24 October 2011

American Film Polski

1947, Eryk Lipinski, Casablanca, 33 x 23in

1948, Henryk Tomaszewski, Citizen Kane, 34x24in Est. $1,200

1957, Waldemar Swierzy, Sunset Boulevard, 33.5 x 22.5in, Est. $4,500

1959, Maria Heidrich, Spellbound, 23 x 31.5in

1959 Franciszek Starowieyski, Satchmo the Great, 33 x 23in

1959, Marian Stachurski, Snows of Kilimanjaro, 34 x 23in

1973, Wiktor Gorka, Cabaret, 33 x 23in

1973, Waldemar Swierzy, Midnight Cowboy, 32 x 23in Est. $1,800

1978, Andrzej Klimowski, Taxi Driver, 38 x 26.5in

1978, Mieczyslaw Wasilewski, Three Women, 32.5 x 22.5in, Est. $90

1980, Marek Ploza-Dolinski, The Dirty Dozen, 27 x 39in, Est. $70

1984, Waldemar Swierzy, The Dogs of War, 38 x 26.5, Est. $132

1988, Mieczyslaw Wasilewski, Untouchables, 26.5 x 38in, Est. $107

2001, Wieslaw Walkuski, Face Off, 38.5 x 27in

2009, Joanna Gorska, Jerzy Sakun, Annie Hall, 27 x 29in, Est. $32

I loved watching foreign movies as a kid. They were my ticket and passport out of whatever crappy Army town I was living in. They were also a chance to share a film with my deaf sister thanks to subtitles. I'm not gonna tell you I was watching Bergman's, The Seventh Seal at 12, but I was a dedicated follower of the CBS Children's Film Festival. Never liked Kukla, Fran and Ollie much, but they were a small price for a ticket to Tokyo, London, Munich or even the Bronx.

Polish American Film Posters are a different point of view on established American ideas. Created a few years after the original release, the artists rarely saw the films but were given a written description. All but two of these (Dirty Dozen, Annie Hall) posters were taken from the 2002 exhibit, American Films in Polish Posters at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago.

If these float your boat, there are a number of dealers on the internet, and prices for all but the earliest works are affordable, if not down right cheap. There's a gap between 1949 and 1957 when American movies were banned by the communists. That really worked.

Compared to the huge American One-Sheets, these posters all run around 33" x 23", give or take. They also don't shout at you like American posters and tweed bicycle rides. There's an understatement that's intelligent, creative and fun. Just like my Polish grandmother.


Main Line Sportsman said...

Loved the CBS movies on Saturdays...also not to big on Kukla Fran and Ollie.

Anonymous said...

The CBS Children's Film Festival even then seemed a little highbrow. It was on at about 1 pm on Sat afternoon and I think I was running out of steam by that point. But tastes do come from somewhere and stuff like this maybe played a role. The Red Balloon anyone?

Alice Olive said...

Wow, love some of these. Three Women, in particular.

Anonymous said...

wow! things of beauty, real works of art....

Anonymous said...

Yes, The Red Balloon. We own it on DVD. CBS Childrens Hour: Youtube the opening credits for a nostalgic blast.

But subtitles? You were lucky, Tintin; every popular foreign film I saw was dubbed. Maybe I was the lucky one - I would have been to lazy to want to read.

The posters look so different from the American versions because European designers were motivated by what they viewed movies as: art, not commerce.

I wish I had met your grandmother.


tintin said...

Main Line- Kukla scared the shit outta me.

Anon 11:47 - Johnny Quest was required on Saturday but was one of the few cartoons I watched.

Alice- Affordable too.

Zambo- Glad you liked 'em.

DB-All the Children's Hour was dubbed but PBS was running foreign films back then. I remember subtitled Kurosawa films when I was 12 or 13.

Anonymous said...

Now THAT is graphic design.

As I recall, you were the only one on Saturday mornings who wanted to watch Johnny Quest.


GSV JR said...

The Satchmo poster is unintentionally frightening.

Michael Borshuk said...

Gosh, everyone of these is absolutely stunning. I can already imagine a place for each of them in my house.