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Star Wars / one sheet / 1981 re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
R810077
Tagline
The Force will be with you for two weeks only

The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
AKA
La cage aux poules [The cage of chickens] (Canada (French title) / France)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Colin Higgins
Starring
Burt Reynolds, Dolly Parton, Dom DeLuise, Charles Durning, Theresa Merritt, Jim Nabors, Lois Nettleton, Robert Mandan, Barry Corbin, Mary Jo Catlett, Mary Louise Wilson, Howard K. Smith, Terri Treas
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Burt Reynolds, Dolly Parton, Dom DeLuise, Charles Durning, Theresa Merritt, Jim Nabors, Lois Nettleton, Robert Mandan, Barry Corbin, Mary Jo Catlett, Mary Louise Wilson, Howard K. Smith, Terri Treas,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Dan Goozee
Size (inches)
27" x 40 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820068
Tagline
With Burt and Dolly this much fun just couldn't be legal!

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

23.07.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

X-Files: I Want To Believe / one sheet / teaser / version A / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
X-Files: I Want To Believe
AKA
--
Year of Film
2008
Director
Chris Carter
Starring
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Billy Connolly, Amanda Peet, Alvin "Xzibit" Joiner, Mitch Pileggi
Origin of Film
USA | Canada
Genre(s) of Film
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Billy Connolly, Amanda Peet, Alvin "Xzibit" Joiner, Mitch Pileggi,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser - version A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
BLT & Associates
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King / one sheet / teaser / Arwen / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King / one sheet / teaser / Gandalf / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King / one sheet / teaser / Frodo / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring / one sheet / cast montage style / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Drive / special print / Canada

18.01.12

Poster Poster

Nicolas Winding Refn’s superb neo-noir Drive ended up at the top of many ‘best of 2011’ lists, including my own, and there were few films released last year that matched it for sheer cinematic cool. The nameless protagonist was played by Ryan Gosling who suddenly found himself rocketing to the top of the Hollywood hot list, helped in no small part to the silk ‘Scorpion’ jacket and toothpick his near-silent character sports throughout the film.

At the time I, along with many others, felt that the official US one sheet failed to capture the spirit and feel of this supremely stylish film and its release felt like something of a missed opportunity. Thank goodness, then, that the talented graphic designer and illustrator James White (AKA Signalnoise) also felt this way and took it upon himself to design a fitting poster for the film. The results speak for themselves and James’ use of a single image from the opening sequence of ‘cat and mouse’ (as seen in this clip) combined with the striking neon colours is the perfect distillation of the film into one frame.

The poster was designed as a personal project and something of a tribute to the film but, thanks to the effort of James’ agent, Ollie Judge, James was able to gain permission from the film’s rights owners and print the poster as official merchandise to sell on his website.

I was lucky enough to be sent this first edition late last year that was printed as a limited, not-for-sale run before the rights had been secured. You’ll notice the text at the bottom of the poster that confirms this.

See this blog post on my site for and interview with James and details on the making of this awesome poster.

The official poster will be available to purchase online on Thursday, January 19 at 1pm EST. The poster will be activated in the Signalnoise Store at that time. I will have 300 copies of the 22″ x 28″ poster for $50 along with a super limited 30 copies of the 24″ x 36″ poster for $90.

The trailer for Drive can be watched on YouTube.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King / one sheet / teaser / Aragorn / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King / one sheet / teaser / Gollum / Canada

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Naked Lunch / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Naked Lunch
AKA
Hadaka no lunch (Japan)
Year of Film
1991
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker
Origin of Film
Canada | UK | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
26 6/8" x 39 11/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Exterminate all rational thought

Videodrome / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Videodrome
AKA
--
Year of Film
1982
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
James Woods, Deborah Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Jack Creley
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
James Woods, Deborah Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Jack Creley,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
830004
Tagline
First it controls your mind...then it destroys your body

Cult Canadian director David Cronenberg’s Videodrome was released with this unique poster design when it hit Japanese cinemas in 1985. Like much of the director’s output, Videodrome is definitely not for the faint of heart and contains some utterly unforgettable moments of Cronenberg’s patented body-horror mutations. James Woods stars as Max Renn the sleazy CEO of a minor cable TV station who is constantly on the lookout for cheap exploitation fare to broadcast. Renn is told about Videodrome, a new and mysterious signal apparently being broadcast out of Malaysia which purports to depict real ‘snuff’ movies of victims being tortured and killed.

