You searched for: USA

North Dallas Forty / one sheet / USA

29.07.16

Poster Poster
Title
North Dallas Forty
AKA
--
Year of Film
1979
Director
Ted Kotcheff
Starring
Nick Nolte, Mac Davis, Charles Durning, Dayle Haddon, Bo Svenson, John Matuszak, Steve Forrest, G.D. Spradlin, Dabney Coleman, Savannah Smith Boucher
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Nick Nolte, Mac Davis, Charles Durning, Dayle Haddon, Bo Svenson, John Matuszak, Steve Forrest, G.D. Spradlin, Dabney Coleman, Savannah Smith Boucher,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Spiros Angelikas
Artist
Morgan Kane
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
790134
Tagline
"Wait till you see the weird part."

An illustration by the American artist Morgan Kane features on this US one sheet for the release of the 1979 American Football themed North Dallas Forty. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Peter Gent, the film is a semi-fictional tale set around a Texan team, here called the North Dallas Cowboys but clearly based on the world-famous Dallas Cowboys. The film was directed by Ted Kotcheff, the Canadian director probably best known for First Blood (Rambo) and Weekend at Bernie’s. The two lead characters depicted on this poster are played by Nick Nolte and the Texan singer-songwriter Mac Davis, here making his debut turn as an actor (with multiple roles to follow).

The plot focuses on the antics of the team’s players both on and off the field, with all the infamous sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll shenanigans of that period of the NFL. Nolte plays Elliot, an ageing superstar player who, along with Davis’ quarterback Seth, get up to all manner of hijinks, much to the club owner’s consternation. The film looks at how the excesses off the pitch affect the sport on it in a similar (slightly more comical) fashion to Oliver Stone’s 1999 film Any Given Sunday.

Morgan Kane was born in 1916 and graduated from the Cleveland Art Institute in 1942. During WWII he worked in Washington for the US Air Force, illustrating flying manuals and safety posters. When the war was over he moved to Chicago where he worked on commerical artwork for the likes of Coca Cola. Wanting to try his hand at magazine and book artwork, Kane then moved to Connecticut with his family and completed illustrations for a variety of magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Esquire, as well as on book covers for several publishers.

In 1963 he opened a photographic studio and worked on advertisements and more book covers, plus he took the celebrated photograph of the long pair of legs with Roger Moore underneath that featured on the poster for the Bond film ‘For Your Eyes Only‘. He would also illustrate tens of movie posters for the likes of Paramount Pictures, Universal and Warner Brothers. Other notable film posters he worked on include Meatballs, Coast to Coast and Sunburn (check out the emovieposter.com archive for images of them).

The poster was designed by Spiros Angelikas who was a prolific designer and artist of film posters during the 1970s and 1980s. He owned a design agency called Spiros Associates. Some of his most famous work includes the poster he designed for Friday the 13th, with artist Alex Ebel, his work on the Indiana Jones series, and for his collaborations with the legendary artist Richard Amsel. They worked on Raiders of the Lost Ark and Nijinsky together and there’s a great article on the late artist’s website about their efforts. He also worked on several of the posters for the original Star Trek films, including the gorgeous Bob Peak original. There’s an interesting article by Angelikas’ son Harry on the Trek Core website which has photographs of concepts for the posters by Spiros that never made it to the print stage.

The Jewel of the Nile / one sheet / USA

11.12.17

Poster Poster
Title
The Jewel of the Nile
AKA
--
Year of Film
1985
Director
Lewis Teague
Starring
Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Spiros Focás, Avner Eisenberg, Paul David Magid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Spiros Focás, Avner Eisenberg, Paul David Magid,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert Rodriguez
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
They're back again... Romancing a brand new stone.

Colourful artwork, and a nicely stylised logo, feature on this one sheet for the 1985 action-adventure sequel, The Jewel of the Nile. It followed only a year after the original film, Romancing the Stone, which was directed by Robert Zemeckis and had been a worldwide box-office hit, launching the career of star Kathleen Turner and cementing Michael Douglas‘ leading-man credentials. The sequel was apparently rushed into production, with both leads contractually tied to making it, but Zemeckis declined to return to the director’s chair. Douglas and Turner were apparently both unsure about returning, although the former was onboard as producer and the latter threatened to leave the project until Douglas intervened and had the script rewritten to assuage her worries. Danny DeVito also reprises his comedic role from the first film.

Jewel was helmed by Lewis Teague, who is perhaps best known for a pair of animal-themed Stephen King adaptations; Cujo (1983) and Cat’s Eye (also 1985). Reports during filming painted a poor picture of the director who was apparently struggling with the location shooting and action scenes. The plot finds ex-smuggler Jack (Douglas) and novelist Joan (Turner) onboard their yacht, moored off a sleepy town in the South of France. The love affair that started during ‘Romancing…’ is growing stale as Joan finds the easy life too boring. At a book signing event she meets Omar (Spiros Focás), a charming Arab ruler, and is invited to travel with him back to his country to write his biography. Despite Jack’s protestations, she takes up the offer.

Soon after Joan leaves Jack meets up with Ralph (DeVito), the swindler who is still after the titular stone from the first film. He’s then visited by another arab called Tarak (Paul David Magid) who warns Jack that Omar is not the benevolent ruler he claimed to Joan and that she’s in danger. He also informs him that Omar is in possession of “The Jewel of the Nile”. As Tarak finishes his explanation the yacht mysteriously explodes and so Jack and Ralph set off to track down Joan and see if they can’t get their hands on the “Jewel”. Despite less than favourable critical notices, the film was another box-office success, earning even more than the original film.

With thanks to readers of the site, the artist of the poster has been identified as Robert Rodriguez, an American artist not to be confused with the Texas-based film director of the same name. I own at least two other posters that were painted by Rodriguez, the US one sheet for the Jack Nicholson-starring Two Jakes (1990) and the US one sheet for a 1994 re-release of The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

His own website, which can be seen here, features a biography which I’ll reproduce in its entirety in case the site ever disappears:

Chances are you’ve been having breakfast with Robert Rodriguez for years and never knew it….If you’ve ever fixed yourself a bowl of Quaker Oatmeal, his painting of the old Quaker has probably been watching over you as you ate.

After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), he embarked on a career as an illustrator, picking up awards and medals along the way.  From being a Grammy Award finalist for best album cover art, to gold and silver medals, to receiving a platinum award for his “Cowboys of the Silver Screen” postage stamps this last year.  From doing Broadway theater posters for plays like, “Anything Goes”, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, “Sister Act” and “Lend Me A Tenor”, to a SuperBowl poster, a half dozen Ringling Bros. Circus posters, several movie posters, and creating the poster art over the last four years for the Tales of the Cocktail event held in New Orleans every summer, he is finally finding time to do some gallery work, exploring new directions and larger paintings.

