JAMES BOND RE-RELEASE POSTERS
James Bond posters are amongst the most collectible in the hobby. However, despite or maybe because of their popularity, they are responsible for one of the most common occurrences of collectors getting burned on eBay buying posters they believe to be an original release but are in fact something else.
In the early 1980’s MGM/UA reprinted a number of Bond 1-sheets in preparation for a “film festival” re-release of the early Bond films. These posters have been confusing collectors ever since, due to the fact that they are pretty much exact copies (albeit with some key differences) of the originals right down to having the copyright dates on them from the first releases. Of course, as the posters are produced by the studio so they are worth something, it’s just a lot less than an original release.
A photo on eBay of the whole poster from a distance with a close up of the original copyright date is enough to snag many unsuspecting collectors into paying well over the odds for a re-release poster. And in case you think it is just new collectors likely to do this, I have seen dealers, collectors who spend thousands of dollars a year and the world’s largest seller of movie posters over the Internet not spot the difference.
The 1980 re-release posters are 1-sheets for the following films:
From Russia With Love (Style A)
You Only Live Twice (Style B)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Style B)
Diamonds Are Forever
If you had any of these 1-sheets in your hands you could probably tell the difference straight away as the posters are printed on the thinner glossy paper stock of the late 70’s early 80’s as opposed to the thicker glossy stock of the mid-60’s to mid-70’s or the matte paper stock in use prior to then. Similarly, all the R80 1-sheets fold outwards, so that the poster art is exposed when folded, and all the original posters should fold inwards and have the NSS stamp on the back. However, when you buy from eBay you often don’t have the luxury of getting your hands on them until it is too late.
In addition, it is possible to find rolled copies of the R80 1-sheets, although I have never seen rolled copies of the original release posters, but they might exist.
I will now run you through the differences between the 1980’s and original printings. Please note I am missing copies of the Thunderball and OHMSS R80 1-sheets, but describe their differences. I will update the post if I personally get copies.
DR NO and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
The From Russia With Love R80 1-sheet is a reprint of the Style A only. There is no reprint of the Style B. The Dr No 1-sheet was originally produced in only one style (although there are two otherwise identical printings with different Continental Litho numbers). Both the R80 posters (left in the photo) have the same differences from the originals (right):
Note that the art for the From Russia With Love is shifted an inch down the poster.
1. The original posters are the only ones of these posters that are guaranteed to be on the matte paper stock. You can usually see the difference in a photo, particularly if taken with a flash, as the glossy paper stock is much better at reflecting light (in both cases above the R80 1-sheet is on the left).
2. There is no NSS info at the bottom of the R80 poster, or stamp on the back, but a GAU logo is present.
Note the picture above has two original Dr No 1 sheets at the bottom that have different Litho numbers 62-2004 and 62-2237 (the latter is linen-backed)
In the photo below, the original is on top.
3. There is the title in block letters in the bottom right hand corner, as was common in most 1-sheets from the early 1970’s until the early 80’s.
The most obvious of these differences is the title. It is very visible even on a small eBay photo and is the first thing you should look for upon seeing an auction for these re-release 1-sheets. Of course some sellers take photos that “accidentally” crop off this area of the poster, but even if they do that, it is usually possible to see whether the NSS paragraph is present at the bottom on an original release, or blank on the R80.
As mentioned above, the re-release posters fold differently with the artwork showing outwardly, and all the originals I have seen have the NSS stamp on the back (it wouldn’t surprise me however to learn there are copies that don’t).
The Goldfinger R80 1-sheet is by far the easiest poster to tell apart from the original as for some reason the credits were re-arranged. Note the original Goldfinger poster was printed in both a matte and a glossier version (though not as glossy as the 70’s and 80’s posters)
The photo above shows an original glossy version on the left, with the R80 on the right. In the re-release, note that “GOLDFINGER” is missing the quotation marks, the word “TECHNICOLOR” has been shifted to the bottom row from beneath the title, the “AS” next to “GOLDFINGER” and “PUSSY GALORE” moved and that the soundtrack promo switched from the left side to the right.
