Original Vintage Movie Posters - SimonDwyer.Com

This week's showcase – VE day 75th anniversary

75 years ago, on the 8th May 1945, the war in Europe ended. There are countless forms of remembrance taking place to mark the date, from the two minute silence to celebratory events - albeit these are now stay at home parties rather than street parties due to the current pandemic.

For my part, I thought that I'd focus on some of the posters on the site that reflect the heroism of those fighting and the resilience of those left at home. There three main themes here.

First, a selection of genuine Home Office posters used to bolster the morale of the general public. The most famous of these, 'Keep Calm and Carry On', was never actually used but kept in reserve in case of invasion. Others, such as 'Plant a Victory Garden' and 'use it up, Wear it out, make it do' encouraged the public to make practical personal efforts to help the war effort. Everyone could help and pretty much everyone did help.

Second, there are films actually made during the war, both comedies and dramas that reflect the mood of the time – Waterloo Bridge, The Goose Steps out and Laurel and Hardy’s Air Raid Wardens are a few.

Third, I've included war films of true stories and real people – The Dam Busters, Carve her Name with Pride, Patton and The Great Escape, for instance. There are many more war films on the site with great fictional story lines (Casablanca, Where Eagles Dare and far more) but I've left them out of this particular list. This is just about the real life heroes.

This Month's Showcase

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Great Escape Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Great Escape 1963 UK quad 40"x30" Fine/Near Mint on linen £3,950
Notes: One of the most sought after British quads of all time and for good reason. This was a film about the most daring prisoner of war escape attempt of all time with a cast of actors that was so strong that it was a wonder they got this movie made in the first place with all of the egos involved. Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson, Angus Lennie, James Coburn, etc. were all absolutely awesome. This is a very, very rare poster, linen backed in excellent condition with a little spot airbrushing around the lower titles only. Prior to linen backing, this was a rolled poster in great condition.
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Propaganda - Keep Calm and Carry On Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Keep Calm and Carry On 1939 UK DC - 20" x 30" Near Mint £7,995
Notes: This is a very rare and important piece of British history, printed in 1939 when the threat of invasion by the all conquering Nazis was a very real possibility. This design was printed in secret and intended for distribution only if the Germans landed on British soil. Thankfully this never happened and, like all paper in the 1940's, stocks were taken from storage, pulped and recycled in the austerity years after the war. It was almost completely forgotten until one was rediscovered in 2000 by the owner of a bookshop, whereupon the design became the centre of a worldwide marketing phenomenon, appearing on everything from mugs to T-shirts. There were believed to be only two survivors until a stash of fifteen appeared on the BBC Antiques Roadshow in 2012 and six more appeared from another significant estate find of a hoard of wartime posters in 2014. They remain incredibly rare with under forty known examples in the world. Undoubtedly the most poignant of any wartime poster in British history, it has recently also become one of the most iconic motivational themes of all time and is consequently increasingly sought after. Rolled in superb condition.
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633 Squadron Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
633 Squadron 1964 UK quad - 40"x30" Fine on linen £565
Notes: Fabulous aviation image of the legendary British Mosquito squadron in action. 633 Squadron are assigned to bomb a German rocket fuel plant in Norway which is guarded by heavy anti-aircraft defences. This poster is from the original 1964 cinema release of the film in the UK, linen backed in excellent condition. Repair to lower right corner, otherwise excellent.
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Air Raid Wardens Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Air Raid Wardens 1943 US 1 sht - 27"x41" Good/Very Good on linen £325
Notes: Rare wartime first release poster starring Laurel and Hardy as home front air raid wardens who discover a nest of Nazi spies. Any paper from the war years is rare so this poster featuring the star comedians in a film with a WW2 propaganda theme is particularly appropriate. This poster does have a fair amount of wear and tear from use but it has now been linen backed and presents well.
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Battle of Britain Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Battle of Britain 1969 UK quad - 40"x30" Fine/Near Mint on linen £625
Notes: Starring Michael Caine, Battle of Britain is probably best remembered for having some of the best aerial fight sequences ever filmed. They were even filmed using the correct machinery - Spitfires and Hurricanes that were owned by the RAF and Messerschmitts and Heinkels owned by the Spanish air force. This is a rare country-of-origin poster from the first UK release in 1969, linen backed in superb condition.