Willow / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Willow
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Excellent artwork by John Alvin features on this US one sheet for the release of Ron Howard‘s 1988 fantasy film Willow, which was conceived of by George Lucas. British actor Warwick Davis features as the eponymous hero and the part had been written specifically with him in mind after he appeared as an Ewok in Lucas’ Return of the Jedi. The story begins as the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) hears of a prophecy that a newborn child will bring about her downfall and sets about imprisoning all pregnant women in her castle’s dungeon.

When a child is born and identified as the one in the prophecy, the child’s mother manages to convince the mid-wife to secret her daughter out of the castle. When Queen Bavmorda discovers what has happened she sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and leader of her army General Kael in pursuit. Before being caught, the midwife manages to put the child on a raft on a river and the child ends up being found by Willow Ufgood (Davis) a a member of a race of hobbit-like people called the Nelwyns. Initially caring for the baby with his wife, Willow is persuaded to take it away from their village and back to the Daikinis (humans) when it becomes clear that there are people hunting for it. As the adventure begins, Willow and his companions soon realise they’re in for more than they bargained for.

Featuring a great performance by Val Kilmer as a selfish, reluctant hero the film still stands up today as a fun and engaging fantasy adventure with several memorable sequences and a brilliant score by James Horner. Despite being critically derided on release and not fairing too well at the box- office it has nevertheless grown something of a cult following and is notable for its use of ground-breaking special effects by Industrial Light and Magic that were used for a sequence involving a morph between several animals and a human.

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. The gallery of his posters on IMPAwards gives you an idea of the range of his work. Alvin sadly passed away too early, just shy of his 60th 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.

Lost Highway / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Lost Highway
AKA
--
Year of Film
1997
Director
David Lynch
Starring
Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Robert Loggia, Robert Blake
Origin of Film
France | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Robert Loggia, Robert Blake,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Split heads
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1997
Designer
Bemis Balkind
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This is the US one sheet for the release of David Lynch‘s mystery thriller Lost Highway. Co-written with American author Barry Gifford, whose novel Lynch adapted for his 1990 film Wild at Heart, the film is a classic Lynchian mind-bender that resolutely defies explanation. The story begins with Bill Pullman as Fred Madison, a Jazz saxophonist who is living with his wife Renee (Patricia Arquette) in Los Angeles. One day the intercom to his flat buzzes and when he answers it an unknown man says “Dick Laurent is dead.” The man is nowhere to be seen when Fred looks out of his window, but a few days later a mysterious tape appears on the Madison’s doorstep. The video features shaky footage outside their flat and over the next few days more tapes appear that eventually move inside and show the pair sleeping, much to their horror.

At a party Fred meets a mysterious man (played by Robert Blake in his final film role) who, in a memorably creepy sequence, tells Fred that he’s at his flat at that moment and proves it by getting him to call his home phone, which the stranger then answers. The next morning another tape appears and Fred is horrified to see it’s footage of him covered in blood with a dismembered Renee next to him. He is arrested, charged with murder and sentenced to death. Whilst on death row Fred sees strange visions and starts to suffer from painful headaches before he inexplicably morphs into another person, a car mechanic called Pete Dayton (Balthazar Getty) much to the confusion of the prison staff. Because Pete has committed no crime, he is released into the care of his parents and, after a period of adjustment, he gets back to his job. The rest of the film sees Pete dealing with the menacing gangster Mr Eddy (a memorable performance by Robert Loggia) and a mysterious blonde called Alice Wakefield (Arquette) who takes him down a dark path which has the mystery man waiting at the end of it.

Lynch and Gifford have always refused to fully explain the story but that hasn’t stopped fans of the film from trying to decode its many mysteries. Check out this IMDb page for some of the theories but the film definitely encourages you to draw your own conclusions after the credits roll. Lost Highway features a number of notable performances, particularly from Pullman and Arquette, as well as multiple cameos from the likes of Richard Pryor, Jack Nance and Marilyn Manson. Filled with memorable Lynchian imagery, including one of the most shocking accidental deaths in cinema history (Michael Massee‘s head meets glass table), it also has a brilliant soundtrack complemented by some of Lynch’s very best sound design.

This US one sheet was designed by Bemis Balkind, a US design firm that has worked on posters for the entertainment industry since 1987, producing many classics during that time, including ones for other Lynch films like Mulholland Drive. This gallery on IMPAwards shows just how prolific they’ve been.

Lethal Pursuit / one sheet / USA

19.08.15

Poster Poster
Title
Lethal Pursuit
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Don Jones
Starring
Mitzi Kapture, Blake Bahner, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, Blake Gibbons, Stephanie Johnson, Gary Kent
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mitzi Kapture, Blake Bahner, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, Blake Gibbons, Stephanie Johnson, Gary Kent,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Bill Garland
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Some live for the hunt... Others for the kill.

Definitely one of those cases where the poster is the best thing about the film, Lethal Pursuit is a forgotten action b-movie from 1988. It appears to have only had a cinema release in a handful of countries and was straight to video in others. It hasn’t been given a DVD release anywhere in the world as far as I can tell. The IMDb plot description says:

A rock star babe and her hunky honey find themselves targeted by her psychotic ex, whose insane jealousy sparks a deadly game of desert cat-and-mouse.

There’s a single review on the film’s IMDb page and it’s rather damning. Here’s some excerpts:

There is not much to say except simply, do not watch this film. In fact, if you are reading this I must ask why you even looked this movie up? If you are here because you saw this in the 99 cent VHS bin at the Good Will, where it probably can be found, and want to know weather to buy it. PASS! You will want your dollar back.

Best way to sum it up. Think of every little detail that makes a film a film. Then take this sentence “The ____ of/in this film is awful in every way.” and insert every one of those details. And you have a summary.

There’s an illustrated review of the film on the Betamax Rundown site.

I’ve discovered that this illustration can be credited to the American artist Bill Garland who is probably best known for the brilliant original Mad Max one sheet, but has worked on several other film posters. The artist has a page on Phosphor Art featuring a short biography as well as a selection of his art. It details that Garland has been working for over 30 years and started his career as a Ford Motor company scholar and used these core technical skills to ‘enhance his command of a wide range of artistic styles’. In addition to working with Hollywood studios, Garland also carried out work for commercial clients like Coca Cola and the NFL. I can’t find an official site for the artist so if anyone knows any more details about him please get in touch.

Blade Runner / one sheet / studio version / USA

15.09.14

Poster Poster
Title
Blade Runner
AKA
Blade Runner - Metropolis 2020 (Finland)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Ridley Scott
Starring
Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah
Origin of Film
USA | Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Studio version
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Intralink Film Graphic Design
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820007
Tagline
Man Has Made His Match... Now It's His Problem

One of my top five films of all time, Blade Runner was released with easily one of the most iconic sci-fi one sheets ever printed. The design and artwork is by the late, great John Alvin, a man responsible for several of the most memorable film posters of the past 40 years. This is perhaps his most well known piece since it featured on posters across the globe, was reused for the 1992 Director’s cut release and has been on the cover of home video releases for many years.

