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The Matrix Revolutions / one sheet / teaser / Lightning Agent Smith style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Matrix Revolutions
AKA
--
Year of Film
2003
Director
The Wachowski brothers
Starring
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Clayton Watson, Nathaniel Lees, Jada Pinkett Smith, Harry J. Lennix, Harold Perrineau
Origin of Film
USA | Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Clayton Watson, Nathaniel Lees, Jada Pinkett Smith, Harry J. Lennix, Harold Perrineau,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser - Lightning Agent Smith
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2003
Designer
Concept Arts
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Everything that has a beginning has an end

The Matrix Revolutions / one sheet / teaser / Agents Smith style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Matrix Revolutions
AKA
--
Year of Film
2003
Director
The Wachowski brothers
Starring
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Clayton Watson, Nathaniel Lees, Jada Pinkett Smith, Harry J. Lennix, Harold Perrineau
Origin of Film
USA | Australia
Genre(s) of Film
Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Clayton Watson, Nathaniel Lees, Jada Pinkett Smith, Harry J. Lennix, Harold Perrineau,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser - Agents Smith
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2003
Designer
Concept Arts
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
Everything that has a beginning has an end

The Matrix Reloaded / one sheet / teaser / Agent Smith / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Taxi Driver / one sheet / reviews style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Taxi Driver
AKA
--
Year of Film
1976
Director
Martin Scorsese
Starring
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Reviews
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1976
Designer
Murray Smith (Smolen, Smith and Connolly)
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

This is a ‘review’ one sheet and was originally meant to have local reviews printed into the blank space on the right side, as seen here.

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.

Rollerball / one sheet / video release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Rollerball
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Norman Jewison
Starring
James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams, John Beck, Moses Gunn
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams, John Beck, Moses Gunn,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Video
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
Unknown
Designer
Murray Smith (Smolen, Smith and Connolly)
Artist
Bob Peak
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
75/20
Tagline
In the not-too-distant future, wars will no longer exist. But there will be Rollerball

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
AKA
CE3K (USA - informal short title)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Terri Garr
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Terri Garr,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
International
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Murray Smith (Smolen, Smith and Connolly)
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Outland / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Outland
AKA
Atmosfera zero (Italy) | Outland - Comando Titânio (Brazil) | Rumstation Jupiter (Denmark) | Operation Outland (Sweden)
Year of Film
1981
Director
Peter Hyams
Starring
Sean Connery, Peter Boyle, Frances Sternhagen, James Sikking, Kika Markham, Clarke Peters, Steven Berkoff
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sean Connery, Peter Boyle, Frances Sternhagen, James Sikking, Kika Markham, Clarke Peters, Steven Berkoff,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Murray Smith (Smolen, Smith and Connolly)
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
810031
Tagline
On Jupiter's moon he's the only law.

Lucky Lady / one sheet / USA

27.06.16

Poster Poster

Artwork by the late, great Richard Amsel features on this one sheet for the 1975 comedy-drama Lucky Lady. The film was helmed by Stanley Donen, an American director who’s best known for Singing in the Rain (1952) and Charade (1963). Gene Hackman appears alongside Burt Reynolds and Liza Minnelli, and the former apparently took some persuading to star. He eventually relented when producers offered him the then significant sum of $1.5m. The film is set in the American prohibition era during which the sale and production of alcohol was banned across the whole country. The plot is described like so:

During the Prohibition era, a young widow, Claire (Minelli), gets involved in liquor smuggling and romance with two men, Walker (Reynolds) and Kibby (Hackman), off the San Diego coast. Organized crime controls bootlegging back east and wants to do the same here, so a hit man named McTeague (John Hillerman) is sent to deal with these amateur crooks, as is the Coast Guard, leading to various battles at sea.

Richard Amsel was born in Philadelphia in 1947 and studied at the city’s College of Art. Whilst there he entered and won a nationwide artist competition to paint the poster for the film ‘Hello Dolly!’. Amsel was just 22 at the time and this win helped him quickly establish a career in New York where he worked on album covers (including one for Barry Manilow) as well as magazine covers and editorial art. In addition, he worked on posters some of the most important films of the 1970s, including Chinatown, Nashville and The Sting. During the 1970s he also worked on a series of covers for the American magazine TV Guide, which are still celebrated to this day.

