The Magic of Movie Posters & Banners

As a child I was a huge fan of movies and television. This infatuation that bordered on an unhealthy obsession allowed me to escape some of the less than pleasant details of my childhood. In a time with no internet, I remember staring at movie advertisements in magazines and newspapers. When I went to the theatre the movie posters were as big as draw as the main feature for me, I found myself staring at the posters and banners while envisioning what the movies would be about.

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As an adult I look back and see the artistic beauty of these advertisements and decided to post some in this blog along with some of my thoughts. With the internet I can see the posters of old movies I watched as a child that made their debut way before I was ever born, but still filled my childhood with priceless memories.



John Alvin Movie Posters

John Alvin is a person behind the remarkable Hollywood movie poster. His artworks become a valuable part of anniversaries of legendary movies. He has painted hundreds or movie posters, the selections of his best works are compiled in a book titled “The Art of John Alvin”. The man behind the iconic movie posters died in 2008, but his works are always memorized.


Here are some of the best movie posters created by John Alvin that will bring back your memory about incredible movies of 80s and 90s:

Color Purple

the-color-purple-posterIt’s another John’s poster which isn’t related to any scene in the movie. It’s actually an improved silhouette where you can see Whoopi Goldberg as Celie reading a letter while sitting on a couch. The movie poster brings out the mood of hope and tranquility which was built with an edge of melancholy through eligible color and graphics. Color Purple is a Steven Spielberg’s movie based on Alice Walker’s novel.


Empire of the Sun

JohEmpireOfSun_US1n only created a single movie poster for Steven Spielberg’s movie. The single movie poster was used for any marketing campaigns. The movie poster draws out the smoked and fired plane going down across the sun which is clearly an element of the Japanese flag. A boy is playing his toy plane even though he’s in the same scene with the war. This movie poster brings out the optimism to create a more peaceful world.



Victor Victoria

victor_victoria.jpgAlong with the Jurassic Park, the movie poster of Victor Victoria is one of the most remarkable John’s artworks. The movie poster was used both for the stage play and cinema promotions. Unlike other posters, Victor Victoria’s movie banner doesn’t involve James Garner nor Julie Andrews. The same movie poster was also used in the movie-based Broadway show which was also successful. John’s daughter, Farah, also joined the Broadway show as an actress and singer.


Lion King

TLion-King-1994-by-John-Alvinhe remarkable Disney’s Lion King only used a single movie poster created by John. In this movie banner, John used an adult approach as he snapshots one of the scenes to seduce audiences. even though the movie was for all ages, this approaches never went wrong. During its 20th anniversary, the same poster is still used even though there were already some other movie posters with different versions.


Beauty and the Beast

John has been the part of Beauty and the Beast success. the characters were being tweaked as the movie poster was created. However, John has successfully put the romance into semi-silhouette illustration which perfectly illustrated the story behind. His best trick was putting the character in the center of the “hall” without drawing them in close-up. In this poster, mystery and romanticism were well evoked to target the adult audiences.


Star Wars Concert

It’s a rare version of the Star Wars movie poster. This movie poster is a holy grail due to the fact that the show never took place. However, a few thousand was spread out to the public. The Star Wars concert posters are now being hunted by collectors due to unique graphics quality and rarity. It becomes the most collectible poster among the all Star Wars movie posters.




Blazing Saddles

This is perhaps the fastest movie poster John Alvin ever made. John only had 24 hours to finish the Blazing Saddle movie poster. Previously, Mel Brooks had hardly found what he wanted for the poster. In last minutes, John finished one poster and Mel approved it and within a night, all the promotions used the illustration everywhere including billboards, buses, buildings, fences, and many other places. John put some scene elements along with jokes and formal composition.


Young Frankenstein

The Young Frankenstein movie poster was one of John’s favorite as he also liked the movie. John put parody mood on this poster to inform the audiences that they’re going to watch comedy. John put big monster and other big things on the poster. The poster was intended to inform the character’s personalities. the poster was so engaging, the copy was painted on the side of Playboy building and become the best Mel Brooks’ movie ever.


These are several top movie posters of John Alvin, have you found ones that are memorable for you?