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Movie Poster of the Week: The Posters of Barbara Stanwyck

A selection of the best one sheets and more of the great star’s career.

Above: US poster for Forbidden (Frank Capra, USA, 1932)

In honor of  the month-long retrospective of the films of the great Barbara Stanwyck starting today at Film Forum in New York, I thought I’d select my favorite Stanwyck posters. Brooklyn-born Ruby Catherine Stevens made 85 films over 37 years in Hollywood so there is an awful lot to choose from. But the remarkable thing about looking back at these posters is how artists seemed to have had a hard time capturing her likeness. The poster for one of her earliest films, Capra’s 1932 Forbidden, above, captures her beautifully, but the poster for Stella Dallas (1937), her first Oscar-nominated role (she never won, shockingly), seems to be of a different actress entirely. As for the sexed-up illustration on the flyer for The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933), in that she looks more like Jean Harlow. Some of my favorite posters for her films are the Swedish and Danish designs, perhaps because their penchant for ink outlines was well suited to Stanwyck’s own elegant lines. I also love Vargas’s pin-up portrait for Ladies They Talk About (1933), which led off my pre-Code post a couple of years ago, but there are plenty of other gems here, not least the various international designs for The Two Mrs Carrolls (1947). Not all of the films here are in Film Forum’s 40-film retrospective, including her only 3D film (“Never such man-woman excitement in 3D”) featured below, but all of the great ones are.

Above: US poster for Ten Cents a Dance (Lionel Barrymore, USA, 1931)

Above: US promotional flyers for The Bitter Tea of General Yen (Frank Capra, USA, 1933)

Above: Swedish poster for Ever in My Heart (Archie Mayo, USA, 1933)

Above: US poster by Alberto Vargas for Ladies They Talk About (Howard Bretherton and William Keighley, USA, 1933)

Above: US herald for A Lost Lady (Alfred E. Green, USA, 1934)

Above: US poster for Annie Oakley (George Stevens, USA, 1935)

Above: Swedish poster for The Woman in Red (Robert Florey, USA, 1935)

Above: Swedish poster for A Message to Garcia (George Marshall, USA, 1936)

Above: US poster for Stella Dallas (King Vidor, USA, 1937)

Above: Swedish poster for Golden Boy (Rouben Mamoulian, USA, 1939)

Above: US poster for Golden Boy (Rouben Mamoulian, USA, 1939)

Above: US poster for Remember the Night (Mitchell Leisen, USA, 1940)

Above: Danish poster for Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks, USA, 1941)

Above: Spanish poster for Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks, USA, 1941)

Above: Danish poster for The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, USA, 1941)

Above: US poster for Lady of Burlesque (William A. Wellman, USA, 1943)

Above: German poster for Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, USA, 1944)

Above: Danish poster for Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, USA, 1944)

Above: Italian poster for My Reputation (Curtis Bernhardt, USA, 1946)

Above: French poster for The Two Mrs. Carrolls (Peter Godfrey, USA, 1947)

Above: French poster for The Two Mrs. Carrolls (Peter Godfrey, USA, 1947)

Above: Italian poster for The Two Mrs. Carrolls (Peter Godfrey, USA, 1947)

Above: Belgian poster for Sorry, Wrong Number (Anatole Litvak, USA, 1948)

Above: Swedish poster for Sorry, Wrong Number (Anatole Litvak, USA, 1948)

Above: US poster for Clash by Night (Fritz Lang, USA, 1952).

Above: US six-sheet poster for All I Desire (Douglas Sirk, USA, 1953)

Above: German poster for Jeopardy (John Sturges, USA, 1953)

Above: US poster for The Moonlighter (Roy Rowland, USA, 1953)

Posters courtesy of Heritage Auctions and KinoArt.

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wonderful, thanks!!
With Babs, as with the Mona Lisa, it’s all about the mouth. Excellent selection! I love the monstrously green Gary Cooper! … and I simply MUST start lobbying my local IMAX to show “The Moonlighter”
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Wonderful. The second French poster for The Two Mrs. Carrolls is wild.
Thanks for these – several are truly lust-worthy. Would love to have a print of that German Double Indemnity up on my wall!
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Beautiful artwork. A fitting tribute to a wonderful actress!
Beauty and Wonderful

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