Classic Movie Posters
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, Universal ) U.S. One-Sheet (27 x 41)
The Gill Man swam into theaters in 1954 and has since joined the ranks of the classic Universal monsters alongside Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and the Wolf Man. This classic film was originally released in 3-D and featured groundbreaking underwater photography. The creature was performed on land by Ben Chapman and underwater by champion swimmer Ricou Browning, who had to hold his breath for up to four minutes while shooting scenes.
While The Creature from the Black Lagoon was originally released in in dual-strip 35mm polarized 3-D, and the listing of 3-D posters in the pressbook, they were never issued. The only original poster to have 3-D text actually printed on it was the 14×22 window card. Universal sent “Underwater Thrills in 3-D” snipes for the other posters:
This is an actual snipe that was included along with a one-sheet poster in a recent offering by Heritage Auctions. These snipes were rarely used so most of the one-sheets found today do not have the snipes on them.
Here’s what the one-sheet looks like with the snipe:
Take a look at this incredible image from Universal’s 1954 press book courtesy of the wonderful site 3DFilmArchive.com
The one-sheet poster is one of the rarest and most sought after movie posters of the 1950s. The poster art was done by Albert Kallis, who was also responsible for almost all the posters of Roger Corman‘s B-movies in the 1950s, including It Conquered the World, War of the Colossal Beast and many, many more. Kallis was born of Russian immigrant parents, co-founded IHOP (yep, the House of Pancakes) and created some of the greatest genre movie posters of the 1950s. If you don’t know much about this guy, I highly recommend his autobiography:
Here’s the 1954 theatrical trailer for The Creature from the Black Lagoon:
As with most Creature collectibles, paper from this classic monster movie is highly sought after and comes with a correspondingly high price tag. A copy in Very Fine condition sold for $20,315 in Heritage Auctions Vintage Movie Posters Signature Auction in July 2015.
The Creature returned to the theater multiple times over the next 20 years, and movie posters for these return showings are much less expensive than the original 1954 release.
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