Renn decides to start pirating the show and broadcasting it to his audience. This soon attracts widespread attention that puts him into contact with sadomasochistic psychiatrist Nicki Brand (Debby Harry) and Professor Brian O’Blivion (Jack Creley). When he discovers that the signal is actually being broadcast out of Pittsburgh, Renn decides to investigate further and he plunges into a nightmarish conspiracy that goes deeper than he ever imagined. As the American tagline says ‘First it controls your mind. Then it destroys your body’. Fans of Cronenberg’s proclivity for unnatural cavities and the melding of flesh with inorganic substances are not left disappointed, and the gun on this poster hints towards the finale.

This American one sheet features a great illustration of Woods being torn apart in front of a giant image of Debby Harry’s face. I’ve been unable to discover who is responsible for the art so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

In addition to the one sheet I also have the British quad and the Japanese B2.

Def-Con 4 / one sheet / USA

30.06.12

Poster Poster
Title
Def-Con 4
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Paul Donovan
Starring
Lenore Zann, Maury Chaykin, Kate Lynch, Kevin King, John Walsch, Tim Choate, Jeff Pustil, Donna King, Alan MacGillivray, Florence Paterson, Karen Kennedy, Ken Ryan
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Lenore Zann, Maury Chaykin, Kate Lynch, Kevin King, John Walsch, Tim Choate, Jeff Pustil, Donna King, Alan MacGillivray, Florence Paterson, Karen Kennedy, Ken Ryan,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Rudy Obrero
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
The last defense. The last hope. The battle for the future of the world has begun.

A Canadian post-apocalyptic sci-fi, Def-Con 4 tells the story of a crew of three astronauts on an orbiting space station loaded with nuclear warheads who witness the outbreak of World War 3 on earth and are unable to prevent the destruction below. Several months later a signal forces the space station to crash-land back on earth (on a Canadian beach) and the crew must adapt to survive the hostile environment, which includes the diseased survivors of the war who are known as Terminals, and a band of militants intent on harnessing the power of the downed station.

The artwork on this poster was done by freelance illustrator and designer Rudy Obrero who is based in Los Angeles and has worked for a huge variety of commercial clients throughout his career, including Disney, Warner Bros and Universal Studios. As well as film posters his work includes design style guides for many entertainment properties, including E.T., Curious George and Universal Monsters. He’s also worked on the packaging artwork for toys and this picture shows Rudy with a box featuring an illustration he painted for the He-Man range by Mattel (a close up detail can be seen here).

One of his best film poster illustrations, in my opinion,  is the one painted for the international one sheet of Mad Max 2 (AKA The Road Warrior), which can be viewed here. He’s also responsible for the American one sheet artwork for Never Say Never Again.

The trailer for the film is on YouTube.

Heavy Metal / one sheet / style B / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Heavy Metal
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
Gerald Potterton
Starring
Harvey Atkin, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Marilyn Lightstone, Harold Ramis, Richard Romanus
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Harvey Atkin, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Marilyn Lightstone, Harold Ramis, Richard Romanus,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style B
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Richard Vance Corben
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810091
Tagline
A Step Beyond Science Fiction

Hobo With A Shotgun / one sheet / USA

08.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Hobo With a Shotgun
AKA
--
Year of Film
2011
Director
Jason Eisener
Starring
Rutger Hauer, Pasha Ebrahimi, Robb Wells, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, Nick Bateman, Drew O'Hara, Molly Dunsworth, Jeremy Akerman
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Rutger Hauer, Pasha Ebrahimi, Robb Wells, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, Nick Bateman, Drew O'Hara, Molly Dunsworth, Jeremy Akerman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
Tom Hodge AKA The Dude Designs
Artist
Tom Hodge AKA The Dude Designs
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Delivering justice one shell at a time

Hobo With a Shotgun is a Canadian exploitation action film which started out as a fake trailer that was the winning entry in a competition held as part of the promotion of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse. Prior to the 2007 South By Southwest festival (held annually in Austin, Texas) Rodriguez challenged budding filmmakers to create a trailer that celebrated exploitation and horror films, which would then be shown as part of a panel on Grindhouse cinema.