In addition, the printing info in the re-release was removed from the bottom middle and the NSS info was removed from the bottom left and the title put in block letters. Note also the ink is much more black, red and yellow on the R80, rather than dark brown, orange(?) and gold.
The photo below also includes the matte original printing, but this poster has been linen-backed so although the poster is much duller and the background browner some of that would have been brought on by the preservation.
The folded 1-sheets typically face outwards for the 1980 version and inwards on the original with stamp of the ‘64 original release.
Although I have seen photos of it, I do not have the R80 version of Thunderball. Interestingly, they seem to come up for auction less often than the original poster. Nevertheless, here is a photo of my original release 1-sheet, which is the cropped jetpack style, rather than the full jetpack version. The 80 re-release is reprinted from the cropped style.
The key differences, visible from a photo are:
1. The R80 has the title in block letters in the bottom right hand corner, whereas it is blank on the original.
2. The original release has the usual NSS paragraph and number at the bottom.
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
The Style B version is the only one reprinted for the 1980 release. There are three versions you should be aware of looking when looking at a You Only Live Twice Style B: the original release poster, the R80 1-sheet and “the far less common, but when it shows up it’s guaranteed to fool people” Indian 1-sheet. I do not have a copy of the Indian 1-sheet for precisely this reason. When it shows up on eBay somebody almost always pays over the odds for thinking it is one of the other versions. I will, however, describe what to look for.
Comparing the original release with the R80, again all the action is at the bottom of the poster. There are colour differences in the art (the R80 colours appear more ‘washed out’) but not necessarily something you can pick up without a side-by-side comparison. But at the bottom of the poster the R80 has a GAU logo, the title printed in red ink (not black for some reason) and is missing the designation “Printed in USA. Style B” on the left and the NSS# and info on the right.
As usual the R80 does not have an NSS stamp on the back, nor does it fold inwards.
Finally look out for an Indian 1-sheet, this poster is guaranteed to fool. At quick glance this will pass for an original because there is no title in block letters in the bottom right hand corner, but note the washed out colours and that the border for the art is not blue but a grey.
ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE
There are three versions of both the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Style B 1-sheets: original US 1-sheet, original International 1-sheet and the R80. The 1980’s reprint is similar to the international 1-sheet.
Why did they reprint the International 1-sheet? Well, the MPAA ratings system was introduced on November 1, 1968 and therefore OHMSS was the first Bond film to be rated. By the early-70’s the ‘M’ rating had been abolished, so printing posters with this rating would have made no sense and copying the International 1-sheet would have been the best option. I can’t answer the question as to why none of the re-release 1 sheets have a ‘PG’ rating on them.
As mentioned I do not have a copy of the R80 1-sheet, nor the international 1-sheet. The following photo is the US 1-sheet.
The tell-tale signs of the R80 1-sheet are at the bottom of the poster. It has the title in block letters and it is missing: 1) the ‘M’ certificate (as would the International 1-sheet) 2) the NSS standard legal paragraph, the ‘B’ style designator and the NSS# in the bottom right (which DO appear on the international 1-sheet) and 3) note that beneath the United Artists logo the reference to “Entertainment from the Transamerica Corporation” was also removed, I assume because the Transamerica Corp sold UA which happened in 1981, so it may be that these 1-sheets date from 1981 rather than 1980. The bottom of an original US 1-sheet is shown below.
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
The final film for which I have seen a 1-sheet labeled as being an R80’s is Diamonds Are Forever.
It is impossible to tell apart the Diamonds Are Forever International 1-sheet and R80 1-sheet without some detailed analysis. Note, I do not have a copy of the original international 1-sheet, but I will alert you to the differences. The photos show an original US 1-sheet next to an R80’s 1-sheet.
