An Indisputable List of the 20 Greatest Movie Posters of All Time

Our esteemed editor sent me an email last week that included the poster for Kevin Smith's upcoming movie, Tusk. Whatever your opinion of Smith's filmography -- or your views on the potential entertainment value of a horror movie based on a SModcast bullshit session about a mock Gumtree ad -- the poster is pretty outstanding.

But the purpose of this entry is not to debate the merits of the Askewniverse, but to finally, once and for all, provide a definitive listing of the greatest movie posters OF ALL TIME. The only criteria being that I could find jpegs of them online, that the movie in question was in a theater at some point in its existence, and the posters were used for the theatrical release (no Criterion or Mondo editions).

I also tried to limit any given artist to two entries, otherwise this would be nothing but 20 Saul Bass posters.

20. Mean Streets (1973)

Martin Scorsese's first good movie (we will not speak of Boxcar Bertha) was highlighted by this poster which gives us the impression that 1970s New York City might have been kind of a violent place.

19. Excalibur (1981)

Bob Peak's "bleeding" style gave posters for Apocalypse Now and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (among others) their distinctive look.

It was also a nice touch to give him a shot at this more adult take on the Arthurian myth after he created the Camelot poster in 1967.

18. Intolerance (1916)

Four separate stories, three-and-a-half hours, influence stretching across decades and continents, and ... NO DON'T HURT THE BABY!

17. Vertigo (1958)

The first Saul Bass entry on the list is probably his most memorable effort, the poster for what is arguably Alfred Hitchcock's greatest movie (I wouldn't argue that, I still prefer Rear Window). And to think, all he needed was a Spirograph.

16. Jules et Jim (1962)

Christian Broutin created more than 100 movie posters between the years of 1954 and 1966, but none is as memorable as this vibrant piece for François Truffaut's classic. Jeanne Moreau is captured in wondrous fashion that both showcases Broutin's other career as an illustrator of children's books and helps distract viewers from the film's bummer ending.

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