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Alien / one sheet / studio version / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Alien
AKA
Star Beast (USA - working title) | Alien - Den 8. passager (Denmark)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Studio version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Bemis Balkind
Artist
Philip Gips
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
In space no one can hear you scream.

Beetlejuice / one sheet / version B / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Beetlejuice
AKA
Beetle Juice (USA, UK etc) | Beetlejuice - spiritello porcello [Genie pig] (Italy)
Year of Film
1988
Director
Tim Burton
Starring
Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Sylvia Sidney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Sylvia Sidney,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Version B
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
B.D. Fox Independent
Artist
Carl Ramsey
Size (inches)
27" x 40 2/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
In This House... If You've Seen One Ghost... You Haven't Seen Them All | The Name In Laughter From The Hereafter.

The Dark Knight / one sheet / advance / ‘Why so serious?’ style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Knight
AKA
Rory's First Kiss (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - Why so serious?
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Intralink Film Graphic Design
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Why so serious?

Alien / one sheet / 15th Anniversary / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Alien
AKA
Star Beast (USA - working title) | Alien - Den 8. passager (Denmark)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Killian Studios - 15th Anniversary
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1994
Designer
John Alvin
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
R94/201
Tagline
--

Clockwork Orange / one sheet / 1982 re-release / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Clockwork Orange
AKA
Stanley Kubrick's Clockwork Orange (USA - poster title) | Arancia meccanica (Italy)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Stanley Kubrick
Starring
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Michael Bates, James Marcus, Michael Tarn, Patrick Magee
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Michael Bates, James Marcus, Michael Tarn, Patrick Magee,
Type of Poster
one sheet
Style of Poster
1982 re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
Philip Castle
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
R820023
Tagline
--

Alien / ‘You are my lucky star’ / screen print / variant / Mark Englert / USA

12.01.17

Poster Poster
Title
Alien
AKA
Star Beast (USA - working title) | Alien - Den 8. passager (Denmark)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto,
Type of Poster
Screen print
Style of Poster
Variant
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2012
Designer
Mark Englert
Artist
Mark Englert
Size (inches)
12" x 36"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi horror Alien may be over 35 years old but its impact on cinema and pop culture is still being felt today. The film featured a breakout performance by Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, a member of a deep space mining crew who respond to a distress signal on an unexplored planet and end up fighting for their lives when a malevolent alien creature is brought back onto their ship The Nostromo. Despite countless imitators over the years no one has yet managed to better the original and Scott himself even tried (and fell short IMO) with 2012’s prequel Prometheus.

An excellent but markedly different sequel would follow with 1986s Aliens and I have a hard time choosing between the two when it comes to my personal favourite. Two other significantly less well-received sequels followed in the next 11 years but they did nothing to dampen enthusiasm for the original. British games developers The Creative Assembly were given full access to the 20th Century Fox archives for the film whilst they were creating Alien Isolation, a critically acclaimed first-person survival horror set 15 years after events in the original film and released in 2014.

 

This screen print by the American artist Mark Englert was created for the 2012 San Diego Comic Con and was sold at the Gallery 1988 stall. Englert, whose official website is here, first appeared on collectors’ radars with his print for The Thing that was released earlier in 2012. Since then he has worked on a number of landscape format prints (typically 12″ x 36″) featuring scenes from cult films and TV shows. One of his most popular releases was one for The Walking Dead that was released around the same time as this Alien print. Each print is given a name that relates to the property in some way. In this case ‘You are my lucky star’ is the name of the song that Ellen Ripley (Weaver) sings as she’s climbing into the space suit at the end of Alien.

Check out this interview with Englert on Collider.com which was carried out at the same Comic Con and they also featured him in their first ever ‘Limited Paper’ column. Englert’s own site features the posters and other items he’s worked on so far, which includes vinyl sleeves and more. There’s a short biography on his website which mentions he was born in 1979. There’s an excellent interview with Mark on 411posters.com here.