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Battle of the River Plate Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Battle of the River Plate 1956 UK quad - 40"x30" Near Mint £365
Notes: Superior war movie (also released as the Pursuit of the Graf Spee in the US) from Powell and Pressburger following the final days of the German pocket battleship, the Graf Spee, trapped in Montevideo by the British. This is a super rare UK quad from the first release in 1956 with artwork by Eric Pulford. This example is very lightly tri-folded (no cross folds) and has been stored rolled in superb condition.
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Battle of the V1 Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Battle of the V1 1958 UK quad - 40"x30" Fine on linen £445
Notes: The story behind the V1 doodlebugs that terrorised London during WW2 and the undercover agents that fought to destroy them in Germany. This is a UK country of origin poster from the first UK release in 1958, linen backed with minor retouching to foldlines.
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Carve Her Name With Pride Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Carve Her Name With Pride 1958 UK quad - 40"x30" Near Mint on linen £595
Notes: Virginia McKenna does a superb job of portraying unsung British war heroine Violetta Szabo in this true spy story from the second world war. Paul Scofield, perhaps the greatest actor of his generation, is equally magnificent as Tony. Featuring artwork by Eric Pulford, this is a rare country of origin UK quad poster for this important and moving British film. Linen backed in superb condition.
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Cockleshell Heroes Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Cockleshell Heroes 1955 UK quad - 40"x30" Fine on linen £795
Notes: Very rare and totally stunning UK quad poster for this British film about the true story of the ten canoe commandos who faced fantastic hazards to complete their mission in WW2. Only two survivors returned. Terrific cast of players, specifically Trevor Howard and Anthony Newley. Made by Broccoli who later churned out the impressive James Bond films.  Linen backed in excellent condition with airbrushing to borders.
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Dam Busters Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Dam Busters 1955 UK quad - 40"x30" Very Good/Fine on linen £345
Notes: Country-of-origin UK quad for this very British tale of heroism and ingenuity in the allied efforts to destroy the german dams in WW2. This is from the 1960's re-release featuring a duotone version of the original full colour artwork from the 1955 first release (these now fetch £8,000+). linen backed in excellent condition with light overall wear.
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Dam Busters Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Dam Busters 1955 UK quad - 40"x30" Fine £8,995
Notes: One of the rarest and most sought after posters from any of the leading war films, the first release UK quad for the Dam Busters has reached almost mythical status. This is a country-of-origin UK quad for this very British tale of heroism and ingenuity in the allied efforts to destroy the German dams in WW2. This is folded in excellent condition with minor archival tape repairs to the crossfolds.
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Dam Busters Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Dam Busters 1955 US 3 sht - 41" X 81" Fine on linen £445
Notes: The Dam Busters is the story of the "bombs that had to bounce" - and the air-devils who had to drop 'em! Amazing men, amazing machines An amazing film and the ultimate soundtrack. This poster is from the film's first release, linen backed in excellent condition.
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Dover Patrol (Ltd edition Spitfire print) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Dover Patrol (Ltd edition Spitfire print) 2000's 25" X 18" Near Mint/Mint £65
Notes: Limited edition print (#709/850) by John Young, signed in pencil by the artist. Rolled in superb condition.
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England Prepared Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
England Prepared 1939 Australian long daybill 15" x 40" Very Good £195
Notes: This is a rare long daybill (the format used in Australia before WW2) for this extraordinary film - England Prepared, the 1939 English World War II (WWII) airplane defence documentary. Prepared with the co-operation of the National Defence Services and endorsed by cabinet ministers, this film showed the preparations that England was making for the Battle of Britain which subsequently took place from 1940 to 1941. A very rare piece of WW2 cinema history. It has minor water stains and a little edge damage.
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Goose Steps Out Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Goose Steps Out 1942 UK quad - 40"x30" Fine on linen £965
Notes: Produced at the height of the second world war, The Goose steps out was Ealing Studios contribution to the propaganda war. Will Hays stars as the Brit who happens to be the double of a german general and is parachuted into Germany to cause chaos. Great film and a superb poster of a goose-stepping goose wearing a swastika. Very few British posters survive from the war years as all paper was routinely recycled for the war effort. This is from the first release in 1942, linen backed in excellent condition.
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Great Escape Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Great Escape 1963 US 1 sht - 27"x41" Fine on linen £295
Notes: The Great Escape had a cast of actors that was so strong that it was a wonder they got this movie made in the first place with all of the egos involved. Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson, Angus Lennie, James Coburn, etc.were absolutely awesome. This poster is from the film's 1980 re-release, linen backed with retouching to fold lines.
