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Never Say Never Again / A1 / Germany

25.02.15

Poster Poster

An excellent portrait of Sean Connery surrounded by an action montage features on this German poster for Never Say Never Again, a non-canon James Bond film. The existence and status of the film is due to a long-running legal issue involving Bond creator Ian Fleming and a film producer called Kevin McClory. The pair had worked together on an abandoned Bond project called Longitude 78 that Fleming later turned into the novel Thunderball without crediting the producer or another writer who worked on the project. The case went to the high court and McClory was then given the right to produce the resultant Thunderball film in 1965 as well as the ability to remake the novel turned film after 10 years had elapsed. It took a bit longer than that but eventually McClory brought the same story to the screen in 1983, which happened to be the year that Octopussy, an official entry into the series starring Roger Moore, was released.

Connery wasn’t always in the frame to return as Bond, but after he developed an initial draft of the script with novelist Len Deighton in the 1970s, his name became attached to the project and he was eventually persuaded to star thanks to a significant fee as well as a share of the profits and the ability to veto script and casting decisions. Irvin Kershner came onboard to direct and the rest of the cast was filled with the likes of Max von Sydow as the arch-villain Blofeld and Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximilian Largo (key villain in Thunderball). A young Kim Basinger appears as Domino, the partner of Largo and later a love interest for Bond.

The film’s plot about the hunt for stolen nuclear warheads features a great deal of similarities with Thunderball, given that it is effectively a remake, but there are significant stylistic differences and also several references made to the fact that Connery is playing an older Bond (he was 52 at the time). The ending is hugely different from Thunderball and ditches the now embarrassing sequence on the out-of-control ship and replaces it with a bit of an anticlimactic showdown underwater. The rest of the film is entertaining enough with excellent use of locations and some thrilling action and stunt sequences, although it’s certainly no match for the best of the canonical series. It was favourably received critically at the time of release and supposedly went on to outperform Octopussy at the box office in 1983, which no doubt annoyed the folks at Eon Productions

The poster was designed and painted by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro, an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. In it he mentions working on this poster and he showed me the original art for the version of the poster where it’s just Connery alone (the advance poster).

The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

The Thing / A1 / Germany

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Thing
AKA
Das Ding (Germany) | John Carpenter's The Thing (USA - complete title) | Stvor (Serbia)
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David,Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, Richard Dysart, David Clennon, Richard Masur, T. K. Carter, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, Peter Maloney,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
23 5/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Poppies Are Also Flowers / A1 / Germany

21.09.15

Poster Poster

Five great portraits painted by Renato Casaro feature on this German re-release poster for Poppies Are Also Flowers (AKA Danger Grows Wild and several other titles). Made as an anti-drug trafficking film with the help of the United Nations, it was sponsored by corporate entities, including Xerox.  As this poster attests, it was based on a screenplay by James Bond creator Ian Fleming, was directed by Bond director Terence Young and had a seriously star-studded cast. The likes of Yul BrynnerAngie DickinsonTrevor Howard and Marcello Mastroianni all signed up and, so the story goes, worked for $1 each. Some serious favours must have been called in as I find it hard to believe they were all passionately anti-narcotics!

The story is described thusly on the film’s Wikipedia page:

In an attempt to stem the heroin trade at the Afghanistan–Iran border, a group of narcotics agents working for the United Nations inject a radioactive compound into a seized shipment of opium, in the hopes that it will lead them to the main heroin distributor in Europe.

Now largely forgotten, the film is apparently in the public domain and is available to watch on YouTube and elsewhere (although the quality of all copies out there is atrocious). Although originally intended for TV, the film was given a cinema release in several countries, including Japan, UK (as Danger Grows Wild) and Germany. This poster is apparently for a 1973 re-release (for what reason I’m not certain) and the original German release poster can be seen here. Casaro was clearly tasked with making the film appear as exciting as possible and added the action scenes in the bottom half of the poster. It’s safe to say that for all the effort that went it to making the film it wasn’t exactly successful in curtailing the activities of the international drug trade!