This CinemaBlend article describes the event and confirms that the trailer by Nova Scotians Jason Eisener, John Davies, and Rob Cotterill was the winner. When Grindhouse was shown in cinemas in the US there were several fake trailers shown around the two main features, shot by the likes of Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie, and the Hobo With a Shotgun was shown alongside them in several Canadian cinemas. In 2010 Rodriguez turned his fake Grindhouse trailer for a film called Machete, starring long-time collaborator Danny Trejo, into a feature-length release and Jason Eisener then followed suit with a full-length version of Hobo in 2011.

The film stars Rutger Hauer as the titular homeless man who arrives in the fictional Hope Town only to discover it is now known as Scum Town and is ruled over by crime boss Drake and his psychotic sons Ivan and Slick. The family have a stranglehold over the town and the hobo witnesses robberies, brutal violence and prostitution as he wanders the streets. Although he initially dreams of buying a lawnmower from a pawnshop to earn money through landscaping, an encounter with Slick and Ivan steels his resolve to do something about the injustice he’s seen. The same pawnshop has shotguns for sale and so the hobo sets out to clean up the streets, delivering justice one shell at a time!

The film absolutely nails the grindhouse aesthetic and has clearly been made by someone with genuine reverence for the films that defined the genre. The production design is top notch throughout with Dartmouth and Halifax in Nova Scotia turned convincingly into the crime-ridden Scum Town. It’s also filled with excellent performances from actors who are clearly enjoying delivering the outlandish lines that John Davies’ script contains, but Hauer steals the show with his enjoyment of playing the vengeful hobo clear to see. The soundtrack is also notably excellent and perfectly suits the action on screen.

This poster was designed and illustrated by Tom Hodge AKA The Dude Designs, a Brit who has worked for over 12 years creating advertising materials for films and games, and is a big proponent of continuing the use of painted artwork over computer-generated montages. The about page on his official site details several of the companies he’s provided illustrations for, which includes Mondo, Arrow Video and Death Waltz Records (he created their logo, amongst other projects). The site also includes galleries of his work, which includes this great cover for the Shout Factory release of John Carpenter’s They Live. It’s my belief that this poster for Hobo was the first one of his to be printed and used around the world to advertise the film.

The Models / one sheet / USA

15.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Models
AKA
In Love with Sex (international title) | Donnez-nous notre amour quotidien [Give us our daily love] (French - original title)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Claude Pierson
Starring
Paola Senatore, Lucretia Love, Mauro Parenti, Jacques Buron, Yves Arcanel, Alice Arno, Jean-Michel Dhermay
Origin of Film
France | Canada | Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Paola Senatore, Lucretia Love, Mauro Parenti, Jacques Buron, Yves Arcanel, Alice Arno, Jean-Michel Dhermay,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert McGinnis
Size (inches)
27 3/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
What really goes on behind all the glitter and glamour | Banned in 36 countries. You can see it now without a single cut! | You'll never see this movie on TV!

The Models (AKA by the racier title ‘In Love with Sex’) was a French-Canadian-Italian co-production and a sexploitation drama directed by the Parisian Claude Pierson who seems to have made a living from helming these kind of films. I can find little information about the film itself but the various tag lines on this poster give you an idea of what you’re in for. The only synopsis I could find was on a now removed page on the BFI website for the film and simply said ‘About the problems of frigidity encountered by a young married woman and how they are overcome with help of her husband.’ The artwork on this poster is by the legendary artist Robert McGinnis and it’s a wonder that the production company were able to secure his talents (his services can’t have been cheap at this point in his career).