In the 1980s Amsel worked on what is my favourite Indiana Jones poster, the Raiders of the Lost Ark 1982 re-release one sheet. He had also painted the original release version, featuring a much more serious looking Indy. The artist’s final film poster was the one sheet for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. Amsel sadly died of AIDS-related complications that same year. He leaves behind a great legacy of unforgettable artwork, some of which I already have in the Film on Paper collection and which can be seen here.

Return Of The Jedi / one sheet / 1985 re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Return Of The Jedi
AKA
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (full title) | Blue Harvest (USA - fake working title) | Revenge of the Jedi (USA - working title)
Year of Film
1983
Director
Richard Marquand
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Ian McDiarmid,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Murray Smith (Smolen, Smith and Connolly)
Artist
Tom Jung
Size (inches)
27 1/16" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
R850025
Tagline
RETURN to a galaxy far, far away

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.

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

19.06.13

Poster Poster

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

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

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

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

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

————

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

House / one sheet / 2010 re-release / USA

19.06.13

Poster Poster

A cinematic experience quite unlike any other, Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi‘s 1977 masterpiece House is almost impossible to categorize or even describe and simply needs to be seen to be believed. The American distributor Janus Films, who supervised a restoration of the film in 2010, attempt to summarise the film better than I possibly could:

‘How to describe Nobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 movie House? As a psychedelic ghost tale? A stream-of-consciousness bedtime story? An episode of Scooby Doo as directed by Dario Argento? Any of the above will do for this hallucinatory head trip about a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt’s creaky country home, only to come face to face with evil spirits, bloodthirsty pianos, and a demonic housecat. Too absurd to be genuinely terrifying, yet too nightmarish to be merely comic, House seems like it was beamed to Earth from another planet.’

Relatively unknown outside of his native Japan, Obayashi had started his career in the field of experimental filmmaking and quickly forged a reputation as a master visual artist. His skills were soon utilised by advertising agencies and he quickly became a sought-after commercial director, working with Western actors including Sophia Loren and Charles Bronson who were earning lucrative paycheques to hawk various goods. The Japanese studio Toho approached Obayashi and asked him to develop a script for a horror film that would hopefully emulate the great success of Spielberg’s Jaws. The director spoke to his 11-year-old daughter Chigumi to get some inspiration, claiming later that adults “only think about things they understand…everything stays on that boring human level”.

The resultant script, written by Chiho Katsura, included several of Chigumi’s suggestions. Toho green-lit the script and then, after struggling to find a director willing to tackle it, gave the job to Obayashi himself despite him not being a member of the Toho staff. The resultant film is clearly the work of someone who is unafraid to experiment with the medium of film and the director spent two months on Toho’s biggest soundstage shooting the script without storyboards and utilising a whole host of special effects techniques, several of which Obayashi seemingly created especially for this film. House was a huge hit, much to the studio’s surprise, unquestionably helped by the fact that the popular band Godiego providing the best-selling soundtrack, thus cementing the film’s appeal to the youth market.

Despite Japanese success the film wasn’t released outside of the country, that is until Janus Films bought the distribution rights and aided with a digital restoration in preparation for a cinema re-release, and eventually a blu-ray release on their Criterion label in 2010. When the Nashville-based designer and artist Sam Smith (AKA Sam’s Myth) prepared a poster for a preview showing of the film at his local Belcourt Theatre he had no idea that Janus would eventually decide to not only use the image for their official one sheet but also as the cover of the eventual Criterion release. In June 2013 I interviewed Sam and the resultant article can be read here. We discussed the House poster and the following excerpt explains how he arrived at the final design:

How quickly did you arrive at using the image of Blanche the cat as the poster image?
Almost instantly actually. In fact, my friend Zack Hall who is a manager at the Belcourt sent me some images and we were brainstorming at that image of Blanche just jumped out at me and seemed like something I could use. But I wanted to transform it from the screenshot into a graphic piece. The angle of that shot isn’t quite straight on, so I manipulated that, and I gave the cat’s face the entire frame of the poster, removed from the picture frame. I touched the image up and blew it out in black and white, and I just saw this field of red-orange over the whole thing, thinking it could really transform that image into something iconic. The lettering and everything else– the little house illustration– all came very quickly, in a single pass. It’s by far the fastest any poster design has ever come together for me. I didn’t really think much about it and don’t really remember it happening.

