Pic of the day: German poster for Chinatown (1974)

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American artist Richard Amsel, best known for his original Raiders of the Lost Ark poster, crafted this German ad for the release of Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974).

Read the third draft of Robert Towne’s Oscar-winning screenplay here. Below, check out Towne’s opening scene between private eye Jack Nicholson and cuckolded husband Burt Young below:

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Pic of the Day: Rambo posters by Italian artist Renato Casaro

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Today’s pic features a pair of posters from one of my favorite artists Renato Casaro, who in his long career created movie ads for James Bond, Schwarzenegger and Stallone, and Italian legends Dario Argento, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Sergio Leone.

Further reading: Film on Paper’s interview with Casaro

Pic of the Day: From Here to Eternity (1953)

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(Above) French-language poster for Fred Zinnemann’s 1953 Best Picture winner From Here to Eternity, an advert immortalizing Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr’s adulterous oceanside kiss. The film is based on the 1951 debut novel of James Jones, which features some autobiographical elements from Jones’ time stationed in Hawaii on the eve of World War II.

Here’s Zinnemann on concessions made to the Army in order to receive its cooperation in making the film. From the book Fred Zinnemann: Interviews:

Certain things the Army objected to, particularly two things. One, the inside of the stockade. The book contained many scenes showing the rough life inside the stockade. The Army said that if that was shown, there would be no cooperation. The second point was the character of the captain, Deborah Kerr’s husband, who was ineffectual and a bad officer. The Army wanted to see the man get his comeuppance and be courtmartialed and forced to resign. In the book he was promoted to major.

Now the whole point then became: is it worth making that sort of arrangement? I felt that it was. As it turned out, I was sure that it was not necessary to go into gruesome details about the inside of the stockade, because one could see in the escape and the death of Sinatra sufficient proof for what was going on inside and leave room for the audience’s imagination.

I personally would’ve liked to see the captain being promoted, because it was a fine sardonic touch. But it was a sacrifice that had to be made. 

Pic of the Day: For a Few Dollars More (1965)

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The German poster art for the middle entry in Sergio Leone’s “Dollar” trilogy of Spaghetti WesternsCheck out more Pics of the Day here.

The trilogy upped the ante on cinematic violence, a gauntlet picked up by Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and The Wild Bunch (1969). Long-tenured New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther was not amused by the bloodshed. Here is the concluding paragraph of Crowther’s review for the American release of For a Few Dollars More in July of 1967.

“But the fact that this film is constructed to endorse the exercise of murderers, to emphasize killer bravado and generate glee in frantic manifestations of death is, to my mind, a sharp indictment of it as so-called entertainment in this day. There is nothing wholesome about killing men for bounty, nothing funny about seeing them die, no matter how much the audience may sit there and burble and laugh.”

Crowther’s distaste at the graphic shift of the American cinema reached its apex a month later when he bashed the August release of Bonnie and Clyde. By December of the same year, he had announced his retirement after 27 years at the Times.