The Film Behind The Poster - The Brighton Strangler (1945)
Here at Art of the Movies, the visual impact of a poster is the first thing we look for. Some that we stumble across are for long forgotten films that we haven't heard of before. We don't see that as a problem - if we love the art, we buy the poster!
That said, it can be really rewarding to get a better understanding of the original film. It often tells you more about the poster and adds to your enjoyment of it.
In this series of blog posts, we select a poster from our Catalogue of original movie posters and take a look at the film that it was produced to promote.
In the first of the series, we look at 1945's "The Brighton Strangler".
Directed by Max Nosseck and produced by RKO Radio Pictures, "The Boston Strangler" was released in the U.S. on the 10th May 1945.
Set in London during the German bombing Blitz of the Second World War, John Loder (playing opposite June Duprez) stars as Reginald Parker, an actor who has made the title role in a long running West End theatre production his own.
The play? "The Brighton Strangler".
Knocked unconscious during a bombing raid, Reginald awakes with amnesia. Stumbling through the flames and rubble of bombed London, he now believes himself to be the character he has portrayed for so long.
Travelling by train to Brighton, Reginald now considers himself Edward Grey, with an uncontrollable urge to kill...
In real life, both director and lead actor had felt the effects of war in the first half of the twentieth century.
John Loder was educated at the prestigious Eton College before joining the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. In 1915, following in his father's footsteps, he joined the British army, serving in the 15th Hussars. He saw action at both the Gallipoli campaign and the Battle of the Somme, before being captured and spending time as a prisoner of war.
Max Nosseck was born in Nakel, then part of Prussia, becoming an established director within the German film industry. In 1933, due to the increasing anti-Semitism of the National Socialist party, his Jewish background forced him to flee Germany.
After his release (and a brief period as the owner of a pickle factory) Loder pursued a career in acting, spending time in Hollywood where he appeared in films for Paramount Studios, MGM, Pathe, Warner Brothers and Fox. He returned to England, dying in London in 1988, at the age of 90. His autobiography "Hollywood Hussar - The Life and Times of John Loder" was published in 1977.
After the war, Nosseck returned to Germany, dying in Bavaria in 1972, aged 70.
The "Brighton Strangler" is actually available to watch (legally!) on the excellent "Free Classic Movies" site run by Jimbo Berkey. Coming in at 67 minutes, the film is a great way to steep yourself for an hour in war time England, with a Jekyll and Hyde murderer on the lose!
Turning to the movie poster... It was produced by the Morgan Litho Corp of Cleveland, Ohio and is dated 1944. The Morgan Lithography Corporation was formed by two brothers, both veterans of the American Civil War. By 1887 the company focused almost entirely on the entertainment business, winning gold medals for its large scale posters at both the Paris World Fair and the Chicago Exhibition. They were well placed to exploit the explosion of the moving picture in the first half of the 1900's. The company still operates, now known as Morgan Litho.
Our particular poster has been stunningly linen-backed and professionally restored. It must be one of the best still in existence.
Both the film and poster are real pieces of original movie history, steeped in the dramatic events of the first half of the twentieth century.
To find more posters like this, please do take a look at our Catalogue of guaranteed original vintage and contemporary movie posters.
We hope you find something you love.
Adam and the 'Art of the Movies' team.