The poster art of Frank McCarthy


The Venetian Affair (1967).

“Murder! Spies! Women!” If you added “guns” and “explosions” to that list you’d have the ingredients of the wild poster art of Frank McCarthy (1924–2002). I used to love posters like this when I was a boy, especially those from the everything-happening-at-once school which, by the look of these examples, was McCarthy’s specialty. Where action films are concerned the posters are often more exciting than the scenes they depict, in part because artists such as McCarthy were often working from their own imaginations as much as from any stills they’d been given.


The Caper of the Golden Bulls (1967).

McCarthy had a career painting Western scenes which explains why his horses are so good. Some of his posters are for very well-known films, including a couple of Bond pictures, but I prefer those where he evidently had more of a free reign. The painting for The Caper of the Golden Bulls is a great composition with a use of colour you wouldn’t see today. Below there’s an example of the colossal title lettering that Terry Gilliam used to enjoy parodying. I still wonder which film did this first. Was it Ben-Hur? See more of Frank McCarthy’s poster art here.


Genghis Khan (1965).


Around the World Under the Sea (1966).


Judith (1966).


The Long Duel (1967).


Dark of the Sun (aka The Mercenaries) (1968).


Danger: Diabolik (1968).


They Came to Rob Las Vegas (1968).


Krakatoa, East of Java (1969).

Previously on { feuilleton }
The poster art of Vic Fair
Petulia film posters
Lucifer Rising posters
Wild Salomés
Druillet’s vampires
Bob Peak revisited
Alice in Acidland
Salomé posters
Polish posters: Freedom on the Fence
Kaleidoscope: the switched-on thriller
The Robing of The Birds
Franciszek Starowieyski, 1930–2009
Dallamano’s Dorian Gray
Czech film posters
The poster art of Richard Amsel
Bollywood posters
Lussuria, Invidia, Superbia
The poster art of Bob Peak
A premonition of Premonition
Metropolis posters
Film noir posters

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