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Movie Poster of the Week: Burt Lancaster in Posters

50 of the best illustrated images of the great Hollywood star to mark his major New York retrospective.
Above: Italian 4-fogli for Birdman of Alcatraz (John Frankenheimer, USA, 1962). Artist: Renato Casaro.
Starting today with a week-long run of Robert Siodmak’s The Killers, New York’s Film Forum is hosting a 4-week, 37-film retrospective of one of the great he-men of Hollywood. With his square jaw, gymnast’s physique, and megawatt grin, Burt Lancaster (1913–1994) must have been a boon to movie poster artists and over the years he was drawn or painted by many great affichistes. I could have curated a post on just the Italian renditions of Lancaster alone: over the years he was painted by Ercole Brini, Anselmo Ballester, Luigi Martinati, Renato Casaro, Averardo Ciriello, and many more. To mark the retrospective I have selected 50 of my favorite illustrated images of the indelible star, from his brooding film noir youth (though he was actually 33 when he made his debut in The Killers), through his serious thespian mid-period (extraordinary performances in Sweet Smell of Success and The Leopard, and an Oscar for Elmer Gantry) to his mustachioed last gleaming in films like Atlantic City and Local Hero.
Above: Belgian poster for The Killers (Robert Siodmak, USA, 1946).
Above: German poster for The Killers (Robert Siodmak, USA, 1946).
Above: Detail from US half sheet for Brute Force (Jules Dassin, USA, 1947).
Above: US half sheet for Brute Force (Jules Dassin, USA, 1947).
Above: US one sheet for Brute Force (Jules Dassin, USA, 1947).
Above: US one sheet for I Walk Alone (Byron Haskin, USA, 1948).
Above: Detail from Italian 2-fogli for I Walk Alone (Byron Haskin, USA, 1948). Artist: Ercole Brini.
Above: Italian 2-fogli for I Walk Alone (Byron Haskin, USA, 1948). Artist: Ercole Brini.
Above: Belgian poster for Sorry, Wrong Number (Anatole Litvak, USA, 1948).
Above: French poster for Criss Cross (Robert Siodmak, USA, 1949).
Above: Detail from the Italian 4-fogli for Criss Cross (Robert Siodmak, USA, 1949).
Above: Italian 4-fogli for Criss Cross (Robert Siodmak, USA, 1949).
Above: Argentinian poster for Rope of Sand (William Dieterle, USA, 1949).
Above: Italian 2-fogli for Rope of Sand (William Dieterle, USA, 1949). Artist: Ercole Brini.
Above: Italian poster for The Flame and the Arrow (Jacques Tourneur, USA, 1950).
Above: Italian locadina for Jim Thorpe: All-American (Michael Curtiz, USA, 1951). Artist: Luigi Martinati.
Above: Italian 2-fogli for Ten Tall Men (William Coldbeck, USA, 1951). Artist: Alfredo Capitani.
Above: Detail from the US one sheet for Vengeance Valley (Richard Thorpe, USA, 1951).
Above: US one sheet for Vengeance Valley (Richard Thorpe, USA, 1951).
Above: Detail from the Italian 2-fogli for The Crimson Pirate (Robert Siodmak, USA, 1952). Artist: Luigi Martinati.
Above: Italian 2-fogli for The Crimson Pirate (Robert Siodmak, USA, 1952). Artist: Luigi Martinati.
Above: US one sheet for Come Back, Little Sheba (Daniel Mann, USA, 1952).
Above: Italian poster for Come Back, Little Sheba (Daniel Mann, USA, 1952). Artist: Ercole Brini.
Above: Detail from the French poster for From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann, USA, 1953). Artist: Constantin Belinsky.
Above: French poster for From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann, USA, 1953). Artist: Constantin Belinsky.
Above: Detail from the French poster for From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann, USA, 1953).
Above: French poster for From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann, USA, 1953).
Above: Detail from the Italian 2-fogli for From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann, USA, 1953). Artist: Anselmo Ballester.
Above: Italian 2-fogli for From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann, USA, 1953). Artist: Anselmo Ballester.
Above: US one sheet for Apache (Robert Aldrich, USA, 1954).
Above: Argentinian poster for Vera Cruz (Robert Aldrich, USA, 1954).