Were you surprised at how iconic the Blanche image has ended up being?
A little bit, but I must give credit to Obayashi who came up with this image in the first place. It’s not like I drew it or created it out of my own imagination. I feel that I just plucked it out of the film and tried to transform it graphically into something iconic that represented the insane, exciting, colorful energy of the film, while adding my own touches with the lettering and accoutrements. People loved it though. I suggested making t-shirts and stickers, and I still see people wearing them when I’m at a festival or traveling somewhere. It really taught me that in this day and age, the most important quality of a poster is for its design to feel iconic and eye-catching, above all else. The goal is to get people talking about the film and going to see the film and telling their friends about it, and it’s cool to hear people say “you know, the movie with the poster of the red cat face” and realize you had a role in the film finding its audience.

———————

Sam’s blog has a post about the creation of the House poster and is well worth a read.

Independence Day / quad / New York style / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Independence Day
AKA
ID4 (USA - promotional abbreviation)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Roland Emmerich
Starring
Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Mary McDonnell, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, Randy Quaid, James Rebhorn, James Duval, Harry Connick, Jr.
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Mary McDonnell, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, Randy Quaid, James Rebhorn, James Duval, Harry Connick, Jr.,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
New York style
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
29 14/16" x 40 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe has been answered.

Hellraiser / B2 / Pinhead style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Hellraiser
AKA
Clive Barker's Hellraiser (UK - complete title)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Clive Barker
Starring
Andrew Robinson, Doug Bradley, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman, Oliver Smith
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Andrew Robinson, Doug Bradley, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman, Oliver Smith,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A - Pinhead
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unquestionably one of the truly great British horror films, Clive Barker‘s Hellraiser launched an enduring franchise and established the character of Pinhead (or ‘Priest’, as Barker prefers him to be known) as one of horror’s most beloved villains. Based on the 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart, Barker made the decision to both write the screenplay and direct the film after being disappointed with how two of his earlier scripts had been treated by other directors. The story begins as seedy hedonist Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) purchases a golden puzzle box from an antiques dealer in Morocco believing it holds the key to the ‘ultimate sensual experience’. On returning to his London home, Frank opens the puzzle box and is promptly torn apart by massive hooks controlled by a group of horribly scarred and mutilated humanoids known as the Cenobites. The lead Cenobite (Pinhead, played by Doug Bradley) twists the box back to its original shape and they pass back into their realm with Frank’s remains with the room returning to normal.

Sometime later, Frank’s brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) and his second wife Julia (Clare Higgins) move into the same house assuming that Frank is in jail in some exotic location. Larry’s daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) declines the offer to move in with her stepmother and chooses to find her own place. When Larry accidentally cuts his hand and drips blood onto the attic floor it somehow reaches Frank in his prison in the other realm and starts to resurrect his body (in a stunning special effects sequence). Later that day Julia finds Frank in the attic and the pair rekindle an affair they had started some years before. Julia agrees to help Frank to fully resurrect himself, which can only happen through blood sacrifices so she begins to seduce and bring back random men to the house before bludgeoning them to death for Frank to consume. Kirsty begins to suspect something is afoot and soon she is having her own encounter with the Cenobites who are displeased to learn that one of their prisoners has escaped and is on a murder spree.

What makes the film stand out is the excellent script by Barker which prevents the characters from being the usual one-dimensional death fodder usually seen in horror films, particularly those being released towards the end of the 1980s. The production, costume and makeup design are all excellent, with all of the Cenobite designs being particularly memorable. There’s only one stop-motion animation sequence at the end of the film that belies the productions low budget and the film stands up extremely well today. Although the series is up to its ninth film instalment, Barker never directed another and was only producer on the first two sequels. After the fourth film (1996′s Bloodline) the series became a straight-to-video enterprise and quality dropped significantly from then onwards.

This is the ‘style A’ Japanese B2 and features the same image of Pinhead that’s on the American one sheet for the film. There’s also a style B B2 for the film that features a montage of other scenes and characters.

