Poster Wars



Judging solely by the graphic qualities of these two posters, which one would more likely entice you to see the movie it represents—the original design from 1951, or the promo for the remake, which opens Friday, December 12, 2008? Click images for larger views. To vote (and perhaps tell us why you prefer one more than the other), click the word “Comments” below. The poll results will appear as an addendum to this post on December 3.

Poster Poll Results: There were a total of 14 responses to my query—three as direct comments on the 11/26 post, and the rest via e-mail. (And, because of the small sample, let’s assume an error rate of 97%, give or take.) The ballot breakdown is thus: Only one person, a friendly contrarian, voted for the new poster design. That means that the other thirteen voters—including me—like the old poster better. (Judging solely by the few clips I’ve seen, I think it’s safe to say that most of us will feel the same about the remake of the movie itself—but we’ll leave that discussion for another time.) Personally, aside from the unimaginative composition, mundane font selection and symmetrical layout, the thing that rankles most about the contemporary poster design is its lack of human juice. It’s cold. Even the Speilberg back lighting trick to create “drama” has been used so often it’s a visual cliche. (Sigh—they just don’t make movie posters (or movies) like they did in the good old days! I know, I know—I’m a curmudgeon.)

Copyright © 2008 Jim Sizemore.

5 Responses to Poster Wars

  1. I’d definitely go for the 1951 poster, but I’m a sucker for old movies and nostalgia in general.

  2. Jim says:

    Ditto on all points, and thank you for the comment; your vote counts, or will be counted Wednesday the next.

  3. Jacquie Roland says:

    The older poster is my choice as well… The newer one… well It’s too THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL… (EXCEPT FOR THOSE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WANDERING AROUND IN THAT BIG SCARY LIGHT) …sigh.

  4. Constance Pohl says:

    I like both posters, but If the picture really is scary, then the older poster is more effective. I won’t go to see a menacing movie, because I don’t want to be frightened, so I am not the audience for this. Nevertheless I vote for the older poster because I think it does the job.

  5. Jim says:

    Thank you for the comment, Constance. As a 12 or 13 year-old I found the original movie pretty menacing, but at the time I also happened to be in love with Patricia Neal (I fell in love with movie stars easily in those days), so my smitten condition may have taken some of the edge off.

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