The Incredible Movie Art of Frank McCarthy
Let’s face it, most modern movie poster art isn’t very good. It’s designed by committee, and consists of cobbled-together photoshoots. In ‘Film Freak’ I spend a couple of chapters explaining why this is, but I regret there was not enough room in the book to cover this gentleman, whose work inspired me and made the most mundane movies appear thrilling. Frank McCarthy had an instantly identifiable style, all extreme angles and spectacular explosions. But beyond this there was something extraordinary about his ability to meld several key action scenes together in a seamless montage.
His work for the Bond films is already well-known, but his portfolio includes many other action films. Often his artwork was the best thing about these Euro-puddings. I particularly like the art for ‘The Mercenaries’, ‘Krakatoa, East of Java’ (yes, yes, we all know) and ‘Hatari’. The gravity-defying angles are impossible in the real world, but isn’t that what cinema art should be about? There’s a site dedicated to tracking down his work here.
McCarthy clearly had a fondness for red lighting effects, runaway trains and films starring Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis (even ‘This Property Is Condemned’ managed to squeeze a train into the poster.) I wonder if there are any modern movie art equivalents?