He has a store here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

Never Give a Inch / one sheet / 1975 re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Never Give a Inch
AKA
Sometimes a Great Notion (USA - original title) | Never Give An Inch (UK)
Year of Film
1970
Director
Paul Newman
Starring
Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Lee Remick, Michael Sarrazin, Richard Jaeckel, Linda Lawson, Cliff Potts, Sam Gilman, Lee de Broux
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Lee Remick, Michael Sarrazin, Richard Jaeckel, Linda Lawson, Cliff Potts, Sam Gilman, Lee de Broux,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27" x 40 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

The Dark Knight / one sheet / advance / Wilding / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Knight
AKA
Rory's First Kiss (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Wilding
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
BLT & Associates
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40 1/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Excalibur / one sheet / 80s re-release / USA

17.05.11

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
One sheet
Style of Poster
80s re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Murray Smith (Smolen, Smith and Connolly)
Artist
Bob Peak
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810029
Tagline
Forged by a god. Foretold by a wizard. Found by a king.

Because of the presence of a GCIU logo, this is likely not from the 1981 original release but a re-release from later in the 1983. This note from an emovieposter.com auction explains why:

Note that there are two versions of this poster: one with a GAU printer logo and one with GCIU logo. We have been told that the GCIU logo wasn’t trademarked until July 1983, so the theory is that any poster that carries the GCIU logo must be from 1983 or later and are either theatrical re-release posters or possibly video store posters. We do not know for sure.

The Dark Knight / one sheet / advance / burning building style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Knight
AKA
Rory's First Kiss (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - burning building
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
BLT & Associates
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 >1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Welcome to a world without rules.

The Dark Knight / one sheet / advance / wall style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Knight
AKA
Rory's First Kiss (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - wall
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Intralink Film Graphic Design
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Why so serious?

Excalibur / one sheet / teaser / USA

17.05.11

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
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810029
Tagline
--

Superman III / one sheet / advance / USA

03.11.12

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
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1983
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Larry Salk
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Richard Pryor was clearly seen as a major draw for audiences who were contemplating going to watch the third entry in the Christopher Reeve series of Superman films, and the artwork on this US advance one sheet was reused for the final design. In the end, the inclusion of the infamous comedian proved one of the films biggest flaws since most of his scenes involved slapstick comedy, and his character’s daft antics serve to almost completely eradicate any of the gravitas the previous films had manage to establish. Pryor had appeared in a string of successful comedies during the early 1980s, including Stir Crazy (1980), but his casting in this film apparently came about after he mentioned on a US talk show how much he’d like to appear in a Superman film.

Richard Lester, the director who had completed work on the troubled Superman II after Richard Donner had been fired, took on directing duties for the sequel. The story sees Pryor’s computer ‘genius’ Gus Gorman blackmailed into using his skills for wealthy megalomaniac Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn), whose various plans for world domination are foiled by Superman. After attempting to cripple the superhero with synthesised kryptonite, the plan goes awry when a key ingredient is missed and, rather than stopping him, the material causes Superman to turn into an evil incarnation of his former self. This ends in a battle between the righteous Clark Kent and the malicious Superman and after successfully defeating his alter-ego, the good Superman heads to Webster’s lair in the grand canyon where a giant supercomputer built by Gorman almost succeeds in defeating the hero.

The film features a sequence that terrified me when I watched it as a child, which sees the supercomputer turning self-aware and forcefully changing Webster’s sister into a bizarre cyborg creature.

The poster art is credited to an American artist called Larry Salk about whom I’ve been able to discover very little. A now defunct gallery site described him as a freelance illustrator who worked on around 165 film posters, as well as painting for advertisements, video game covers, record sleeves and more. IMPAwards features a few of his posters (I have his one sheet for the 3D re-release of House of Wax) and he was the artist who painted the famous portrait of Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld. He apparently passed away in 2004.

The late artist John Berkey painted a scene from the finale on the international one sheet.

$ / one sheet / style A / USA

15.09.17

Poster Poster
Title
$
AKA
Dollars (Alt. USA title) | The Heist (UK)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Richard Brooks
Starring
Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Gert Fröbe, Robert Webber, Scott Brady, Arthur Brauss, Robert Stiles, Wolfgang Kieling, Bob Herron, Christiane Maybach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Gert Fröbe, Robert Webber, Scott Brady, Arthur Brauss, Robert Stiles, Wolfgang Kieling, Bob Herron, Christiane Maybach,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
71/355
Tagline
This is a moving picture!

