Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Movie Poster Collection: O-P

Remember that you can always click on the images themselves to see them (hopefully) larger:

THE ODD COUPLE / ROSEMARY'S BABY double feature (1968). Folded, VG
This is a real relic of past times, when studios used to pair up hit movies at the end of their run as double features. I once had a double feature poster of Vanishing Point and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. That one made sense, since they were both car-chase movies. This one, however, is totally insane. I guess the though was that people could use some scares (????) after chortling at Matthau and Lemmon in their premier roles. The Odd Couple art is done by Dann Tardif, and it creates a strange counterpart to the green nightmare of the Polanski film's graphic. I treasure this poster; it's so weird. It's not for sale.

OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN (1983). Folded, VG
The greatest rat movie of all time, and I'm including Willard in this mix. I sorta love that the rodent is only alluded to here. Perhaps Peter Wellers' most energetic performance, even given Robocop.

Based on the Broadway musical. I've never seen it. God knows I want to. Just look at that cool artwork, printed on non-glossy stock.

OLIVER! (1968). Folded, VG
I know a lot of people are mad at this movie for beating out 2001 for the Best Picture Oscar in 1968. I understand. But if any movie were to beat it, I would've chosen this one. It's a perfect adaptation of Charles Dickens' tale, with almost all songs in it indelible. Brilliantly directed by Carol Reed, who finally won the Oscar he deserved, even if he had to vanquish Kubrick to get it (and remember: Kubrick DID win an Oscar that year, for designing the special effects for 2001--still and forever the only director to win such an award, which is a feat unto itself). Anyway, do yourself a favor and give yourself over to Oliver! I once played it at Kim's Video in NYC and the customers were transfixed by it. I'll never forget that afternoon.

THE OMEN (1976). Folded, pre-release, F
This is a holdover from that time in which ad copy meant beating people over the damn head with it.

An unknown quantity, featuring a bikini-clad Carol Lynley (sooooo cute!). I bought this because it's an entry into the Warner Bros./Seven Arts design juggernaut of the late 1960s.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (1975). Folded, Oscar poster A, VG
Better than the original poster, with a tear-inducing image of Bromden taking Mac with him once and for all. Oscar posters are rarely as good as this.

ONE ON ONE (1977). Folded, VG. 

ONE TRICK PONY (1980). Folded, VG
Finally, Paul Simon's very personal film--written by, scored by, and starring Paul in a naturalistic lead performance--is available on DVD via the Warner Brothers Archive. Seek it out. It's one of the best rock n' roll movies ever, with appearances by Lou Reed (in a too-brief dramatic performance as a shitty record producer), The B-52s, The Lovin' Spoonful, Sam and Dave, and Tiny Tim! The dramatic cast--all perfect--includes the beautiful Blair Brown, Allen Garfield (what a callipygous ass!), Joan Hackett, a wonderful Mare Winningham, Harry Shearer, and Daniel Stern. Plus the band! They're all fantastic in it (look out for that dead rock stars game).

Never seen this. But I love the artwork, by someone named Bonhomme. My only Fellini poster (I gave my 8 1/2 poster to my good friend, award-winning comic artist Rich Tommaso). 

ORDINARY PEOPLE (1980). Folded, G
Another Best Picture winner people are mad at, this time for beating out Raging Bull for the award. But, again, I'm sympathetic to this moving film. Scorsese's work is obviously better, but I can't hate the Redford film; it's just too clearly heartfelt. This is a simple poster that's not dull to me; it hits me right where it counts. The darkness to it is perfection.

THE OTHER (1972). Folded, G
A scary one-sheet, for an sunny, idyllic but daytime-horrific film by To Kill A Mockingbird director Robert Mulligan, who takes the more frightening moments of that movie and ratchets them up tenfold in this under-appreciated scarefest. The poster, and the evocative tagline, say it all. 

OUTLAND (1981). Rolled, Insert, NM. 

PAPILLON (1974). Folded, rerelease, VG
Another of the movie biz's finest ad slicks, with an amazingly realistic iron door trapping our two leads. Am I wrong, or should this movie be respected a little more than it is?
PARANOIA (1967). Folded, VG
Whoooooa! I'm falling! 

PARENTS (1989). Rolled, G
A funny poster, with Quaid and Hurt in unusual leads. A movie that's worth seeing. 

PARTING GLANCES (1986). 2 copies, one folded, one rolled, G
Striking artwork for this landmark gay film. And the one of the only posters ever to feature the visage of the singular Steve Buscemi, in his first big role.

A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1984). Folded, G
Why, oh why, did David Lean approve this snoozer? It obviously has respect for the Indian landscape. One could easily say too MUCH respect.

PET SEMETARY (1989). Rolled, G
Scary poster; forgettable movie.

