IT'S A SAD TRUTH that many press kits, photographs and beautifully produced cinema posters, from the films of Peter Cushing some produced over 50 years ago, often aren't in the best of condition, when they arrive at auction or are up for sale on ebay these days. Back in the day, many sets of stills, lobby cards and press stills were produced in their thousands, especially the cheaper black and white, sets. It wasn't unusual for the press office to use cheap photographic paper, thin paper stock for the cinema posters, as many films made on a tight budget, extended their limitations to the money used for the business of publicity, after the film had been finished. Often was the case, there was little to no funding left. Colour photographs were expensive, even when the capture list, was presented to the studio photographer on set, priority was given to stills taken in black and white. The film was cheap, the processing and printing too. So colour stills, were taken for magazines and publication. Also, no one at the time at Hammer, Amicus or any other 1950's or 60's studio press office, had any idea that the films, would go on to be classics, and the press material HIGHLY COLLECTABLE and command high prices!
SO THIS IS WHY, I have been busy at work and burning the night oil, repairing this fine set of Italian PHOTOBUSTA Lobby Stills, Hammer films DRACULA AD 1972. Many parts of Europe at that time, were included in the UK budget for press kits. Although they did get, a set of a few black and white stills, usually a set of eight. Many times, the publicity office in a country would then get them tinted with ink, to give them a little colour. Unfortunately, if the artist had not seen the film or any colour prints from the set, characters on the photographs would be wearing dresses, coats, cloaks and tie, of a completely different colour, to what they wore in the movie. Hence David Peel, appearing often in a dark blue, light blue and one time yellow cloak, in press stills in Europe during the theatrical release of Hammer films, 'The Brides Of Dracula' starring Peter Cushing . . not the grey cloak, he is seen wearing throughout the film.
GREAT CARE has been given in touching up the paint, ink and damage to this set of Italian Photobusta's. I have cleaned them, repaired tears, scratches, pin holes and dent, without comprising the style and vintage of the time. As we shared in a post earlier this week, the Italian press stills, were often quite something. Many were excellent cut and paste poster montages, like the one we see here and other times quite strange and weird. Take a look at last week's The Satanic Rites of Dracula cinema poster, that features a photograph of naked chubby man, behind a tinted photo of Christopher Lee and Joanna Lumley. The man, photograph taken at a very odd angle, was not featured in the film or indeed have anything connection to any of Hammer films!
PHOTOBUSTERS were produced to enhance the best moments of a film, they were printed usually in colour, using tinted black and white photographs, sometimes managing to out do the drama and presentation of the more expensive and official press photographic promotional materials. Sadly, they were often, as in this case, printed on glossy and thin paper. Easy to bend, fold causing the print and ink to flake off over the years. But one imagines, as in this case, they must have been very eye catching and dramatic, when first released and pinned to the foyer or reception of a cinema. In most cases, they certainly impress me, with their size, colour and collection of images. Today even though, they come with the risk of having been folded and damaged, they still command high prices and are highly sort after by collectors.
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COMING SOON is our competition, MARKING THE RELEASE FROM WARNER BROTHERS the ALSO REMASTERED BLU RAYS of both DRACULA AD 1972 and THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA. We'll be offering you the chance to win copies of both films and other HIGHLY collectable AD and SATANIC prizes! MISS IT AND MISS OUT!