HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU, KIDS!
Bogart’s pistol, Basinger’s décolletage and Scorsese’s violent cityscape... just a few of the eye-catching tricks Hollywood used to lure us into the cinema – captured in a sumptuous new album of iconic movie posters to lure us into the cinema...
Movie posters have changed dramatically since French artist Marcellin Auzolle produced drawings for The Waterer Watered in 1895, which shows an audience laughing at the image of an aproned man squirting himself in the face with a hose.
Selling The Movie takes us on a stunning visual journey through almost 150 years of movie history.
One of the most sought-after film posters is that of Fritz Lang’s 1927 science fiction classic Metropolis, left, which sold for $690,000 in 2005. Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp made his first public appearance in The Kid Auto Race (1914) and he became arguably the first star to realise the importance of creating a personal ‘brand’.
The Thirties heralded Hollywood’s golden era, beginning with the arrival of Mae West and her film She Done
Him Wrong (1933), which explored sexuality frankly – something today’s films continue to do through their provocative posters.
Selling The Movie by Ian Hayden Smith is published by White Lion Publishing, priced €40.
CASABLANCA Michael Curtiz (1942) Warner Bros loved Bill Gold’s design for this Casablanca poster, which saw Humphrey Bogart’s hero, Rick, in the foreground and Ingrid Bergman as his lover, Ilsa Lund, just behind as a figment of his memory. But the film company wanted the poster to contain more action, so Gold added a gun – an image taken from Bogart’s 1941 crime drama High Sierra.
MEAN STREETS Martin Scorsese (1973) In the poster for Scorsese’s third feature, which drew on his personal experiences of growing up in the gritty and violent New York of that period, violence becomes part of the city – the gun doubles as one of the skyscrapers and the street light resembles a gallows. Ironically, very little of the action was shot in New York as, working on a tight budget, Scorsese was forced to film most of the scenes in Los Angeles. Half of the movie’s $500,000 budget went on its soundtrack, with songs by Eric Clapton (I Looked Away) and The Rolling Stones (Jumpin’ Jack Flash).