The Weird World Of The International Film Poster

A collection of classic – and not-so-classic- artwork from the days when each country had unique and extraordinary film poster art.

These days, film posters are fairly generic across the world, with studios maintaining a tight control over their increasingly bland artwork, with only the slightest of local variations (for sizing and format) allowed. It’s all very dull and predictable. Things used to be different – once upon a time, film posters varied wildly from territory to territory in order to appeal to local tastes or because distributors in one territory had no access to the artwork of another. This led to a wide variety of styles, as film posters were crafted with little regard for what any other country might be doing, often by creatives who had a very specific take on the film in question – a film that they may or may not have actually seen. And then there were the new posters created for re-releases, double bills and more.

Some of these posters were inspired interpretations and great works of art in their own right; others were simply bizarre and many of them were indescribably shoddy. But all were definitely interesting. I’ll take the most amateurish and lazy hack job over the generic images that we have to day any time.

To compile a gallery of these is a thankless task – there are so many and deciding where to draw the line is hard work. Here are just a handful – a mix of the classic and the crass, the extraordinary and the unbelievable. Only posters for films made in different countries count – many movies had jaw-dropping promotional artwork in their home countries too, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. We’ll add to this as we go along – as ever, we encourage you to forward us your own favourites.

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