Movie posters

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This lists 111 movie posters from my collection. It's a work in progress. The poster inventory is almost (but not quite) complete, but the inventory below has no poster images yet, which makes it pretty uninteresting; stay tuned. My movie still collection has its own page, including images.

Basics

National Screen Service (NSS) produced most American movie advertising material from the 1940s through the 1980s. NSS numbers posters by year, so for example 77-21 is Star Wars from 1977. An NSS number starting with R indicates a rerelease, so R62-198 is the 1962 rerelease of Lubitsch's Merry Widow. Non-NSS posters often have a copyright date, but not always.

The most common US movie poster format measures 27"x41", called a one-sheet; more recent one-sheets have shrunk slightly to 27"x40". To fit the fixed display windows in theaters, one-sheets are always in portrait format, never landscape. One-sheets are normally folded for shipping, only rarely rolled. A three-sheet is about 41"x78", the size of three one-sheets rotated 90 degrees and stacked, usually printed as a one-sheet plus a two-sheet with overlap on adjoining edges. A six-sheet is about 81" by 78", the size of two side-by-side three-sheets, usually printed as two one-sheets plus two two-sheets, again with some overlap on adjooining edges. Three-sheets and six-sheets are too large to display in most rooms. A lobby card is 14"x11" (landscape format), usually printed in sets. My collection contains about a hundred one-sheets, seven three-sheets, a single six-sheet, a dozen sets of lobby cards, and a few other items.

Sources

I started buying movie posters and stills in 1972, while I was a graduate student. Movies were my primary distraction from writing my thesis. I didn't have much money, but it was not an expensive habit. Initially, I bought posters by mail order from Cinema Attic and Movie Poster Place, where a one-sheet typically cost $3, though I paid up to $6 for a select few. While I worked at the Festival Cinema in Palo Alto, I could get posters directly from NSS, where most one-sheets cost $1.65 or $1.80. I stopped buying posters around the end of 1976, though a few drifted into my collection later from friends and from garage sales.

Favorites

My oldest posters date from the mid-1950s; older posters were typically not available from NSS, and they were too expensive from other vendors. Purchases were always sight unseen, which led to some disappointments, such as when I tried to order a one-sheet of Godard's wonderful 1967 Week End but received a one-sheet for the 1962 Danish film Weekend instead.


Click on a heading below to sort the list accordingly.


