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 Link

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 Link

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

Resources Link

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

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

Footnotes Link

  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

    Those posters are great. Nice collection.

    -2
  2. 2

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

    7
  3. 3

    So inspiring! Most of these are really amazing. I think the first W post is lackluster and I’ve always been bothered by the placement of the type in Moulin Rouge with the stars names. Given that they are catering to some pretty big egos I can understand, otherwise its gorgeous. Love to see so many traditional paintings and illustrations in there- I love paintings done on the computer just as much but sometimes people forget about our design past!

    This makes me want to do more post designs. What a creative field!

    1
  4. 4

    this is just a collection of movies the author enjoyed.

    -1
  5. 5

    Lot of retro style posters. Nice collection.

    0
  6. 6

    Amazing collection of posters! I was shocked, when i saw links to movies nearby every poster! It was ver hard work, i respect to Alessandro Cattaneo!

    P.S. Sorry for bad english, i’m ukrainian ;)

    1
  7. 7

    Great Collection!
    I agree… I miss this slowly fading art.

    0
  8. 8

    IMHO, this is a way better cover for “Th’ good, th’ bad ‘n’ th’ ugly”:
    http://spaghettiwesterns.1g.fi/dvd/Good_Bad_Ugly_SE_DVD_eng.jpg

    Otherwise, nice list, but it got a bit uninspired in the end before the last click after “Man With One Red Shoe”, and what about Raiders of the lost ark? :o

    0
  9. 9

    Nice collection! I love the “Vacancy” the best!

    0
  10. 10

    Marcos Vera Chávez

    October 12, 2008 2:53 pm

    The THX 1138 poster is not precisely the actual movie poster, this is the design for the special edition on dvd

    0
  11. 11

    great collection, but where is jurassic park? forrest gump?

    0
  12. 12

    Wow….Great Post…..PULP FICTION is the best.

    -1
  13. 13

    Great that Saul Bass’ work (“Vertigo”) made it in there – he’s the master! You can see several other posters in this collection that directly reference or draw inspiration from him (particularly the mean streets one). And that one for The Shining that uses his original typography of course!

    0
  14. 14

    Once again a great collection. I really like the old movies and retro posters. The W poster is lame. Funny quotes but the poster does not compete with the others here. I don’t see anything appealing or compelling about it.

    0
  15. 15

    Woah, where did you find those posters for The Fountain? Were they the international versions or something? They are awesome.

    0
  16. 16

    I love the “Perfume” movie poster, so much so when I seen it in the movie store I bought it due to the cover, and it turned out to be a very good movie!

    1
  17. 17

    Chinatown ?

    0
  18. 18

    great collection. Dug planet of the apes, never seen that one before, it’s a fantastic poster. also vertigo, day watch, v for vendetta and dark knight were great selections.

    0
  19. 19

    Awesome :)

    0
  20. 20

    Great list ! Thanks you

    0
  21. 21

    Great collection. Love the work done in posters. very inspiring and most of these are really amazing.

    Roshan

    0
  22. 22

    Though I dislike retro style, I found some interesting retro posters in this list. I liked ‘The Birds’, ‘Forrest Gump’, ‘Perfume’, and ‘American Beuaty’ the best.

    Great efforrt Alessandro Cattaneo and Smashing Magazine Team, thank you so much.

    1
  23. 23
  24. 24

    I would like to add “The Spirit” [the three-split poster version]
    http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/images/spirit-poster1.jpg

    0
  25. 25

    i only remember posters of forrest gump and nightmare before christmas

    0
  26. 26

    superb work man. i have a new set of movies to watch now :)

    0
  27. 27

    Nice, The Color Purple would be a nice one to add

    0
  28. 28

    wow… what a nice collection of movie posters… like from tarantino´s films

    0
  29. 29

    Cepillin? Cepillin?…I fucking love Cepillin …haha… he’s he greatest of all clowns…even though I hate clowns he’s still an amazing character…fond memories from Mexico….

    0
  30. 30

    I love those movie posters. One of my biggest dreams, to make my own one.. :D
    Thanx for this article!
    (Why don’t you make an article about DVD Covers? Because they often don’t look so great like the movie posters…)

    0
  31. 31

    Cool, great post (Y)

    0
  32. 32

    Wow, I love this collection !

