50 Beautiful Movie Posters

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Movie posters are art and, unfortunately, the forgotten one. In the early years of cinema history, they were used just like advertising material. Displayed in theatres only, movie posters had the same function as a menu in a restaurant: what feast can I enjoy this evening? Nowadays, movie posters play a big role in cinema memorabilia collection. They have lost the “informative” tone to wear a more artistic and decorative dress. We want to change it with this post.

Made in many different sizes and versions, and released in different moments all along a movie’s life, posters immortalize in one static image the feeling and the atmosphere of a motion picture. Some posters can be dark or try to frighten the audience, others bedazzling with bright colors; some can be someway informative, while others can be fully teasing and may provide you only the date when movie will be released, even if you may not know what the movie is about.

In this post we present you a showcase of 50 beautiful movie posters. We went through different decades of movie history and different genre, different graphical approach, colors and style. Movies the posters are about may be famous or not, this is not the point.

Movie posters put together the love for for two different visual arts: cinema and graphics. Enjoy!

You may also want to take a look at the related posts:

50 Beautiful Movie Posters

Star Wars (1977)4

Screenshot5

Walk the line (2005)6

Screenshot7

Grindhouse (2007)8

Grindhouse9

Grindhouse10

The Spirit (Upcoming, December 2008)11

The Spirit12

Vacancy (2007)13

Screenshot14

Moulin Rouge (2001)15

Moulin Rouge16

V For Vendetta (2006)17

Screenshot18

La Feria De Cepillin (2008)19

Screenshot20

The Thing (1982)21

Screenshot22

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (2007)23

Screenshot24

Dexter (TV-show)25

Screenshot26

The Dark Knight27

The Dark Knight28

The Dark Knight29

Kill Bill (2003)30

Screenshot31

Fearless (2006)32

Screenshot33

Cloverfield (2008)34

Screenshot35

The Birds (1963)36

Screenshot37

A Clockwork Orange (1971)38

Screenshot39

Mean Streets (1973)40

Screenshot41

Amadeus (1984)42

Grindhouse43

THX 1138 (1971)44

THX II3845

Pulp Fiction (1994)46

Pulp Fiction47

28 Weeks Later (2007)48

Screenshot49

The U.S. vs. John Lennon (2006)50

Screenshot51

Forrest Gump (1994)52

Forrest Gump53

Day Watch (2007)54

Day Watch55

Vertigo (1958)56

Screenshot57

Invasion (2008)58

Screenshot59

Planet of the apes (2001)60

Screenshot61

The Memory Thief (2007)62

Screenshot63

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)64

Screenshot65

Death Proof (2007)66

Screenshot67

The Good German (2006)68

Screenshot69

Perfume (2007)70

Screenshot71

The Shining (2008)72

Screenshot73

W (2008)74

Screenshot75

Screenshot76

American Beauty (1999)77

Screenshot78

The Bank Job (2007)79

Screenshot80

Man With One Red Shoe (1985)81

Man With One Red Shoe82

The Dark Crystal (1982)83

Screenshot84

Excalibur (1981)85

Screenshot86

Unforgiven (1992)87

Unforgiven88

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)89

The Nightmare Before Christmas90

Zodiac (2007)91

Screenshot92

Dr. Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) (1964)93

Dr. Strangelove94

Good The Bad And The Ugly (1966)95
Italian version.

Good The Bad And The Ugly96

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)97

Indiana Jones98

Rocky (1976)99

Rocky100

Last Click

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt (1956)101
Please note the advice’s style (highlighted with the red circle) for the audience: an innocent suggestion or just marketing?.