A simple design features on this one sheet for the US release of the 1971 crime-caper $ (AKA Dollars AKA The Heist). The film was written and directed by the late American director Richard Brooks who is best known for Blackboard Jungle (1955), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and In Cold Blood (1967). It stars Warren Beatty who was arguably at the height of his career following his appearance in Bonnie and Clyde a few years earlier. He had just finished work on Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs Miller which was released the same year as $. The film also marked the third screen appearance of Goldie Hawn and features Goldfinger himself Gert Fröbe. $ is notable for being filmed on location, including in Hamburg, Germany (where it is largely set) as well as in Sweden and San Diego, California.

The film’s plot is described on IMDb:

[$ is a] caper film about crooks robbing crooks, set in Germany where American bank security expert Joe Collins (Beatty) plots with call-girl Dawn Divine (Hawn) to rob three safety deposit boxes from three criminals; a local drug dealer known as the Candy Man, a Las Vegas mobster, and a crooked U.S. Army sergeant. The heist goes off with few complications. But when Candy Man and the Sarge find their money gone and figure out that Dawn (whom they all have gotten to know) is behind it, they team up to try to get their money back.

Despite receiving solid critical notices $ failed to set the box-office alight and was considered something of a flop on release.

This is one of several one sheets printed for the release of the film and some of the others can be seen by checking out this page on emovieposter.com. I’m unsure who was responsible for the design of this particular poster (known as ‘style A’) so if anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

The Dark Knight / one sheet / advance / Bat Bike style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Dark Knight
AKA
Rory's First Kiss (USA - fake working title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance - Bat Bike
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
BLT & Associates
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Frightmare / quad / UK

10.04.17

Poster Poster
Title
Frightmare
AKA
Cover Up (USA)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Pete Walker
Starring
Rupert Davies, Sheila Keith, Deborah Fairfax, Paul Greenwood, Kim Butcher, Fiona Curzon, John Yule, Trisha Mortimer
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Rupert Davies, Sheila Keith, Deborah Fairfax, Paul Greenwood, Kim Butcher, Fiona Curzon, John Yule, Trisha Mortimer,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
What terrifying craving made her kill... and kill... and kill...?

This is the original UK quad for the release of Frightmare, a 1974 film by the British director, producer and writer Pete Walker, who specialised in exploitation pictures during the 1960s and 1970s. Walker started out making shoestring budget sexploitation pictures, including School for Sex that were often relative hits in the UK. This worked out well for him since his films were almost always self-financed and thus most of the profits were his to keep and plough into the next feature. In the early 1970s, Walker grew tired of feeding the ‘dirty mack brigade’ and turned his hand to horror.

Frightmare, released in the US as Cover Up, was one of two horror films that Walker directed in 1974, with the other being the private-prison set House of Whipcord. Both films saw Walker reuniting with his regular screenwriting partner David McGillivray, and both feature memorable appearances by Sheila Keith, who would become another regular. In this film she plays Dorothy Yates, a cannibalistic killer who at the start of the film is sentenced to 15 years in prison. She is sent down along with her husband Edmund (Rupert Davies) who chose to take the punishment with her, even though he had nothing to do with the killings. The film picks up after their release and we find that their adopted daughter Jackie (Deborah Fairfax) is living in London and struggling to care for their biological daughter Debbie (Kim Butcher) a wayward 15-year-old who doesn’t realise her parents are still alive.

We follow Jackie as she leaves London to visit her parents, now living in a remote farmhouse. There she delivers a mysterious package to her mother who appears frail and innocent. Edmund fears that his wife is up to her old tricks but Jackie isn’t convinced and returns back to London. Soon we discover that Dorothy has put an advert in a magazine offering Tarot Card readings and willing customers are visiting the farmhouse. When she begins by checking that they have no close family or friends, or indeed anyone that would miss them, it’s fair to say that things aren’t looking up for her clueless customers. At the same time, Jackie struggles to control Debbie who is beginning to show signs that she has inherited her mother’s habits.

Arguably the best of Walker’s feature films, Frightmare is a masterclass in building tension and working towards a shocking final act. The film makes great use of various locations, including several in a London which looks barely recognisable today. Sheila Keith’s performance, in particular, is hugely memorable and her ability to portray frail innocence in one scene followed by genuinely disturbing menace in another has to be seen. In this Guardian article about Walker and his films, he describes his working relationship with Keith and how her on screen presence definitely didn’t match her off screen one; “Sheila Keith was a lady who lived a quiet life with her dogs and her cats and came into work to do, brilliantly, whatever was asked of her,” says Walker. “She was like your nice old aunt who would serve you cucumber sandwiches before ripping into a dismembered limb – without complaining.”

