Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Movie Poster Collection: U-Z

I'm embarking now on my final (read: first) entry in my overview of this movie poster collection I've been working on for about 30 years. As you can see, I'm working backwards, starting with titles from U to Z. These poster images I got from the net; I refused to stretch my posters out to be photographed. However, this'll give you and me both an idea of my tastes. And, hey, if anyone is interested in a poster, and I'm willing to sell it, I'll give 'em a photo of the real piece, and a fair price. Deal? I've included whether the poster is rolled or folded, and its condition: Mint (M), Near Mint (NM), Very Good (VG), Good (G), Fair (F), Poor (P), Damaged (D). Also I chime in with a few words on why each poster is in my collection (usually it's because I either like the movie, like the poster, or both...USUALLY). This is the way it'll be from now until I finish this project, so no more opening statements after this. With that, here we go:

UNBREAKABLE (2000). Rolled, VG
I love Shamalyan's film--one of the best about comic books, with a perfect comic book look--but the poster doesn't excite me. Still, I had to have it.
UNDER FIRE (1983). Folded, VG
With vibrant art by the talented Drew Struzan, this is one of my favorite pieces, for a complex film I pretty much love, chiefly because of its on-target cast and stirring Jerry Goldsmith score.

What a terrific film. Poster is quite wordy (the movie is, too), and I could use a bigger image of the delectable Jill Clayburgh. I don't know why they didn't go with a full shot of her dancing through her NYC apartment in her underwear! 

THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987). Folded, G
Always been sadly bored by this poster; a shame, because DePalma's film itself is technically flawless and ALWAYS fun to look at. A missed opportunity.

VAMPYROS LESBOS (film released 1971; poster 1994). Rolled, M
Printed on thick, textured vinyl stock after the success of the film's re-released soundtrack, this was a no-brain buy; I hadda have it. Not a fan of Jess Franco's movies, and haven't seen this one, but I sure love the image and the soundtrack.

THE VERDICT (1982). Folded; VG
One of my very favorite Sidney Lumet films, and a haunting, morning-light image of Paul Newman's near-exhausted man.
VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED (1976). Folded, G
Never seen this film, about Nazi-era Jewish refugees on board an escape cruiser. I've always heard it's a bit of a bore, but Richard Amsel's sharp poster art makes it look all disastery and exciting. At any rate, it has a good cast, so it's on my list to see.

THE VULTURE (1967). Folded, VG
I barely recall how I got this poster. Someone gave it to me--I think it was my boss Phil Oppenheim, while I was working in Turner Network Television's Programming department. I've never seen this movie, either. It has Akim Tamiroff in it, and I'm tempted to ask "How bad can it be?" but then I look at the release date and figure the man was probably past his prime and slumming it. Still, I love the incoming talons and the use of the the word "beastbird" in the lyrical copy lines.

W (1974). Folded, F
I remember liking this movie as a drive-in kid, but watched it recently and BOOOOOORINGGG! I still think the poster is amusing if you look at it as a George W. Bush commentary...

WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967). Folded, NM.
Got this at the Starlight Drive-In from a North Carolina dealer. A diverting, not great movie, but a classic nonetheless (I like it more for snakey Alan Arkin than anything else). I bought it because of my fetish for the clean design style Warner Brothers/Seven Arts was practicing in the late 1960s.

WALKABOUT (1971), folded, VG
Could be a better poster, but I like the '70s vibe of all that yellow, plus the movie's great, and a skinny-dipping Jenny Agutter seals the deal! 

WAYNE'S WORLD (1992). Folded, G
My friend Robert Schneider found this poster in some nook at the Plaza Theater. where I used to work, and gave it to me. I only grudingly added it to my collection. I still don't really want it, because the movie and the characters wear out their charm early on. But I keep it, I suppose, out of sentiment and because it's unfortunately iconic. But I will never hang it up.

A WEDDING (1978). Pre-release poster, folded, D.
A tragedy: some water damage affected the bottom of this killer poster for an underappreciated comedy. Altman's massive cast is all lined up for a photo, and the handy-dandy picto-key tells you who they all are. I died a little inside when this was marred, but damned if I was gonna throw it away.

WHAT HAPPENED WAS... (1994). Rolled, NM
I sorta like the poster a lot. 

WHEN THE CAT'S AWAY (1996) Rolled, NM
Got this from the Plaza Theater only because I have cats. Never bothered seeing the movie. Should I?

