Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Movie Poster Collection: The Rarest of the Rare

Finally, we arrive at the final entry in my 29-part series covering my movie poster collection. It's a project that's taken 6 months to complete, and now I must move on to other subjects. But I'm extremely glad to have finished this project. There are a LOT of unusual things to see here, and I have to thank, again, the estimable Tim O'Donnell for taking photographs of these extremely rare pieces, all of which are making their first clear appearances here on the Internet.

BAYOU (a.k.a. Poor White Trash) (Harold Daniels, 57). Folded, with rare Poor White Trash playbill stapled to it. VG.
Bayou wasn't a tremendous hit when it first arrived, nor did it deserve to be (its best feature was its catchy banjo-driven theme song and its casting of the always reliable Timothy Carey, whom I'm glad is featured on the poster). But, in the 1960s, the production was re-released with a memorable ad campaign featuring the silhouette of a naked woman behind a window shade, with this stark exclamation pasted on to the image: "Due to the abnormal subject matter, no photos can be shown!" This landmark ad campaign--often trumped up with exclamations that "Guards will be posted at the entrance to prevent the underage from sneaking in"--made this ho-hum film (co-starring the late Peter Graves and Little Shop of Horrors star Jonathan Haze) into a box-office bonanza well into the late 1980s, especially in the south (where it often played with the Corman-directed KKK drama I Hate Your Guts, starring William Shatner). I feel extremely lucky to have found this copy of the original poster with a playbill for Poor White Trash (advertising its run at the Sunset Drive-In in Canyon City, Colorado). This is one of the rare times where something damaging to the original poster actually makes it more valuable, at least in my eyes. In fact, this might be the rarest piece in my collection.

BEYOND SHAME (a.k.a. A Place Beyond Shame) (Fred J. Lincoln, Sharon Mitchell, 81). Folded, G
I was always interested in obtaining some porno posters from the 70s and 80s, so I snapped up this one, featuring porn goddess Seka and co-directed by porn goddess Sharon Mitchell!

BUTCH CAMP (Alessandro De Gaetano, 96). Rolled, VG
Next to Saturday The 14th, the most hideous poster I own. I keep it only because I know Judy Tenuta is a big deal in the gay community, so someone out there might want this, believe it or not...

CARNAL KNOWLEDGE (Mike Nichols, 71). 1972 re-release, folded, VG.
This poster fills in the blank spaces left by the original one-sheet, which was almost all white, except for having the names of the stars, writer, and director in the center of the piece. Now we have a pencil drawing of our leads, who are arranged in classic Bergmanesque style, and a slightly risque tag line added after theaters around the country made a big stink about showing such a sexy (or, in reality, unsexy) film. I love this poster, and the film itself.

CATCH-22 (Mike Nichols, 70). Pre-release, folded, VG.
This disturbing image was the center of the ad campaign for this expensive flop from Mike Nichols. The pre-release poster is only lacking any notice of the ridiculously huge cast contained within the picture.

CITY LIGHTS (Charlie Chaplin, 31). Re-release, folded, VG.
I have no idea who, in the 1970s, re-released this and was thus responsible for this lazy yet still somehow acceptable poster for one of the greatest movies ever made.

THE DAUGHTER (I, A Woman, Pt. III) (Mac Ahlberg, 70). Folded, VG.
This third entry in the Swedish blockbuster series is hard to see these days. It was almost certainly shown as a softcore porn film in the wank palaces of yore. I like the poster a lot!

Paul Williams (NOT the singer-songwriter) is now one of the largely looked-over talents of the 1970s. I've never seen one of his films but I read a lot about Out of It and The Revolutionary (both of which featured a young Jon Voight), and I sorta remember Nunzio being a HBO staple in the early 80s. This film was a road-trip movie following a bunch of kids trying to transport a huge cache of pot from Boston to the Berkeley, CA college campuses. It's one of the few posters I've ever seen that features the coveted pot leaf.

EARTH (Mira Nair, 98). Rolled, VG.
Still haven't seen any of the films from this series (also including Fire and Water) by Indian director Mira Nair. I got this from the collection of the late Patrick Flynn, who liked these movies tremendously.