In August 2014 a book entitled The Art of John Alvin was released after four years of preparation by his wife and studio partner Andrea. An absolute must-own for any fan of film posters and the art of cinema, the book features almost all of John’s most memorable posters which are each given their own section. As well as images of the printed poster, there are also early sketches, painted concepts and pictures of the original artwork itself, plus Andrea has provided fascinating commentary detailing the creation of each piece.

Blade Runner is given six pages and the section features a look at the original graphite sketches done by Alvin to show to Ridley Scott and the studio’s marketing department. Elements of these were then combined to create the painting we know today. Andrea notes that the posters for the film were originally conceived to focus on the relationship with the characters and the futuristic city, but by the time of release Harrison Ford was a global star so Alvin was asked to make him more prominent in the artwork.

John apparently always regretted not featuring Rutger Hauer’s android Roy Batty so when he was asked to revisit the design for a 25th anniversary print he reworked several elements, including the two portraits of Harrison Ford and Sean Young and added the face of Roy Batty looming large over them. The print was called ‘I’ve Seen Things’ by John and can be viewed here.

There are known reprints of this poster and this particular version is one of three known variants. LAMP has a guide to all three here. To summarise:

Variation 1 – NSS Version
This version has NOTHING in the bottom left corner; Litho in U.S.A. (AND) the NSS tag in the center; BLADE RUNNER 820007 in the bottom right

Variation 2 – Studio Version
This variation has “PRINTED IN U.S.A.” in the bottom left corner; NOTHING in the center; and “NSS 820007” in the bottom right.

Variation 3 – Odd NSS Version
In the bottom left corner has “PRINTED IN U.S.A.”; in the center ‘IN SMALLER PRINT’ has “LITHO IN U.S.A.” (AND) the NSS tag; In the bottom right has “BLADE RUNNER NSS 820007” in ‘UNEVEN’ print.

This is the second variation (studio version) but I also have the ‘Odd NSS Version’, which can be viewed here. A dealer in London once told me he believes all NSS versions of this poster are reprints/restrikes. If this is the case then the poster has fooled both respected dealers and collectors alike.

The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark / one sheet / USA

22.01.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Last Flight of Noah's Ark
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Charles Jarrott
Starring
Elliott Gould, Geneviève Bujold, Ricky Schroder, Vincent Gardenia, Tammy Lauren, John Fujioka, Yuki Shimoda, John P. Ryan, Dana Elcar
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Elliott Gould, Geneviève Bujold, Ricky Schroder, Vincent Gardenia, Tammy Lauren, John Fujioka, Yuki Shimoda, John P. Ryan, Dana Elcar,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Dan Goozee
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
800063
Tagline
Lost. 2000 miles at sea in a 40 year old bomber.

A little-seen live-action Disney production, The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark stars Elliott Gould as Noah Dugan, a jaded pilot with gambling debts who agrees to fly an ageing B-29 bomber to a remote South Pacific island. The plane is filled with a cargo of animals and a missionary called Bernadette Lafleur (played by French-Canadian actress (Geneviève Bujold). Just before the flight takes off, a pair of young orphans who the missionary has been caring for sneak onboard because they don’t want to be parted from the animals.

When the plane goes badly off course Dugan is forced to crash land on an uncharted island. After surviving the landing, the group discover that a pair of Japanese soldiers have been guarding the island for 35 years, believing that World War II is still ongoing. After initial hostilities, they eventually befriend the castaways and agree to help them convert the plane into a raft to sail back to civilisation. The group soon set off on the perilous voyage with the surviving animals onboard.

The film received mixed reviews and failed to gain much traction at the box office. Whilst it did receive a brief cinema release in the UK and a release on VHS back in the early 1980s, it has been unavailable since then.

The artwork is by American poster artist Dan Goozee who was also responsible for a few Bond posters, including Moonraker and Octopussy, as well as several other classic posters from the 1980s. The other designs I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Doctor Death / 30×40 / USA

11.01.12

Poster Poster
Title
Doctor Death
AKA
Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls (alt. title)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Eddie Saeta
Starring
John Considine, Barry Coe, Cheryl Miller, Stewart Moss, Leon Askin, Jo Morrow, Florence Marly, Sivi Aberg, Jim Boles
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Considine, Barry Coe, Cheryl Miller, Stewart Moss, Leon Askin, Jo Morrow, Florence Marly, Sivi Aberg, Jim Boles,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/332
Tagline
These Women Have Just Seen Their Doctor | He's a Specialist in His Field!

A fairly obscure 1970s horror film that was apparently unavailable for many years after its initial limited cinema release. As per the IMDb plot description:

John Considine plays the flamboyant Dr. Death, a thousand-year-old magician who has mastered the art of transferring souls from one body to another and thereby manages to perpetuate himself by jumping from one body to the next. Apparently the Doc is a kindred spirit since his blood is a highly-corrosive acid that can strip flesh from bone.

Considine, as the titular Doctor, was apparently an usual piece of casting since he had been primarily known for his prolific work in TV soaps during the 1960s and early 1970s, including  The F.B.I.Knight RiderMacGyver and Murder, She Wrote. The film is also notable for featuring the last appearance of Moe Howard, one of the Three Stooges.

The DVD is available to purchase on Amazon.com.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Bite the Bullet / one sheet poster / USA

02.10.17

Poster Poster
Title
Bite the Bullet
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Richard Brooks
Starring
Gene Hackman, Candice Bergen, James Coburn, Ben Johnson, Ian Bannen, Jan-Michael Vincent, Robert Donner, Jean Willes, Mario Arteaga, Dabney Coleman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Gene Hackman, Candice Bergen, James Coburn, Ben Johnson, Ian Bannen, Jan-Michael Vincent, Robert Donner, Jean Willes, Mario Arteaga, Dabney Coleman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/132
Tagline
In the tradition of Shane and High Noon, a new Western Classic is born! BITE THE BULLET!

A detailed piece of art by Tom Jung features on this US one sheet for the release of the 1975 Western Bite the Bullet. 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). The story was inspired by a 1908 horseback race that traveled 700 miles from Evanston, Wyoming to Denver, Colorado.

The nine contestants include a pair of former Rough Riders, Sam Clayton (Gene Hackman) and Luke Matthews (James Coburn) who are both out for the prize fund, despite their friendship. Also in the group is a former prostitute (Candice Bergen), a cocky kid (Jan-Michael Vincent) and an Englishman (Ian Bannen). A train containing the people from the newspaper who created the competition sets off along the route and meets up with the group at various points. We watch as they all suffer from various perilous situations, including attacks from bandits, large wildlife (bear!) and a group of dangerous prisoners. 

