I am a big fan of poster art so I thought I would have some fun and list my top 10 movie posters of all time. So here they are:
#10 THE GODFATHER III (1990) - Anyone who saw the first two installments knows Michael Corleone is a man you don’t mess with. The poster says it all to me; Power and intimidation. It shows both distinctly. Though not a great film, this is truly a GREAT poster.
#9 RIO BRAVO (1959) - This poster is well drawn with all three of the main protagonists guns drawn looking up toward the viewer from below ready for a fight. This is a very neat and different effect that works well. It also takes the time to show the shadows of each character, which is interesting. The drawing of each character shows nice color but it is contradicted by the white background, which is a fascinating element.
#8 MAGNUM FORCE (1973) - Again, this poster shows all you need to know about the movie; Clint Eastwood and that .44 magnum pistol. This was the second installment of the popular series and I love the 3-d effect. It is as if Clint has got you on the ground and you are looking down the barrel of “The most powerful handgun in the world, and it can blow your head clean off”. “Do you feel lucky punk”?
#7 THE DARK KNIGHT POSTERS (2008) - Since the world of computerized posters few modern ones have impressed me like the multiple posters “The Dark Knight” offers. Each one has a theme essential to their respective character. The Joker ones especially are well done. You see the insanity that his character brings. Also I enjoy the Batman one of him starring into the massive bright lights of the buildings of Gotham City. It says to me one lone protector looking down over this immense concrete jungle that never seems to end.
#6 CHINATOWN (1974)-This was another top movie from the 70’s and a wonderfully done poster. This poster shows me the grittiness that would be seen from Jack Nicholson in the movie. It is wonderfully done, and the smoke that goes into the air displaying the angelic looking femme fatale of the movie is perfect. It also harkens back to those 1940’s Humphrey Bogart movies. I could definitely see him not only in this poster but in this movie. They just don’t make posters like this anymore. What a shame.
#5 LIVE AND LET DIE (1973) – I could do a whole blog itself on James Bond poster art, but if I have to pick one this is the one that narrowly wins, and it is the art that delivers the win. Roger Moore in his first turn as Bond is the focus point here on the poster. The tarot cards, the boat chase, the alligator, and of course the beautiful woman are all main plots from the movie wonderfully drawn here. Using the tarot cards to display the characters and Bond is genius. “The Man with the Golden Gun”, is very similar and also well done. Again, most of the Bond posters, especially the ones from the 60’s and 70’s are all good.
#4 THE TOWERING INFERNO (1974) – I actually used to have this poster and could just sit and just stare at the pulsating detail of the art. The vibrancy of the burning building is so strong. You can see the fireman on the adjacent building shooting streams of water to try to extinguish the blaze, as well as the trapped people making their way onto the roof to be rescued by the circling helicopters. I also love how they have the two main characters side by side on the poster (Something McQueen demanded BTW), but also the bevy of stars listed at the bottom by the characters they play. I know it states on the poster it is the tallest building in the world but you truly see that conveyed in how this poster is drawn. The building just looks colossal, and it’s like you can’t even see the street below.
#3 JAWS (1975) - This was the first big summer blockbuster and one of the most popular posters ever. It shows the massive shark Jaws attacking an unsuspecting woman and gives the viewer a glimpse of what monstrous horror awaits. In 1975 people who viewed this movie didn’t go into the ocean for a long time, and this poster didn’t help. It conveys the horror of Jaws. This poster like the movie is still extremely popular part of pop culture still today. When I was a kid I actually owned a tee shirt with the picture from the poster on it.
#2 INDIANA JONES MOVIES (1981/1984) – When doing this list there was simply no way I could decide between these two magnificent posters from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Temple of Doom”. The Raiders poster is a combination of an old adventure book and classic serial movie poster. It also gives a nod to this by stating “The Return of the Great Adventure”. Indiana Jones is the main point surrounded by all the central characters and villains from the movie. It is simply fantastic. “The Temple of Doom” though somewhat different offers everything you need to know in the tagline, “If adventure has a name… it must be Indiana Jones”. Wow, awesome! Showing him on top of the entrance to what appears to be an ancient temple with both bullwhip and machete in hand and that smug confident smile is great. There are really no plot points or other characters on it, you just look at this poster and discover everything you need to know about the movie, Adventure awaits!
#1-ATTACK OF THE 50FT WOMAN (1958) – Rarely do you see a movie poster that has actually become more popular than the movie it is based on but this is exactly that case. This drive-in sci-fi feature from the 1950’s was never as popular as the poster which one of the top 5 posters still being sold today. It is easy to see why; it is a fantastic piece of art. You can see the detail of the people the 50ft woman is terrorizing as well as cars she is snatching up like toys. The poster is very vibrant and colorful which adds to its beauty. This is a great piece of artwork and my vote for #1.