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The Artists - The Movie Posters of Frank McCarthy

 

You are mesmerised by a dynamic movie poster from the 1960's. A rugged and earnest hero is in peril as an army of toy soldier figures swarm against an exploding background.

Your eyes dart about the image as it twists and spills towards you. Your heartbeat quickens as it responds to a release of adrenalin caused by an uncontrollable sense of excitement...

Chances are, the image working its magic is a movie poster by the legendary Frank McCarthy.

Born in New York in 1924, Frank McCarthy studied at the Art Students League of New York (as did artists such as Roy Lichtenstein) learning anatomy and figure drawing from George Bridgman and complex image composition from Reginald Marsh. 

The heavy influence of both men can be seen throughout McCarthy's later work.

 

A drawing by George Bridgman  Reginald Marsh - In Fourteenth Street (1934)
An art class drawing of a heroic figure by George Bridgman
A swarming mass of figures in Reginald Marsh's 'In Fourteenth Street' (1934), Copyright the Estate of Reginald Marsh

The Movie Posters of Frank McCarthy

In 1948, following a further three years of study at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, McCarthy opened his own studio and began an art career that would last over fifty years. 

Having completed commissions for book publishers, magazines and advertisers, his first movie related success was a painting for the press-book of United Artist's 1959 biblical blockbuster "Solomon and Sheba", starring Yul Brynner and Gina Lollobrigida.

 

An illustration for the press book of the movie Solomon and Sheba by Frank McCarthy

Frank McCarthy's illustration for the press book of the 1959 movie Solomon and Sheba

 

Over the course of the 1960's he produced an amazing body of movie poster work characterised by highly dynamic action scenes. Amongst his work are the posters for "The Great Escape", "The Dirty Dozen", "Von Ryan's Express" and perhaps most famously, three James Bond films.

We think we have identified seventy-two movie posters that carry Frank McCarthy's art. Which ones have we got wrong? Which ones have we missed? Over to you…

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Ten Commandments A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Unforgiven A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Barabbas

The Ten Commandments (1956) 1972 Re-Release

The IMDb logo

The Unforgiven (1960)

The IMDb logo

Barabbas (1961)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Mysterious Island A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Hatari A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Hero's Island

Mysterious Island (1961)

The IMDb logo

Hatari (1962)

The IMDb logo

Hero's Island (1962)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Taras Bulba A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Taras Bulba A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Great Escape

Taras Bulba (1962) Style A

The IMDb logo

Taras Bulba (1962) Style B

The IMDb logo

The Great Escape (1963)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Great Escape A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Kings of the Sun A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Kings of the Sun

The Great Escape (1963) 1980 Re-Release

The IMDb logo

Kings of the Sun (1963) Style A

The IMDb logo

Kings of the Sun (1963) Style B

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film PT109 A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Rampage A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Station Six Sahara

PT109 (1963)

The IMDb logo

Rampage (1963)

The IMDb logo

Station Six-Sahara (1963)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Castilian A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film 36 Hours A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film A Distant Trumpet

The Castilian (1963)

The IMDb logo

36 Hours (1964)

The IMDb logo

A Distant Trumpet (1964)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Flight From Ashiya A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Rio Conchos A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film That Man From Rio

Flight From Ashiya (1964)

The IMDb logo

Rio Conchos (1964)

The IMDb logo

That Man From Rio (1964)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Circus World A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Guns at Batasi A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Train

Circus World (1964)

The IMDb logo

Guns at Batasi (1964)

The IMDb logo

The Train (1964)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Genghis Khan A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Glory Guys A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Glory Guys

Genghis Khan (1965)

The IMDb logo

The Glory Guys (1965) Style A

The IMDb logo

The Glory Guys (1965) Style B

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Hallelujah Trail A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Operation Crossbow A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Operation Crossbow

The Hallelujah Trail (1965)

The IMDb logo

Operation Crossbow (1965) U.S.

