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The Artists - The Movie Posters of Robert McGinnis

In the 2014 book “The Art of Robert E. McGinnis” (McGinnis and Scott – Amazon UK / US) the artist states “Painting is addictive. There is never enough time, never enough satisfaction … Nevertheless, painting is a good friend and I’m fortunate to be blissfully under its spell.”

That probably explains why, in a career now well into its eighth decade, one of the most successful commercial illustrators of the twentieth century is still producing stunning works of art.

Born in Ohio in 1926, the young McGinnis showed an early interest in art, copying images of Popeye with help from his artistic father. Some years later he would join Walt Disney Studios as an apprentice, before the onset of the second world war and a period in the Merchant Navy.

Post war, he returned to artistic studies at Ohio State University and a private art school in Cincinnati. One cartoon from that period “Mr Gordon Jex” (1947), bares (excuse the pun) the hallmarks of the deep understanding of the female form that would characterise McGinnis' later commercial work.

Paperback Book Covers

During a chance encounter in 1958 with Mitchell Hooks (see the James Bond “Dr. No” poster, “The King and I” (1956), “Gigi” (1958) and many others) it was suggested that McGinnis try his hand at illustrating for the expanding paperback book industry.

A book cover by illustrator Robert McGinnis A book cover by illustrator Robert McGinnis A book cover by illustrator Robert McGinnis

 

So began a career of around sixty years, dominated by 'The McGinnis Woman', an attractive, undeniably sexy, perhaps seductive woman with a determined confidence, perhaps even a “sassiness”.

In a realm where the cover sold the book. The McGinnis Woman reigned as Queen.

 

A book cover by illustrator Robert McGinnis A book cover by illustrator Robert McGinnis A book cover by illustrator Robert McGinnis 

Movie Posters

Given the similarities between a book cover and a movie poster (both are unashamedly there to sell their wares) it was perhaps inevitable that McGinnis would be approached to work in the movies.

His first poster?

“Breakfast At Tiffany’s” (1961). Now one of the most sought after movie posters of the post war period.

With his wife and the family cat as models and a theatrical still of Audrey Hepburn, McGinnis produced one of most iconic images of Twentieth Century cinema. “You didn’t have to do much with her. She’s so perfect.” he has stated. Nearly sixty years on, she still is.

Beginning with “Thunderball” (1965) McGinnis became a 'go to' man for James Bond movie posters. That poster, together with “You Only Live Twice” (1967), “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969) and "Live And Let Die" (1973) representing the pinnacle of Bond posters of the period.

But from them all, his favourite poster is apparently “The Odd Couple” (1968). He would paint Walter Matthau many times (see “Cactus Flower” (1969) and “Plaza Suite” (1971) for just a couple more examples) and always managed to catch the humour in that most expressive of faces.

In later years, McGinnis has bridged the gap between commercial illustration and gallery fine art, producing many incredible landscapes, steeped in the old mid-West of the United States. His website provides some stunning examples.

It is stated there that he has produced over forty movie posters. We think we have identified seventy-six. Which ones have we got wrong? Which ones have we missed? Over to you…

1960s

An original movie poster for the film Breakfast at Tiffany's An original movie poster for the film The Pink Panther An original movie poster for the film The Hallelujah Trail

Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961)

The IMDb logo

The Pink Panther (1964)

The IMDb logo

The Hallelujah Trail (1965)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film Run For Your Wife An original movie poster for the James Bond film Thunderball An original movie poster for the film Up To His Ears

Run For Your Wife (1965)

The IMDb logo

Thunderball (1965)

(with Frank McCarthy)

The IMDb logo

Up To His Ears (1965)

(aka "Chinese Adventures in China")

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film Any Wednesday An original movie poster for the film Arabesque An original movie poster for the film Gambit

Any Wednesday (1966)

(aka Bachelor Girl Apartment)

The IMDb logo

Arabesque (1966)

The IMDb logo

Gambit (1966)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film How To Steal A Million An original movie poster for the film Lady L An original movie poster for the film Murderer's Row

How To Steal A Million (1966)

The IMDb logo

Lady L (1966)

The IMDb logo

Murderers' Row (1966)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Silencers An original movie poster for the film The Ambushers An original movie poster for the film Barefoot In The Park

The Silencers (1966)

The IMDb logo

The Ambushers (1967)

The IMDb logo

Barefoot In The Park (1967)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the James Bond film Casino Royale An original movie poster for the film Clambake An original movie poster for the film Half A Sixpence

Casino Royale (1967)

The IMDb logo

Clambake (1967)

The IMDb logo

Half A Sixpence (1967)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film Jack Of Diamonds An original movie poster for the James Bond film You Only Live Twice An original movie poster for the film Barbarella

Jack of Diamonds (1967)

The IMDb logo

You Only Live Twice (1967)

The IMDb logo

Barbarella (1968)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Biggest Bundle Of Them All An original movie poster for the film Don't Just Stand There An original movie poster for the Elvis film Live a Little Love a Little