Robocop / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Robocop
AKA
Robocop: O batsos robot (Greece)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Starring
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Mike Bryan
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Hellraiser / B2 / montage style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Hellraiser
AKA
Clive Barker's Hellraiser (UK - complete title)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Clive Barker
Starring
Andrew Robinson, Doug Bradley, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman, Oliver Smith
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
Andrew Robinson, Doug Bradley, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman, Oliver Smith,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Montage
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unquestionably one of the truly great British horror films, Clive Barker‘s Hellraiser launched an enduring franchise and established the character of Pinhead (or ‘Priest’, as Barker prefers him to be known) as one of horror’s most beloved villains. Based on the 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart, Barker made the decision to both write the screenplay and direct the film after being disappointed with how two of his earlier scripts had been treated by other directors. The story begins as seedy hedonist Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) purchases a golden puzzle box from an antiques dealer in Morocco believing it holds the key to the ‘ultimate sensual experience’. On returning to his London home, Frank opens the puzzle box and is promptly torn apart by massive hooks controlled by a group of horribly scarred and mutilated humanoids known as the Cenobites. The lead Cenobite (Pinhead, played by Doug Bradley) twists the box back to its original shape and they pass back into their realm with Frank’s remains with the room returning to normal.

Sometime later, Frank’s brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) and his second wife Julia (Clare Higgins) move into the same house assuming that Frank is in jail in some exotic location. Larry’s daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) declines the offer to move in with her stepmother and chooses to find her own place. When Larry accidentally cuts his hand and drips blood onto the attic floor it somehow reaches Frank in his prison in the other realm and starts to resurrect his body (in a stunning special effects sequence). Later that day Julia finds Frank in the attic and the pair rekindle an affair they had started some years before. Julia agrees to help Frank to fully resurrect himself, which can only happen through blood sacrifices so she begins to seduce and bring back random men to the house before bludgeoning them to death for Frank to consume. Kirsty begins to suspect something is afoot and soon she is having her own encounter with the Cenobites who are displeased to learn that one of their prisoners has escaped and is on a murder spree.

What makes the film stand out is the excellent script by Barker which prevents the characters from being the usual one-dimensional death fodder usually seen in horror films, particularly those being released towards the end of the 1980s. The production, costume and makeup design are all excellent, with all of the Cenobite designs being particularly memorable. There’s only one stop-motion animation sequence at the end of the film that belies the productions low budget and the film stands up extremely well today. Although the series is up to its ninth film instalment, Barker never directed another and was only producer on the first two sequels. After the fourth film (1996′s Bloodline) the series became a straight-to-video enterprise and quality dropped significantly from then onwards.

This is the ‘style B’ Japanese B2 and features a montage of scenes and characters from the film. There’s also a style A B2 for the film that features the same image of Pinhead that’s on the American one sheet for the film.

Robocop / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Robocop
AKA
Robocop: O batsos robot (Greece)
Year of Film
1987
Director
Paul Verhoeven
Starring
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1987
Designer
B.D. Fox Independent
Artist
Mike Bryan
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
870047
Tagline
Part man. Part machine. All cop. | The future of law enforcement.

An iconic design on this poster for the US release of Paul Verhoeven‘s sci-fi masterpiece, Robocop. Set in a dystopian future Detroit where organised crime is rampant and the city is close to financial ruin, the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products enters into an agreement with the city to run the police force and plans to introduce a robotic enforcer to work alongside the human officers. When tests with a weaponised droid called ED-209 go awry and an OCP junior executive is killed, the chairman agrees to back the plans of Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer), another OCP executive with designs for a cyborg (half-man, half-machine) cop.

Shortly after, veteran officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is brutally attacked and effectively killed on his first patrol at a new precinct and Morton sees him as the perfect candidate for his Robocop program. OCP quickly goes about transforming his ravaged body into the future of law enforcement, but when he reawakens Murphy initially struggles with his transformation and loss of his family. Soon he sets about avenging his ‘death’ at the hands of crime boss Clarence Bodicker (an unforgettable performance from Kurtwood Smith) and attacks the corruption that is destroying Detroit, which leads all the way to the boardroom of OCP.

This one sheet was designed by the Los Angeles based marketing company B.D. Fox Independent, who have been working on film posters for over 35 years, creating some truly iconic images, including Halloween and The Fly. The brilliant, photo-realistic artwork was painted by the American artist Mike Bryan. In March 2014 the original painting was sold at auction (reaching almost $48k) and it was accompanied by a letter by the artist and that can be read here.

