looking at it through the cynical fog of adulthood it’s easy to sneer at the camp script, supremely daft action sequences (motorised Gondola anyone?) and painfully obvious attempt to cash in on the success of Star Wars (a very common theme amongst films released in its wake). The film is probably the quintessential outing for Moore as Bond and only he could have pulled it off as well as he did, particularly when it comes to the hokey script and madcap action.

The film features several memorable sequences, including a stunning cable car fight over Rio de Janeiro, and a memorable bad guy in Richard Kiel‘s inimitable ‘Jaws’ who used to scare me senseless as a kid. Also notable is John Barry‘s soundtrack, which marked a departure from his previous Bond work by mainly using strings instead of the typical brass. The film also features one of the most (literally) eyebrow-raising character names in the form of Dr Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) and one of the best/worst sign-offs of the entire series:

Sir Frederick Gray, Minister of Defence:  My God, what’s Bond doing?
Q: I think he’s attempting re-entry, sir.

This particular poster is the American advance one sheet with artwork by Dan Goozee who is responsible for several other Bond posters, including the final Moonraker US one sheet and the international advance one sheet. Other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

The original trailer for the film is on YouTube.