    0
  33. 33

    I have to agree with a previous poster. This list seems to be a list of posters the author enjoyed. The Bank Job? Kill Bill? Cloverfiled Those are hardly artistic examples.

    I’d also like to mention The Thing and Planet of the Apes posters are from special alamo draft house theater screenings. The shining poster is from an art show and a few other posters are not from original screenings.

    0
  34. 34

    Puhlease… I love movies and their related artworks, but kill bill as a good example of a beautiful poster? Come on!
    There are quite a few that are really good though, and ranging from old to new. There may be a bit too much emphasis on the new IMO, as it’s far more inspiring to me to think of the trouble designers had to go through 20, 30 years ago to make posters that rival today’s Photoshopped stuff.

    Also, try writing your posts in a word processor and running spell check prior to posting them online. “We went trought different decades of movie history” WTF is trought?

    0
  35. 35

    Cool collection, but why is there no asian movie, I miss thous a little …

    0
  36. 36

    Smashing strikes again. A regurgitated list of posters for popular movies is not fresh content. Unedited, guest authored content will be the downfall of this magazine.

    Movie posters are not a “forgotten art”. Poster art is highly celebrated and recognised. The author seems confused in the intro and contradicts himself, before going on to post a few good examples of iconic movie poster design, mixed in amongst some forty-odd mediocre, run of the mill, mainstream posters.

    Once again, a poor show from SM.

    0
  37. 37

    Love the Grinhouse series ! … There were some I had seen but others are quite new to me cause I saw the public poster only such as the Dark Knight one ! Also love that retro feel in some of the posters ! A true work of art indeed !

    0
  38. 38

    why was the poster for the ring two with the girl sitting in the chair not included? I think thats one of the most powerful and disturbing movie posters i’ve ever seen

    0
  39. 39

    the japanese poster of “Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain”

    http://img241.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ameliext8.jpg

    and:

    http://film.fit.edu/img/fall02b.jpg

    0
  40. 40

    although it is a great poster, blestenation is not a movie but a music band.

    http://www.myspace.com/blestenation
    lol

    0
  41. 41

    Great but…
    No french poster, no indian poster, not enought from the rest of the world (>80% of the population).

    Good job anyway.

    0
  42. 42

    Grindhouse?! Black Snake Moan’s a much better poster of that style…

    I think this list should be renamed to ‘Cool posters what I like’. Posters are STILL playing the part of the informative advertising material in cinemas – with sometimes stages of teaser, main campaign etc. Would love to know where the author goes to the cinema.

    0
  43. 43

    The Birds poster is not the original, that was done recently by Corey Holms for “Now Showing” Exploring the Lost “Art” of the Film Poster.http://www.flickr.com/photos/keepsmesane/sets/72157601618281265/

    0
  44. 44

    Agree with logicalnot. Seven Samurai’s (B & W) poster is one of the best in terms of composition, amongst other Kurosawa’s. Nice collection

    0
  45. 45

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    October 13, 2008 2:58 am

    @all: please notice that this post was not intended to showcase best examples of movie posters art, but to provide some interesting ideas for designers and artists.

    0
  46. 46

    Yeah thats why the category is named ‘Monday Inspiration’!
    Great inspiration as always, thank you!

    0
  47. 47

    I know there’s so many that you couldn’t include all of them but, honestly, these seem much better to me than Cloverfield or one of the Grindhouses…

    http://www.impawards.com/2006/prestige_ver5.html

    http://www.impawards.com/2006/madeas_family_reunion_ver2.html

    0
  48. 48

    Just subject Alessandro Cattaneo to some delicate caning and we can get back to business for future updates, then. >:3

    0
  49. 49

    Movie Poster Forum

    October 13, 2008 5:08 am

    Cool Top 50 – Some i expected to see there, some I didn’t. Would have been disapointed if Mean Streets and Vertigo were not in there though.

    Cheers
    Goodfella

    0
  50. 50

    Christopher Ross (thisismyurl.com)

    October 13, 2008 5:08 am

    That’s awesome! I had Beyond A Reasonable Doubt hanging in my studio for years, right beside my Clockwork Orange. Chris

    0

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