|The "before" (see bottom of article for "after").|
There is hardly a more iconic American Godzilla poster than the one for GODZILLA vs. THE THING. I'm referring to the one-sheet movie poster, which even today is the most common size in your local movie theatre. So let's start with that!
This poster is one of my top 5 favorite American Godzilla posters. It's endearing for several reasons to me. Right away, it's an awesome and incredible piece of artwork, by prolific movie poster artist Reynold Brown. It has form, motion, and composition that other posters could only dream about. Secondly, I have a huge admiration for the completely bonkers and over-the-top ad campaign that American International dreamed up. (I keep trying not to use the word "ballyhoo," but I just can't resist. So: ballyhoo.) Changing Mothra to "The Thing" was one, well, thing...but refusing to show her on the poster was a stroke of mad genius. Especially because some people would possibly remember that Mothra had been in a film of her own a few years earlier (but released by a different studio, in this case, Columbia Pictures)...but let's not forget about the fact that there was already a monster laying claim to the title of THE THING, from the 1951 film. I've never thought about it in this way before, but do you think that some movie fans thought Godzilla was going to be fighting James Arness? Probably not.
Now, the secondary artwork isn't confined to only the half-sheet poster. It's on the window card, the pressbook, and about 1/2 of the newspaper ads! AI had two stellar paintings, so they got plenty of use from both.
Here are both of Brown's original paintings, minus the graphics and lettering, from a very providential magazine article (it looks like STARLOG to me, but if anyone knows, I'll correct my assumption):
|Imagine--somebody somewhere owns these glorious originals. I hope they are properly framed and displayed prominently!|
This has been a long-winded way to get back to my own half-sheet poster, but as you can see, I'm quite excited about it. What was very interesting was that the seller was the original owner, and, as a kid, had actually asked his local theatre in Ohio if he could have it, in the fall of 1964! I assured him it was going to a house full of framed Godzilla posters and lobby cards--in fact, it's perpendicular to the wall displaying the one-sheet version--and he was pleased to know it would have a good home!
|I use my local Michael's framers, because they are conscientious and use archival and acid-free materials. They were kind enough to "iron" the poster for me in the dry-mounting press and get some of the wrinkles out!|