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Hour Before the Dawn Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Hour Before the Dawn 1944 US 1 sht - 27"x41" Fine on linen £765
Notes: Veronica Lake plays a beautiful Austrian refugee in England, who is also a Nazi agent. She marries a scholarly English pacifist who lives near a secret military base she needs to get information about so she can help in Hitler's planned invasion of England. This poster is from the first release of The Hour Before the Dawn, linen backed with retouching to crossfolds.
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Memphis Belle Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Memphis Belle 1990 US 1 sht - 27"x41" Near Mint £45
Notes: Based upon the true story of the Memphis Belle, a WW2 B17 bomber that was the first US aircraft to reach the end of its 25 mission tour of duty in 1943. This is from the first US release in 1990, rolled in superb condition.
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Mosquito Squadron Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Mosquito Squadron 1969 Australian daybill - 13"x30" Near Mint £95
Notes: Mosquito bombers must perform a daring and dangerous raid on a german target in WW2. Most of the flying scenes were lifted from the same stock footage that were first seen in 633 Squadron in 1964 but that shouldn't spoil it for aviation fans. This poster is from the film's first release in Australia, lightly folded as originally issued to cinemas, in superb condition.
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Patton Lust for Glory Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Patton Lust for Glory 1970 UK quad - 40"x30" Near Mint on linen £295
Notes: Multi-Oscar winning biopic of the legendary general, played by George C. Scott. This is the sought after first release UK quad from the first release in the UK. Linen backed in superb condition with just a small stain in the top border (easily masked in framing) denying it a mint grade.
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Propaganda - ATS Blonde Bombshell Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - ATS Blonde Bombshell 1941 UK DC - 20" x 30" Fine £9,995
Notes: One of the rarest and most sought after of any British propaganda posters. This Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) poster caused so much controversy in August 1941 that it was swiftly withdrawn by the British Government. The glamorous blonde with bright red lipstick depicted on a Second World War poster by the artist Abram Games seems harmless enough today but at the time it provoked fierce debate over whether it was the right way to recruit women into the Army's dowdy ATS. The 'Blonde Bombshell', with its implications of potential sexual freedom within a more mobile female wartime population, was withdrawn from circulation on parliamentary demand as being unsuitable and all copies were pulped for the war effort. This is a rare survivor in excellent condition with no fading of the colours and only light handling wear.
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Propaganda - Back them up! Hurricane Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Back them up! Hurricane 1942 UK DC - 20" x 30" Fine £525
Notes: Ron Jobson artwork on this 1942 poster showing RAF Hurricanes co-operating with the Russian air force. Lightly folded in excellent condition with some yellowing of the paper with age and archival tape reinforcement on the back.
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Propaganda - Back Them Up! Lancasters Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Back Them Up! Lancasters 1942 UK DC - 20" x 30" Fine £595
Notes: The Back Them Up! campaign that ran in Britain during the darkest days of WW2 covered all areas of the armed forces, including infantry, tanks, navy and the air force but it's the air force posters that are by far the most sought after now. This one shows Lancasters bombing a German industrial target, folded in excellent condition.
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Propaganda - Back Them Up! Spitfire Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Back Them Up! Spitfire 1942 UK DC - 20" x 30" Fine £1,295
Notes: With artwork by Frank Wootton, this 1942 image of a spitfire is the most sought after image of the 'Back Them Up!' poster campaign that ran in Britain through the war years of the 1940's. This example has been adapted to highlight the North African campaign in Libya. Folded in superb original condition.
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Propaganda - Deutsche Luftkriegsbeute Ausstelung (German War Trophies) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Deutsche Luftkriegsbeute Ausstelung (German War Trophies) 1917 37" x 56" Fine/Near Mint on linen £1,950
Notes: Very rare and historically important piece of aviation memorabilia, this is a 1917 German WW1 propaganda poster advertising an exhibition of British air war trophies that was held under the sponsorship of His Royal Highness Prince Heinrich of Prussia The poster shows a German Imperial eagle perched on a torn and bullet-holed roundel of the British Royal Flying Corps (in 1918 the name was changed to the RAF). This is a 2 panel poster with art by Julius Gipkins that has been linen backed in superb condition. Much smaller versions are held by the Imperial War Museum and the Wolfsonian at Florida International University but this is very probably the only surviving example in the world of this size.
