The Sin of Nora Moran (1933)
Directed by Phil Goldstone
Poster Designed by Alberto Vargas
Film Nationality - USA
Poster Nationality - USA
Aaah, the halcyon days of pre-code Hollywood! I imagine this poster featuring a near-naked Zita Johann is more famous than the film it's advertising. I know I had never heard of this 1933 flick, but had seen the poster appear on many "best posters" lists right towards the pointy end. Alas, it doesn't quite get to the summit of my countdown, but, hey, number 10 is pretty darn good.
This classic design is by Alberto Vargas who was a noted erotica painter, but nothing from reading his biography could prepare for seeing this poster for the first time. It's so powerful in it's portrayal of a desperate and wronged woman. That fact that she's nearly naked is both besides the point and entirely the point. On one hand the act she commits in the film is (apparently, I have not seen it) worse than any mere nudity, yet the fact that she is naked shows how raw and exposed she becomes. The way her face is covered is something that you might not immediately notice (considering her breasts are on full show), but for me it's the single most compelling part.
...or something something. I sound like a prat sometimes.
One interesting thing to note. Imagine if, for instance, Kate Winslet posed for a film poster looking like that. The majority of people would be calling her fat and ugly. And that's after the photoshopping...