Original Vintage Movie Posters - SimonDwyer.Com

Gallery – Banned and withdrawn posters

Sometimes the story behind a particular poster is as important as the poster itself and this is never more true for posters that have been banned or withdrawn.

This might be because they are deemed to be too shocking or risqué for general release or because they have run into legal problems with copyright infractions. Sometimes, they are replaced with a different design because the director or film studio has changed their mind or because of world events. And there are some that are printed but never used.

We have a small selection here that illustrate the point. The Deer Hunter's Russian roulette image of potential suicide was considered too much for many countries. The UK poster for Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls was actually charged under the Obscene Publications act when first released and withdrawn. The so called Lucky Strike style for Pulp Fiction had almost the whole print run pulped because Tarentino didn't obtain permission to depict the cigarette manufacturer's packet in the poster. The advance poster for Spider-man was swiftly withdrawn after the 9/11 attack because of the reflection of the twin towers in Spider-man's eyes, while the Dark Knight poster featuring Heath Ledger was replaced immediately after his death.

We also have a couple of WW2 propaganda posters with similar stories. The recruitment poster for the women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) was withdrawn because it was considered too sexy at a time that most womens' husbands were away fighting. Meanwhile the iconic Keep Calm and Carry On posters were distributed in 1939 in case of an invasion of the British Isles that never materialised due the heroics of the fighter pilots in the battle of Britain.