The Biggest Bundle Of Them All (1968)

The IMDb logo

Don't Just Stand There (1968)

The IMDb logo

Live A Little, Love A Little (1968)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Odd Couple An original movie poster for the film Stay Away Joe An original movie poster for the film Where Were You When The Lights Went Out

The Odd Couple (1968)

The IMDb logo

Stay Away Joe (1968)

The IMDb logo

Where Were You When The Lights Went Out? (1968)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Assassination Bureau An original movie poster for the film Cactus Flower An original movie poster for the film The Great Bank Robbery

The Assassination Bureau (1969)

The IMDb logo

Cactus Flower (1969)

The IMDb logo

The Great Bank Robbery (1969)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service An original movie poster for the film Sinful Davey An original movie poster for the film Sweet Charity

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

The IMDb logo

Sinful Davey (1969) 

The IMDb logo

Sweet Charity (1969)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Wrecking Crew

The Wrecking Crew (1969)

The IMDb logo

1970s

An original movie poster for the film Cotton Comes To Harlem An original movie poster for the film French Wives An original movie poster for the film How Do I Love Thee?

Cotton Comes To Harlem (1970)

The IMDb logo

French Wives (1970)

 

How Do I Love Thee? (1970)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes An original movie poster for the film Diamonds Are Forever An original movie poster for the film A Fistful Of Dynamite

The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

The IMDb logo

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

The IMDb logo

A Fistful of Dynamite (1971)

(aka Duck, You Sucker)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film Plaza Suite An original movie poster for the film Romance Of A Horse Thief An original movie poster for the film Come Back Charleston Blue

Plaza Suite (1971)

The IMDb logo

Romance Of A Horsethief (1971)

The IMDb logo

Come Back Charleston Blue (1972)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Honkers An original movie poster for the film Innocent Bystanders An original movie poster for the film Winged Devils

The Honkers (1972)

The IMDb logo

Innocent Bystanders (1972)

The IMDb logo

Winged Devils (1972)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film Bread and Chocolate An original movie poster for the film The Day Of The Dolphin An original movie poster for the film Live and Let Die

Bread and Chocolate (1973)

The IMDb logo

The Day Of The Dolphin (1973)

The IMDb logo

Live And Let Die (1973)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Manhandlers An original movie poster for the film The Models An original movie poster for the film The Optimists

The Manhandlers (1973)

The IMDb logo

The Models (1973)

(aka In Love With Sex)

The IMDb logo

The Optimists (1973)

(aka The Optimists of Nine Elms)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film Scorpio An original movie poster for the film The Four Of Us An original movie poster for the film The House of 1000 Pleasures

Scorpio (1973)

The IMDb logo

The Four of Us (1974)

The IMDb logo

House of 1000 Pleasures (1974)

(aka Private Club)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Man with the Golden Gun An original movie poster for the film Sleeper An original movie poster for the film Thunder and Lightfoot

The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)

The IMDb logo

Sleeper (1974)

The IMDb logo

Thunderbolt And Lightfoot (1974)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film Brannigan An original movie poster for the film La Nottata An original movie poster for the film The Sunshine Boys

Brannigan (1975)

The IMDb logo

La Nottata (1975)

The IMDb logo

The Sunshine Boys (1975)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Teasers An original movie poster for the film Gator An original movie poster for the film The Girl's Who'll Do Anything

The Teasers (1975)

(aka Undergraduate Girls)

The IMDb logo

Gator (1976)

The IMDb logo

The Girls Who'll Do Anything (1976)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film Norman Is That You An original movie poster for the film Let's Make a Dirty Movie An original movie poster for the film Semi-Tough

Norman, Is That You? (1976)

The IMDb logo

Let's Make A Dirty Movie (1977)

 

Semi-Tough (1977)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Teasers Go To Paris An original movie poster for the film Comes a Horseman

The Teasers Go To Paris (1977)

The IMDb logo

Comes A Horseman (1978)

The IMDb logo

1980s and beyond

An original movie poster for the film Fflokes An original movie poster for the film Little Miss Marker An original movie poster for the film The Man From S.E.X.

ffolkes (1980)

(aka North Sea Hijack)

The IMDb logo

Little Miss Marker (1980)

The IMDb logo

The Man From S.E.X. (1980)

(aka Licensed to Love and Kill)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film Young and Innocent An original movie poster for the film The Clan of the Cave Bear An original movie poster for the film Everybody's Fine

Young and Innocent (1982)

 

The Clan Of The Cave Bear (1986)

(with Phillippe Druillet)

The IMDb logo

Everybody's Fine (1990)

The IMDb logo 

An original movie poster for the film The Incredibles

The Incredibles (2004)

The IMDb logo

A stunning body of work that on the whole, perhaps more than any other movie poster illustrator, has a coherence and an unmistakably unique style to it.

If you'd like to find a McGinnis Woman for your wall, why not take a look at the Robert McGinnis posters we currently have available.

We hope you find something you love.

 

Adam and the Art of the Movies team.

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