The IMDb logo

Operation Crossbow (1965) International

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Sands of the Kalahari A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Shenandoah A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the James Bond film Thunderball

Sands of the Kalahari (1965)

The IMDb logo

Shenandoah (1965)

The IMDb logo

Thunderball (1965) with Robert McGinnis

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Up From The Beach A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Von Ryan's Express A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Von Ryan's Express

Up From The Beach (1965)

The IMDb logo

Von Ryan's Express (1965) White Style

The IMDb logo 

Von Ryan's Express (1965) Yellow Style

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Around The World Under The Sea A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Beau Geste A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Blue Max

Around The World Under The Sea (1966)

The IMDb logo

Beau Geste (1966)

The IMDb logo

The Blue Max (1966)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Defector A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Duel At Diablo A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Judith

The Defector (1966)

The IMDb logo

Duel At Diablo (1966)

The IMDb logo

Judith (1966)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Khartoum A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Khartoum A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film This Property Is Condemned

Khartoum (1966) - White Style

The IMDb logo

Khartoum (1966) - Yellow Style

The IMDb logo

This Property Is Condemned (1966) 

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Africa- Texas Style A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Caper of the Golden Bulls A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Corrupt Ones

Africa - Texas Style (1967)

The IMDb logo

The Caper of the Golden Bulls (1967)

The IMDb logo

The Corrupt Ones (1967)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Day of Anger A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Dirty Dozen A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Jack of Diamonds

Day of Anger (1967)

The IMDb logo

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

The IMDb logo

Jack of Diamonds (1967) with Robert McGinnis

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Long Duel A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Tobruk A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Venetian Affair

The Long Duel (1967)

The IMDb logo

Tobruk (1967)

The IMDb logo

The Venetian Affair (1967)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the James Bond film You Only Live Twice A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the James Bond film You Only Live Twice A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Anzio

You Only Live Twice (1967) Style A

The IMDb logo

You Only Live Twice (1967) Style B

The IMDb logo

Anzio (1968)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Attack On The Iron Coast A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Custer of the West A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Danger Diabolik

Attack On The Iron Coast (1968)

The IMDb logo

Custer of the West (1968)

The IMDb logo

Danger: Diabolik (1968)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Mercenaries aka Dark of the Sun A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Green Berets A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Guns of San Sebastian

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

The IMDb logo

The Green Berets (1968)

The IMDb logo

Guns For San Sebastian (1968)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Once Upon A Time In The West A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film They Came To Rob Las Vegas A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Where Eagles Dare

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)

The IMDb logo

They Came To Rob Las Vegas (1968)

The IMDb logo 

Where Eagles Dare (1968)

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Chairman A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Krakatoa East of Java A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The Chairman (1969)

The IMDb logo

Krakatoa East of Java (1969)

The IMDb logo

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) with Robert McGinnis

The IMDb logo 

A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film The Valley of Gwangi A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film You Can't Win Em All A movie poster by Frank McCarthy for the film Lawman

The Valley of Gwangi (1969)

The IMDb logo 

You Can't Win 'Em All (1970)

The IMDb logo

Lawman (1971)

The IMDb logo 

 

A blog reader (DK) has pointed out that we missed McCarthy's artwork for the International release of Blake Edwards 1971 western "Wild Rovers". We will try and track down a good poster carrying that amazing artwork, which is shown below.

 

Frank McCarthy's artwork for the 1971 Blake Edward western, Wild Rovers

Frank McCarthy's artwork for the 1971 Blake Edward western, Wild Rovers

 

In the early 1970's McCarthy turned his back on commercial illustration to focus on his love of Western painting.

His astonishing images of stampeding cattle, galloping steeds, charging native Indians and sojourning cowboys continue the vein of dynamic realism seen within his movie posters.

 

Ambush painted by Frank McCarthy and published by The Greenwich Workshop

'Ambush' painted by Frank McCarthy and published by The Greenwich Workshop

 

Recognised by the Cowboy Artists of America and the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame (1997), three books have been published of his post-movie-poster paintings.

In his book "The Art of Frank C. McCarthy" (The Greenwich Workshop, 1992), McCarthy states "I have been a man of two careers, one profession." If only we all could be so lucky.

 

The Decoys painted by Frank McCarthy and published by The Greenwich Workshop

'The Decoys' painted by Frank McCarthy and published by The Greenwich Workshop

 

Frank C. McCarthy passed in November 2002, his work cherished by museums and collectors alike. Prints of his work are published by The Greenwich Workshop.

If you'd like to find an action packed Frank McCarthy movie poster for your wall, why not take a look at the Frank McCarthy posters we currently have available.

We hope you find something you love.

 

Adam and the Art of the Movies team.

2 comments

  • Great spot DK!

    We’ll track down a good poster that carries that artwork and add it in.

    Thank you!

    Adam @ Art of the Movies
  • Great summary. However you are missing McCarthy’s WILD ROVER artwork for its international release poster. Very kinetic with horses galloping and guns at ready. Features exceptional portraits of William Holden, Ryan O’Neal & Karl Malden.

    DK

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