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Movie Poster of the Week: "The Bride Wore Black"

A look at the varied and brilliant international posters for Truffaut's _The Bride Wore Black_.
The Bride Wore Black poster

Movie Poster of the Week was on vacation last week and thus missed the opening of the re-release of The Bride Wore Black at New York’s Film Forum. But, before it closes this Thursday, I simply must celebrate the fact that Truffaut’s 1968 Hitchcockian revenge drama may have more great and varied original posters than any other film. I count eleven here, each one a winner. First there are two French posters for La mariée était en noir by the peerless René Ferracci, who must have been more than usually inspired by Jeanne Moreau in her widow’s garb. In the first, above, he contradicts the title by scribbling in white on a photograph of Moreau in her titular mourning robe to turn it back into a wedding dress. (The same design was used for the original American poster which Film Forum and distributor Film Desk are selling reproductions of.) In the second Ferracci design, which uses the same lovely stacked title treatment, his illustration hides Moreau’s iconic Louise Brooks bob in a swirl of jet black brush strokes to represent a veil of grief and brooding vengeance (which MeanSheets.com waggishly compared to Sean Penn’s goth mane in This Must Be The Place)...

The Bride Wore Black poster

That illustration was recycled, and colorized, in Belgium (as De bruid droeg zwart) where the illustration was credited “d’apres Ferracci”...

The Bride Wore Black poster

...while in Spain (as La novia vestía de negro) it was busied up not unsuccessfully with the lines of a gun sight, silhouettes of the bride’s five victims, and a revolver instead of a hushing finger...

The Bride Wore Black poster

The Italian poster (La sposa in nero) takes color to a whole new lurid level with its va-va-voom illustration by Mauro Colizzi and art-nouveau-meets- 60s-psychedelia lettering...

The Bride Wore Black poster

...while the Danish poster (Bruden var i sort, artist unknown) keeps the pink background and plays on Ferracci’s roughly daubed dress, introducing a blurred skull into Moreau’s train, complemented by the title’s horror-style hand-lettering...

The Bride Wore Black poster

The skull reappears, more blatantly, in the Polish poster (Panna mloda w zalobie) by the great Franciszek Starowieyski, the first in which Moreau herself is unrecognisable...

The Bride Wore Black poster

...and in this fabulously eccentric Romanian poster (Mireasa era in Negru) Moreau’s face disappears entirely, replaced by a scrapbooking of black lace and lettering atop five wonderfully cartooned corpses...

The Bride Wore Black poster

The German poster (Die Braut trug schwartz) returns us to stark black and white (because of the Ferracci posters in particular I always forget that the film is actually in color) and veils a giant close-up of Moreau...

The Bride Wore Black poster

...while the lovely Japanese “tatekan” (the term for a 20" x 58" vertical two-panel poster) goes for a more narrative montage and a more pensive Moreau:

The Bride Wore Black poster

And finally there is the UK quad, once more in black and white, which crystallizes the impetus of the bride’s quest in one simple image of a white gloved hand placing a wedding ring on a bloody finger, as well as the terrific, no-nonsense tagline “The five men who killed the groom made one mistake... they should have killed the bride.” 

The Bride Wore Black poster
Not only are all of those posters great, they’re all much more interesting than the film they represent! That’s got to be some kind of record.
One inspiration for Kill Bill. I knew it was Starowieyski the moment I saw the text! Awesome stuff Adrian, thanks again. Greg was right on the money, but I tend to think it actually improves the overall work if the poster is better……
I love all those posters…of course the Polish one jumps the shark, but that’s OK

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