THE EEL (Shôhei Imamura, 97). 2 copies, rolled, NM.
I couldn't resist having an Imamura poster in my collection. But don't ask me how I ended up with two copies, because I have no idea.

FIVE-FINGER EXERCISE (Daniel Mann, 62). Folded, VG.
That title is just too suggestive. That tag line is insane! And the design is explosive!

FREE TIBET (Sarah Pirozek, 98). Rolled, VG.
A late-90s concert film featuring A Tribe Called Quest, the Beastie Boys, Bjork, Beck, Foo Fighters, the Fugees, John Lee Hooker, Pavement, Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Sonic Youth, whose frontman, Thurston Moore, is seen plying his trade on the brilliantly-colored poster.

FULFILLMENT (Billy Thornberg, 74). Folded, F.
Another porn poster, this one for a film featuring the legendary John (Johnny Wadd) Holmes!

GIDGET (Paul Wendkos, 59). Folded, D. '
A Spanish Gidget poster! I love it! The title here, Le Coquetona, translates out into "The Female Flirt." And don't those stars look resplendent--and well-oiled--in their skivvies?

THE GLORY GUYS (Arnold Laven (and an uncredited Sam Peckinpah), 65). Folded, F.
Frank McCarthy did the unbelievably detailed artwork for this little-seen western featuring a script written by Sam Peckinpah, and the unlikely starring duo of Harve Presnell (most well know for his roles in Paint Your Wagon and Fargo) and Tom Tryon (who went on to become a novelist with the best-selling horror tome The Other). I think this is a breathtaking piece of poster art!

GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD(David Irving, 83). Folded, G.
Totally tasteless, but I admire its cheek..

THE HILLS RUN RED (Carlo Lizzani, 67). Folded, G.
Henry Silva, big as life on a spaghetti western one-sheet, decked out in leather pants? Gimme!!

KATMANDU (a.k.a. The Pleasure Pit) (André Cayatte, 69). Folded, VG.
I got this because (A) it features the lovely Jane Birkin ("the girl you liked in BLOW-UP") and (b) it's one of the few films she starred in with her husband, legendary French pop star Serge Gainsbourgh. This is where Charlotte Gainsbourgh came from, folks!

KHAMOSHI: THE MUSICAL (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 96). Rolled, G.
My late friend Patrick Flynn was an immense fan of Bollywood movies, but this was the only poster of such a movie in his collection. It's on a quite unusual grade of paper that feels extra-delicate, but it's still in great condition. Needless to say, I've never seen this film.

LADY CAROLINE LAMB (Robert Bolt, 73). Folded, VG.
Stunning artwork (by, I think, Howard Rogers) for this mid-70s costume epic that was nominated for a couple of Academy Awards.

LENNY (Bob Fosse, 74). Folded, VG.
I love Oscar posters, and I don't care what anybody has to say about it. This one is particularly straightforward and striking, with a tiny image of the original poster image in its corner.

LOVE IS THE DEVIL (John Maybury, 98). Rolled, VG.
A brilliant biopic, now forgotten, and a fittingly brash one-sheet featuring SIR Derek Jacobi (the only movie poster I know of that included the SIR as a selling point).

LOVE SERENADE (Shirley Barrett, 96). Rolled, G.
A very blah poster for an unusual cult film from Australia that captured the hearts of everyone who saw it.

THE MAN WHO HAD POWER OVER WOMEN (John Krish, 70). Folded, VG.
A stunning graphic here, for what is surely a forgettable film.

MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER (Robert Altman, 71). Pre-release, folded, VG.
A very rare pre-release poster for the Robert Altman masterpiece, with that stunning artwork (situated on bed's headboard) by Richard Amsel. The empty spaces here may have been intended to contain the locally-applied stickers trumpeting the film's opening at your nearby movie house. This one is an absolute treasure that I cannot sell for a low price.