This British quad, which features crude artwork of a menacing Sheila Keith, was clearly designed by the team responsible for the quad for House of Whipcord (see here) and I feel fairly certain that the same artist or artists were involved too. If anyone knows who was responsible please get in touch.

House of Whipcord / quad / UK

12.12.14

Poster Poster
Title
House of Whipcord
AKA
Stag Model Slaughter (USA - reissue)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Pete Walker
Starring
Barbara Markham, Patrick Barr, Ray Brooks, Ann Michelle, Sheila Keith, Dorothy Gordon, Robert Tayman, Ivor Salter, Karan David, Celia Quicke
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Barbara Markham, Patrick Barr, Ray Brooks, Ann Michelle, Sheila Keith, Dorothy Gordon, Robert Tayman, Ivor Salter, Karan David, Celia Quicke,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 39 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
... and no one escaped...

This is the original UK quad for the release of House of Whipcord from the British director, producer and writer Pete Walker, who specialised in exploitation pictures during the 1960s and 1970s. Walker started out making shoestring budget sexploitation pictures, including School for Sex that were often relative hits in the UK, which worked out well for him since his films were almost always self-financed and thus most of the profits were his to keep and plough into the next feature. In the early 1970s, Walker grew tired of feeding the ‘dirty mack brigade’ and turned his hand to horror.

Whipcord is certainly one of the directors most memorable films and had a plot that was all but guaranteed to rile certain sections of the British press at the time of release. The film begins in London and focuses on young French model Ann-Marie Di Verney (Penny Irving) who has moved to the capital and has started to pose in nude photoshoots. One evening she is seduced by a mysterious character named, rather ominously Mark E. Desade (played by Robert Tayman) and a relationship develops between the pair. Sometime later Mark invites Ann-Marie to ‘visit his parents’ who live out in the country and only when she arrives does she realise that it was all a ruse to get Ann-Marie into a secret illegal prison which is being ruled over by his unhinged mother Mrs Wakehurst (Barbara Markham) and three ‘guards’, including the sadistic Walker (a memorable performance from regular collaborator Sheila Keith – note the character name!)

Mrs Wakehurst is a former school mistress whose corrupt regime led one of her charges to commit suicide but, believing she did nothing wrong and that lax morals led to the corruption in the school, she seduced the judge who was trying her, Justice Bailey (Patrick Barr), and managed to escape sentence. She then persuaded him to set up what he believed would be a private correctional institute in which ‘girls with loose morals’ would be ‘reeducated’ properly and then let back into the world. As Ann Marie and other inmates discover, the truth is far more horrifying.

The film was critically mauled over here but did solid business in cinemas and was later released in US cinemas through AIP. I’m unsure who is responsible for the design and artwork on this poster so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

The original trailer can be viewed here.

The Hudsucker Proxy / quad / UK

03.01.17

Poster Poster

This is the UK quad for the release of the Coen Brothers’ 1994 film The Hudsucker Proxy. The script for the film was over a decade in gestation and Joel Coen began writing it with Sam Raimi during the editing of the latter’s Evil Dead (1981). The trio began sharing a house during the filming of Raimi’s Crimewave (1985) and the brothers’ Blood Simple so the script continued to evolve. It wasn’t until the completion of Barton Fink in 1991 that the brothers decided to fully focus on it.

They decided that they wanted to work on more of a more mainstream film and felt the script needed a decent budget behind it. Legendary Hollywood producer Joel Silver, who was a fan of the brothers’ previous films, agreed to help them and pitched it to Warner Bros. Further financial backing came from the now defunct PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, a British-American production company responsible for some of the biggest box-office hits of the 1980s and 1990s, including Batman (1989) and Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). Note their logo in a prominent position on the left side of the credit block.