One of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro is an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

Into the Abyss / one sheet / USA

16.06.17

Poster Poster
Title
Into the Abyss
AKA
Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life (long title) | Tod in Texas [Dead in Texas] (Germany)
Year of Film
2011
Director
Werner Herzog
Starring
Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry, Damon Hall, Lisa Stolter-Balloun, Charles Richardson, Jason Burkett
Origin of Film
USA | UK | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Werner Herzog, Richard Lopez, Michael Perry, Damon Hall, Lisa Stolter-Balloun, Charles Richardson, Jason Burkett,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2011
Designer
P+A / Mojo
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 39 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A tale of death, a tale of life

This is the US one sheet for the release of Werner Herzog‘s 2011 documentary, Into the Abyss. The film is one of the legendary German director’s best films from the past decade and focuses on the situation of a prisoner in a maximum security prison in Texas who is awaiting execution. The subject is one that Herzog had wanted to focus on for a number of years and he had originally intended to look at life inside a maximum security prison in Germany. Originally the director planned to interview a number of death row inmates but ended up focusing on just one, Michael Perry, and looking into the reason for his incarceration and (at that time) imminent execution.

Using the director’s trademark interview style, where he asks questions off-camera typically to a single person, the film looks at the crime that Perry and an accomplice are said to have perpetrated and the effect it has had on the victims’ families. Herzog shies away from trying to decipher whether Perry is guilty or innocent (the man himself claims innocence) of the murder of three people in Conroe, Texas in 2001. The film is gripping throughout and some of the most memorable scenes are when the siblings of the murdered people are interviewed. One person in particular has suffered such imaginable loss it is almost breathtaking.

This poster was designed by P+A (Percival and Associates) an established and prolific design company whose output can be viewed on IMPAwards. Their official website is not currently up and running. Mojo design were also involved but the company now appears to be defunct (Into the Abyss was one of their last posters) – their output can also be viewed on IMPAwards.

The NeverEnding Story / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The NeverEnding Story
AKA
Die unendliche Geschichte (West Germany - original title)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Wolfgang Petersen
Starring
Barret Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Tami Stronach, Alan Oppenheimer, Thomas Hill, Deep Roy, Tilo Prückner, Moses Gunn, Sydney Bromley, Patricia Hayes, Gerald McRaney
Origin of Film
West Germany | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Barret Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Tami Stronach, Alan Oppenheimer, Thomas Hill, Deep Roy, Tilo Prückner, Moses Gunn, Sydney Bromley, Patricia Hayes, Gerald McRaney,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ezra Tucker
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
A boy who needs a friend finds a world that needs a hero. | Begin a journey into a limitless universe of entertainment. Experience the enchanted world of a young boy's imagination and behold the remarkable adventure that unfolds before your eyes.

Hard Eight / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Hard Eight
AKA
Sydney (USA - original title) | Last Exit Reno (Germany - video title)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring
Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel Jackson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robert Ridgely, Melora Walters
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel Jackson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robert Ridgely, Melora Walters,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
If you stay in this game long enough, you'll see everything, win everything, and lose everything.

Dances With Wolves / A1 / Germany

30.01.13

Poster Poster
Title
Dances With Wolves
AKA
Der mit dem Wolf tanzt (Germany)
Year of Film
1990
Director
Kevin Costner
Starring
Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Renato Casaro
Size (inches)
23 5/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

It’s hard to believe it’s now 23 years since Kevin Costner’s epic western Dances with Wolves was first released, and whilst it’s easy to be sniffy about later efforts like Waterworld (1995) and The Postman (1997 – also directed by him), this film still stands up as a memorable and touching story of the end of the Wild West and of the Native American’s interaction with The White People whose journey across the country would ultimately prove disastrous for so many tribes. Set during the Civil War, it tells the story of Lieutenant Dunbar (Costner) who actively seeks exile at a lonely frontier outpost and follows his experiences as he copes with the harsh climate, lack of supplies and dealings with the local Indians. Eventually he adapts to life on the frontier and begins to earn the trust of the tribes, but it’s not long before the war, and other less friendly Native Americans, challenge his newfound identity.

This German A1 poster, which features a fantastic portrait of actor Graham Greene alongside Costner, and a shot from the buffalo hunt scene, was illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro, an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 40 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome, which was part of the legendary Cinecittà studios and handled film publicity for many Italian productions. Casaro would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world and his skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike.