PETULIA (1968). Folded, VG
If my house were burning, I would first save my cats, my early writings (easily grabbed as they are ensconced in a vintage suitcase), and then would save this poster, which I consider to be perhaps the best one-sheet I've ever seen. It passes over the realm of advertising into true art. Composed, I think, by Robert Peak, it is a stirring melding of two personalities: George C. Scott's stern surgeon Archie, and the arch-kook Petulia, played by Julie Christie. Made for Richard Lester's very difficult classic, it is as multi-faceted as the film it represents. It is beyond beauty to me. It's from another solar system. 

Not only does this poster feature Chuck Jones artwork, it has at its center Butch (The Munsters) Patrick! How could one resist this?

PICK-UP SUMMER (1980). Folded, VG
What the hell is going on with that one girl's missing leg? I guess it's behind the other girl's appendage, but it still thrusts this poster into optical illusion territory. That's why I bought it. Love the tagline "School is out and everything's in!" This Canadian movie was filmed under the better title Pinball Summer.

PLATOON (1986). Folded, VG
Not one of my favorite movies, but I do like the poster. It makes a good twin image to Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket one-sheet.

THE PLAYER (1992). Folded, VG
A noose made out of film? Neat. An Altman film I feel is overrated (it's a one-joke movie), but still I appreciate its snark.
PLAZA SUITE (1971). Folded, G
A noted poster artist did this artwork, but I can't find out who it is. Neil Simon's writing and Walter Matthau's 3-character performance are the stars here. 

POCKET MONEY (1972). Folded, G
How fine is this one sheet? The sepia-toned photo of Paul Newman and an against-type Lee Marvin, bookended by those askew names? Phenomenal! This classic, if underappreciated, movie is written by "Terry" Malick. The poster is printed on non-glossy stock, which is a practice some enterprising filmmaker these days should mirror. Here's betting that filmmaker will one day be Paul Thomas Anderson.

POLA X (1999). Rolled, VG
Sexy poster for a Leos Carax movie I've never seen. 

THE POM POM GIRLS (1976). Folded, VG
The very definition of a sloppy drive-in movie one-sheet. I love it.
Look at those guys, with their faces intact! The very image of cool. 

PRICK UP YOUR EARS (1987). Rolled, VG
Stephen Frears' expert bio of gay playwright Joe Orton. How can you not like a poster with those three stars on it, even if they DO look a little off. (Boy, Molina was good in that movie!)
THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (1972). Folded, framed, M
Now, as I write this, I feel a ghost over my shoulder. It's the smiling spirit of my good friend Patrick Flynn, who died a little more than a year ago as of this writing. Years ago, as a birthday gift, I gave up this prized poster to Patrick, because it was his favorite movie of all time. He instantly had it framed and mounted, and set up outside his room, where it would be the first sight he'd see at the beginning of each day. When he died, I gratefully inherited the poster, frame and all. It sits now in my mother's house in Atlanta. It should be obvious that I have a great affection for The Poseidon Adventure as a childhood favorite. But I love the poster, too, not only because Patrick loved it, but because it was deserved of his love. It's one of the great one-sheets of the past 50 years. It's the definition of the "Impossible Shot"--the shot that couldn't possibly be in the movie. It has the spew of blue water, with bodies embedded in it; the people hanging from the upended tables (with that one lady falling, her dress flying up in the air); it has all of the cast repped, including Hackman, Stevens, and Borgnine in the front, and even the tiniest of supporting performers in the background (including even the guy who played the ship's bursar). It has an exciting tagline (HELL UPSIDE DOWN), a heart-pounding sub-tag ("Who Will Survive?"), and the best collection of shocked, mouth-agape, boxed-in heads ever assembled. Plus that marvelous logo--one of most recognizable any studio ever concocted. This poster has everything--it's in the top five posters of all time. And certainly it was Patrick's favorite. Here he is, lounging on the deck of the Queen Mary, where the movie's exteriors were filmed (and which served as a model for the ship's incredible miniature recreation). Rest in peace, my buddy Patrick Flynn.

Never seen it. I like Miyazaki, but I won't see this. Not interested. 

PRIZZI'S HONOR (1985). Folded, G
Great movie, ugly poster. Too bad.
PSYCHO (1998). Rolled, NM
Patrick left me this poster, too. He kept it because he found the idea of doing a shot-by-shot remake of the Hitchcock classic to be a brazenly funny idea. I've still never ventured to watch it, and probably won't. But the poster is as good as one could expect, I suppose. And at least they kept the Saul Bass logo! 

PULP FICTION (1994). Rolled, pre-release, M
This masterpiece of a one-sheet was given to me by former Turner Classic Movies programmer Tom Karsch, back when he and I were working at Turner Network Television. He saw that I had a Diner poster hanging up in my cubicle, and he really admired it (it's his favorite movie). In a fit of good will, I gave it to him (I like giving posters to people who I know will appreciate them). He returned the favor by giving me this and a Jackie Brown one-sheet. I'll always keep this one. I love that, at the bottom, it says "*CREDITS NOT CONTRACTUAL." I wonder if this was a specific Tarantino touch?

PUMPKINHEAD (1988). Folded, then rolled, VG
Another poster from Patrick's collection. That goofball...

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