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Hondo's This And That

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  • JohnJohn Member, Dealer Posts: 1,251 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    HONDO said:


    MOVIE POSTER ARTISTS 

    First of all as there is little information available on Australian film poster artists who signed their work , apart from the John Reid contribution, I have decided to expand this subject matter a little more. I throughly recommend John's Moviemem.com website and his image exhibition titled The Australian Movie Poster Exhibition. To those who may not have checked it out it is certainly worth a visit, particually for anyone interested in the subject of Australian poster artists who actually got to sign their work. 

     I will attempt in my forthcoming presentation to use images where possible that John doesn’t have in his exhibition,  and so far I have collected a large selection, including some really nice ones that fall into this category. John’s exhibition I believe encouraged me to try and expand on this subject with finding and including a little difficult to find history on some of the artists, as well as showing film poster images. I will also include, where applicable, some graphic artwork from many fields other than film related artwork that some of the poster artists  were involved in over many years of their working life. A big question here for me is how many images are too many to include? 

    Thanks for the kind words Lawrence. The subject of Australian Movie poster artists is a fascinating one and I have come across many early daybills that have been signed by the artist. However one thing to consider is that, in some cases, the artists simply copied the art of the original artists so sometimes their art cannot really be considered original even though it might have been signed.

    I believe that Norman McMurray actually did design the daybill for Of Human Bondage but he clearly copied the art from Walter Seaton. McMurray actually signed the artwork for the Of Human Bondage Trade ad from Everyone's Film Weekly magazine.


    John

  • HONDOHONDO Member Posts: 8,950 ✭✭✭✭✭✭ Le Grande Collector

    John said:

    Thanks for the kind words Lawrence. The subject of Australian Movie poster artists is a fascinating one and I have come across many early daybills that have been signed by the artist. However one thing to consider is that, in some cases, the artists simply copied the art of the original artists so sometimes their art cannot really be considered original even though it might have been signed.

    I believe that Norman McMurray actually did design the daybill for Of Human Bondage but he clearly copied the art from Walter Seaton. McMurray actually signed the artwork for the Of Human Bondage Trade ad from Everyone's Film Weekly magazine.

    http://www.johnreid.helpinghost.com/OFHUMANBONDAGETRADEAD.jpg

    I am not saying that McMurray didn't do the design of the Australian Of Human Bondage daybill as I don't know, but I have my doubts that it was him. I base this thinking on how extremely close the following artwork on the unsigned Australian daybill is to the U.S. artwork by William Seaton.




    With the following Australian trade ad signed by McMurray there is a very slight  difference in the facial images of  the Leslie Howard and Bette Davis images depicted here, compared to to both the previous images. This difference is  enough to put some doubts in my mind that McMurray may have been responsible the artwork for the Australian daybill. 







    Very similar image likeness.

      

    Enough of a difference here when compared to the previous two images to have me thinking that the Australian trade ad and the daybill were most likely not drawn by the same person, thus ruling out that Normam McMurray as being the Australian daybill artist. What do others think?
    Lawrence
  • JohnJohn Member, Dealer Posts: 1,251 ✭✭✭✭ Three-Sheeter
    We will probably never know the answer to that. It was often the case that the same artist did the art for various posters and advertising although there are certainly exceptions. The artwork would vary between different formats so even though it is different on the trade ad, it could still be the case that he designed the daybill as well. 
    John

  • RickRick Member Posts: 904 ✭✭✭ Daybiller
    wow there are some great technicolour posters there
  • HONDOHONDO Member Posts: 8,950 ✭✭✭✭✭✭ Le Grande Collector
    John said:
    We will probably never know the answer to that. It was often the case that the same artist did the art for various posters and advertising although there are certainly exceptions. The artwork would vary between different formats so even though it is different on the trade ad, it could still be the case that he designed the daybill as well. 

    Yes we will most likely will never know the answer. It is possible that McMurray may have done the artwork on the Australian daybill, but I personally don't believe it to be so as there is too much a difference in the artwork on the trade ad when compared the daybill artwork. This is unless he did this on purpose to make it a little different in appearance, or perhaps he had a bad day at the office. We have no evidence to prove one way or the other if he did the daybill artwork or not.

    Following below are two examples of artwork for the film Mademoiselle From Armentieres featured in Everyones magazine where two different artists were employed to complete artwork for the same film using using a similar image to work with.





    Everyones December 8 1926 front page unsigned advertisement and an Everyones January 12 1927 ad signed by Stan Mac. One can also spot  the difference in the artwork with one being a prettier version of the woman. Not only at times were different commercial artists used for daybills and trade ads for the same film. but different artists were also employed by the same company to complete similar artwork for the same film's trade advertisements as well in the same advertising medium..
    Lawrence
  • HONDOHONDO Member Posts: 8,950 ✭✭✭✭✭✭ Le Grande Collector
    edited August 1


    A late entry for Norman McMurray is this Midnight Mystery advertisement from 1930. I have only just come across the image and thought it is so striking that I would have to display it here. 
    Lawrence
  • HONDOHONDO Member Posts: 8,950 ✭✭✭✭✭✭ Le Grande Collector


    I was originally going to move on to covering another poster artist, but I keep locating more information on Norman McMurray, including some interesting information on what he actually designed for King Kong.There is also some other Kong artwork although not signed by him that I strongly believe he designed as well.

     I have come across another black and white daybill image of a major RKO film that he did design that would look magnificent if a original daybill ever turns up. It should  take me a while to sort through things and who knows what else may turn up, but more Norman McMurray will hopefuilly be coming sometime or another. 
    Lawrence
  • theartofmovieposterstheartofmovieposters Member Posts: 4,555 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector


    Don't leave me hanging...
  • HONDOHONDO Member Posts: 8,950 ✭✭✭✭✭✭ Le Grande Collector


    No sighting yet - will keep looking out though.
    Lawrence
  • theartofmovieposterstheartofmovieposters Member Posts: 4,555 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector
  • HONDOHONDO Member Posts: 8,950 ✭✭✭✭✭✭ Le Grande Collector


    You know I can't stand too much pressure.

    Lawrence
  • theartofmovieposterstheartofmovieposters Member Posts: 4,555 ✭✭✭✭✭ Elite Collector
  • HONDOHONDO Member Posts: 8,950 ✭✭✭✭✭✭ Le Grande Collector
  • HONDOHONDO Member Posts: 8,950 ✭✭✭✭✭✭ Le Grande Collector
    edited August 10


    Rounding off the Norman McMurray information. Unless anything else of importance surfaces in the future, which I can include here at a later time, I will move on to the next featured artist.



    Artwork by McMurray featured on the first RKO release in Australia in 1929  of the film Syncopation ( 1929 ). Signed with just his initials here.



    Follow The Fleet ( 1936 ). What a beautiful looking McMurray poster the actual full colour daybill should like in real life if one still exists. 



    ( Everyones June 28, 1933 edition. )

    It clearly states above that daybills of the film were designed by Norman McMurray. One wonders that as occassionaly in the 1930s two daybills were produced by RKO ( and other distributors as well ) for the same film. Becky Sharp and Morning Glory pictured earlier in this thread as examples. It is possible then that two daybills for a majot title such as  King Kong may have been produced. It does state that he was responsible for designing daybills, and not daybill for the film. Are we then looking for perhaps two and not one Australian daybills of King Kong then?




    Was the above artwork also designed by McMurray? The quality of the artwork, along with the above mention that he was responsible for creating ''snipes, couriers and other material for the picture.'' certainly has me thinking ( without proof ) this could be his work as well.

    Another artist soon.

    Lawrence
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