The film is a fairly lightweight but enjoyable watch and the main cast are all decent. Hackman and Coburn are, as usual, convincing in their parts and bring needed gravitas to their roles. A speech by Hackman recalling his time during the Spanish-American war is a particular highlight. Reviews were mixed, however, and I don’t believe the film was a great success as the box-office.

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

Flash Gordon / one sheet / USA

25.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Flash Gordon
AKA
Blixt Gordon (Sweden)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Mike Hodges
Starring
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Richard Amsel
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Pathetic Earthlings... Who Can Save You Now?

This is the final release one sheet for Flash Gordon with artwork by the great Richard Amsel, who is responsible for probably my favourite Indiana Jones poster, the Raiders of the Lost Ark 1982 re-release one sheet. The advance was illustrated by Lawrence Noble and features a similarly menacing Ming the Merciless at the top of the poster.

It took me a long time to find a rolled version of the poster and even though this particular one is not in mint condition I’m still happy to add it to the collection.

The tagline and logo are notably great.

Tarzan The Ape Man / one sheet / USA

23.04.12

Poster Poster
Title
Tarzan The Ape Man
AKA
--
Year of Film
1981
Director
John Derek
Starring
Bo Derek, Richard Harris, John Phillip Law, Miles O'Keeffe
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bo Derek, Richard Harris, John Phillip Law, Miles O'Keeffe,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Final
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Spiros Angelikas
Artist
Olivia De Berardinis
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810120
Tagline
The most beautiful woman of our time in the most erotic adventure of all time.

A film that is perhaps only notable for a bizarre scene in which a nude Bo Derek nurses a small chimpanzee (link here and NSFW, obviously), Tarzan the Ape Man was an attempt to tell the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs story from the point of view of Jane, rather than the titular hero.

Directed by Bo’s husband John Derek (this was one of four collaborations between the pair) the production was reportedly sued by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate for containing too much erotic content. The estate apparently failed in their bid to prevent the release of the film but succeeded in having over three minutes of footage excised from the theatrical release.

According to the film’s Wikipedia page, the film was quite a success at the US box office (taking over $36 million), despite being critically mauled and winning six Golden Raspberry Awards.

Bo Derek featured in an issue of Playboy magazine around the release of the film and I have the advance one sheet for this film advertising the fact, which can be seen here.

The artist responsible for the artwork on this one sheet is Olivia De Berardinis, known simply as Olivia, an American artist who is famed for her paintings of women in a pinup or ‘cheesecake’ style. Born in California, Olivia spent most of her youth on the East Coast, attending the New York School of Visual Arts from 1967 to 1970. By 1975 she was taking on commercial work, which included illustrations for novel covers, periodicals, advertisements and movie posters. She’s perhaps best know for the paintings she did for adult magazines, including most famously for Playboy. She had a regular slot in the magazine since 2004, often accompanied by a Hugh Hefner caption. She now resides in Malibu, California and continues to work and sell her previous paintings to fans. One of the other movie posters she worked on was for the 1981 romantic sexploitation comedy Babe, which can be seen here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Super Fly TNT / 30×40 / USA

23.07.13

Poster Poster
Title
Super Fly TNT
AKA
--
Year of Film
1973
Director
Ron O'Neal
Starring
Ron O'Neal, Roscoe Lee Browne, Sheila Frazier, Robert Guillaume, Jacques Sernas, William Berger, Roy Bosier, Silvio Noto, Olga Bisera
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Ron O'Neal, Roscoe Lee Browne, Sheila Frazier, Robert Guillaume, Jacques Sernas, William Berger, Roy Bosier, Silvio Noto, Olga Bisera,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Craig Nelson
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/233
Tagline
Same dude with a different plan... in another country with a different man.

Written, directed by and starring the late Ron O’Neal, Super Fly TNT was the hastily released follow up to the smash hit 1972 original Super Fly, one of the classic entries into the then burgeoning blaxploitation genre. Reprising his role as Priest from the first film, O’Neal would forever struggle to shake loose from the character and he was always to be known as ‘that Super Fly guy’. In this film, the character has retired from hustling and is living the good life in Rome, Italy with his lady Georgia (Sheila Frazier). Although he’s financially stable following a huge cocaine deal he manage to pull of back in New York, Priest is bored and spends his time playing cards against Italian businessmen.

One day he is approached by an African dignitary Dr. Lamine Sonko (Roscoe Lee Browne) who wants help with a gun smuggling operation that will help overthrow colonialism in his country. Initially reluctant to help, Sonko manages to convince Priest that he owes it to his ‘African brothers’ to help and, feeling a sense of guilt over his hustling days, the Super Fly guy decides to get back into action. The film was critically panned and faired poorly at the box-office; strong proof that rushing a sequel out to cash in on the success of an original usually ends in disaster.

This US 30×40 poster features artwork by the American artist Craig Nelson who has been painting for over forty years, and is an accomplished figure and landscape artist who also teaches at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco where he is Director of Fine Art, Drawing and Painting. Two other film posters that Nelson is known for are the US one sheets for The Monster Squad (1987) and Slap Shot (1977). The artist’s official website can be viewed by clicking here and includes galleries of his fine art paintings and a biography that does have mention of his film work, but there are no galleries of his other posters.

Prime Cut / one sheet / style A / USA

27.06.17

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Omega Man / 30×40 / USA

20.03.13

Poster Poster
Title
The Omega Man
AKA
1975: occhi bianchi sul pianeta Terra [White eyes on planet earth] (Italy)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Boris Sagal
Starring
Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash, Paul Koslo, Eric Laneuville, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Jill Giraldi
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash, Paul Koslo, Eric Laneuville, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Jill Giraldi,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
71/208
Tagline
The last man alive... is not alone!

American author Richard Matheson‘s 1954 post-apocalyptic tale I Am Legend has been adapted for the screen three times, first in 1964 as the Vincent Price-starring The Last Man on Earth that was shot in Rome and co-directed by Italian Ubaldo Ragona and American Sidney Salkow. The rights to the story had originally been bought by Tony Hinds of the British Hammer Studios and Matheson was asked to write the screenplay, but worries about the gruesome content being too much for British censors saw the script being sold to the American producer Robert Lippert. Matheson was apparently so disappointed with his own screenplay and resultant film that he asked to be credited with the pseudonym Logan Swanson. The Last Man on Earth’s limited success at the box-office might explain why The Omega Man was put into production only seven years later.