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt102

103

Blestenation (2007)104

Screenshot105

The Fountain (2006)106

Screenshot107

Screenshot108

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Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/03/35-beautiful-music-album-covers/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/21/monday-inspiration-brilliant-music-videos/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/04/14/excellent-book-covers-and-paperbacks/
  4. 4 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/
  5. 5 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/
  6. 6 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0358273/
  7. 7 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0358273/
  8. 8 http://www.grindhousemovie.net/
  9. 9 http://www.grindhousemovie.net/
  10. 10 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0462322/
  11. 11 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0831887/
  12. 12 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0831887/
  13. 13 http://observin.com/2008/08/31-great-movie-posters-for-design-inspiration/#more-140
  14. 14 http://observin.com/2008/08/31-great-movie-posters-for-design-inspiration/#more-140
  15. 15 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0203009/
  16. 16 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0203009/
  17. 17 http://www.impawards.com/2006/v_for_vendetta_ver3.html
  18. 18 http://www.impawards.com/2006/v_for_vendetta_ver3.html
  19. 19 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/10-Movie-Posters_1970s-1970s/58004
  20. 20 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/10-Movie-Posters_1970s-1970s/58004
  21. 21 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084787/
  22. 22 http://www.slashfilm.com/2008/04/16/cool-stuff-alamos-the-thing-and-planet-of-the-apes-the-car-movie-posters/
  23. 23 http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/movie/sweeney_todd_the_demon_barber_of_fleet_street/stills/41
  24. 24 http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/movie/sweeney_todd_the_demon_barber_of_fleet_street/stills/41
  25. 25 http://www.nerdcore.de/wp/2008/07/18/obey-giant-dexter-poster/
  26. 26 http://www.nerdcore.de/wp/2008/07/18/obey-giant-dexter-poster/
  27. 27 http://thedarkknight.warnerbros.com/
  28. 28 http://thedarkknight.warnerbros.com/
  29. 29 http://thedarkknight.warnerbros.com/
  30. 30 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266697/
  31. 31 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266697/
  32. 32 http://www.impawards.com/2006/fearless.html
  33. 33 http://www.impawards.com/2006/fearless.html
  34. 34 http://www.impawards.com/2008/cloverfield_ver2.html
  35. 35 http://www.impawards.com/2008/cloverfield_ver2.html
  36. 36 http://www.flickr.com/photos/heilemann/2577370196/in/set-613088/
  37. 37 http://www.flickr.com/photos/heilemann/2577370196/in/set-613088/
  38. 38 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066921/
  39. 39 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066921/
  40. 40 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070379/
  41. 41 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070379/
  42. 42 http://www.movieposteraddict.com/2008/02/21/79-years-of-best-picture-winners-in-posters/
  43. 43 http://www.movieposteraddict.com/2008/02/21/79-years-of-best-picture-winners-in-posters/
  44. 44 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066434/
  45. 45 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066434/
  46. 46 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110912/
  47. 47 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110912/
  48. 48 http://www.flickr.com/photos/heilemann/2226247381/in/set-613088
  49. 49 http://www.flickr.com/photos/heilemann/2226247381/in/set-613088
  50. 50 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478049/
  51. 51 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478049/
  52. 52 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109830/
  53. 53 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109830/
  54. 54 http://www.foxsearchlight.com/daywatch/
  55. 55 http://www.foxsearchlight.com/daywatch/
  56. 56 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052357/
  57. 57 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052357/
  58. 58 http://theinvasionmovie.warnerbros.com/
  59. 59 http://theinvasionmovie.warnerbros.com/
  60. 60 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133152/
  61. 61 http://www.slashfilm.com/2008/04/16/cool-stuff-alamos-the-thing-and-planet-of-the-apes-the-car-movie-posters/
  62. 62 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0437250/
  63. 63 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0437250/
  64. 64 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080684/
  65. 65 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080684/
  66. 66 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1028528/
  67. 67 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1028528/
  68. 68 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0452624/
  69. 69 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0452624/
  70. 70 http://www.perfumemovie.com/
  71. 71 http://www.perfumemovie.com/
  72. 72 http://www.slashfilm.com/2008/10/09/cool-stuff-the-shining-posters-and-tribute-artwork/
  73. 73 http://www.slashfilm.com/2008/10/09/cool-stuff-the-shining-posters-and-tribute-artwork/
  74. 74 http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/movie/w
  75. 75 http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/movie/w
  76. 76 http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/movie/w
  77. 77 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0169547/
  78. 78 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0169547/
  79. 79 http://www.impawards.com/2008/bank_job_ver2.html
  80. 80 http://www.impawards.com/2008/bank_job_ver2.html
  81. 81 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089543/
  82. 82 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089543/
  83. 83 http://www.flickr.com/photos/heilemann/163034532/in/set-613088/
  84. 84 http://www.flickr.com/photos/heilemann/163034532/in/set-613088/
  85. 85 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charm_of_making
  86. 86 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charm_of_making
  87. 87 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105695/
  88. 88 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105695/
  89. 89 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightmare_before_christmas
  90. 90 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightmare_before_christmas
  91. 91 http://www.impawards.com/2007/zodiac.html
  92. 92 http://www.impawards.com/2007/zodiac.html
  93. 93 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057012/
  94. 94 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057012/
  95. 95 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good,_the_Bad_and_the_Ugly
  96. 96 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good,_the_Bad_and_the_Ugly
  97. 97 http://www.impawards.com/1981/raiders_of_the_lost_ark_ver2.html
  98. 98 http://www.impawards.com/1981/raiders_of_the_lost_ark_ver2.html
  99. 99 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky
  100. 100 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky
  101. 101 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049006/
  102. 102 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049006/
  103. 103 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049006/
  104. 104 http://www.mikesaputo.com/portfolio/?page_id=31
  105. 105 http://www.mikesaputo.com/portfolio/?page_id=31
  106. 106 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414993/
  107. 107 http://www.flickr.com/photos/heilemann/2901675620/
  108. 108 http://www.flickr.com/photos/heilemann/2900846223/in/set-613088/
  109. 109 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_poster
  110. 110 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_genre
  111. 111 http://www.impawards.com/
  112. 112 http://www.imdb.com/
  113. 113 http://www.agrayspace.com/posters/
  114. 114 http://www.cinemasterpieces.com/
  115. 115 http://www.movieposteraddict.com/
  116. 116 http://posterwire.com/
  117. 117 http://eu.movieposter.com/
  118. 118 http://sfstory.free.fr/affiches
  119. 119 http://wellmedicated.com/inspiration/50-incredible-film-posters-from-poland/
  120. 120 http://weirdposters.blogspot.com/
  121. 121 http://www.posterwhore.com/
  122. 122 http://www.impawards.com/
  123. 123 http://www.graphic-exchange.com/exellence/movieposters.html
  124. 124 http://www.flickr.com/photos/heilemann/collections/72157600010886936/
  125. 125 http://movieposterguy.blogspot.com/
  126. 126 http://www.cinemacom.com/vintage-shockers.html
  127. 127 http://flickr.com/groups/84063844@N00/pool/
  128. 128 http://abduzeedo.com/hand-drawn-movie-posters
  129. 129 http://www.agrayspace.com/posters/
  130. 130 http://observin.com/2008/08/31-great-movie-posters-for-design-inspiration/#more-140
  131. 131 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/21/monday-inspiration-brilliant-music-videos/
  132. 132 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/04/14/excellent-book-covers-and-paperbacks/