His artwork has featured on many German posters as well as others from countries including Japan, UK, North America as well as in his native Italy. Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. The other posters I’ve collected by Casaro can be seen by clicking here.

Death Wish / A1 / Germany

26.09.14

Poster Poster
Title
Death Wish
AKA
Ein Mann sieht rot (Germany) | Il giustiziere della notte [The vigilante of the night] (Italy)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Michael Winner
Starring
Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats, William Redfield
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats, William Redfield,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Gerold Kratzsch
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
23 7/16" x 33 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the original German A1 poster for the release of director Michael Winner‘s infamous Death Wish, the good-guy-turned-vigilante flick that marked a turning point in star Charles Bronson‘s career, launching him to international stardom and establishing his brand as a tough-guy leading man. Based on the novel of the same name by Brian Garfield, the original script by Wendell Mayes went through multiple revisions and the film itself was in protracted development before it was handed to Winner who was chosen thanks to his track record with gritty thrillers, including The Mechanic  and The Stone Killer, both starring Bronson. Winner pushed to get the star onboard but his agent’s concerns about the content and the script’s description of the main character as a meek accountant meant negotiations stalled.

Eventually the film passed into the hands of legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis who, after securing distribution and financing, requested script revisions that made the role more suitable for Bronson, plus Winner tweaked a few scenes that meant upping the violence. Filming eventually took place in New York City during the winter of 1973-74. Bronson plays architect Paul Kersey whose wife and daughter are viciously attacked one day in their apartment with his wife later dying from her injuries and the daughter being left in a catatonic state.

After the funeral, Kersey flies to Arizona to meet a business client and before leaving a few weeks later he is given a Colt revolver as a gift. One night following his return to New York he is approached by a mugger who attempts to rob him, but Kersey pulls his own gun and shoots him dead. Although initially sick that he killed another human, Kersey’s motivation for revenge gets the better of him and he deliberately starts to put himself at risk by walking around the city at night looking for criminals and the body count starts to mount.  Unbeknownst to Kersey, the police are starting to close in and it’s not long before his risk taking catches up with him.

The film was savaged by most critics on release for what they saw as its celebration of vigilante violence, with some calling it an ‘immoral threat to society’ and voicing concerns that it would encourage similar behaviour in society. It was, however, a box office success and audiences responded positively amidst a climate of rising violence on American streets. The film spawned four sequels all starring Bronson, and all of steadily diminishing quality, although the first film definitely still has a cult following forty years later.

According to the credit on the lower left hand side of the poster it was designed by the Gerold Kratzsch advertising agency who appear to have been based in Berlin in Germany (I don’t believe they still exist).

Escape From New York / A1 / teaser / Germany

25.09.12

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title) | John Carpenter's Die Klapper-Schlange [Rattlesnake] (Germany)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
23 5/16" x 33"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
(see text below)

A simple but effective teaser for the German release of John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic Escape From New York, released as Die Klapper-Schlange (Rattlesnake). I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite of the three (fictional) characters Carpenter and Kurt Russell created together; R.J. MacReady (The Thing), Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) and Snake Plissken (EFNY). The latter is the gruff former war hero and convicted bank robber who is sent onto the island of Manhattan of an alternative 1997, which has been sealed-off as a lawless prison, in search of the American President whose plane crashed there after a terrorist attack. He’s arguably the coolest of the three and is a character much imitated in other lesser films featuring a reluctant hero.

The tagline on this teaser actually spells Plissken as Plessken, which is likely to have been simply an error on the copywriter’s part but may have been intentionally changed (no idea why!). A German friend translated the copy and it reads as follows:

‘Snake Plessken,  the “Rattlesnake”- he has to get in there, where nobody has yet escaped – in a city like a prison – 10 million inhabitants – everyone of them a gangster – New York 1997’

The rest of the John Carpenter posters I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