Charlton Heston stars as Robert Neville, the Army scientist who manages to inject himself with an experimental vaccine just as the world’s population is obliterated by biological warfare between the Chinese and Russians. Two years later Neville believes himself to be the only surviving human and spends his days exploring a deserted Los Angeles and hunting down a group of infected mutants known as The Family. One day whilst exploring a shopping centre Neville has an encounter with another human survivor but quickly dismisses it as a hallucination, having been alone for so long. When he is captured by The Family and almost burned at the stake his rescue comes from a ragtag bunch of human survivors who ask for his help in saving a group of children that are infected and slowly succumbing to the disease. Neville decides to see if his blood can be used to create a serum to save them, but The Family are not done with him yet…

The Omega Man has several memorable scenes, particularly during the first half of the film as Neville explores a convincingly deserted Los Angeles, which was achieved with out any visual effects by shooting in the city’s business district early on Sunday mornings. The soundtrack is also excellent and Heston does a solid job in the lead role, supported by Rosalind Cash who’s memorable as one of the other survivors with whom Heston shares a controversial (for the time) interracial kiss. The make-up for the mutants has dated rather badly but it’s nowhere near as poor as the terrible CGI abominations that all but sank 2007’s I Am Legend, starring Will Smith in the lead role.

I’m unsure who is responsible for the design of this poster but the pencil drawing is similar to the one seen on the Dirty Harry one sheet that was designed by Bill Gold, so I suspect the same artist may be credited and that Gold was also behind the design. If anyone knows for sure please get in touch.

Fright / 30×40 / USA

03.08.12

Poster Poster
Title
Fright
AKA
L'allucinante notte di una baby sitter [The terrifying night of a baby sitter] (Italy) | I'm Alone and I'm Scared (USA - reissue title)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Peter Collinson
Starring
Honor Blackman, Susan George, Ian Bannen, John Gregson, George Cole, Dennis Waterman, Tara Collinson, Maurice Kaufmann, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Michael Brennan
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Honor Blackman, Susan George, Ian Bannen, John Gregson, George Cole, Dennis Waterman, Tara Collinson, Maurice Kaufmann, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Michael Brennan,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
72/157
Tagline
Now the screen has a new definition of TERROR!

A strong contender for one of the earliest entries into the ‘slasher’ sub-genre of horror, Fright was filmed in the UK by Peter Collinson, perhaps best known as the director of the original The Italian Job. The film focuses on the plight of a babysitter, played by Susan George, who suffers a series of frightening occurrences after the parents (Honor Blackman and George Cole) leave for the evening, but before long the real terror arrives in the shape of the child’s biological father (Ian Bannen), a recent escapee from a mental asylum.

Fright is notorious for its brutal scenes of violence and is one of several films that raised the bar in terms of the depiction of on-screen horror following the relaxation of censorship rules at the start of the 1970s. This was the second film released in 1971 to feature Susan George being subjected to domestic terror, the other being Sam Peckinpah’s brilliant Straw Dogs.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

Barton Fink / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Barton Fink
AKA
--
Year of Film
1991
Director
Joel Coen
Starring
John Turturro, John Goodman, Michael Lerner, Judy Davis, John Mahoney
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Turturro, John Goodman, Michael Lerner, Judy Davis, John Mahoney,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Concept Arts
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
There's only one thing stranger than what's going on inside his head. What's going on outside.

During 1989, after four months of writing, the Coen Brothers experienced a period of difficulty in pulling the story together for their gangster-themed classic Miller’s Crossing and the pair decided to take a break. They traveled to New York from Los Angeles and during their stay there they penned a new script for a film set in a largely abandoned hotel in Los Angeles, with John Turturro in mind for the lead role. Once filming was complete on Miller’s Crossing the pair returned to the script and started to plan the production with the actor.

Set in 1941, the film follows the titular playwright (Turturro) who has seen great success with his recent play on Broadway and is persuaded by his agent that an offer from Capital Studios in Hollywood of a thousand dollars a week to write scripts is too good to pass up. Although Barton is worried that living there will make him lose his connection to the ‘common man’, which is what he feels give his plays their power, he reluctantly agrees and decides to stay at the almost empty Hotel Earle, rather than a more salubrious establishment. His room is dark, drab and devoid of any decoration save for a photograph of a woman in a bikini on a beach looking at the surf, which mesmerises Barton as he imagines the scene come to life.

Soon he meets the boss of Capital, Jack Lipnick (Michael Lerner), who promises him his total support and asks him to start off with writing a wrestling picture. Disappointed with the choice of subject, he returns to the Earle and sits down at his typewriter. Immediately he finds himself suffering writers block, a situation made worse by distracting sounds in the hotel and the appearance of his room neighbour, Charlie Meadows (John Goodman), who introduces himself as a traveling salesman and tries to help Barton to get back on track. Later he meets a famous novelist called W.P. Mayhew (John Mahoney) who moved to Hollywood years before and has been writing scripts ever since, despite suffering from alcoholism and anger management issues. Mayhew’s long-suffering assistant, Audrey Taylor (Judy Davis) agrees to help with his script as the demands from Capitol grow stronger. After visiting his hotel room, Audrey and Barton spend the night together, but when he tries to wake her the next morning he finds that she’s been murdered and soon a pair of belligerent detectives appear in the lobby of the Earle.

The film clearly references a number of real characters from 1940s Hollywood but their characters are skewed just enough that it’s not libellous, and the ‘Sources, inspirations and allusions’ section on the film’s Wikipedia page gives a good rundown of the recipe for the Coens’ script. Barton Fink was a huge critical success and was the first film to win the Palme d’Or, Best Director and Best Actor at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Unfortunately, critical success didn’t translate into box-office performance and the film apparently failed to recoup its production budget.

This one sheet was created by the prolific poster design team at Concept Arts. They started out in London in 1972 working on printed material for film releases in the UK before eventually opening an office in Hollywood from where they still work today. Their official website can be seen here and indicates that they’ve diversified to also include digital, AV and social media campaigns. The gallery of their work on IMPAwards is very impressive and features 613 posters! To see the other Concept Arts posters I’ve collected click here.

Victory / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Something of a cult classic, Victory (AKA Escape to Victory) is arguably the most famous film to revolve around The Beautiful Game. Based on 1962 Hungarian film called Két félidő a pokolban by director Zoltán Fábri the film, which is set during WWII, tells the story of a football match played in Paris by a team of Prisoners of War against a German side, seen as a propaganda event. The team is led by John Colby (Michael Caine) who is determined to win the game despite the distraction of other POWs who want to use the cover of the game to escape. Sylvester Stallone plays Hatch, an American POW who is at the vanguard of the escape attempt and actually manages to get out of the camp prior to the game to meet up with resistance leaders in Paris. After planning the big breakout, Hatch must get recaptured and returned to the POW camp in order to communicate the plans to the others. When the big day arrives, Hatch is put into goal and Colby persuades the team to see the match through to the final whistle before they make their escape.

