Friday, 21 April 2017

Lusty, gutsy, grabby, pulpy - terrific European movie posters for English-language films

Not subtle, I'll admit, but this French poster for A Clockwork Orange certainly...

...engages one's attention. A while ago, I poked fun at Communist-era Polish illustrators' tendency to produce posters that seemed to bear no relationship whatsoever to the English language film they were supposed to be advertising (here).  This an attempt to make up for my rudeness - the Poles also produced many genuinely creative posters, and, after all, who knows what sort of pressures they were under not to make the West look enticing?
As this French poster for the excellent 1955 film, The Desperate Hours demonstrates, European artists (and, presumably, European audiences) went in for violent action. Here, for instance, is a spectacular Italian poster for Stanley Kubrick's first picture, The Killing (1956). 
Several leading Italian illustrators were hired by British film distributors/advertisers in late '50s and '60s, and brought all their dramatic, con brio oomph with them. (Comin' over 'ere, takin' our bleedin' jobs...). Yes, I know the next film - A Fistful of Dollars - isn't exactly an English Language film, and it's obvious that the illustrator had been given zero information about it (apart from being told it was a violent Western), but what a poster!
Enough gabble. If this is your sort of thing, just enjoy. (I'll list the original titles of the films at the end, in case you want to guess them.)
You can find approximately 900 more European posters for British and American films on my Pinterest board, here.

Here's a list (in order) of the original titles of the films depicted in the last fifteen posters:

1.   Pickup on South Street (1953)
2.   One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
3.   The Crimson Pirate (1952)
4.   Around the World in 80 Minutes (1931 documentary)
5.   A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
6.   Donovan's Reef (1963)
7.   On the Waterfront (1954)
8.   The Ghost Goes West (1935)
9.   The Big Heat (1953)
10.  Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
11.  The Hustler (1961)
12.  The Enforcer (1951)
13.  The 39 Steps (1959)
14.  Touch of Evil (1958)
15.  High Sierra (1941)

I left this one till last, because it's not that hard to guess!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Scott! I am going to have to hide behind the sofa all night now.