The Beyond / A1 / Germany

05.12.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Beyond
AKA
Die Geisterstadt der Zombies (Germany) | L'aldilà (Italy) | 7 Doors of Death (USA)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Lucio Fulci
Starring
Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar, Anthony Flees, Giovanni De Nava, Al Cliver, Michele Mirabella, Gianpaolo Saccarola
Origin of Film
Italy
Genre(s) of Film
Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar, Anthony Flees, Giovanni De Nava, Al Cliver, Michele Mirabella, Gianpaolo Saccarola,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Lutz Peltzer
Size (inches)
23.5" x 33 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork features on this German A1 poster for the release of Lucio Fulci‘s classic horror The Beyond (1981). Nicknamed The Godfather of Gore, the late Italian director is responsible for several memorable entries in the horror genre and The Beyond is one of what are often considered to be the big four Fulci films (the others being Zombie Flesh Eaters, The House By the Cemetery and City of the Living Dead), which were all made within two years of each other. The director tried his hand at various genres, including westerns and comedies, but it was horror where he found the greatest success and for which he is best remembered.

The Beyond is the second film in the unofficial ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy of Fulci films that began with 1980s City of the Living Dead and ended with The House By the Cemetery. British actress Catriona MacColl, star of the other two films, plays New Yorker Liza Merril who has inherited a run-down Louisiana hotel and decides to spend her savings on renovating the place. What she doesn’t realise is that it was built over one of ‘Seven Doors of Death’, which are direct pathways to hell, and when people involved in helping her repair the hotel begin to die horribly she is helped by a local doctor (David Warbeck) and a mysterious local blind woman called Emily (Cinzia Monreale). It soon becomes clear that the pathway is letting supernatural evil out and creating bloodthirsty zombies of the dead and Liza must fight for her very survival.

As with many of Fulci’s films, the story plays second fiddle to the striking visuals and gory set-pieces as the body count ramps up. It’s never less than memorable and is often cited by Fulci fans as their favourite of his films. The Beyond also features a great score by regular Fulci collaborator Fabio Frizzi. The film was butchered heavily for its original US release (as ‘7 Doors of Death’) and was missing most of the gore scenes and a different soundtrack. The UK release was originally heavily cut, despite being granted an ‘X’ certificate. It was finally passed fully uncut in 2001.

A reader of the site got in touch to confirm that the poster was painted by Lutz Peltzer, a prolific German artist who worked on over 800 posters during his career. The German site Archiv für Filmposter features a biography and plenty of images of his work. It details that he was born in 1925 in Mannheim and passed away in 2003.

Escape From New York / A1 / final / Germany

05.09.13

Poster Poster
Title
Escape From New York
AKA
New York 1997 ( France / Japan - English title) | John Carpenter's Die Klapper-Schlange [Rattlesnake] (Germany)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Carpenter
Starring
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Season Hubley, Tom Atkins,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
Final
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
23 6/16" x 32 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the final poster for the German release of John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic Escape From New York, released as Die Klapper-Schlange (Rattlesnake). I’d have a hard time choosing my favourite of the three (fictional) characters Carpenter and Kurt Russell created together; R.J. MacReady (The Thing), Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) and Snake Plissken (EFNY). The latter is the gruff former war hero and convicted bank robber who is sent onto the island of Manhattan of an alternative 1997, which has been sealed-off as a lawless prison, in search of the American President whose plane crashed there after a terrorist attack. He’s arguably the coolest of the three and is a character much imitated in other lesser films featuring a reluctant hero.

The artwork featured is unique to this poster and I’m unsure who is responsible for it, but I’m assuming it was painted by a German artist. If anyone has any clues please get in touch.

I also have the German teaser poster in the collection and that can be viewed here.

The rest of the John Carpenter posters I’ve collected can be seen by clicking here.

Ewoks: The Battle for Endor / A1 / Germany

27.03.15

Poster Poster

This is the German poster for the release of the second of two ill-advised TV movies featuring the Ewoks, the furry, love ’em or hate ’em characters from Return of the Jedi. The Battle for Endor is set some time after the first TV movie The Ewok Adventure (AKA The Caravan of Courage) and occurs between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The plot is summarised thus:

The army of the Marauders, led by by King Terak and the witch Charal attack the Ewoks village. The parents and the brother of Cindel all die in this attack. Cindel and the Ewok Wicket escape and in a forrest they meet Teek a naughty and very fast animal. Teek takes them to a house in which a old man, Noa, lives. Like Cindel he also crashed with his Starcruiser on Endor. Together they fight Terak and Charal.