Title Director NSS Size
2001: A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick 72/38 27x41
Alphaville Jean-Luc Godard 27x41
Amarcord Federico Fellini 74/333 27x41
American Graffiti George Lucas 73/253 27x41
Babette Goes to War Christian-Jaque 60/18 41x81
Beach Blanket Bingo William Asher 65/156 27x41
Bed and Board François Truffaut 71/86 27x41
Big Heat, The Fritz Lang R59/122 27x41
Boccaccio 70 Vittorio de Sica
Federico Fellini
Luchino Visconti
27x41
Bogart 27x41
Borsalino Jacques Deray 70/245 27x41
Burn Gillo Pontecorvo 70/330 [style A] 27x41
Burn Gillo Pontecorvo 70/330 [style B] 27x41
Burn Gillo Pontecorvo 70/330 41x81
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid George Roy Hill 73/323 27x41
Charge of the Light Brigade, The Tony Richardson 68/187 27x41
Cheyenne Autumn John Ford 64/339 81x81
Chinatown Roman Polanski 74/205 27x41
Chinoise, La Jean-Luc Godard 27x41
City Lights Charles Chaplin 72/146 27x41
Close Encounters of the Third Kind Steven Spielberg 77-181 27x41
Conversation,The Francis Coppola 74/142 27x41
Countess from Hong Kong, The Charles Chaplin 67/102 27x41
Damned, The Lucino Visconti 70/36 27x41
Day for Night François Truffaut 73/34? 27x41
Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round Bernard Girard 66/344 41x81
Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round Bernard Girard 66/344 27x41
Death in Venice Lucino Visconti 71/128 27x41
Deliverance John Boorman 72/8 27x41
Devil's Eye, The Ingmar Bergman 27x41
Divorce Italian Style Pietro Germi 27x41
Dolce Vita, La Federico Fellini 61/257 27x41
Dr. Strangelove Stanley Kubrick 64/4 27x41
Electra Glide in Blue James William Guercio 73/180 27x41
Enter the Dragon Robert Clouse 73-268 27x41
Family Plot Alfred Hitchcock 76/94 27x41
Fists of Fury Wei Lo 73/112 27x41
Five Easy Pieces Bob Rafaelson R73/221 27x41
Four Muskateers,The Richard Lester 75/22 27x41
French Connection,The William Friedkin 71/316 27x41
Frenzy Alfred Hitchcock 72/196 27x41
Great Dictator,The Charles Chaplin 72/271 27x41
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The Phil Kaufman 72/151 27x41
Gumshoe Stephen Frears 72/35 27x41
Harold and Maude Hal Ashby 71/359 27x41
Hoosiers David Anspaugh 27x41
Hour of the Wolf Ingmar Bergman 68/75 27x41
I'm All Right Jack John Boulting 41x81
If Lindsay Anderson 69/124 27x41
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter
Billy the Kid vs. Dracula
William Beaudine
William Beaudine
65/369 27x41
Jet Pilot Josef von Sternberg 55/417 41x81
Juliet of the Spirits Federico Fellini 27x41
Kagemusha Akira Kurosawa 27x41
King of Hearts Philippe de Broca 67/216 27x41
Kiss Me Deadly Robert Aldrich 55-184 27x41
Klute Alan J. Pakula 71/176 27x41
Ladykillers, The
Lavender Hill Mob, The
Alexander Mackendrick
Charles Crichton
27x41
Last Tango in Paris Bernardo Bertolucci 73/160 27x41
Let It Be Michael Lindsey-Hogg 70/169 27x41
Let's Make Love George Cukor 60/259 27x41
Macao Josef von Sternberg 27x41
Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob, The Gerard Oury 74/71 27x41
Man Who Knew Too Much, The
Trouble with Harry, The
Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
R68/71 27x41
Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, The John Ford 62/125 27x41
Marx Brothers 71/373 27x41
Merry Widow,The Ernst Lubitsch R62/198 27x41
Midnight Cowboy John Schlesinger 69/192 27x41
Misfits, The John Huston 61/47 27x41
Naked Kiss, The Samuel Fuller 64/157 27x41
Nashville Robert Altman 75/161 27x41
Night of the Living Dead George Romero 68/321 27x41
Nosferatu Werner Herzog 27x41
One Eyed Jacks Marlon Brando 61/95 27x41
Passenger, The Michelangelo Antonioni 75/94 27x41
Passion of Anna, The Ingmar Bergman 70/157 27x41
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid Sam Peckinpah 73/163 27x41
Point Blank John Boorman 67/300 27x41
Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The Billy Wilder 711/12 27x41
Psycho Alfred Hitchcock 60/219 27x41
Pygmalion Anthony Asquith
Leslie Howard
27x41
Rear Window Alfred Hitchcock R62/341 27x41
Rififi Jules Dassin 27x41
Rio Bravo Howard Hawks 59/96 41x81
River's Edge, The Tim Hunter 27x41
Roma Federico Fellini 72/372 27x41
Satyricon Federico Fellini 70/112 27x41
Shampoo Hal Ashby 75/39 27x41
Shane George Stevens R66/109 27x41
Shock Corridor Samuel Fuller 63/248 27x41
Singin' in the Rain Stanley Donan
Gene Kelly
R75/207 27x41
Smiles of a Summer Night Ingmar Bergman 27x41
Spirits of the Dead Roger Vadim
Louis Malle
Federico Fellini
69/269 27x41
Star Wars George Lucas 77/21 27x41
Star Wars George Lucas 77/21 27x41
Stolen Kisses François Truffaut 69/96 27x41
Superfly Gordon Parks 72/319 27x41
They Might Be Giants Anthony Harvey 71/121 27x41
Third Man, The Carol Reed R56-428 41x81
Three Muskateers, The Richard Lester 74/72 27x41
Tin Drum, The Völker Schlondorff 27x41
Tom Jones Tony Richardson 63/232 27x41
Top Hat
Music Box, The
Mark Sandrich
Hal Roach
27x41
Topkapi Jules Dassin 64/302 27x41
Touch of Evil Orson Welles 58/56 27x41
Ulysses Joseph Strick 67/56 27x41
Underworld USA Samuel Fuller 27x41
WR: Mysteries of the Organism Dusan Makavejev 27x41
We're No Angels Michael Curtiz 55/258 27x41
Week-End Palle Kjaerulff-Schmidt 27x41
Wild One, The Stanley Kramer 27x41
Z Costa-Gavras 27x41