MY BODYGUARD (Tony Bill, 80). Review sheet, folded, G.
One of the few review sheets that actually became more popular than the film's original poster (which I also own). I think that this is how review sheets should be done, because the central image is dynamic and the font is easy to read. By the way: What a great little movie!

ONLY FOR LOVE (Jean Aurel, Jack Dunn Trop, Roger Vadim, 61). Spanish, folded, G.
I haven't seen this film, and don't need to. But this image of Brigitte Bardot disrobing had to be part of my collection, for sure.

THE OUTER SPACE CONNECTION (Fred Warshofsky, 75). Folded, D.
Another film from the 70s-era Sunn Classics collection, and perhaps their biggest hit (next to In Search of Historic Jesus). It's incredibly clunky in design, but I like it for that very reason (especially the book thrown about there in the corner).

SIV, ANNE AND SVEN (Joe Sarno, 71). Folded, G.
A softcore porn poster, oddly sized, from the noted filmmaker Joe Sarno. This is the only poster I own that features glimpses of actual tit.

STRAW DOGS (Sam Peckinpah, 71). Review sheet, folded, G.
The original poster--the strange image of a 2D Dustin Hoffman with his 3D glasses broken--is easy to find on the net. But this review sheet, featuring the same image, is more elusive.

TELL THEM WILLIE BOY IS HERE (Abraham Polonsky, 69). Bootleg, folded, G.
I can't tell you where this one-sheet for the last film from Force of Evil director Abraham Polonsky (who, only in 1969, was able to get his career restarted after being blacklisted as a Communist in the 50s) came from. It strikes me as a strange sort of bootleg. Does anyone out there have any information about this poster?

THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (Jason Miller, 82). Folded, G.
What a cast! Robert Mitchum, Bruce Dern, Martin Sheen, Paul Sorvino, and Stacy Keach. All of them shared the 1983 Silver Bear for Best Actor at that year's Berlin Film Festival, despite the fact that there was surely some intense partying going on between these guys on set. Directed by Exorcist star Jason Miller (he played the troubled priest at the center of the story); he won a Pulitzer Prize for writing the original play, and directed this film adaptation.

THREE STRANGE LOVES (a.k.a. Thirst) (Ingmar Bergman, 48). Re-release, folded, G.
As it's for a film from 1948, this stands as the oldest poster in my collection. Luckily, it's for an early Ingmar Bergman film originally called Thirst, re-released by the legendary Kino Films.

TUNNELVISION (Neal Israel, Bradley R. Swirnoff, 76). Folded, G.
In the age of Kentucky Fried Movie and The Groove Tube, this was another skit-based comedy that featured, in quick glimpses, Chevy Chase, John Candy, Laraine Newman, Al Franken, Joe Flaherty, Betty Thomas, William Schallert, Howard Hesseman, and Ron Silver. Again, as with Goodbye Cruel World, it's a completely tasteless but also very funny one-sheet!  I'd LOVE to see this movie, even though I'm very prepared to be disappointed.

TWELFTH NIGHT (a.k.a. Eros Perversion) (Ron Wertheim, 79). Folded, G.
A one-sheet for perhaps the only porno adaptation of William Shakespeare!

THE VANISHING (George Sluzier, 88). Folded, G.
The creepy, murky one-sheet for Sluzier's stunning horror classic. A real find!

THE WINSLOW BOY (David Mamet, 99). Rolled, NM.
A boring poster for David Mamet's daring and unusual film.

And remember: they're all for sale! You can see my entire movie poster collection here (but beware: it's a 29-part series). Cheers, everyone.


Drew McIntosh said...

Wow, very nice! I particularly love the The Vanishing and McCabe and Mrs. Miller ones. Great roundup!

shane013a said...

Gawd I've seen and loved so many it brings back memories. I took my wife to see Carnal Knowledge on our wedding night. Never heard the end of that one. I've always been in love with Catch 22, and always have a complete copy. The others are so coolll!! I hope you can find one of FTA you'll dig it a lot. By the way Dealing:BTBFBLBB, was a blast!!

Dean Treadway said...

Just curious: what is FTA?