Tag Archives: Universal Studios

Classic Movie Poster – Creature from the Black Lagoon

Classic Movie Posters

Creature from the Black Lagoon One-Sheet Movie Poster

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:

3-D-Poster-Snipe

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:

Creature from the Black Lagoon One-Sheet 3-D Snipe

Take a look at this incredible image from Universal’s 1954 press book courtesy of the wonderful site 3DFilmArchive.com

Universal Pressbook Creature from the Black Lagoon 1954

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 WorldWar 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:

Living the Gift of Time

Here’s the 1954 theatrical trailer for The Creature from the Black Lagoon:

Poster Value

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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Classic Movie Posters – Dracula 1931 One Sheet

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

Dracula-1931-One-Sheet

Dracula (Universal, 1931) One Sheet (27″ X 41″) Style F

It’s October and we’re getting back to basics with a focus on the most iconic of all classic monster movies, the films from Universal Studios.  First up, Bela Lugosi as Dracula in the 1931 film classic.

Watch this video history of 1931’s Dracula from Heritage Aucitions:

From Heritage Auctions website:

This lovely Style F stone litho one sheet, with its stunning image of Count Dracula aboard the Vespa en route to London, is a real gem. In March 2009, Heritage sold another copy of this style, from the collection of Nicolas Cage, which realized more than $310,000. At the time, it was noted that the copy offered was one of only three known. The discovery of the poster in this auction brings that grand total to four known to exist in the entire world. The poster had a tear in the upper white border that extends into the image within the green field between Dracula’s raised fist and the moon behind him, with a tiny fleck of missing paper at the intersection of the border and the green field. There was tear from the left border into the “D” in “Dracula” and down into the black of the cape. There was two tears in the right border that extend just into the image and there were pinholes in the upper two corners of the artwork. The bottom white border was trimmed just below the black line which delineates the image from the border so no color image was lost and the entire image and all borders were intact other than the lower border. Through careful professional restoration all of these issues discussed were beautifully restored. The colors on the poster are as vibrant as the day it was printed and have not been altered at all. Few posters combine the high degrees of rarity, desirability, and sheer artistic beauty like this scarce showpiece.

The poster described in the video,  only the fourth Style F poster from the film ever uncovered, sold at auction in 2012  for $143,400. This poster was part of The Berwick Discovery of Lost Movie Posters – a trove of 33 classic and incredibly rare posters dating back as far as 1930 – many examples of which were thought to be lost for all time, realized $503,035 total,.  The Berwick posters came out of an attic and were found in a small country auction in Berwick, PA, in several lots stuck together with wallpaper paste, which had preserved them for more than eight decades.

In 2009, a Style F one sheet owned by the actor Nicolas Cage went for $310,700 when the actor sold off his collection.

Related Articles: 

I recommend this Kindle book for more information on the classic monster movie posters:

POSTER ART FROM CLASSIC MONSTER FILMS

available at Amazon.com for Kindle

 

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.