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Added by Kankku on 20 Feb 2010 08:20
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Premiere: The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever

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Mark Rothko meets the chalk outline. Artist Saul Bass (also an acclaimed title designer and visual consultant) brought poster design out of the golden age with a bold mix of the abstract and the figurative, of which this poster for the controversial 1959 Otto Preminger thriller is a prime example.
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People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 4 IMDB Rating 6.9


Some great posters are from movies you may never have heard of -- 1933's The Sin of Nora Moran is a fairly inconsequential B picture, but its poster is an unforgettable image of ravishment. (As for truth in advertising, the film's lead actress was not a blond.) Alberto Vargas, an artist who was a go-to guy for the studios during the 1930s, did the artwork on this Majestic release.
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People who added this item 2653 Average listal rating (1649 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3


The image that Saul Bass who also created the opening credit sequence of the film itself designed for Hitchcock's 1958 Vertigo is as classic as the movie itself. Perhaps because of his good work or merely because of his growth into one of film's most gifted poster creators, Bass was given a credit on the film, which at the time wasn't customary.
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Downhill Racer's breathtaking 1969 one-sheet is, among other things, a testimonial to just how freewheeling the '60s were — only then were the studios daring enough to advertise a Robert Redford picture without showing Redford on the poster. Steve Frankfurt did the design and while the film was mostly ignored by audiences, the one-sheet is seen as a touchstone for future film posters.
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The Forbidden Planet artwork (1956), with its decidedly menacing robot and definitely-not-Anne Francis damsel-in-distress, evokes and entire ethos of pulp sci-fi. The prominence of Robbie the Robot also tapped into 1950s hysteria by appearing like some piece of domestic gadgetry.
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People who added this item 499 Average listal rating (280 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7


The image of Rita Hayworth in the title role of Gilda (1946) epitomizes the femme fatale. Robert Coburn took the picture and art director Jack Kerness did the rest with this sultry image of Hayworth in a Jean Louis gown. This poster touches on the scene that comes after the film's most famous sequence in which Hayworth's character does a striptease.
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People who added this item 223 Average listal rating (107 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6
42nd Street (1933)


The deco-ish cascade of legs for 42nd Street (1933) brings to mind skyscrapers as well as dancing feet. Hubbard G. Robinson and Joseph Tisman, who also created the poster for Busby Berkeley's other 1933 film Footlight Parade, captured the off-kilter attraction of Berkeley's bubbly choreography with the poster's use of sharp angles and an image from the film's most famous (or infamous) under the legs sequence. The result was one of the top ten grossing films of the year for Warner Bros.
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People who added this item 123 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 5


1958's Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman is an awful movie but the poster is memorable. Reynolds Brown, frequently employed by the studios to create horror one-sheets, designed this Cold War-era flick that was intended to lure teens away from their television sets.
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Douglas Fairbanks never looked better than he did in this one-sheet for the 1924 swashbuckler. But as the producer of The Thief of Baghdad, Fairbanks ensured his image would look good by asking illustrator Adrian Gill Spear to create the poster for the United Artists film.
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People who added this item 4023 Average listal rating (2496 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.3


Originally designed, but discarded as a less prominent image to promote the film, this poster for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey became the main focus of the advertising campaign when it was decided that audiences weren't as excited by traditional space age images as they had been during the 1950s. The image of an embryo embaced the film's theme of human evolution and Kubrick had complete authority over the film's marketing.
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People who added this item 1147 Average listal rating (724 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.9


Star power being what it is, 1933's King Kong merely needed a big ape to sell itself. Yet S. Barret McCormick and Bob Sisk did the artwork for the iconic ape, based on the production sketches of Mario Larrinaga and Byron Crabbe. The image of the creature terrorizing humans against the backdrop of the New York skyline represented nature versus the machine age at its most extreme.
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People who added this item 873 Average listal rating (493 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5


The shattering violence of Sam Peckinpah's 1971 Straw Dogs is disturbingly foreshadowed in this cleverly layered image. While the poster does have a closeup of one of the 1970s most famous leading men, the controversial Dustin Hoffman-Sam Peckinpah collaboration about a man forced to his breaking point is perfectly captured.
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People who added this item 902 Average listal rating (576 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.2
The Gold Rush (1925)


The shivering Tramp of 1925's The Gold Rush immediately entered the pantheon of iconic images. As with many of Chaplin's posters, it relied more on Chaplin's bowler hat, mustache and facial expression to grab audiences than a suggestion of the film's comic elements.
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The stark simplicity of Bass's poster for 1955's The Man With the Golden Arm was perhaps the designer's most daring work. The poster for the film, which stars Frank Sinatra as a man in the throes of drug addiction, conveys the essence of the main character's struggle without being preachy. Other posters were commissioned that featured the faces of Sinatra and Kim Novak, but the twisted arm remains timeless.
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People who added this item 354 Average listal rating (237 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.2


The poster for 1932's The Mummy remains an auction champ: it once sold for $453,500. P.D. Cochrane was the advertising director at Universal who commissioned the work of illustrator Karoly Grosz which features sultry Zita Johann backed up against a tomb and a mummified Boris Karloff at rest above her.
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The poster for 1991's The Silence of the Lambs, designed by the ad agency Dazu, is as simple and disturbing as they come. Look very closely at the death's head moth covering star Jodie Foster's mouth, there appears to be an image of humans forming a skull on its back. Inspired by the famous Salvador Dali photograph of several naked women posed like a skull, the film's director Jonathan Demme is said to have suggested the surreal augmentation to the moth's natural skull-like markings.
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People who added this item 120 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5