The film was first shown on TV in the US in 1985 and was given a theatrical run in UK cinemas but quickly disappeared from screens when audiences discovered the poor quality of the film. Despite not being embraced by most fans, the Ewok films nevertheless had elements that continued into the expanded Star Wars universe, including an animated series called Star Wars: Ewoks broadcast between 1985 and 1987 and the Star Tours rides at Disney theme parks.

The poster was designed and painted by one of my favourite artists, Renato Casaro, an Italian with a prolific movie poster output that lasted over 35 years. He began his career in 1953, aged 19, at the famous Studio Favalli in Rome and would go on to design and paint posters for many of the biggest directors in the world. His skill at accurately portraying actors and his brilliant use of colour and composition saw him much in demand from studios and actors alike. His artwork has featured on posters used in multiple countries, including Japan, Germany, USA as well as in his native Italy.

Check out the incredible amount of work on his official website here, which also features a biography of the artist. In March 2014 I published an exclusive interview with Renato and it can be read by clicking here. In it he mentions working on this poster and he showed me the original art for the version of the poster where it’s just Connery alone (the advance poster).

The other posters I’ve collected by Renato Casaro are here.

Excalibur / A0 / Germany

19.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
Excalibur
AKA
The Knights (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Boorman
Starring
Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Williamson, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Clive Swift, Gabriel Byrne
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Williamson, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Clive Swift, Gabriel Byrne,
Type of Poster
A0
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Germany
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Based on Bob Beak artwork
Size (inches)
33" x 46 10/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

At first glance, the artwork on this large-format (A0) German poster for the 1981 fantasy film Excalibur seems to be the same Bob Peak artwork that appears on posters from around the world, including the US one sheet, but it is not. When viewed up close, and compared to the Peak art, it’s clear that the (German) artist was asked to replicate the original as closely as possible, but the quality is definitely lacking in comparison to Peak. The likely reason the distributor decided to have the art repainted, as opposed to cutting and recomposing Peak’s, is that the one sheet art’s composition is completely unsuited to the landscape format of this A0. I suspect a similar thing happened with the British quad, which features an image of the sword being held aloft that is not the same artwork as on the Peak one sheet. The sword appears alongside an image of Merlin that is the artist’s work.

Excalibur was a passion project for the director John Boorman (Deliverance, Point Blank) who had been trying to kickstart a project based on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table since 1969. After almost a decade he was able to pull together the financial backing to commence filming, with a script based on the 15th century tales of Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory. The film is notable for being entirely shot on location in Ireland and for featuring breakout performances from a number of notable actors, including Helen MirrenGabriel Byrne, and Liam Neeson. Set over several decades, the story follows the machinations of multiple characters, with the wizard Merlin (Nicol Williamson) acting as something of a constant (if deeply eccentric) figure who floats around the rulers of Britain. In one of the first scenes we see him retrieving the titular sword from the Lady of the Lake.

Beginning with a king called Uther Pendragon (Byrne), Merlin first assists him in first reaching a truce with Gorlois, the Duke of Cornwall, before Uther sets his sights on the Duke’s wife Igrayne and war breaks out once more. Merlin reluctantly offers to help him defeat Gorlois and capture Igrayne on the condition that he can have ‘whatever results from this lust’. Without fully understanding the ramifications of the deal, Uther agrees, slays the Duke and has his way with Igrayne (albeit under a Merlin spell that makes him look like the Duke). Nine months later Merlin arrives to claim his agreed prize, a boy born of that night’s passion. The wizard leaves the castle with him, much to Igrayne’s horror, and eventually Uther decides to pursue and attempt to rescue his son. Unfortunately he is attacked in a forest by a group of Gorlois’ men and dies, but not before he thrusts Excalibur into a stone and proclaims, “He who draws the sword from the stone, he shall be king.”

