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Selling the Movie

Selling the Movie
The Art of the Film Poster

Showcasing a century of iconic movie posters by the medium’s top designers, this lavishly illustrated book charts the international history of the poster and how it has lured audiences to cinemas across the globe.

Sales restrictions: For sale in the United States, Canada, and Mexico only.
October 2018
288 pages | 11.5 x 9.25 | 482 color and 27 b&w images |

Look Inside

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As long as there have been movies, there have been posters selling films to audiences. Posters came into existence just decades before the inception of film, and as movies became a universal medium of entertainment, posters likewise became a ubiquitous form of advertising. At first, movie posters suggested a film’s theme, from adventure and romance to thrills and spine-tingling horror. Then, with the ascendancy of the film star, posters began to sell icons and lifestyles, nowhere more so than in Hollywood. But every country producing films used posters to sell their product.

Selling the Movie: The Art of the Film Poster charts the history of the movie poster from both a creative and a commercial perspective. It includes sections focusing on poster artists, the development of styles, the influence of politics and ideology, and how commerce played a role in the film poster’s development. The book is richly illustrated with poster art from many countries and all eras of filmmaking.

From creating the brand of Charlie Chaplin’s tramp and marketing the elusive mystique of Greta Garbo, to the history of the blockbuster, the changing nature of graphic design by the decade, and the role of the poster in the digital age, Selling the Movie is an entertaining and enthralling journey through cinema, art, and the business of attracting audiences to the box office.


London, England

Film journalist, critic, and writer Smith is the update editor of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and the editor of BFI Filmmakers Magazine and Curzon Magazine.


“Irresistible…a look at the history of this irresistible art form that doesn't hesitate to organize posters by genres such as French poetic realism, early Westerns and the gangster film. Beautiful and affordable both.”
Los Angeles Times

“A well-designed, large-format book that will delight both the casual browser and the serious student of film and art history.”

“One of the real pleasures of this book is seeing how styles and designs have changed over the years and what decades' posters are the most eye-catching.”
Deseret News

“[A] classy, hardcover survey of the history of the images used to sell the movies.”
Outword Magazine

“This movie-loving writer found Selling the Movie to be an essential book to own.”
Picture This Post

“A beautifully designed book that should really appeal to most cinephiles.”
Cinema Literate