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Propaganda - Find, Fix, Strike Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Find, Fix, Strike 1942 UK quad - 40"x30" Fine £245
Notes: Original poster for the 1942 British World War II propaganda documentary with detailed information about the Fleet Air Arm, which was a special section of the British Air Force solely devoted to aircraft and support of ships, which was separate from the RAF. From the first wartime release in 1942, folded.
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Propaganda - Lockheed Hudson Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Lockheed Hudson 1940's UK DC - 20" x 30" Fine on linen £395
Notes: `The downfall of the Dictators is assured` The capture of the German submarine U570 by a Lockheed Hudson of the British Coastal Command. The colour picture shows the Hudson flying low over the submarine, the white flag of surrender and the crew are visible upon the deck. Genuine WW2 propaganda poster produced and displayed during the war and celebrating the remarkable capture of a U-boat by a British plane. Linen backed with retouching to folds, this poster has excellent colour with no fading and no damage.
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Propaganda - Plant a Victory Garden Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Plant a Victory Garden 1943 US - 22" x 28" Fine on linen £295
Notes: Victory Gardens were a huge success in the US with over 20 million households planting vegetables and fruit at home to help boost food production during the war. This poster was produced during 1943 to publicise the initiative. It has been linen backed with the main artwork in excellent shape. There is staining around the border where it was taped up for display but this does not distract from the overall presentation.
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Propaganda - Poland First to Fight Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Poland First to Fight 1940's 12" x 16" Fine/Near Mint £195
Notes: One of a series of posters produced in Britain during the war years that highlighted the contribution and the sacrifices made by the Polish community. This one focuses on the Polish spitfire pilots whose extraordinary bravery and skill made them legends. Lightly folded in superb condition.
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Propaganda - Use it up - wear it out - make it do Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Use it up - wear it out - make it do 1943 22" x 28" Fine on linen £295
Notes: Wonderful British WW2 propaganda poster in excellent condition. Dating from 1943, this original wartime poster urged the British population to be thrifty with scarce resources. Superb condition on linen.
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Propaganda - Victory Parade Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Victory Parade 1946 UK DC - 20" x 30" Very Good/Fine £125
Notes: Victory Parade, the 1946 Castleton Knight English documentary short of the celebrations of the end of World War Two ("General Film Distrubutors proudly present the exclusive record in technicolor of the 'Victory Parade'"). A very rare poster of a unique point in history. From the first release in 1946, folded as issued.
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Propaganda - Wings for Victory Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Propaganda - Wings for Victory 1943 UK DC - 20" x 30" Near Mint £695
Notes: Superb Frank Wootton artwork of RAF Lancasters features on this official wartime propaganda poster from HMSO. Dating from 1943, this is in exceptional folded condition and is a very rare survivor from the height of WW2.
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Reach for the Sky Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Reach for the Sky 1957 Belgian - 14"x22" Near Mint £65
Notes: The true story of airman Douglas Bader who overcame the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become a successful fighter pilot and wing leader during World War II. This poster is from the film's first release, folded as originally issued. This is from the first release in Belgium, rolled as issued.
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Reach for the Sky Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Reach for the Sky 1957 US 1 sht - 27"x41" Fine/Near Mint on linen £565
Notes: The true story of British airman Douglas Bader who overcame the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become a successful RAF fighter pilot and wing leader during World War II. This poster is from the film's first release with superb artwork by Nistri, linen backed in excellent condition.
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Spitfire (The First of the Few) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Spitfire (The First of the Few) 1942 US 1 sht - 27"x41" Fine on linen £3,995
Notes: In part, the story of how the most famous plane in the world was designed and partly a morale boosting film for the British public during the dark days of the war, this is one of the most important films of the conflict. Made during WWII, this 1942 British made movie was called The First of the Few in the UK and Spitfire in the USA. By the late 1920's aircraft designer R.J. Mitchell feels he has achieved all he wants with his revolutionary mono-planes winning trophy after trophy. But a holiday in Germany shortly after Hitler assumes power convinces him that it is vital to design a completely new type of fighter plane and that sooner or later Britain's very survival may depend on what he comes to call the Spitfire. Leslie Howard and David Niven are superb in this defining piece of history. This poster is from the film's first release, linen backed in superb condition with airbrushing to borders.
