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The Artists - The Movie Posters of Bob Peak

In a previous post we looked at the major movie poster artists of the late twentieth century. In this, we take our first deep dive in to the work of one of those poster legends.

To kick off, "the father of the modern movie poster", Robert "Bob" Peak.

Bob Peak

Bob Peak has been lauded as "the greatest commercial illustrator active in the US after World War II".

Born in Denver, Colorado in 1927, Bob grew up in Wichita, Kansas and attended Wichita State University. Following military service in the Navy during the Korean War, he attended the Art Center College of Design in L.A., graduating in 1951, and moving to New York to begin his career as a commercial illustrator.

In 1961, United Artists commissioned Peak to produce a poster for their upcoming "West Side Story". The result was used on the huge 'six sheet' poster...

 

An original movie poster by Bob Peak for the film West Side Story

West Side Story (1961)

 

This led to further work with Bill Gold Advertising in New York (more on Bill Gold in a future blog post), including the posters for "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot".

For the Camelot poster, Bill Gold's direction to Peak was "I want you to do something in a Gustav Klimt design, like 'The Kiss'.

As you can see in the resulting poster (below), from the colour scheme to the reclined embrace, the influence is clear - and - this is a fantastic example of the power of Peak's work. Few other commercial artists of the twentieth century successfully integrated so many artistic movements and techniques in to their work. 

Throughout his award-winning career, Peak was in demand for magazine covers (TIME, Esquire etc.), postage stamps (including 30 produced for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics) and commercial advertising posters, but, it is for his astonishing work on movies such as "The Spy Who Loved Me", "Apocalypse Now" and the original "Star Trek" films that he is most fondly remembered.

Bob Peak passed away in 1992, victim of a brain haemorrhage as a result of a fall. His obituary was featured in the New York Times.

His son Tom has subsequently curated some fantastic books on his father's broad body of work.

Here, we focus on those amazing movie posters.

Six of the Best...

Peak was such a versatile artist and, as we have seen, he took so many influences in to his work, but (today at least) these are our favourites...

An original movie poster by Bob Peak for the film Camelot An original movie poster by the artist Bob Peak for the film The Voyage

 

An original movie poster by Bob Peak for the film Apocalypse Now

 

An original movie poster by Bob Peak for the film Modesty Blaise

  

An original movie poster by Bob Peak for the film Star Trek : The Motion Picture

 

An original movie poster by Bob Peak for the film Every Which Way But Loose

You can find out more about them below...


All The Bob Peak Movie Posters...

We have gathered together all of the movie posters by Bob Peak that we are aware of.

Posters are organised by year. The year given is the year of the film's release in the US.

Clicking the poster will take you to a higher resolution image. The IMDb icon links to the film's details on that website.

So, which posters have we missed? Which ones have we got wrong? Over to you...

1950s - 1960s

An original movie poster for the film Fate of a Man An original movie poster for the film Birdman of Alcatraz An original movie poster for the film The Leopard

Fate of a Man (1959)

The IMDb logo

Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

The IMDb logo

The Leopard (1963)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film My Fair Lady An original movie poster for the film The Cincinnati Kid  An original movie poster for the film The Liquidator

My Fair Lady (1964)

The IMDb logo

The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

The IMDb logo

The Liquidator (1965)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film Lord Jim An original movie poster for the film Kaleidoscope  An original movie poster for the film Modesty Blaise

Lord Jim (1965)

The IMDb logo

Kaleidoscope (1966)

The IMDb logo

Modesty Blaise (1966)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film Our Man Flint An original movie poster for the film Camelot  An original movie poster for the film In Like Flint

Our Man Flint (1966)

The IMDb logo

Camelot (1967)

The IMDb logo

In Like Flint (1967)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film Thoroughly Modern Millie An original movie poster for the film The Wanderer An original movie poster for the film For Love of Ivy

Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)

The IMDb logo

The Wanderer (1967)

The IMDb logo

For Love Of Ivy (1968)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film Petulia An original movie poster for the film A Dream of Kings An original movie poster for the film Funny Girl

Petulia (1968)

The IMDb logo

A Dream of Kings (1969)

The IMDb logo

Funny Girl (1969)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film The Secret of Santa Vittoria