WHERE EAGLES DARE (1968). Folded, VG
I enjoy this film tremendously. It's also one of Tarantino's favorite titles. But I just may like the poster even more! Howard Terpning did the ripping artwork. It's an example of what I like to call "The Impossible Shot." All the things happening in this poster, they may happen in the movie, but they definitely won't be occurring all at once as seen here. But they gotta get your ass in the seat somehow. The three photos at the top are quite wisely chosen, too--Miss Ure has a sexy way with a gun.

Striking Eastwood image, for one of his most underrated movies (if you haven't seen it, it's about the making of THE AFRICAN QUEEN, with Eastwood as a thinly-veiled John Huston). 

This poster's incurred some nicks here and there, because it was printed on strangely thin paper. It's also not much of a one-sheet. (What's with all the white space? How could the studio futz up delivering a killer campaign for THIS title?). As for the movie, I adore many parts of it, but its sum still fails to send me over the moon.

WHOSE LIFE IS IT, ANYWAY? (1981). Folded, VG
Despite its silvery surface, I'm not wild about this poster, either, except that it does remind me of a movie that's an early-80s cable favorite of mine. I like John Badham's direction, Mario Tosi's lensing, the Arthur Rubenstein score, Dreyfuss and especially the supporting cast (John Cassavetes, Christine Lahti, Bob Balaban, and the always reliable Kenneth McMillan). So ultimately I guess I DO like the poster.

WICKED WICKED (1973). Folded, VG.
It ain't in 3D. For years, it held claim as the only movie done entirely in split-screen (I believe The Tracy Fragments has it handily beat, and is just as tedious). I saw Wicked Wicked as a kid, though, and thought it was cool, so this was a nostalgia-driven must-buy.

WILD AT HEART (1990). Rolled, VG.
Given to me by the late Patrick Flynn, who counted this among his favorite movies. Of course it's Lynch, so it's indubitably essential as a viewing experience and as poster art. Could have been wilder visually (the one-sheet, I mean), but it certainly deserves to be dominated by Lula and Sailor. The poster is a little smaller than standard one-sheets, but it IS an original. 

WILD MAN BLUES (1997). Rolled, D.
Though I like the director (Barbara Kopple) and her subject, I kinda wish this had been a short rather than a feature. But it's okay for one go-round (I'm just not really a Dixieland jazz fan, is all; however, I did enjoy sitting with Woody and Soon Yi at breakfast). Very nice one-sheet, but it suffered a pretty bad rip. Kept it anyway.

WILD THINGS (1998). Rolled, M
I hear this is a pretty fun B-film. I like the girls, and the guys aren't bad either, so I should give it a go.
WILLARD (1971). Folded, VG.
A childhood movie fave; I can still remember looking at this poster in awe on the way in the theater. Still love it--the image, the logo, the tag line, everything. But the movie itself ain't all that anymore, sad to say.

THE WINGS OF THE DOVE (1997). Rolled, NM
A fine film, bit of a boring poster. But I'm crazy about Venice and the two ladies, so why complain?

WITHOUT WARNING (1980). Folded, VG
Easily one of my favorite bad movies. And what a cast! Martin Landau, Neville Brand, Ralph Meeker, Jack Palance, David Caruso, Cameron Mitchell, Kevin (Predator/Harry and the Hendersons) Peter Hall as the Alien, Larry fucking Storch, and the inimitable Tarah Nutter (isn't that some kind of dessert?). Ghod, I love this movie. The poster transmits a nice bit of the unintentional ( it?) humor, too!

Terrific documentary! Plus, you get stormtroopers, swastikas, Leni, and Hitler up on your wall, if that's yer thing!  Of course, this photo is from another source; this is apparently  a pretty rare poster. 

X (1996). Rolled, NM
I despise anime with a viciousness I usually reserve only for blood pudding and Rosie O'Donnell. But this was free, and who knows...someone might want it someday...

YEAR OF THE DRAGON (1985). Folded, VG
Criminally underrated Michael Cimino film flawed only by Ariane's inept performance and some makeup people who can't keep the greyness of Mickey Rourke's hair straight. Otherwise, a stunner in every respect, including in its striking poster design.


Anonymous said...

All great picks. Somehow, I remember seeing Voyage of the Damned on TV, but I might be mistaken

Dean Treadway said...

From Ron Salvatore, vie Facebook:

Cool stuff. Love Under Fire.

You should see Wild Things. I thought it was terrific.

Dean Treadway said...

From MOVIE GEEKS UNITED host Jamey Duvall, via Facebook:

I have 'Year of the Dragon', too, and love it. There's a French version of 'Wild at Heart' which is a much more pleasing poster...I never bought it, though, even though 'Wild at Heart' is my all time favorite film.