This Month's Showcase

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Barbarella (Personality Posters) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Barbarella (Personality Posters) 1968 29" x 53" Fine/Near Mint £925
Notes: Superb image of Jane Fonda in Barbarella, featuring photography by David Hurn for Personality Posters. Produced in small quantities in 1968 (when Barbarella was released), this particular image is highly sought after because it was very rapidly withdrawn from sale for legal reasons. Rolled in excellent condition with light handling wear only.
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Carry on Cleo (court exhibit) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Carry on Cleo (court exhibit) 1964 UK quad 40"x30" Very Good/Fine on linen £4,995
Notes: This is the actual poster used as an exhibit in the court case brought by 20th Century Fox against the Carry on team at Anglo Amalgamated for plagiarism. The original design for 1964 Carry on Cleo was essentially a direct copy of the poster design for the 1963 blockbuster, Cleopatra, with the faces of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison swapped for those of the Carry On gang. A great gag at the time but the US studio was not so amused and sued. Not surprisingly, the case was lost and all copies of the poster were duly pulped with the very small number that survived now becoming the holy grail for serious Carry On fans. This particular poster is not only one of those original survivors, it is also one of two posters used as exhibits in court at the trial itself and comes to us from the estate sale of the barrister involved (provenance provided). Mounted onto hardboard for the trial, it was only glued around the edges and corners, and the colours are still bright. It has now been linen backed and restored after many years in the store cupboard.
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Carry on Spying Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Carry on Spying 1964 UK quad 40"x30" Near Mint on linen £1,995
Notes: Classic comedy from the carry on gang. This is a rare UK country-of-origin poster from the film's first release, featuring the controversial original artwork with the straight gun barrel. This first version had a straight barrel but was judged to have infringed the James Bond copyright pose so it was changed to a bent barrel for the UK one sheet and overseas use. Linen backed in excellent condition.
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Chelsea Girls (Warhol) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Chelsea Girls (Warhol) 1966 UK DC - 20" x 30" Near Mint £2,950
Notes: Part art artefact and part movie poster, Alan Aldridge's iconic design for Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls is possibly the most sought after art movie poster image of the late 60's, as it combines Warhol with swinging London. The poster was originally designed for the Arts Laboratory screening in London in 1968 and a small number were printed for flyposting. This led to police charges of indecency and it was promptly withdrawn. Despite this, it won the 1969 D&AD (Directors and Art Directors) silver award for most outstanding art poster of 1968. Only a handful of these are believed to have survived - one was bought for the Tate museum by British Heritage. It took till 1970 for Motif to print the full run and it is one of these that we have on offer today. Christies auctions have sold five of these Motif printings in the last five years for prices between £2,070 and £4,200 (average price was approximately £3,400). This copy is in excellent rolled condition.
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Chelsea Girls (Warhol) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Chelsea Girls (Warhol) 1966 UK DC - 20" x 30" Fine £1,950
Notes: Part art artefact and part movie poster, Alan Aldridge's iconic design for Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls is possibly the most sought after art movie poster image of the late 60's, as it combines Warhol with swinging London. The poster was originally designed for the Arts Laboratory screening in London in 1968 and a small number were printed for flyposting. This led to police charges of indecency and it was promptly withdrawn. Despite this, it won the 1969 D&AD (Directors and Art Directors) silver award for most outstanding art poster of 1968. Only a handful of these are believed to have survived - one was bought for the Tate museum by British Heritage. It took till 1970 for Motif to print the full run and it is one of these that we have on offer today. This copy is rolled with light wear and minor restoration to three small tears – these cannot be seen from the front and the poster displays well.
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Dark Knight (DS advance) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Dark Knight (DS advance) 2008 US 1 sht 27"x40" Near Mint £325
Notes: For many, The Dark Knight is the best of the Batman movies with some genuine darkness in the characterisation and storyline. Heath Ledger died shortly afterwards and won a posthumous Oscar for his role as the Joker. This fact, the stunning image and the fact that the 'why so serious?' poster was withdrawn shortly after the film was released (in favour of one featuring Batman), make this design particularly sought after. This rarity has created a market for bootleg versions, though, and there are far more fakes than genuine posters around. This item is guaranteed to be an original, studio issued, double-sided poster intended for cinema use, rolled as issued.
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Deer Hunter Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Deer Hunter 1978 UK 1 sht - 27"X40" Very Good/Fine £495
Notes: This is the sought after russian roulette style, used in the UK and withdrawn shortly after release due to the controversial nature of the image. This is an especially rare rolled copy of the UK 1 sht from the first release in 1978. Although rolled, it has a rare print defect that shows up as a series of white lines below the main image. This is due to light creasing of the paper as it went through the printer and is not due to damage of the finished poster.
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Empire Strikes Back (GWTW style) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Empire Strikes Back (GWTW style) 1980 US 1 sht 27"x41" Fine on linen £825
Notes: This is the much sought after 'Gone With The Wind' style poster that was withdrawn early in the film's release and replaced with the style B because it omitted to show some of the main characters. In this oscar winning "Star Wars" sequel, considered by many to be the best in the series, the battle to save the galaxy from the evil Darth Vader rages on. Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca are tested in a devastating attack by the Imperial army and its AT-AT Walkers. This is from the first US release, linen backed in fine condition.
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Empire Strikes Back (GWTW style) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Empire Strikes Back (GWTW style) 1980 US 40" x 60" Fine £1,475
Notes: 40" x 60" large format posters are always rare because they were printed in small numbers on cardstock and intended for use in outside areas, but this one is especially rare. This is the much sought after 'Gone With The Wind' style poster that was withdrawn early in the film's release and replaced with the style B because it omitted to show some of the main characters. Considered by many to be the one of the best looking of any design from the Star Wars franchise, this is the first time that I have had one of these. This is from the first US release, rolled in excellent condition with light handling wear and a professionally repaired tear that cannot be seen from the front.
