Movie Poster of the Week: “Singin’ in the Rain” and 2016 In Memoriam

A ray of sunshine in a vale of tears: saluting those we lost in 2016.
Adrian Curry

December 28, 2016. R.I.P. Debbie Reynolds, actress and singer. Age 84.

There is a nice moment in the documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds where Carrie’s brother Todd is showing the filmmakers a wall in his living room that tells the story of his mother’s life through movie posters. When Debbie Reynolds passed away on December 28—the day after her daughter Carrie in what was certifiably the last straw of 2016— I tried to find a great poster to commemorate her, but I couldn’t find anything really worthy of her (she was rarely the star of her own posters for one thing). I had forgotten, however, about this lovely Italian poster for Singing’ in the Rain which captures her as the burst of sunshine she always was.

More often than I would have liked last year I found myself using my Movie Poster of the Day Tumblr as a memorial, saluting recently departed film legends. Looking back over my 2016 posts I was shocked at the names I had already forgotten that we lost. We are all woefully aware of the music legends who died in 2016, but I had forgotten how many great film directors passed away: Jacques Rivette, Abbas Kiarostami, Michael Cimino, Andrzej Wajda, Andrzej Żuławski, Ettore Scola and Pierre Étaix, to name just the big ones. And we also said goodbye to three of the greatest cinematographers: Vilmos Zsigmond, Raoul Coutard and Jean “Umbrellas of Cherbourg” Rabier.

So to remember one more time those we lost I thought I would collect my In Memoriam posts of 2016. And I also added one that I hadn’t posted at the time because I couldn’t find a suitable poster for Alan Rickman—not even for Truly, Madly, Deeply. As his poster says “It All Ends.”

January 1, 2016. R.I.P. Vilmos Zsigmond (1930 - 2016), cinematographer. Age 85.

January 10, 2016. R.I.P. David Bowie, actor and musician. Age 69.

January 14, 2016. R.I.P. Alan Rickman, actor and director. Age 69.

January 14, 2016. R.I.P. Franco Citti (1935 - 2016), actor. Age 80.

January 19, 2016. R.I.P. Ettore Scola, filmmaker. Age 84.

January 29, 2016. R.I.P. Jacques Rivette, filmmaker and film critic. Age 87.

February 15, 2016. R.I.P. Jean Rabier, cinematographer. Age 88.

February 17, 2016. R.I.P. Andrzej Żuławski, filmmaker. Age 75.

March 18, 2016. R.I.P. Jan Němec, filmmaker. Age 79.

March 29, 2016. R.I.P. Patty Duke, actress. Age 69.

April 21, 2016. R.I.P. Prince, film director and musician. Age 57.

June 3, 2016. R.I.P. Muhammad Ali, boxer and movie star. Age 74.

June 25, 2016. R.I.P. Bill Cunningham, photographer. Age 87.

July 2, 2016. R.I.P. Michael Cimino, filmmaker. Age 77.

July 4, 2016. R.I.P. Abbas Kiarostami, filmmaker. Age 76.

July 27, 2016. R.I.P. Jack Davis, cartoonist and illustrator. Age 91.

August 17, 2016. R.I.P. Arthur Hiller, filmmaker. Age 92.

August 29, 2016. R.I.P. Gene Wilder, actor and director. Age 83.

October 9, 2016. R.I.P. Andrzej Wajda, filmmaker. Age 90.

October 14, 2016. R.I.P. Pierre Étaix, actor, illustrator and filmmaker. Age 87.

November 8, 2016. R.I.P. Raoul Coutard, cinematographer. Age 92.

December 27, 2016. R.I.P. Carrie Fisher, actress and writer. Age 60.

Poster sources are all credited on Movie Poster of the Day but I should give a special shout out to the source of the Singing’ in the Rain poster, which is Mike Kaplan’s excellent book Gotta Dance: The Art of the Dance Movie Poster.

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