Hook / one sheet / USA

05.12.11

Poster Poster

Steven Spielberg’s folllow up to JM Barrie’s classic Peter Pan story featured Robin Williams playing a grown-up Peter Pan, now called Peter Banning and working as a corporate lawyer, who has forgotten his life in Neverland. Whilst visiting England his two children are kidnapped by a mysterious stranger and it’s not long before Tinkerbell [Julia Roberts] appears to return him to the world he once knew so that he can reclaim his youthful spirit and save his family.

The film was roundly panned by critics but was nevertheless considered a box-office success (with worldwide takings over $300 million) and is one of those films that splits audiences in two. Today, Hook continues to have as many fans as it does detractors, with some calling it Spielberg’s worst film and others lauding it as a misunderstood classic.

Whatever people thought of the film there’s no question that this final release poster by Drew Struzan was a definite success. It followed a very minimal teaser poster by John Alvin, which doesn’t even feature the name of the film. In his must-have book ‘The Art of Drew Struzan’, the artist talks about the creation of the poster:

‘We had a very long time to work on it, and you know what means: I wound up recombining heads, seemingly forever. ‘Round and ’round, for more than six months; everybody at Sony who needed to stake a reputation had an opinion on what the poster should be.

Nevertheless, Drew used the strong relationship he had built with Spielberg on previous projects to make sure his designs were seen by the director:

(…) I took each group of drawings directly to Steven. The first time, I walked onto the set where they were shooting Peter Pan in the tree stump. Steven stopped everything after he called “cut”, we laid out all the art on this huge table, and he stood there for like half an hour talking with me about it. Now, the cost-per-minute budget on a movie this big is how much? But Steven can do what he wants.

Not everyone was happy with the work in progress, as Drew recalls:

Dustin [Hoffman] said, “It’s not that I don’t like my portrait – it’s beautiful. But I don’t think it’s my character”. He wanted Hook to look “less villainous”. So off I went to Dustin’s house (…) we’re walking and taking and suddenly he goes into Actor Mode to explain what he wants (…) Finally I had to paint out a third of the picture and redesign it. He loved it. They all loved it.

Drew clearly loves the design but he notes that, in a twist of Hollywood madness, the poster wasn’t actually in cinemas until a week after the film opened.

The book (which is also available on Amazon.com and from all good bookshops) features many different versions of the poster before this one was ultimately chosen. Only Drew could have nailed the faces, particularly those of Williams and Hoffman, as well as this.

To see a gallery of the other posters by Drew I’ve collected click here.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

I, Robot / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
I, Robot
AKA
Yo, robot (Argentina / Chile / Mexico / Peru / Spain)
Year of Film
2004
Director
Alex Proyas
Starring
Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, Alan Tudyk, Shia LaBeouf, Terry Chen
Origin of Film
USA | Germany
Genre(s) of Film
Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, Alan Tudyk, Shia LaBeouf, Terry Chen,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2004
Designer
Art Machine
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
What will you do with yours?

Independence Day / quad / teaser / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Independence Day
AKA
ID4 (USA - promotional abbreviation)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Roland Emmerich
Starring
Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Mary McDonnell, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, Randy Quaid, James Rebhorn, James Duval, Harry Connick, Jr.
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Mary McDonnell, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, Randy Quaid, James Rebhorn, James Duval, Harry Connick, Jr.,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
29 15/16" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
EARTH. Take a good look. It may be your last.

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).

Independence Day / quad / ships style / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Independence Day
AKA
ID4 (USA - promotional abbreviation)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Roland Emmerich
Starring
Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Mary McDonnell, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, Randy Quaid, James Rebhorn, James Duval, Harry Connick, Jr.
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Mary McDonnell, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, Randy Quaid, James Rebhorn, James Duval, Harry Connick, Jr.,
Type of Poster
Quad
Style of Poster
Ships
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
30 1/16" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
We've always believed we weren't alone. Pretty soon, we'll wish we were.

Mallrats / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Mallrats
AKA
Shop-Show (Hungary) | Generazione X (Italy)
Year of Film
1995
Director
Kevin Smith
Starring
Jason Lee, Jeremy London, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Renee Humphrey, Jason Mewes, Ethan Suplee, Stan Lee
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jason Lee, Jeremy London, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Renee Humphrey, Jason Mewes, Ethan Suplee, Stan Lee,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1995
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--