The film marked the first time the Coens had worked with big name stars, with most of their previous casts made up of relative unknowns (many of whom would go on to find fame afterwards). Set in 1958 in the world of big business, the story sees idealistic business school graduate Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins) arrive in New York City looking for a job. Without the necessary experience he ends up working as a mailroom clerk in a manufacturing company called Hudsucker Industries. When the founder and president Waring Hudsucker commits suicide during a business meeting (a classic scene involving an open window) the nefarious chairman of the board, Sidney J. Mussburger (Paul Newman) realises that all of Hudsucker’s shares are to be sold to the public. 

Mussburger hatches a plan to buy the stock at what will be a knockdown price by installing what he sees as an incompetent in the top role, the titular proxy, hoping to depress the share price. Whilst delivering mail one day, Norville makes a pitch to Mussburger that involves a simple drawing of a ring (“Y’know for kids!”) and the latter thinks he has found the perfect person. Things don’t go exactly to plan when the board agree to produce Norville’s idea, which turns out to be the phenomenally successful hula hoop (invented for real in 1958). Meanwhile, an undercover reporter called Amy Archer (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has joined the firm as Norville’s secretary hoping to write a juicy article on the man who replaced Hudsucker. She soon discovers the details of the plot but has a hard time convincing her superiors. Norville allows success to go to his head and begins acting like any other uncaring tycoon. However, Mussburger discovers Amy’s real identity and uses this against him. The finale takes place at the top of the firm’s tower, as depicted on this poster, and sees the Coens at their most surreal.

This UK quad features a design that has clearly borrowed from the US one sheet (see here) with an enterprising British designer reusing the image of Tim Robbins holding the hula hoop and replacing the hoop with wads of dollar bills. The same images of Paul Newman and Jennifer Jason Leigh are reused and the cogs seen on the one sheet are also present. If anyone has any ideas who designed it please get in touch.

An American Werewolf in London / quad / UK

01.03.13

Poster Poster
Title
An American Werewolf in London
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Landis
Starring
David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, John Woodvine, Brian Glover, David Schofield
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, John Woodvine, Brian Glover, David Schofield,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 39 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
From the director of Animal House - a different kind of animal | A masterpiece of terror

Director John Landis‘ horror classic An American Werewolf in London was, unusually for the time, released simultaneously in North American and British cinemas. The film was shot in the UK with a largely local cast and crew thanks to the Eady Levy, which provided funding for British productions based on taxed box-office receipts. The levy attracted a number of foreign producers and directors including Stanley KubrickSidney Lumet and John Huston. The levy lasted for almost thirty years before being wound-up in 1985.

It was this incentive that saw Landis and his producing partners (including frequent collaborator George Folsey Jr.) move over here for the duration of filming, and although the two lead actors (David Naughton and Griffin Dunne) are American, the majority of the rest of the cast are British, including the gorgeous Jenny Agutter. The film makes excellent use of several London locations, with a memorable sequence on the Underground, plus the climactic scenes shot in and around Piccadilly Circus. There is an excellent article on the Guardian website that was written by Landis in 2009 in which he recalls his memories of shooting the film.

Although AWIL was released on the same day in each country, the American and British posters couldn’t be any more different. The USA one sheet features an enigmatic shot of the two lead actors glancing over their shoulders with a look of concern whist a full moon shines above them. There’s not even a glimpse of the titular creature, whereas this UK quad has no qualms about featuring a large shot taken from the famous transformation scene. It also features the bizarre inclusion of a black and white image of a nude Naughton confronting an old lady after waking up in London Zoo.

Fans of the film would be wise to pick up the 2009 blu-ray release as it features a must-watch documentary on the film called Beware the Moon: Remembering ‘An American Werewolf in London’ that was conceived and filmed by life-long AWIL devotee Paul Davis. It features the majority of the surviving cast and crew and has clearly been put together by someone who cares about the film deeply.