The story then jumps forward several years and sees the boy, now grown into a teenager named Arthur, completely unaware of his origins (Merlin had given him to another couple to raise as their own). Whilst attending a jousting contest with his father and brother, a mixup with a stolen sword sees Arthur easily pulling Excalibur from the stone after hundreds of men have failed to do so in the past. Unaware of the significance of the event, it takes Arthur a while to understand that he is now the rightful king and only a visit from Merlin eventually convinces him. The rest of the film follows Arthur as he rallies knights around him, takes the throne and establishes the famous court and castle of Camelot. He also meets and falls in love with Guinevere (Cherie Lunghi) but eventually tensions rise when Lancelot, one of his trusted knights, becomes infatuated with her. Morgana, a budding sorceress and Arthur’s half-sister, also tricks Merlin into teaching her the Charm of Making, allowing her to take the form of others. When she tricks Arthur into sleeping with her (him believing it to be Guinevere) the resultant child threatens an end to the whole kingdom.

Apparently the film was originally completed to a length of around three hours before having 40 minutes trimmed and I can’t help but feel that allowing the film to breathe might have helped. There’s a lot of story to fit in and it’s fair to say that the cuts do show; I found some of the time jumps and scene to scene transitions pretty jarring, whilst the script doesn’t exactly help matters. Critics at the time also found the film’s story and exposition wanting but most agreed that Boorman had definitely succeeded in making the film visually stunning. The use of real locations along with some incredible costumes such as the shiny chrome armour worn by most of the male cast (Merlin even has a shiny cap) are accentuated by the use of coloured lighting. The film has developed something of a cult reputation over the years, largely thanks to the arresting visuals on display.

If anyone knows who the artist was that repainted the original Bob Peak art, please get in touch.

Codename: Wild Geese / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Codename: Wild Geese
AKA
Geheimcode: Wildgänse (Germany - original title) | Arcobaleno selvaggio [Wild Rainbow] (Italy)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony Dawson)
Starring
Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Klaus Kinski, Manfred Lehmann, Mimsy Farmer
Origin of Film
Italy | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Klaus Kinski, Manfred Lehmann, Mimsy Farmer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
This is a corporation of businessmen... Their business is war. For them, the jungle and the city are the same.

Run Lola Run / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Run Lola Run
AKA
Lola rennt (Germany - original title) | Lola springer (Sweden)
Year of Film
1998
Director
Tom Tykwer
Starring
Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Nina Petri, Armin Rohde, Joachim Król, Ludger Pistor, Suzanne von Borsody
Origin of Film
Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Nina Petri, Armin Rohde, Joachim Król, Ludger Pistor, Suzanne von Borsody,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1999
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Every day every second you make a decision that can change your life

Veronika Voss / one sheet / USA

15.03.17

Poster Poster
Title
Veronika Voss
AKA
Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss [The Longing of Veronika Voss] (Germany - original title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Starring
Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Cornelia Froboess, Annemarie Düringer, Doris Schade, Erik Schumann, Peter Berling, Günther Kaufmann
Origin of Film
Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Cornelia Froboess, Annemarie Düringer, Doris Schade, Erik Schumann, Peter Berling, Günther Kaufmann,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Vincent Topazio
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A striking portrait by the artist Vincent Topazio features on this one sheet for the US release of Veronika Voss. The film was the penultimate one by the legendary German director, screenwriter, producer and actor Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It was released the year of his untimely death (he was only 37) and his final film as director, Querelle, was released posthumously the following year.

The film was an entry in what Fassbinder named the BRD Trilogy; three films all focusing on a single female character and set in West Germany following World War II. BRD is an acronym for Bundesrepublik Deutschland, which was the official name of the country during that period. The first of the trilogy, The Marriage of Maria Braun, was released in 1979 and then, rather confusingly, Fassbinder named Lola (1981) as the third film in the trilogy before Veronika Voss was released in 1982. The films have no narrative connection but have thematic consistencies, with all three focusing on a particular woman in a post-war BRD during the ‘economic miracle’. All three of the stories were originated by Fassbinder but the screenplays were written by frequent collaborator Peter Märthesheimer and his then partner Pea Fröhlich.