The film notoriously features a host of real life professional footballers who were involved in the game and doubled for the actors or played on the German team, including the Brazilian superstar PeléBobby MooreOsvaldo Ardiles and a whole host of players from the English team Ipswich Town, who were one of the most successful British sides at the time of the film’s release. English goalkeeping legend Gordon Banks, who played during the 1966 world cup that England won, worked behind the scenes and coached Stallone to ensure his scenes in goal were realistic enough for the film’s audience.

This US one sheet was illustrated by the artist David Jarvis who is perhaps best known for his illustration on the poster for Walter Hill’s The Warriors. Having completed a degree in illustration at the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design, Jarvis went on to work as a freelance illustrator producing over thirty designs for film posters, as well as record sleeves, magazine covers and more. He also worked as an artist for Disney studios on the films Mulan and Tarzan. The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

Check out the UK quad that also features Jarvis’ artwork but adds a montage by Vic Fair.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World / screen print / regular / Martin Ansin / USA

12.10.12

Poster Poster

Ace director Edgar Wright‘s Scott Pilgrim vs The World was my favourite film of 2010 and is one of the most carefully crafted, brilliantly realised and wonderfully energetic films ever released. Based on a series of graphic stories created by Canadian cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley, the film tells the story of the eponymous character, played in the film by Michael Cera, who falls for the alluring Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and must then battle her seven evil exes in order to win her heart. The actors playing the exes are perfectly cast and include Brandon RouthChris Evans and Jason Schwartzman.

The film is a visual treat and rewards multiple viewings thanks to the brilliant script, kinetic editing and careful inclusion of hidden elements (look out for the many ‘X’s secreted throughout the film, for example). Some of the effects have to be seen to be believed, including an amazing battle of the bands sequence featuring two building-sized dragons and one angry gorilla beast. Much was made of the fact that the film was a critical success but was unable to make much of a box-office impact on release, but there’s no question that the film has found, and will continue to find, an appreciative audience on home video.

The official film posters for the film were slightly disappointing considering the level of craft put into the film itself and I felt at the time that, despite an interesting advance poster, so much more could have been done.

This screen print was commissioned by the limited edition poster outfit Mondo for the Alamo Drafthouse premiere of the film. It was created by the incredibly talented Uruguayan designer and artist Martin Ansin, whose work has graced many of the best posters released by Mondo, including several in the Universal Monsters series, like this amazing Phantom of the Opera one. He perfectly captures the kinetic energy of the film and the title treatment is absolutely spot on, echoing as it does the use of type in the film itself. The artist also worked on a variant of the poster that features Nega Scott, seen briefly at the end of the film.

The other posters I’ve collected by Ansin can be seen here. His official website is well worth a browse.

Platoon / one sheet / USA

13.08.14

Poster Poster
Title
Platoon
AKA
--
Year of Film
1987
Director
Oliver Stone
Starring
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Richard Edson, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Johnny Depp,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Final
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Bill Gold
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
27 2/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
860115
Tagline
The first casualty of war is innocence

An iconic image on this one sheet for the release of Oliver Stone‘s Academy Award-winning Vietnam war classic, Platoon, one of a three films that the director made on the subject (the others being Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven & Earth). The script, which was written by Stone, is based on his own experiences as an infantryman who served in tours of duty during the Vietnam war. He had signed up in 1967 after dropping out of Yale University and specifically requested to see combat in the war that had seen the first ground troops sent to the country two years earlier. Stone served in two different divisions for over a year and was wounded twice,  receiving several medals, including a Purple Heart.

The film follows Charlie Sheen‘s army grunt Chris Taylor (a proxy for Stone) who is serving as part of Bravo Company, 25th Infantry Division near the Cambodian Border. Taylor is fresh into the field and is treated with disdain by the more experienced soldiers (an incredible ensemble of acting talent, including Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Keith David and Forest Whitaker) who have all been in country for months, and he is quickly made aware that his presence is inconsequential. After a few skirmishes in which some members of the division are killed, Taylor is eventually accepted into the group and discovers the grinding boredom and rampant drug use amongst his fellow soldiers. Tensions between two sergeants, the ill-tempered, battle-scarred Barnes (Berenger) and the pleasant, more reasonable Elias (Dafoe) reach breaking point following an incident involving innocent villagers. Upon returning to base, the issue of a court-martial for illegal killing is raised and when the division is sent out on their next patrol, things reach boiling point, leaving Taylor fighting to survive against the enemy as well as members of his own team.

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

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

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

Apocalypse Now / one sheet / USA

12.08.13

Poster Poster

A classic painting by the late, great Bob Peak on this one sheet for the release of arguably the best war film ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. Set during America’s war in Vietnam, the film follows Martin Sheen‘s US Army Army and special forces veteran Benjamin Willard as he journeys up the dangerous Nung River and deeper into the jungle in the search of the rogue Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando in an unforgettable role). Willard is told that an insane Kurtz has gathered together an army of indigenous fighters inside neutral Cambodia and that he must ‘terminate with extreme prejudice’. After landing at the mouth of the river in a spectacular sequence in which Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall) first attacks an enemy village from helicopters whilst blasting Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries from loudspeakers, then orders some of his men to surf despite the fact that mortar shells continue to land all around them, Willard  joins the crew of a Navy PBR boat that transports him on his fateful journey up river.

Apocalypse Now is famous for its fraught production in which the shoot went over time and over budget, sets were destroyed by storms, Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack and other woes that caused Coppola to famously say, “We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane”, and “My film is not about Vietnam, it is Vietnam”. The director’s wife Eleanor helped to put together the acclaimed documentary of the troubled production called Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, which is an essential watch for fans of the film. Despite the production woes, the film was a huge critical and commercial success, with its cultural impact undeniable.

Master movie poster artist Bob Peak was asked to create a series of paintings to sell the film and he worked in conjunction with art directors Murray Smith and Don Smolen from the boutique poster agency Smolen, Smith and Connolly, based in New York City. Two of Peak’s paintings were used in North America, with an image of the Nung River on the teaser poster and then this superb portrait of Brando as Kurtz with a menacing looking Sheen behind him was the final poster. Both of those images were used around the world to sell the film. German cinemas also saw this stunning image of Kurtz that was painted by Peak and used exclusively in that country.

Bob Peak was born in 1927 in Denver, Colorado and grew up in Wichita, Kansas before heading off to serve in the military during the Korean War. Upon his return Peak enrolled in the Los Angeles-based Art Center College of Design where he began to hone his craft as an artist, moving to New York after graduation where he began his career as a commercial illustrator, first working on a campaign for Old Hickory Whiskey. For the next few years the artist worked on a string of successful advertising campaigns, magazine editorials and more, but it was when United Artists hired Peak to work on their campaign for the release of West Side Story in 1961 that he began what would prove to be a fruitful and almost unrivalled career in film poster creation.

