If I were only measuring this book by the 250+ images of movie posters in it, I would say it deserved more than five stars. Unfortunately, the layout has two flaws. Many of the images are reproduced in unnecessarily too small sizes. Some of the two page spreads have the key point of interest right in the middle of the crease. The book also would benefit from a much more thorough discussion of the techniques used in the posters. This book is the third in a series that also covers the 60s and 70s in earlier versions. This volume could have been entitled "The Movies Strike Back at Television." The posters emphasize new technologies (like 3-D glasses), lurid promises for the dying "B" pictures, and lush designs to help attract people away from their TV trays. Attractive new stars like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean helped. Photographic reproduction in these posters is uniformly grim, so those posters which only feature drawings are the best. The most abstract ones appear in European and Japanese versions, and are usually the most outstanding. A movie poster can help set the mood for the movie experience, and enhance the emotional impact much like music does on the film track. In some cases, these posters seemed to go beyond the movie itself. The poster for War of the Worlds seemed clearly more forbidding and overwhelming than anything I remember from the movie itself. You will also enjoy recollecting your memories of these movies from looking at the posters. What was most impressive to me was the way that a poster used a gesture, a moment in a scene, a character, or a design to capture the essence of the whole motion picture. This is the ultimate test of the old saw, "a picture is worth a thousand words." In this case, the best posters are worth many tens of thousands of words, and speak more eloquently than any words could. Here are some of my favorites: La Dolce Vita; Sunset Boulevard (Polish version); The Bad and the Beautiful (Italian version); A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Japanese version); Vertigo; The Man with the Golden Arm; Anatomy of a Murder; Attack of the 50 Foot Woman; The War of the Worlds; The Ladykillers; The Man in the White Suit; Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (French version)(2); Mon Oncle (French version); Moulin Rouge (Polish version); French Can-Can (French version); Casque D'Or (French version); Lust for Life (British version); Kanal (Polish version); The Steel Helmet; The Dam Busters (British version); Reach for the Sky (British version); The Bridge on the River Kwai (British version); From Here to Eternity (French version); Bio Bravo; High Noon; Carmen Jones (Italian version); Gigi; Jailhouse Rock; and On the Waterfront (Italian version). We are indeed fortunate that Mr. Nourmand has shared his taste and collection with us in this volume. After you have finished enjoying these images, I suggest that you take a look at the logo for the organization, project, or company you work for. How well does it establish what you are trying to accomplish? You can use these posters as a guide to what is possible. Be sure to make your visions vividly available to all!
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