Tag Archives: Peter Benchley

CLASSIC MOVIE POSTERS GALLERY – JAWS

Classic Movie Posters Gallery

Jaws Movie Poster One-Sheet

Jaws (Universal, 1975). One Sheet (27″ X 41″)

This week’s installment in our Classic Movie Poster Gallery celebrates it’s 40th anniversary this week, the movie that turned a day at the beach into a national nightmare, Jaws.

Credited as the first summer blockbuster, Jaws was a phenomenon and the poster art played a big part in the feeding frenzy.  The poster art, painted by Roger Kastel, originally appeared on the Bantam paperback for the best-selling book by Peter Benchley.  Universal Studios knew this film was going to be huge and looked at numerous designs before ultimately deciding that the book art was simply unbeatable.

Jaws paperback book cover Bantam

Universal smudged out the nudity that had been a controversial on the smaller book cover and enhanced  the impact by changing the title letters from the pale blue of the paperback to the dramatic blood red we all know today.

The resulting poster, with Kastel’s dramatic realistic style, the dramatic use of color and the exaggerated scale of the shark, is simply one of the most iconic images in the history of cinema.

Unfortunately, Kastel’s original 20×30 painting went missing during the book tour for the movie release.  This painting would be extremely valuable today, but it has never been recovered .  Read more about this unfortunate event at Collectors Weekly.

Poster Value

This poster has good availability in higher grades and is not out of reach for serious collectors.  While I found several listed at over $1,000, I also found numerous listings below worth checking out.

Given the iconic design and lasting critical impact of this film, owning an original Jaws one-sheet seems like a pretty safe collectible investment to me.

A couple of these posters are listed on eBay starting at $750

A Private collector is offering a Very Fine poster for $850 at Heritage Auctions


 

Summary

The summer blockbuster season is upon us, as is our annual family trip to the beach.   Jaws is being re-released at the theaters in June, and I plan to be there, re-living one of the great monster movies of the last 50 years and the grandaddy of the summer blockbuster.