Robert McGinnis was responsible for some of the most iconic James Bond posters, including Thunderball,  The Man With the Golden Gun and Diamonds are Forever as well as multiple other classic posters from the 60s, 70s and 80s. He was born in Cincinatti, Ohio in 1926 and was given an apprenticeship at Walt Disney studios before studying fine art at Ohio State University. After serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II, he started work in the advertising industry and later moved into painting book jackets for several notable authors, as well as editorial artwork for the likes of Good Housekeeping, TIME and The Saturday Evening Post. McGinnis’ first film poster was the now iconic one sheet for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, painted in 1962, and he went on to paint over 40 others during his career, including one for The Incredibles in 2004.

To see the other posters I’ve collected that were painted by McGinnis click here.

Prom Night / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Prom Night
AKA
Non entrate in quella casa [Don't go in that house] (Italy)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Paul Lynch
Starring
Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Michael Tough, Robert A. Silverman
Origin of Film
Canada
Genre(s) of Film
Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Michael Tough, Robert A. Silverman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Macario "Mac" Gomez Quibus
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
800110
Tagline
If you're not back by midnight... you won't be coming home.

Superman III / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Superman III
AKA
Superman vs. Superman (USA - original script title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Lester
Starring
Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Annette O'Toole, Annie Ross, Pamela Stephenson, Robert Vaughn, Margot Kidder
Origin of Film
UK | Canada | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Annette O'Toole, Annie Ross, Pamela Stephenson, Robert Vaughn, Margot Kidder,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Berkey
Size (inches)
27" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
If the world's most powerful computer can control even Superman...no one on earth is safe!

Star Wars / B2 / Seito artwork style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Seito artwork style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Star Wars / one sheet / style C / international

16.09.15

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style C
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Tom Chantrell
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

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

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

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

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

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

Note that the style C one sheet was originally printed for use in international territories, meaning it was printed in the US for use in other English-speaking countries. Note that it’s lacking the MPAA ratings box (PG). There were a handful of style Cs that were printed with a ratings box which were used for limited US screenings, but these are harder to find than this international version. Another thing to note is that this poster was bootlegged towards the end of the 1980s and there are thought to be thousands of copies out there. Unlike typical fake one sheets, the bootlegs are full size at around 27″ x 41″ but there are ways to differentiate them. The colours on the fake are not as vibrant and there are two hairs that were likely caught in the printing presses when the fakes were being run off (one on Leia’s gown and one on R2D2’s foot). This video goes into detail about what to look for and Cinemasterpieces.com has a detailed section on the poster here. Moviepostercollectors.guide also has a page on what to look out for.

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

To see the other posters I have in the collection that were painted by Chantrell click here.

Star Wars / B2 / 1982 re-release / commemoration style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Re-release - commemoration style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Star Wars / B1 / artwork style / Japan

23.09.12

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Seito
Size (inches)
28 13/16" x 40 8/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The enigmatic artist Seito is responsible for the artwork on this Japanese B1 poster for the original release of the sci-fi classic Star Wars in Japan. The design has clear echoes of the American one sheet artwork by Tom Jung but features several additions and the unusual choice of having the Death Star upside down (the weapon crater at least). Both designs depict an overly muscled Luke Skywalker and a tight-clothed, voluptuous Princess Leia, which, if you’ve seen the film (who hasn’t!), you’ll know doesn’t quite match up with the actual characters.

This is one of three posters printed for the original release of Star Wars in Japan, which included a simple advance and this photo montage style.

Seito is one of my favourite Japanese artists and is responsible for some wonderful illustrated posters, although little is known about him even in his native Japan. To see the other posters I’ve collected by him click here.

Pretty In Pink / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Pretty In Pink
AKA
Rose bonbon (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Howard Deutch
Starring
Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts, James Spader
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts, James Spader,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
He's crazy about her. She's crazy about him. He's just crazy.

Raising Arizona / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Raising Arizona
AKA
Arizona Junior (Canada / France / Greece / Hungary / Italy / Sweden)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Joel Coen
Starring
Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Frances McDormand, Randall 'Tex' Cobb, T.J. Kuhn
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Frances McDormand, Randall 'Tex' Cobb, T.J. Kuhn,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A comedy beyond belief.