Above: Italian half sheet for Vera Cruz (Robert Aldrich, USA, 1954). Artist: Angelo Cesselon.
Above: US half sheet for The Kentuckian (Burt Lancaster, USA, 1955).
Above: Detail from the Italian 1962 re-release poster for The Kentuckian (Burt Lancaster, USA, 1955). Artist: Enrico DeSeta.
Above: Italian 1962 re-release poster for The Kentuckian (Burt Lancaster, USA, 1955). Artist: Enrico DeSeta.
Above: Detail from the 1963 Italian re-release 2-fogli for Trapeze (Carol Reed, USA, 1956). Artist: Averardo Ciriello.
Above: 1963 Italian re-release 2-fogli for Trapeze (Carol Reed, USA, 1956). Artist: Averardo Ciriello.
Above: French grande for The Rainmaker (Joseph Anthony, USA, 1956). Artist: Boris Grinsson.
Above: 1970s German re-release poster for Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (John Sturges, USA, 1957). Artist: Lutz Peltzer.
Above: US title card for Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, USA, 1957).
Above: US one sheet for Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, USA, 1957).
Above: German poster for Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, USA, 1957). Artist: Braun.
Above: Argentinian poster for Run Silent Run Deep (Robert Wise, USA, 1958).
Above: Detail from the French 4-panel poster for The Unforgiven (John Huston, USA, 1960). Artist: Boris Grinsson.
Above: French 4-panel poster for The Unforgiven (John Huston, USA, 1960). Artist: Boris Grinsson.
Above: Argentinian poster for Elmer Gantry (Richard Brooks, USA, 1960).
Above: French poster for Birdman of Alcatraz (John Frankenheimer, USA, 1962).
Above: German poster for Birdman of Alcatraz (John Frankenheimer, USA, 1962). Artist: K. Degan.
Above: Detail from the Italian 4-fogli for Birdman of Alcatraz (John Frankenheimer, USA, 1962). Artist: Renato Casaro.
Above: Detail from the US one sheet for A Child is Waiting (John Cassavetes, USA, 1963). Artist: Howard Terpning.
Above: US one sheet for A Child is Waiting (John Cassavetes, USA, 1963). Artist: Howard Terpning.
Above: US window card for The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, Italy, 1963).
Above: Detail from the French grande for The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, Italy, 1963). Artist: Gonzalez.
Above: French grande for The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, Italy, 1963). Artist: Gonzalez.
Above: German poster for The Train (John Frankenheimer, USA, 1964).
Above: Detail from the US one sheet for The Swimmer (Frank Perry, USA, 1968).
Above: US one sheet for The Swimmer (Frank Perry, USA, 1968).
Above: Detail from the US one sheet for Ulzana's Raid (Robert Aldrich, USA, 1972).
Above: US one sheet for Ulzana's Raid (Robert Aldrich, USA, 1972).
Above: Polish poster for Conversation Piece (Luchino Visconti, Italy, 1974). Artist: Jerzy Flisak.
Above: Spanish poster for The Midnight Man (Roland Kibbee & Burt Lancaster, USA, 1974). Artist: Macario Gómez Quibus aka Mac.
Above: Detail from the Spanish poster for Atlantic City (Louis Malle, USA, 1980). Artist: Jano.
Above: Spanish poster for Atlantic City (Louis Malle, USA, 1980). Artist: Jano.
Above: French grande for The Skin (Liliana Cavani, France/Italy, 1981).
Above: Detail from the US one sheet for Local Hero (Bill Forsyth, UK, 1983).
Above: US one sheet for Local Hero (Bill Forsyth, UK, 1983).
Above: Detail from the US one sheet for Tough Guys (Jeff Kanew, USA, 1986).
Above: US one sheet for Tough Guys (Jeff Kanew, USA, 1986).
Posters courtesy of Heritage Auctions, Posteritati and KinoArt.net.
"Burt Lancaster" runs July 18 – August 15, 2019 at New York's Film Forum.
WOW! Thanks for this incredible gallery. Those strong, classic features certainly lent themselves to some memorable portraits. In fact just had Lancaster on the mind because a few days ago I pulled out my Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Trapeze for a watch and was admiring the fine cover and menu art. Lancaster's heyday was before my time but I have fond memories of that Tough Guys one-sheet. Nice to see it again.

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