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Alessandro Cattaneo is a communication specialist with great passion for web and design.

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  1. 1
  2. 52

    Propper bo!

    0
  3. 103

    cepillin bravo!!

    0
  4. 154

    For goodness sake, these are just 50 beautiful posters, its just an inspiration for designers like me, why do some of you keep complaining that this is better, that is better,

    “I honestly do not see how some of these posters made it here.”,

    oh come on, the title did not say that these are ‘the best movie posters ever’, did it? Just merely inspiration.

    Anyways good work SM, I loved the post!

    0
  5. 205

    nice list, I’d also add:

    The Exorcist
    Jaws
    Any Monty Python ala Terry Gilliam
    ET
    Plan 9 From Outer Space
    Yellow Submarine
    Casablanca
    Metropolis

    0
  6. 256

    Nice collection, some really nice stuff!

    0
  7. 307

    Some are actually pretty ugly (Excalibur). But well loved for being typical. Thanks!

    0
  8. 358

    I love The Dark Knight “Why So Serious” the most.

    0
  9. 409

    Simply amazing! The one from Dexter is terrific!

    0
  10. 460

    What?! you forgot Pink Floyd The Wall!

    0
  11. 511

    I have the Pulp Fiction poster in my office at work. Gets a lot of comments. Great for my Marketing role. Thanks for spreading the word!

    0
  12. 562

    I love the Vacancy poster. That one word jumps out at you. Zodiac design is cool too. Love the fog use.

    onwired.com

    0
  13. 613

    Awesome! That’s a expected for a long time. Good choice Smashing.

    0
  14. 664

    Stars Wars will alway’s be a classic!

    0
  15. 715

    Tennyson Williams

    October 13, 2008 12:44 pm

    That’s an interesting perspective that we forget about, but their is still a necessity for posters and even matte paintings, which is really cool and keeps all forms of art alive.

    0
  16. 766

    Very nice collection! (;

    0
  17. 817

    Essenitally posters after 1970. Why ?

    0
  18. 868

    I can’t believe you didn’t include Scarface.

    Shame on you.