Veronika Voss is loosely based on the ill-fated life of actress Sybille Schmitz and the titular lead is played by Rosel Zech. Set in Munich in 1955, the film finds Voss struggling to reclaim former glories and unable to win the kinds of roles she played whilst working for the UFA production company during the war. One night she bumps into sports journalist Robert Krohn (Hilmar Thate) who isn’t aware of her past. The pair strike up a romance, despite Krohn being in a relationship with girlfriend Henriette (Cornelia Froboess). Soon he realises that Voss is addicted to opiates that are being administered by a mysterious neurologist called Dr. Marianne Katz (Annemarie Düringer) who Voss believes is caring for her. When Krohn begins to investigate he realises that Katz is actually bleeding Voss of her finances and is keeping her doped up and under control.

The art on this one sheet is by Vincent Topazio and, although it doesn’t feature his unique signature, he is credited for it on the vinyl release of the film’s soundtrack. Very little is known about the artist and there’s barely any information about him online. He looks to have worked on only a handful of film posters, most of which were for independent/arthouse features. Perhaps his most famous poster is the one he worked on for Paul Verhoeven’s The 4th Man.

Adrian Curry highlighted some of Topazio’s work for his Movie Poster of the Week column on Mubi.com. Other titles include the sequel Zulu Dawn and the 1985 American drama Smooth Talk. Curry notes that he believes Topazio was working from the mid-1970s into the 1980s and also created art for magazine editorials. Emovieposter.com has a number of his posters in their archive. If anyone has any more details about him please get in touch.

The Name of the Rose / one sheet / USA

28.05.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Name of the Rose
AKA
Der Name der Rose (Germany - original title)
Year of Film
1986
Director
Jean-Jacques Annaud
Starring
Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger, Elya Baskin, Michael Lonsdale, Volker Prechtel, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., William Hickey, Michael Habeck, Urs Althaus
Origin of Film
France | Italy | West Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger, Elya Baskin, Michael Lonsdale, Volker Prechtel, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., William Hickey, Michael Habeck, Urs Althaus,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Drew Struzan
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
860101
Tagline
Who, in the name of God, is getting away with murder?

Artwork by the great Drew Struzan on this US one sheet for French director Jean-Jacques Annaud‘s 1986 medieval whodunnit, starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater in one of his first major film roles. Based on the book by Italian novelist, semiotician, philosopher and critic Umberto Eco, the film focuses on the investigation of a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey by the monk William of Baskerville (Connery) aided by his novice Adso of Melk (Slater). The pair must race against time to prevent falsely accused suspects, including Ron Perlman‘s demented hunchback Salvatore, being punished at the hands of the inquisitor Bernardo Gui (F. Murray Abraham).

Struzan’s portrait of a balding Connery is absolutely spot on and easily on par with the one he did three years later for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. According to IMDb, the presence of the ugly characters in the film (and on the poster) is due to Annaud “casting the ugliest actors he could get because he wanted the characters to appear “real”, based on the men in the village where he lived. When he returned to his village, some of the men asked him if he really considered them to be as ugly as the actors, and he said, “Yes.”

Several other international posters for the film, including this German one, depict Connery looking extremely serious and glum.

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

The original trailer is on YouTube.

World on a Wire / one sheet / 2011 re-release / USA

19.06.13

Poster Poster

German wunderkind Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s dystopian science-fiction epic World on a Wire (Welt am Dracht) was one of 40 films that he directed during his prolific career before his untimely death at the age of 37 (in 1982). Considered a pioneer of the New German Cinema movement, Fassbinder originally prepared World on a Wire, his only sci-fi story, for German television as a two-part miniseries. Based on the 1964 novel Simulacron-3 by the American author Daniel F. Galouye, the film is set in an alternative-reality 1970s in which a supercomputer built by the cybernetics & future science institute (IKZ), and known as the Simulacron, is hosting an advanced simulation program of an artificial world. 9000 so-called ‘identity units’ are living as human beings who are totally unaware that their world is entirely artificial with their every move tracked and followed by the computer in order to help (it is implied) large multinational companies with an advanced form of marketing research.

When the technical director of the program dies in a mysterious incident, his replacement Fred Stiller (Klaus Löwitsch) must unravel the mystery of his demise whilst also investigating the sudden disappearance of the institute’s security adviser, Günther Lause. When Stiller’s colleagues claim to have no recollection of Lause and one of the simulated humans commits suicide, he descends into a twisting conspiracy that leads him to question his very existence. To say the film’s themes were prescient would be an understatement, with most web users readily submitting themselves to online tracking cookies (a form of market research) by the likes of Google, and its influence of films like 1999s The Matrix and even James Cameron’s Avatar cannot be denied.