Maurice Kallis, who learned the craft of making posters as an assistant to Paramount art director Vincent Trotta, styled the poster for this 1942 Graham Greene potboiler about a hit man who takes money from the wrong man. The presence of Veronica Lake renders the most of the plot irrelevant as far as the poster's concerned; despite the top billing, Robert Preston isn't even part of the image. (That's actually fourth-billed Alan Ladd.)
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People who added this item 2577 Average listal rating (1494 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.7


You don't need to go to great lengths to make an appealing poster when Audrey Hepburn's playing the lead. Yet the image of the actress with a figure as slight as the cigarette that dangles from her mouth cemented Hepburn's iconic status and helped forge the reputation of the now-classic 1961 romantic comedy based on Truman Capote's hit novel.
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People who added this item 326 Average listal rating (201 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.1


Maurice Kallis, who also worked on the This Gun for Hire poster, was responsible for the minimalist Sullivan's Travels poster. It emphasizes the beautiful blonde bombshell Veronica Lake in this otherwise seriocomic Preston Sturges film. Kallis had previously worked on The Lady Eve one-sheet for Sturges and Paramount advertising head Robert M. Gillham, and though the classic Lake image is the one that's remembered, the studio also commissioned a less abstract take for their marketing campaign.
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As the film's art director and man in charge of the advertising art, Czech graphic designer Heinz Edelmann came up with the overall brightly colored, Peter Max-esque look for The Beatles' mostly animated 1968 romp, Yellow Submarine. Incidentally, the film's Blue Meanies were originally supposed to be red, but when Edelmann's assistant accidentally changed the colors, the film's characters took on a different meaning.
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Taking a cue from the film itself, the poster for Roman Polanski's 1968 film makes an innocent object, a baby stroller, ominous. For a film where the concept was definitely more emphasized than stars John Cassavetes and Mia Farrow, Rosemary's Baby had a poster that upped the creep factor with its unusual use of dark green as a predominant color.
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If the designers of the poster for the 1955 Marilyn Monroe vehicle had substituted, say, Jimmy Durante for Tom Ewell on the right, do you think anyone would have noticed? No way. Monroe's pose in this poster has become an enduring iconic image of the sex symbol. The film was the first collaboration between the film's director Billy Wilder and Saul Bass.
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The poster for 1953's The Hitch-Hiker blurs the line between advertisement and highway safety PSA. The Edmond O'Brien roadside nailbiter had a simple approach to selling its cheap thrills a gun, a threatening tagline, and the simple, violent colors of red and black.
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People who added this item 1045 Average listal rating (627 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.3


The bouncy, kinetic design of 1950's All About Eve poster mirrors the movie's cocktail shaker wit. Erik Nitsche was the artist who came up with the arrow-filled image that, like the film, features an all-too brief cameo by Marilyn Monroe, here in the bottom left corner of the one-sheet.
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People who added this item 205 Average listal rating (121 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7


The art for 1949's Gun Crazy represents cinema's obsession with the aberrant, highlighting a thrill-killing dame. The film was originally released as Deadly is the Female with a poster featuring a more seductive Peggy Cummins splayed out across the poster sans guns. But after a new title and poster was commissioned, the femme fatale flick turned into a hit.
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"If watching a film is like having a dream wide awake, then movie posters are invitations to those dreams — a lot of weight for one image to carry. In this gallery, we've arrayed some of the best examples of this art-meets-commerce form — some profound, some silly."
-Premiere.com

Posters selected by Premiere magazine. Comments also copied from there.

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3 votes
The Art of Movies and TV (6 lists)
list by Vix
Published 5 years, 1 month ago



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Comments

Posted: 8 years, 4 months ago at Feb 20 21:47
Excellent list...
Posted: 8 years, 3 months ago at Feb 22 11:28
Hyvä lista! Tykkäisin olla tuossa mustassa autossa tuon Attack of the 50 Ft. Womanin julisteessa... 8)
Posted: 8 years, 3 months ago at Feb 22 15:05
Great selection of posters and comments. Even Criterion has used these same posters for their releases.
Posted: 8 years, 3 months ago at Feb 23 18:17
Awesome list.
Posted: 7 years, 5 months ago at Jan 19 11:24
This list has been added to The Ultimate Posters list (Part 2)!
Posted: 7 years, 4 months ago at Feb 10 15:29
What an outstanding and beautiful list!
Posted: 7 years, 1 month ago at May 14 14:51
wow
Posted: 6 years, 10 months ago at Aug 16 8:55
I love this list. And I so agree with you on "Anatomy of a Murder", "Vertigo" and "Breakfast at Tiffany". The iconic image of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly with that little black dress can make the poster itself stand on its own.
Posted: 6 years, 9 months ago at Aug 29 2:28
You just earned yourself my vote, good sir.
Posted: 6 years, 9 months ago at Aug 29 8:54
Great and interesting stuff!
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Aug 2 2:42
I love old movie posters. they are truly works of art in my opinion. You have some great ones in your list.

I think they ripped off The Thief of Bagdad poster and used it on the back cover of Santana 3.

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