    0
  19. 919

    one poster that I thought was pretty nice was the one for Midnight Meat Train

    0
  20. 970

    The Sweeney Todd poster features the Big Ben in the window. This was removed from the original poster because the Big Ben didn’t exist at the time of Sweeney Todd.

    0
  21. 1021

    Hi, excellent collection indeed. Great job! One missing from the list, in my opinion, is Kieslowski’s “Trois Couleurs Bleu” (Three colours blue), showing mysteriously beautiful Juliette Binoche in one of her best roles ever.

    0
  22. 1072

    Thanks for a great list of movie visual posters
    No Subscription Required

    0
  23. 1123

    How does “The Good German” qualify when it’s nothing more than a ripoff of the iconic “Casablanca” poster (which, btw, is an unforgiveable omission)?

    0
  24. 1174

    @ Beyond A Reasonable Doubt (1956)
    I think it’s all about marketing.

    0
  25. 1225

    BLADE RUNNER?!?!?!?!

    And if that poster for The Graduate is not a late ’60’s iconic image for all times, I will eat my hat!

    0
  26. 1276

    Umm.. you searched through DECADES of movie history and yet boring posters for “W.” appear on this list? C’mon! There are soo many lush, beautiful, inspiring posters from the early decades of film. I realize that not everyone may agree, but I think you left out quite a few “decades” here, hitting only the obvious highlights (“Vertigo”, etc).

    Not to mention you opened this article with a paragraph about how movie posters and advertising were crucial to movie’s success in the early days; yet you hardly have any early movie posters, which had to work their hardest to sell the movie to the viewer without any internet or television marketing.

    0
  27. 1327

    Very nice set!

    0
  28. 1378
  29. 1429

    I love the sparsely designed posters, as well as the ‘era’ themed posters, (Death Proof & 28 Weeks Later). The pick for The Bank Job, however, is NOT the most beautiful choice for that movie.

    This one is classic and quite possibly number 1 in overall design.

    0
  30. 1480

    I would love to be able to see tutorials on how to create some of the effects in these movies posters. Great collection!

    0
  31. 1531

    “The Shining” poster is for an art show about the movie, not a movie.

    0
  32. 1582

    A great selection as always; the only thing is Blestenation isn’t a filme, it’s a rap music group!

    0
  33. 1633

    When your sitting there, between cups of coffee and your vision and imagination is starting to flag, the Smashing team’s pages are always there to jolt you back into production. Lets take it in the spirit it is given and not forever criticise, great work SM.

    0
  34. 1684

    Almost every one would be considered modern. And almost every one is American. If you factored in posters from Japan, Europe, Eastern Europe, India etc. You would have a potentially huge, interesting and exciting series.

    0
  35. 1735

    These posters are awesome, but… Why there is no Godfather

    It’s hard to rate poster with no thinking about the movie. Respect ;)

    0
  36. 1786

    There was a feature like this on another site, and the most captivating example I found there was the Downhill Racer Poster

    0
  37. 1837

    tarantino fan much?
    lol. im pretty sure that the reason why most of his movie posters are of massive amounts of badass is because he is a fan of movie posters if im not mistaken… along with foreign language martial arts movies from the 70s. lol.

    0
  38. 1888

    Whether you have seen some of them or not, it’s a very refreshing flash back.

    Cheers Smashing!

    0
  39. 1939

    Talk about a blast from the past!

    0
  40. 1990

    Planet of the Apes was done by artist Tod Slater for Alamo He does amazing gig posters as well…
    http://www.toddslater.net/

    0
  41. 2041

    wow~ they are awesome!!!

    0
  42. 2092

    It should be more appreciated, I think.
    Really great!!!
    I love the dark knight’s poster.

    0
  43. 2143

    Nice collection. I’d also toss ‘Run Lola Run’ (the German version of the poster, not the North American), and Blade Runner into the mix.

    0
  44. 2194

    Real Nice. What about “Premonition”? I think it deserves to be in this list.

    0
  45. 2245

    these collection are terrific.

    0
  46. 2296

    sometimes i think i have to live….live for seeing the best creator of the man …..the movie collection is really very nice.

    0
  47. 2347

    love ‘the birds’ poster. can’t explain why, but i reckon its insane!

    0
  48. 2398

    good ones, i also really like the burn after reading poster

    0
  49. 2449

    Love the collection. What about Hard Candy?

    0
  50. 2500

    these r wierd posters

    0

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