Movie Posters of the Week: "Merman" and "Stolz der Nation"

Adrian Curry

If you haven't seen MerMan and Stolz der Nation yet, where have you been this summer? These films, with their perfectly pastiched posters, are the linchpins of the cinema-centric worlds of Judd Apatow's Funny People and Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, and part of a long, proud tradition of fake movies within movies.

The Malibu mansion of George Simmons (Adam Sandler) in Funny People is full of posters for films that could easily be Sandler vehicles: Astro-Nut ("In space, no one can hear you clean"), My Best Friend is a Robot ("Real friendship can’t be programmed"), Re-do ("His second chance is his only hope") and The Mistake ("Love is in the Err"). All the posters, on close inspection, credit the films to Apatow, with fake co-writing credits given, for some reason, to Steve Carell.

Inglourious Basterds, meanwhile, revolves around a movie premiere and two fictitious German movie stars: war hero turned actor Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Brühl) and screen siren turned undercover agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger). Stolz der Nation (Nation’s Pride), a reenactment of Zoller’s heroic feat of keeping 300 Allied soldiers at bay with sniper fire from a bell tower, produced by Joseph Goebbels, is the occasion for the Paris movie premiere that brings all the Nazi high command to town. (The film within a film, credited to one Alois Von Eichberg, was actually directed by Eli Roth.) But in the streets around the movie theater can be glimpsed other beautifully realized posters for Von Hammersmark's fake films Es Gibt Immer Ein Morgen (There's Always Tomorrow) and Frau Shulz (whose poster credits direction to one Jan Hülpüsch, listed on imdb as one of Inglourious Basterds’ graphic artists).

I welcome other examples of fake movie posters within real movies if you find them.


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