Unfortunately, the differences between the original International 1-sheet and the R80 1-sheet are very minor. A closer look at the bottom of the two 1-sheets reveals just how alike they are. Remember the top poster (in the photo below) is the US 1-sheet. The International 1-sheet would have no NSS paragraph in the bottom middle, no NSS# in the bottom right and no Ratings Box, and neither has the title in block letters, so the usual giveaways are not there.
So the differences are: First, the printer’s union logo is for the GAU rather than the LPIU and second, the framer’s marks in the corners are in the later style (mid-70’s onwards) rather than the early style (pre-mid 1970’s).
The LPIU union logo started appearing on 1-sheets in 1968 (this is in reference to my own collection which contains a good number of 1-sheets from each year from about the early 1950’s onwards). Arranging my collection in NSS# order (which I know is not strictly in chronological order) the first 1-sheet with the LPIU logo is Hang ‘Em High NSS# 68/108. The GAU union was formed by a merger of the LPIU and a sister union on Labor Day 1972, well after the release of Diamonds Are Forever, which came out in December 1971.
I will digress here because the issue of the printer’s logo seems to be fairly complicated to me.
The earliest 1-sheet (by NSS#) that I own with a GAU logo on it is for A Clockwork Orange, but that is a special case. Its NSS# is 72/30, and it was released in February 1972 before the GAU union was formed; however, it was originally released as an X certificate movie, and the 1-sheet I have is for the R-rated version which was rated in 1972 according to the MPAA website and released in 1973 according to IMDB. There is one other 1-sheet with a 72/XXX NSS number that I own with the GAU logo, which is The Godfather (I actually have two 1-sheets one with each printers logo) and this film was released in March 1972, so the GAU logo must have been a later printing and the LPIU on an earlier printing. The 73/XXX 1-sheets I have are mostly LPIU, with a couple of exceptions, and another example where I have a 1-sheet with each logo. It is the latter 74/XXX numbers before the GAU logo takes over.
Finally, of course, there is no NSS stamp on the R80 version and they fold differently.
The upshot of this is that the Diamonds Are Forever 1-sheet with the GAU logo cannot be original release as the union was not formed at the time, it could be a later printing of the International 1-sheet in the early 70’s but I have never seen it labeled as such by a credible source, and I have seen a more conventional printing of the original international 1-sheet with the LPIU logo.
What concerns me as to whether it is definitively an R80 version (which I have always seen it described as) are three things:
1. I have to say the paper stock of each 1-sheet is really close in look and feel (but you might expect this from posters printed less than 10 years apart) and I cannot tell them apart by feel or look alone. The early 70’s and in particular late 71/’72/’73 was when the NSS changed from the inward folded 1-sheets to the outward folded 1-sheets with the titles in block letters, and at roughly the same time stopped using the stamps on the back, and at roughly the same time changed from the thick glossy stock to the thinner glossy stock (and I also have 1-sheets from this time on the thick matte paper stock), so I’m not sure paper stock can be definitive.
2. The Diamonds Are Forever 1-sheet is the only R80 version without the title in block letters in the corner, why?
3. Unlike the OHMSS version the Transamerica Corporation is left underneath United Artists. Is this because the sale of UA was announced while they were being printed? If not, why was it left on one but not another?
Overall, though, I am happy with the general consensus that it is a reprint from the early 80’s and I personally received my copy along with another R80 1-sheet.
If anybody has anything to add on these points please contact me via the administrator.
[Note from the Admin: Damian has provided a great deal of valuable information and there may be questions from readers as to where you can see the photos of the posters that Damian does not have. Originally, Damian included links to those photos, but MPA has a standing policy of not linking or referring to commercial, auction and dealer poster sites. There may be some question about the link to L.A.M.P., since advertisements are shown at the site. However, L.A.M.P. does provide important information to the poster community and it itself does not sell posters, so the link to a particular piece of information has been provided. If you do have any questions for or information to share with Damian, you may contact the Admin who will pass them on to him.]