High Spirits / quad / UK

06.06.17

Poster Poster
Title
High Spirits
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Neil Jordan
Starring
Peter O'Toole, Liz Smith, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gallagher, Martin Ferrero, Connie Booth, Daryl Hannah, Liam Neeson
Origin of Film
Ireland | UK | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter O'Toole, Liz Smith, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gallagher, Martin Ferrero, Connie Booth, Daryl Hannah, Liam Neeson,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Jack's American, married and looking for romance. Mary's beautiful, Irish and 200 years old... Does their love stand a ghost of a chance? | A supernatural comedy

This is the UK quad for the release of Irish director Neil Jordan‘s (The Crying Game) 1988 comedy High Spirits. Filmed on location and in a studio in Ireland, the story was written by Jordan and focuses on an old, run-down castle/hotel that is home to the Plunkett family, which only consists of Peter (Peter O’Toole) and his mother (Liz Smith) and a motley group of staff. Peter owes money to an American financier and is struggling to work out how to stop the castle defaulting into his hands. After half-heartedly attempting to hang himself, he hits on the idea of selling the hotel as the most haunted in Ireland after his mother reminds him about all the ghosts that supposedly haunt the place. Following a montage of the staff setting up various haunting gags around the castle, the first group of all-American guests arrive at the castle.

Jack Crawford (Steve Guttenberg) is joined by his wife Sharon (Beverly D’Angelo, best known for National Lampoon’s Vacation films) and it’s clear that their marriage is under some strain. Also there is a sceptical paranormal investigator and his family, plus a wannabe priest on a ‘final hurrah’ and a kooky dancer (Jennifer Tilly). The staff soon stage several attempts at convincing the guests that they are surrounded by ghosts but all fall flat. Jack, despondent with how unimpressed his wife is, stumbles into an old area of the castle whilst drunk and witnesses the apparition of two real ghosts, Mary Plunkett Brogan (Daryl Hannah) and Martin Brogan (Liam Neeson). The husband and wife have been stuck in a loop, enacting the moment that Martin fatally stabbed Mary in a fit of jealous rage. Somehow Jack interrupts the ghostly murder and Mary is able to see him.

The rest of the the film sees the pair fall in love, whilst Sharon also falls for Martin. Meanwhile, the other real ghosts stage paranormal events after getting fed up of Peter’s half-hearted efforts to scare. The film is energetic for sure but fairly nonsensical in places and the acting varies wildly across the cast. Apparently Jordan claims the film was taken out of his hands during the editing stage and the version released in cinemas doesn’t match his vision for the film. It’s clear that several scenes have been cut and truncated and it barely hangs together towards the end. On a positive note, the location work is excellent and the production design is solid. O’Toole works well as the eccentric Peter and D’Angelo and Tilly are fun to watch.

I’m not sure who is responsible for the artwork which is unique to this UK quad and there’s no obvious signature on it. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

V for Vendetta / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Highlander / quad / UK

07.09.11

Poster Poster
Title
Highlander
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Russell Mulcahy
Starring
Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery, Beatie Edney, Alan North, Jon Polito, Sheila Gish, Hugh Quarshie, Christopher Malcolm
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery, Beatie Edney, Alan North, Jon Polito, Sheila Gish, Hugh Quarshie, Christopher Malcolm,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
From another time comes a man of great power. A man of incredible strength. An immortal about to face his greatest challenge... | There can be only one

British artist Brian Bysouth is responsible for this great design for the classic fantasy film Highlander that spawned several sequels and TV series. It’s significantly more interesting than the dull US poster. This Bysouth design can also be found in a one sheet format.

During my interview with Brian this poster was discussed:

I like it because of the amount of detail you can see, much like your painting for Highlander.
Thank you, I was pleased with that one. It was an enjoyable job and, fortunately, when asked to do a design for that type of film I was usually quick to identify what the key image should be. Phil Howard-Jones, the advertising director at EMI, who I did the work for, liked it very much and eventually he kindly returned it to me.

The trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube.

Legend / quad / UK

10.10.16

Poster Poster
Title
Legend
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Peter O'Farrell, Kiran Shah, Annabelle Lanyon, Robert Picardo
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Peter O'Farrell, Kiran Shah, Annabelle Lanyon, Robert Picardo,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
"I am Darkness"

John Alvin artwork features on this British quad for the release of director Ridley Scott‘s 1985 fantasy oddity, Legend. It’s a film that is often scrubbed from both Scott and star Tom Cruise’s filmography whenever their previous films are discussed. There are a number of reasons for this, not least the fact that it had a troubled production as well as a fairly brutal critical mauling. Cruise’s performance is a shadow of what the actor brought to Tony Scott’s seminal Top Gun only a year later. part of the blame for this has to be down to the way the film was extensively edited by both Scott and the studio prior to release. Scott’s first version ran 125 minutes and this was then cut down to 113 minutes following some test screenings. The final UK (European?) release was 95 minutes and US audiences had another 6 minutes removed for their version.

