Feature: Guess that Poster 2013

It’s that time of year again: time for a new banner for the website. Can you figure out from which 1932 movie the poster cross section in the header is derived? This is again not an easy one and is cut from a horizontal poster or perhaps lobby card for the flick. As for hints, it features my favorite actor and an actress who was quite famous on the stage as well as screen. Although I found this movie to be a bit strange in its story of love and prostitution to keep one’s husband alive, the poster is quite captivating.

If you have a guess, click “comments” below or fill in the box. I’ll reveal the answer in a week or two and share the full poster for comparison.

For a reminder of past banner challenges, see the 2012 and 2011 versions. For more movie poster-centric posts and quizzes go HERE.

AND THE ANSWER IS… Continue reading

Feature: A Movie Through It’s Posters–It’s a Wonderful Life

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It’s a Wonderful Life has become a nauseating mainstay of the American Xmas tradition, but the movie was seen elsewhere in the world when it was released in 1946. What the movie was about at its core seems to have been perceived differently in other countries, at least as far as we can gather from their respective posters.

The American poster that we have all come to know shows our protagonist joyously engaging his wife, which drives home the moral that as long as one has family (and friends), he is the richest man alive. The  poster from Belgiumin the next spot randomly features a somewhat minor character, Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell). Naturally one would expect if any third character were featured on the cover that it be the angel Clarence (Henry Travers), but apparently not in Belgium.

Next up is a fairly ugly poster from Denmark featuring our protagonists but suggesting the important angel aspect of the plot, although it might be portrayed in too-goofy a manner with the cartoon of Clarence. Next, France’s poster lets us know the movie is about throwing away your money –except for that it really is not. Losing one’s money, yes. Tossing it to the wind, not so much.

Sexiest among the posters is the first of three from Italy. Although the romantic aspect of the story is present on screen, it is perhaps less exciting and prominent than this poster might suggest. Next, the Italians have created a confusing poster that makes Jimmy Stewart look like a conductor or singer (think Carlo from My Man Godfrey). And then there’s the party and scantily clad women in the background! What movie was this artist watching?! The final Italian poster might be the most accurate of any of those featured above. Besides prominently featuring Stewart, the poster also includes a scene of our major characters looking at an empty money tray. A cherub whispers in Stewart’s ear.

Finally, Spain offers us a fairly ugly and boring portrayal of young love, which although a part of the story, also leaves too much up to interpretation.

As far as visual beauty, the first Italian poster strikes me as a favorite, but I cannot help but like the utterly absurd Italian artwork with the singing Stewart. It’s just too goofy not to love!

Feature: Name that Movie Poster 15

Welcome to the next installment of Name that Movie Poster. Can you guess what movie the poster advertised despite my having concealed its title and key players’ names? If you cannot guess off the bat, tell me the quiz is too hard and I’ll give you a hint. To see if your skills of deduction are correct, submit your answer via the box below (NOT THE COMMENT BOX). With the holidays approaching, I figured you would appreciate some festive poster games. For this one if you are out of the loop, do some research. It is among the classic movies with “Christmas” in the title.

For more Name that Poster games and other poster-centric posts go HERE. poster

Feature: Name that Movie Poster 14

Welcome to the next installment of Name that Movie Poster. Can you guess what movie the poster advertised despite my having concealed its title and key players’ names? If you cannot guess off the bat, tell me the quiz is too hard and I’ll give you a hint. To see if your skills of deduction are correct, submit your answer via the box below (NOT THE COMMENT BOX). I hope this one isn’t too easy.

For more Name that Poster games and other poster-centric posts go HERE.

Feature: A Movie Through Its Posters — Psycho

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Psycho is one of those movies that is known worldwide and still revered as a great piece of horror history. In no way is that more evident than by the sheer extent of foreign movie posters for the flick.

Hitchcock was the “master of suspense” but his movies did not really fall into the horror category before Psycho. The movie was controversial and met with a lot of pushback from the Hayes Office but Hitchcock managed to make compromises –giving up one scandalous aspect to allow another to stay in. The movie nevertheless is well known for Janet Leigh‘s undergarment outfits at separate instances in the film’s start. This part of the film certainly did not escape notice to those individuals who create movie posters worldwide. Six of the posters above feature the scantily clad Leigh, which probably proved a selling point for the flick.

Also prominent in the posters is the horror-stricken face of Anthony Perkins upon discovering a body in his hotel’s bathroom. The lead-up scene also was a source of controversy with the short takes assembled to give the impression we are seeing nudity. Including Perkins on the posters in this manner certainly would have lulled the audience into believing his character’s innocence, fueling one of the movie’s twists.

My favorite of these posters is the German one. It is simple and striking with its bold teal color and large Perkins facade. I love that shot of Perkins, and I think this poster uses it to its greatest effect. Which do you like best?

Feature: Name that Movie Poster HALLOWEEN

Welcome to the next installment of Name that Movie Poster. Can you guess what movie the poster advertised despite my having concealed its title and key players’ names? If you cannot guess off the bat, tell me the quiz is too hard and I’ll give you a hint. To see if your skills of deduction are correct, submit your answer via the box below (NOT THE COMMENT BOX). With Halloween just around the corner, a horror poster was in order. The monster here might be obvious, but which of the several movies based around that character does this poster advertise?

For more Name that Poster games and other poster-centric posts go HERE.

Feature: Movie Posters from France

I have done posts in the past comparing U.S. movie posters for American films to those advertisements that were produced internationally for the same flicks. Italy has proven to be a good source of interesting posters (see this post for examples), but France is no slacker when it comes to out doing the Americans on the artsy side. The following are some comparisons between the American posters and French. Which versions do you prefer? If you have your own favorite French posters, please share.

FRANCE VS. AMERICA

The American poster is not bad for Touch of Evil, but the French one is even more dramatic. While the U.S. made the poster suggestive via the embrace between Janet Leigh and Charlton Heston, the French more subtly suggested the bedroom action by framing the characters with a bed post. The foreign version might actually convey to audiences that Heston is responsible for the horrible bed-based action Leigh will suffer in two different settings, whereas the American version is a bit more romantic.

You can see the similarities between where the French and the Americans were going with the poster for Operation Petticoat. Both are provocative with the woman’s legs, but I must say the French had a bit more fun with the depiction of the men’s reaction. I’m laughing more at the French one than the American.

Another sexy movie with two different posters approaches is The Lady from Shanghai. All versions of the American poster featured that same pose by Rita Hayworth, but the French version certainly has a more interesting and artistic quality. This might be a matter of taste. What do you say?

Now for some comedy/war fun. Although the American version assures us there will be laughs to be had, the French poster draws a very serious picture. It is not bereft, however, of two men dancing together, so a close enough look sheds some light into the elements of Stalag 17. However misleading, I do appreciate the artistry of the French approach.

This difference might be my favorite. The Lost Weekend approaches both emphasize the seriousness of the film, but where the American take crowds in unnecessary elements, the French took a simplistic view. For those who have yet to see the picture, the bat surely will present some confusion, and it references only a minor, yet memorable, scene in the movie tracing an alcoholic’s helplessness under the influence of drink.

What it your analysis?

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