The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969)

The IMDb logo

1970s

An original movie poster for the film There Was a Crooked Man An original movie poster for the film Cesar and Rosalie An original movie poster for the film The Great Waltz

There Was a Crooked Man (1970)

 The IMDb logo

Cesar and Rosalie (1972)

 The IMDb logo

The Great Waltz (1972)

 The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film Lost Horizon An original movie poster for the film Mame An original movie poster for the film The Voyage

Lost Horizon (1973)

The IMDb logo

Mame (1974)

The IMDb logo

The Voyage (1974)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film The Yakuza An original movie poster for the film Rollerball  An original movie poster for the film That's Entertainment Part 2

The Yakuza (1974)

The IMDb logo

Rollerball (1975)

The IMDb logo

That's Entertainment Part 2 (1975)

The IMDb logo
An original movie poster for the film The Missouri Breaks An original movie poster for the film Equus  An original movie poster for the film Islands In The Stream

The Missouri Breaks (1976)

The IMDb logo

Equus (1977)

The IMDb logo

Islands in the Stream (1977)

 The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me An original movie poster for the film Every Which Way But Loose A movie poster for the film Hair by Bob Peak

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

The IMDb logo

Every Which Way But Loose (1978)

The IMDb logo

Hair (1979)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film Superman An original movie poster for the film The Wiz An original movie poster for the film Apocalypse Now

Superman (1978)

The IMDb logo

The Wiz (1978)

The IMDb logo

Apocalypse Now (1979)

The IMDb logo
An original movie poster for the film Star Trek

Star Trek (1979)

The IMDb logo

1980s

An original movie poster for the film Any Which Way You Can An original movie poster for the film The Island

Any Which Way You Can (1980)

The IMDb logo

The Island (1980)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film Excalibur An original movie poster for the film Pennies From Heaven An original movie poster for the film Sphinx

Excalibur (1981)

The IMDb logo

Pennies From Heaven (1981)

The IMDb logo

Sphinx (1981)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film Star Trek 2 An original movie poster for the film The Year of Living Dangerously An original movie poster for the film Star Trek 3

Star Trek II (1982)

The IMDb logo

The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)

The IMDb logo

Star Trek III (1984)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film Santa Claus The Movie An original movie poster for the film Silverado  An original movie poster for the film Star Trek 4

Santa Claus The Movie (1985)

The IMDb logo

Silverado (1985)

The IMDb logo

Star Trek IV (1986)

The IMDb logo

An original movie poster for the film Star Trek 5

Star Trek V (1989)

The IMDb logo

1990s

An original movie poster for the film The Comfort of Strangers

An original movie poster for the film Impromptu

The Comfort of Strangers (1990)

The IMDb logo

Impromptu (1990)

The IMDb logo

Note that the poster for Star Trek VI is very 'Peak like', but this is a testament to movie poster artist John Alvin. Alvin was commissioned to produce a poster for the film that was a fitting tribute, and in the style of Bob Peak's poster for the earlier Star Trek films. He nailed it.

 

An original movie poster for the film Star Trek 6

Star Trek VI (1991)

The IMDb logo

Bob Peak was responsible for some of the most beautiful movie posters of the 20th Century. Some of them ("Modesty Blaise", "Camelot", "The Voyage") are perfect examples of the best art of their time.

You can see which Bob Peak movie posters we currently have available here.

We hope you find something you love.

 

Adam and the Art of the Movies team.

3 comments

  • Many thanks to Jordi for highlighting a few omissions and additions, all of which are now represented in this updated blog post.

    Adam (Art of the Movies).

    Adam Kennedy
  • Hi, again
    There´re another BOB PEAK movie poster it´s not in your images: HAIR, directed by Milos Forman
    There´re three differents styles for this movie.
    Sincerely
    JORDI BATET

    jordi batet trias
  • Hi
    Three of these movie posters are not from Bob Peak: CATLOW, PIRANHA and DEATH HUNT.
    One of BOB PEAK movie posters it´s not in your images: CESAR AND ROSALIE, a french movie from 1972 directed by Claude Sautet and starring Yves Montand and Romy Schneider. It´s very difficult to find but Film/Art Gallery have one on sale.

    jordi batet trias

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