Wednesday, February 6, 2008

100 Greatest Movie Posters: #54 - Casablanca

Casablanca (1942)
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Unknown Designer
Film Nationality - USA
Poster Nationality - USA

[click to enlarge]

I'm sure it's probably blasphemous to not include Michael Curtiz's Oscar-winning classic Casablanca in, at least, the top 50 (let alone top 20, 10, 5, whatever), but I just don't think it deserves it. It definitely deserves to be on the countdown in general - being a ditz I nearly forgot all about it - but, while the design is classic and that big red title treatment is utterly to die for, I just don't think it's as original and stylistically inventive enough to push it into the top 50. It's not like Casablanca was the first poster to go with this aesthetic, it just happens to be the best one!

I could do without the extra floating heads bobbing around towards the top, a trend that continues to bring about ire in me, but other than that it's just straight forward classically simple elegance. The angle that Humphry Bogart and Ingrid Bergman stand at makes me think the designers of the Brokeback Mountain poster took a few tips from it. The thick - but not all consuming - white border is classy.

But, really, it all comes down to that hot red title design. Strange how just one written word can be made to look so romantic and beautiful.

Still, I don't feel remotely guilty that the Casablanca poster isn't in the top 50. As I said up there, while it's classically beautiful, it's just a bit too stylistically simple for the top 50. And as we continue through the countdown I hope you can see what I mean. Save for maybe a couple of equally classic and simple designs the entire top 50 is filled with designs that feel shockingly ingenious while being visually and artistically stunning. We're going to be going back into this countdown at full speed from now on. Bring on all the pretty pictures.

1 comment:

qnz#1blogger said...

This poster suck kamikaze. I'm not knocking your list & watnot. I just feel this only made it because the movies a huge classic. There's nothing but floating heads. That screams originality!!