Peak’s immediately recognisable style was soon much in demand and his painting appeared on posters for films such as My Fair Lady (1964) and Camelot (1967), but it was his work in the area of sci-fi and fantasy for which Peak is perhaps best known, with the iconic design for the first Superman film (1978), the classic image he created for Rollerball (1975) and the colourful poster for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), amongst several classics of the genre he was responsible for. His paintings for Apocalypse Now, however, arguably saw the artist working at the top of his game and in the recently published must-own book The Art of Bob Peak (put together by one of his sons), he is quoted as saying, “Of all my movie work, it is my work on Apocalypse Now that I am most proud of.”

To see the other posters in the Film on Paper collection that were painted by Bob Peak click here.

Permission To Kill / 30×40 / USA

26.01.12

Poster Poster
Title
Permission To Kill
AKA
The Executioner (alt. title)
Year of Film
1975
Director
Cyril Frankel
Starring
Dirk Bogarde, Ava Gardner, Bekim Fehmiu, Timothy Dalton, Nicole Calfan, Frederic Forrest, Klaus Wildbolz, Anthony Dutton, Peggy Sinclair, Dennis Blanch, John Levene
Origin of Film
UK | Austria | USA
Genre(s) of Film
Dirk Bogarde, Ava Gardner, Bekim Fehmiu, Timothy Dalton, Nicole Calfan, Frederic Forrest, Klaus Wildbolz, Anthony Dutton, Peggy Sinclair, Dennis Blanch, John Levene,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Robert Tanenbaum
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/273
Tagline
This is Mr. Curtis. He has permission to bloody you, compromise you, blackmail you and if all else fails...

I’ll admit to not having seen this 1975 political spy thriller starring Dirk Bogarde, Ava Gardner and a pre-Bond Timothy Dalton, but going by the lack of information, reviews and discussion of the film on IMDb, I am not alone. It doesn’t appear to have been released on DVD and I could only find evidence of a UK VHS release (on Amazon).

One of the only reviews I could find has this to say:

Permission to kill has got to be one of the WORST films ever made, The directing from Frankel is appaling, The story is needlessly complicated and confusing, and the actors (especially Bogarde) look like they’d rather be somewhere else, but above all absolutely NOTHING happens.

Even if the film is not one to seek out, this poster, with artwork by American artist Robert Tanenbaum, is definitely an interesting one. I really like the composition and use of masking within the shadow of the mysterious ‘Mr Curtis’. Tanenbaum clearly has a thing for horizontal ladies, as evidenced here and on his poster for A Boy and His Dog. The colours work well against the grey background and the title logo is also fairly unusual for the time period (being hand drawn and brightly coloured).

To see other posters I’ve collected by Robert Tanenbaum click here.

The original trailer (with Danish subs) can be found on YouTube.

Life During Wartime / one sheet / USA

18.10.16

Poster Poster

Artwork by artist Akiko Stehrenberger features on this one sheet poster for the release of director Todd Solondz‘s Life During Wartime. The film is a sort of semi-sequel to Happiness which he directed 11 years earlier. It features the same characters but each one has been re-cast with new actors. The plot mainly revolves around the three Jordan sisters that appeared in Happiness and looks at where their lives are a decade later. Like the director’s other films it straddles a fine line between dark comedy and uncomfortable drama. The performances from the likes of Allison JanneyShirley Henderson and Michael Lerner are all excellent and, although perhaps not as memorable as Happiness, it’s still worth a watch.

Akiko Stehrenberger is one of my favourite poster artists working today and she’s created several memorable pieces of key poster art over the past few years. As detailed on her official website, Akiko began her career in New York City as an illustrator for various magazines, including SPIN and The Source. In 2004 she moved to Los Angeles and began working on illustrations for film posters as well as other freelance projects. She’s won multiple awards and has created poster designs for some of the most celebrated directors working today.

One of her most celebrated posters is the one sheet for Funny Games, Michael Haneke’s 2008 remake of his own film of the same name, released a decade earlier. When first released, many people assumed it was a manipulated photograph of the actress Naomi Watts but this excellent interview on Mubi confirms that it’s a digital illustration. The article is well worth a read to get an idea of how Akiko works and the process she went through for that poster. The gallery of posters on her website features a mixture of designs that were chosen by the distributor to be used as official campaign material as well as ones that didn’t get chosen but are nevertheless excellent. I particularly love this poster for Blue Ruin and the unused quad art for Under the Skin. You can see from her portfolio of work that she’s not afraid to experiment with new styles for each project.

There’s another gallery of her work on IMPawards.

Lady Ice / 30×40 / USA

22.02.12

Poster Poster
Title
Lady Ice
AKA
I diamanti dell'ispettore Klute [The diamonds of inspector Klute] (Italy)
Year of Film
1973
Director
Tom Gries
Starring
Donald Sutherland, Jennifer O'Neill, Robert Duvall, Patrick Magee, Jon Cypher, Eric Braeden, Buffy Dee, Perry Lopez
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Donald Sutherland, Jennifer O'Neill, Robert Duvall, Patrick Magee, Jon Cypher, Eric Braeden, Buffy Dee, Perry Lopez,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1973
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Ron Lesser
Size (inches)
30 2/16" x 39 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
73/199
Tagline
That "Klute" guy and that "Summer of '42" girl pull of the coolest caper of the year.

Ron Lesser artwork on this 30×40 for the American release of this 1973 crime thriller starring Donald Sutherland and the gorgeous Jennifer O’Neill. Sutherland plays an insurance investigator who begins romancing O’Neill’s character when he suspects her of being a diamond thief. It was apparently made following the success of other ‘romance and thievery’ films such as The Thomas Crown Affair.

Lesser studied as a fine artist and much of his output appears to have been in the area of Western and military paintings, with particular focus on the American Civil War. He also worked on a number of book covers and multiple film posters during the 1970s, including the fantastic one sheet for High Plain’s Drifter. This website features galleries of his work as well as a mini biography.

The other posters I’ve collected by him can be seen here.

I’m a big fan of the none-more-1970s typeface used for the title and top-billed names, and it can be seen on a number of posters from the era. You’ll notice an Aston Martin DB5 is featured inside the diamond, along with several other scenes from the film.

The tagline references the previous hits of the two stars and for some reason the Italian title of the film even has Klute in the title, despite Sutherland playing a completely different character.

Weird Science / one sheet / USA

09.04.14

Poster Poster
Title
Weird Science
AKA
La chica explosiva (Argentina)
Year of Film
1985
Director
John Hughes
Starring
Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton, Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey Jr., Robert Rusler, Vernon Wells, Britt Leach, Barbara Lang, Michael Berryman
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton, Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey Jr., Robert Rusler, Vernon Wells, Britt Leach, Barbara Lang, Michael Berryman,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Tom Jung
Artist
Duane Meltzer
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 40 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
850065
Tagline
It's all in the name of science. Weird Science.