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Spitfire (The First of the Few) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Spitfire (The First of the Few) 1942 US 1/2 sht - 28"X22" Fine on linen £725
Notes: In part, the story of how the most famous plane in the world was designed and partly a morale boosting film for the British public during the dark days of the war, this is one of the most important films of the conflict. Made during WWII, this 1942 British made movie was called The First of the Few in the UK and Spitfire in the USA. By the late 1920's aircraft designer R.J. Mitchell feels he has achieved all he wants with his revolutionary mono-planes winning trophy after trophy. But a holiday in Germany shortly after Hitler assumes power convinces him that it is vital to design a completely new type of fighter plane and that sooner or later Britain's very survival may depend on what he comes to call the Spitfire. Leslie Howard and David Niven are superb in this defining piece of history. This poster is from the film's first release, Linen backed with minor retouching.
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Spitfire (The First of the Few) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Spitfire (The First of the Few) 1942 US insert - 14"X36" Very Good/Fine on linen £525
Notes: In part, the story of how the most famous plane in the world was designed and partly a morale boosting film for the British public during the dark days of the war, this is one of the most important films of the conflict. Made during WWII, this 1942 British made movie was called The First of the Few in the UK and Spitfire in the USA. By the late 1920's aircraft designer R.J. Mitchell feels he has achieved all he wants with his revolutionary mono-planes winning trophy after trophy. But a holiday in Germany shortly after Hitler assumes power convinces him that it is vital to design a completely new type of fighter plane and that sooner or later Britain's very survival may depend on what he comes to call the Spitfire. Leslie Howard and David Niven are superb in this defining piece of history. This poster is from the film's first release, linen backed with retouching to borders.
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story of one fighter / Historia Jednego Mysliwca Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
story of one fighter / Historia Jednego Mysliwca 1958 Polish - 22" x 33" Near Mint £695
Notes: Polish produced account of the role played by polish Spitfire pilots in the second world war. The poster has stunning artwork by Swierzy and is rolled in superb condition.
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Target for tonight Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Target for tonight 1941 US 1 sht - 27"x41" Fine on linen £395
Notes: Wartime propaganda documentary featuring real life footage of The RAF planning and implementing a night raid on Germany in World War II, concentrating on a low level mission by a Wellington bomber on an oil storage facility by the Rhine. First release from 1941, linen backed with retouching to folds and borders.
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Waterloo Bridge Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Waterloo Bridge 1940 Australian daybill - 13"x30" Fine on linen £95
Notes: Vivian Leigh reported that of all her films, "Waterloo Bridge," was her favorite. This war-time drama stars Vivien Leigh as Myra, a shy ballerina whose life is irrevocably altered in war-torn London. It's love at first sight when Myra meets handsome, aristocratic British officer Roy Cronin (Robert Taylor). This small format poster from Australia is from a 1940's re-release, linen backed in excellent condition with just some minor water stains along the top edge denying it a near mint grade.
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Waterloo Bridge Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Waterloo Bridge 1940 Belgian - 22"x14" Fine £65
Notes: Vivian Leigh reported that of all her films, "Waterloo Bridge," was her favorite. This war-time drama stars Vivien Leigh as Myra, a shy ballerina whose life is irrevocably altered in war-torn London. It's love at first sight when Myra meets handsome, aristocratic British officer Roy Cronin (Robert Taylor). This small format poster from Belgium is from the first release in Belgium shortly after the war ended.
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Waterloo Bridge Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Waterloo Bridge 1940 Italian 2-foglio - 39" x 55" Fine on linen £975
Notes: Vivian Leigh reported that of all her films, "Waterloo Bridge," was her favorite. This war-time drama stars Vivien Leigh as Myra, a shy ballerina whose life is irrevocably altered in war-torn London. It's love at first sight when Myra meets handsome, aristocratic British officer Roy Cronin (Robert Taylor). This larger format poster features stunning artwork by Brini and is from the first release in Italy shortly after the war ended. Linen backed in Fine condition.
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Wings and the Woman Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Wings and the Woman 1942 US 1 sht - 27"x41" Fine on linen £395
Notes: Released in 1942, this was a morale boosting and, in many ways feminist, film for the wartime British public. The story of flyer Amy Johnson who won the hearts of the British public in the 1930s with her record-breaking solo flights around the world. Amy died in active service in 1941 ferrying an aircraft with the Air Transport Auxiliary. This poster is from the film's first release, linen backed with retouching to folds.
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