After airing on German television World on a Wire practically disappeared from reach, with bootleg VHS copies of the original broadcasts being the only way fans could watch it. In 2010 the American distributor Janus Films aided in a digital restoration and  US cinema release of the film, with an eventual 2011 blu-ray release on their Criterion label. The Nashville-based designer and artist Sam Smith (AKA Sam’s Myth) was asked to put together a poster for the cinema release, which would also end up being used for the blu-ray cover. In June 2013 I interviewed Sam and the resultant article can be read here. We discussed the World on a Wire poster and this is the excerpt from the interview:

The World on a Wire cover, which was printed as a poster too, is a fantastic design that had the film’s titles as it’s starting point. The final poster came about thanks to the client suggesting a simple iconic image would be better suited for the film. Can you talk about that project and what it meant to you?
Janus entrusted me with this poster design after we did House and Kuroneko together. I remember being very concerned with topping my previous work and trying to come up with my best poster yet. I was also pursuing a very misguided impulse to try to create something visually complex that could compete with what Mondo artists like Tyler Stout and Ken Taylor were doing. I built some comps around this idea, using my translated and modified version of Fassbinder’s original title treatment as a framing device.

Ultimately Janus suggested that it would be great to see me try something simple and iconic, and they referred to two designs I did for Before Sunrise and Before Sunset where a more minimal arrangement of shape and color suggested something deeply about the film and its themes. This is kind of feedback designers dream about at night! I threw two overlapping circles down and studied them as symbol of the multiple worlds/realities in the film. From there, this poster came together quite quickly too.

————

Sam’s blog features an excellent ‘process’ post on the making of the poster that I strongly urge you to check out.

Nosferatu the Vampyre / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Nosferatu the Vampyre
AKA
Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Germany - original title)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Werner Herzog
Starring
Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland, Topor, Walter Ladengast, Dan van Husen, Jan Groth, Carsten Bodinus, Martje Grohmann, Rijk de Gooyer
Origin of Film
West Germany | France
Genre(s) of Film
Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland, Topor, Walter Ladengast, Dan van Husen, Jan Groth, Carsten Bodinus, Martje Grohmann, Rijk de Gooyer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
David Palladini
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Swamp Thing / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Swamp Thing
AKA
Das Ding aus dem Sumpf (West Germany)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Wes Craven
Starring
Louis Jourdan, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Wise, David Hess, Mimi Craven, Dick Durock, Nicholas Worth
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Louis Jourdan, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Wise, David Hess, Mimi Craven, Dick Durock, Nicholas Worth,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Richard Hescox
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820035
Tagline
Science transformed him into a monster. Love changed him even more!

Hellboy II: The Golden Army / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
AKA
--
Year of Film
2008
Director
Guillermo Del Toro
Starring
Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Jeffrey Tambor, Luke Goss, Anna Walton, John Hurt, Seth MacFarlane
Origin of Film
USA | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Jeffrey Tambor, Luke Goss, Anna Walton, John Hurt, Seth MacFarlane,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
BLT & Associates
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Believe it or not he's the good guy

Sleepy Hollow / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Dune / one sheet / advance / photo style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Dune
AKA
Der Wüstenplanet (West Germany)
Year of Film
1984
Director
David Lynch
Starring
Francesca Annis, Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Max von Sydow, Jose Ferrer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Francesca Annis, Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Max von Sydow, Jose Ferrer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - photo style
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A world beyond your experience, beyond your imagination.

Casino Royale / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Casino Royale
AKA
--
Year of Film
2006
Director
Martin Campbell
Starring
Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright
Origin of Film
USA | UK | Germany | Czech Republic
Genre(s) of Film
Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2006
Designer
Vox and Associates
Artist
--
Size (inches)
26 6/8" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

V for Vendetta / one sheet / teaser / wilding – red style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

This is one of four great designs that were printed to be used as wildings (posters intended to be used out in the wild – billboard posting etc).