This is the American one sheet for Weird Science, the bonkers 1980s comedy from the late, great director John Hughes. Producer Joel Silver bought the rights to a 1950s EC Comics magazine of the same name and Hughes wrote the screenplay himself. Anthony Michael Hall, a regular colaborator with the director (he appeared in Breakfast Club the same year as Weird Science) stars alongside Ilan Mitchell-Smith as Gary and Wyatt, a pair of high-school nerds who are struggling to be accepted by their peers.

One evening the pair decide to try and create their perfect woman, inspired by a viewing of the classic Frankenstein film and using their computer coding skills. Following a series of improbable incidents, including a lightning strike and the pair’s successful hacking into a government mainframe computer (classic 80s nonsense), the gorgeous Lisa (an unforgettable appearance by Kelly LeBrock) steps out of their bathroom and asks “So, what would you little maniacs like to do first?” The rest of the film sees Lisa using various supernatural skills, including memory manipulation and reality warping to help the boys lose their inhibitions and gain the friendship of their school peers. The film features several madcap sequences, including the moment a bunch of psychotic bikers led by Vernon Wells (of Mad Max 2 fame) crash a house party, and Bill Paxton appears in a memorable turn as Wyatt’s brother Chet.

This one sheet was art directed by the American designer and artist Tom Jung who is perhaps most famous for his work on the posters for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back but has been working on film advertising for over 50 years, as well as storyboarding for a number of films. The artwork (Lisa’s body appears to have been painted, and the title too) was apparently done by an artist and designer called Duane Meltzer who worked at Universal Studios at the time of the film’s release. According to the about page on his official website he also worked as a creative at Twentieth Century Fox studios before forming POV Entertainment Design in 1988. He has continued to work on key art for films, as well as home entertainment packaging and more since then.

Phantom of the Paradise / 30×40 / USA

15.04.14

Poster Poster
Title
Phantom of the Paradise
AKA
--
Year of Film
1974
Director
Brian De Palma
Starring
William Finley, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham, George Memmoli, Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor, Peter Elbling
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
William Finley, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham, George Memmoli, Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor, Peter Elbling,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
Style C
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Neal Adams (original sketch)
Artist
Richard Corben
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
74/339
Tagline
He's been maimed and framed, beaten, robbed and mutilated. But they still can't keep him from the woman he loves. | The most highly acclaimed horror phantasy of our time.

Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise is arguably one of cinema’s greatest cult oddities. Part musical, part horror and loosely based on Phantom of the Opera and the classic tale of Faust, the film has an electric atmosphere helped no end by the performance of the late William Finley as the unlucky music composer Winslow Leach who falls foul of the twisted producer Swan (Paul Williams, himself a noted musician and composer). A twisted satire of the state of the music business of the time, the film features a superb soundtrack written by Williams, which is a mix of surf pop, 70s glam rock and romantic ballads.

When Swan sees Winslow performing his music at a small concert he convinces the composer to sell his tunes to him to be used at the opening of his new club, The Paradise. Instead Swan has one of his henchmen steal the music, beat Winslow up and frame him for drug possession, sending the mild mannered musician to the brutal Sing Sing prison. Months later Winslow hears that one of Swan’s bands is to release a record based on his music and breaks out of the prison in a frenzied rage. After heading to Swan’s Death Records factory he tries to sabotage a record press but accidentally falls head-first into it, severely scarring his face and damaging his vocal chords. Escaping from the police, he makes his way to the Paradise where he dons a cape and a beaked mask and becomes the Phantom of The Paradise. Soon he discovers the secret behind Swan’s success and sets out to stop him at all costs.

The film was met with mixed critical reviews and was a worldwide box-office flop, with the only exceptions being in Japan and, bizarrely, Winnipeg in Canada where the film played at the same cinema for months. One of the key reasons for the film’s disastrous commercial performance was the way it had initially been marketed by studio Twentieth Century Fox who had created a campaign that emphasised the rock aspect of the film with the intention of drawing in teenage music fans. The plan backfired, however, when initial audiences realised how negative the portrayal of the music industry is in the film was and how it was effectively sending up the very thing they were fans of.

The brilliant fan site The Swan Archives, curated by Ari Kahan, features a thorough history of the promotion of the film and shows the initial two styles of poster, one of which was designed by Anthony Goldschmidt and illustrated by the late John Alvin and also featured on the album cover. As Kahan notes:

‘The involvement of A&M records (which issued the soundtrack, and which more or less owned the exclusive rights to Paul Williams’ life at the time) in the co-marketing campaign with 20th Century Fox meant that the film was initially pitched towards what A&M and Fox believed to be the teens-through-college “rock music demographic.” John Alvin’s beautiful painted graphics on the posters and soundtrack album emphasised guitars, keyboards, microphones, patch cords, and other musical ephemera, and a photorealistic depiction of songwriter/star Paul Williams, signalling the studio’s intention to rely heavily on Williams’ existing fame in its promotion of the film.’

The rest of the ill-conceived initial campaign is detailed on the Swan Archives page linked to above. After a disastrous few months at the box office, the film’s producer Ed Pressman convinced the studio to allow him to reposition the film with a revised marketing campaign. Kahan explains:

‘Pressman went into action by launching a second campaign, in mid-1975, which tagged the film as “The Most Highly Acclaimed Horror Phantasy of Our Time,” pushing the horror angle and perennial plot line, and downplaying the music. De Palma, Finley, and Graham were made extremely available to give interviews to Castle of Frankenstein, Monster World, and every other horror magazine that would make time for them’

As part of this second campaign Pressman commissioned noted comic book artist Richard Corben to illustrate a new poster image and fellow comic book artist Neal Adams provided an initial concept sketch from which Corben worked (according to Kahan, ‘Adams drew the sketch for free, to aid Pressman in pitching a never-realised Phantom of the Paradise companion comic book, which he hoped might result in some paying work’) . The new painting emphasised the horror aspect and the Phantom’s mangled face and completely downplayed Williams’ presence – you can just spot him at the bottom of the marquee (see the close-up image). The new campaign proved to be more successful but as Kahan notes:

‘The film gradually took on life, bringing in decent (though never great) box office and some positive reviews. As De Palma put it, “When we revised the campaign in the U.S and made it seem more like The Phantom of the Opera than a horror/rock film, we got an entirely different response.”‘

For more on the film’s promotional travails, I again urge you to check out the excellent Swan Archives site. Corben also painted the style B one sheet for the Heavy Metal film, the magazine of which he’d been involved with for several years.