There are things to admire about the film, including the production and set design which created some memorable environments in which the action takes place. Tim Curry is near unrecognisable as the evil Darkness (as featured on this poster) and the make-up effects, created by Rob Bottin and his team, are incredible. Mia Sara also impresses as Lili and it’s hard to believe she was just 16 at the time of filming. Whilst it failed to recoup its budget on initial release, the film has definitely gained something of a cult following in the years since, particularly with those coming of age around the time of its release on home video. 

The late American designer and artist John Alvin was responsible for over 135 film poster designs over a thirty year period. Alvin painted many unforgettable pieces of artwork, including Blade Runner and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, and this image he created for Legend was used around the globe to promote the film, including in multiple European countries and on the international one sheet. Alvin sadly passed away too early, just shy of his 6oth birthday (in 2008), but his fantastic designs will live on for generations to come.

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

Sword of the Valiant / quad / UK

19.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
Sword of the Valiant
AKA
Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (full title - USA)
Year of Film
1984
Director
Stephen Weeks
Starring
Miles O'Keeffe, Cyrielle Clair, Leigh Lawson, Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Peter Cushing, Ronald Lacey, Lila Kedrova, John Rhys-Davies
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Miles O'Keeffe, Cyrielle Clair, Leigh Lawson, Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Peter Cushing, Ronald Lacey, Lila Kedrova, John Rhys-Davies,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1984
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
Men of Iron... Blades of Steel

British director Stephen Weeks had already made a film loosely based on the Arthurian poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight that was released in 1973 as Gawain and the Green Knight and starred the singer Murray Head as Gawain. Unfortunately, a falling out between producer and studio meant that the film was not properly distributed and pretty much disappeared without trace. 10 years later the notorious producers in charge of Cannon Films, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, were casting around for a new project and Weeks managed to persuade them to remake his original story with just a handful of tweaks. Quite frankly, everyone involved should have stayed away as the result is a risible mess.

Practically the only thing of note are the actors that the producers managed to persuade to join the cast, which includes the late Peter Cushing (in one of his final appearances) and Trevor Howard, as well as star of the Indiana Jones series John Rhys-Davies. Unquestionably their biggest coup was securing Sean Connery to play the Green Knight, a performance he managed to squeeze around his role in the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again, a task made easy by the fact that he only appears in a few scenes. But what an appearance! If you thought his costume in Zardoz was bizarre, just wait until you see him covered in bright green armour, glitter, bare-chested, covered in fake tan and wearing small antlers on his head! He certainly gives it some gusto and seems to enjoy prancing around the sets swinging his giant axe.

The story begins inside a great banqueting hall with an unhappy king (Howard) stopping a planned feast because he’s fed up with the nobles who he feels don’t have much worth. He challenges them all to prove that they’re worthy of eating from his table. Just at that moment Connery’s Green Knight bursts through the door on horseback and proceeds to taunt the people in the hall with a challenge to cut off his head in order to prove their courage. At first no one accepts, but then a plucky young squire called Gawain (a Barbie-haired Miles O’Keeffe) who was delivering the king’s new suit of armour decides to take up the challenge. Gawain swings the axe and the Green Knight’s head is removed but the whole thing is a strange ruse and only a minute later the Knight is whole again and turning the axe on Gawain.

Just before delivering the final blow he decides to spare the squire and offers him a year to solve an odd rhyming riddle. When the Green Knight has gone, the king is thrilled with Gawain’s bravery and immediately knights him and sends him off on a quest to solve the riddle. The rest of the film moves from scene to scene without much urgency and features some dreadful battle scenes and sword-fighting that make it look like an amateur production. The script is truly terrible and it’s clear that whole scenes were truncated heavily as half of it doesn’t make much sense. Perhaps worst of all is the abysmal synthesiser score that warbles in the background of every scene.

In the end, this film would also fall foul of producer and distributor problems and wasn’t given a proper release and poor reviews didn’t help much at all. Weeks would never direct again. This poster features artwork that I believe to be unique to the British quad and I’ve been unable to find out who is responsible. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

Check out the ridiculous trailer on YouTube.