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Fool poster from the Apple store (Beatles) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Fool poster from the Apple store (Beatles) 1968 UK DC - 20" x 30" Near Mint £125
Notes: Rare original poster from the ill-fated Apple store opened by the Beatles in London in 1967 that lasted only seven months before closing down. The Beatles commissioned art collective, 'The Fool', to design a number of posters and a mural which covered the whole of the front of the store. Locals objected and the mural was painted over but not before the store created a poster of it to sell in the store – this is one of those posters, rolled in excellent condition.
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No Time to Die (2021 dated advance) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
No Time to Die (2021 dated advance) 2021 UK quad 40"x30" Near Mint £125
Notes: This is the second generation of advance posters from 2020 for the much delayed release of this james Bond film. After the April 2020 release was delayed due to Covid, the new release date was set for November before that release date was delayed again until 2021. Rolled in excellent condition.
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No Time to Die (set of 6 withdrawn November posters)  Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
No Time to Die (set of 6 withdrawn November posters) 2021 UK quad 40"x30" Fine/Near Mint £575
Notes: Full set of 6 withdrawn advance posters for the cancelled November release of this James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig. Because of the Covid pandemic the original April release and the rescheduled November release were both postponed making these posters a reminder of an extraordinary period of social history as well as a very rare piece of James Bond Memorabilia. The six posters feature James Bond, Q, Paloma, Safin, Madeleine and Nomi. Rolled in excellent used condition with some light handling wear on some of the posters.
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No Time to Die (set of 6 withdrawn November posters)  Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
No Time to Die (set of 6 withdrawn November posters) 2021 UK quad 40"x30" Near Mint £725
Notes: Full set of 6 withdrawn advance posters for the cancelled November release of this James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig. Because of the Covid pandemic the original April release and the rescheduled November release were both postponed making these posters a reminder of an extraordinary period of social history as well as a very rare piece of James Bond Memorabilia. The six posters feature James Bond, Q, Paloma, Safin, Madeleine and Nomi. Rolled in excellent used condition with some light handling wear on some of the posters.
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No Time to die (withdrawn April 2 advance) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
No Time to die (withdrawn April 2 advance) 2021 UK quad 40"x30" Near Mint £325
Notes: As a result of the corona virus, the launch of this film was delayed so this poster (with the April 2 opening date) was recalled. A piece of movie history in more ways than one. This is the UK quad poster from the first release of the 2020 James Bond movie. Rolled with minor handling wear only.
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No Time to Die (withdrawn November advance) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
No Time to Die (withdrawn November advance) 2021 UK 1 sht – 27"X40" Near Mint £195
Notes: As a result of the corona virus, the launch of this film was delayed twice, once from April and then again from November. A piece of movie history in more ways than one. This is the UK advance poster from the planned November release of this James Bond movie. Rolled in excellent condition.
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No Time to Die (withdrawn November advance) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
No Time to Die (withdrawn November advance) 2021 UK quad 40"x30" Near Mint £195
Notes: This is the second generation of advance posters from 2020 for the much delayed release of this james Bond film. After the April 2020 release was delayed due to Covid, the new release date was set for November before that release date was delayed again until 2021. Rolled in excellent condition.
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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 - 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 £9,995
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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Pulp Fiction (Lucky Strike advance) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Pulp Fiction (Lucky Strike advance) 1994 US 1 sht 27"x40" Near Mint on linen £3,250
Notes: The first poster produced for Pulp Fiction was famously recalled because they did not have clearance to use the 'Lucky Strike' cigarette packet. They were destroyed for legal reasons but a few survived and these are much sought after. There are numerous bootlegs of this poster but this is guaranteed to be original, displaying none of the tell-tale flaws of the reproductions (flecks on Uma's chest, cropping differences, etc.). This copy has been linen backed.
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Revenge of the Jedi (advance dated) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Revenge of the Jedi (advance dated) 1983 US 1 sht 27"x41" Near Mint on linen £1,450
Notes: The third of the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi was originally planned to be released as Revenge of the Jedi but it was famously changed at the last moment because Jedi are not supposed to be vengeful. However there was a very small number (fewer than 200) of undated advance posters printed and, closer to the final release date, there was a second run of dated posters that was sold off to fans. This is one of the dated style of poster, linen backed in superb condition. Prior to backing, this was a rolled poster with no fold lines.
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Revenge of the Jedi (advance dated) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Revenge of the Jedi (advance dated) 1983 US 1 sht 27"x41" Near Mint £1,450
Notes: The third of the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi was originally planned to be released as Revenge of the Jedi but it was famously changed at the last moment because Jedi are not supposed to be vengeful. However there was a very small number (fewer than 200) of undated advance posters printed and, closer to the final release date, there was a second run of dated posters that was sold off to fans. This is one of the dated style of poster, tri-folded ( i.e. with no vertical fold and hence no crossfolds) in superb condition.
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Rogue Trader Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Rogue Trader 1999 UK quad 40"x30" Very Good/Fine £165
Notes: Rare withdrawn version of the first release UK poster from this UK film. This design was recalled and pulped because they used an image of a UK banknote with the queen's head without permission. The film tells the true story of Nick Leeson, an ambitious investment broker who single handedly bankrupted Barings Bank, one of the oldest and most important banks in Britain. Rolled with edge wear along the lower edge that does not detract from the overall presentation.
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Sex Pistols (young Flesh) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Sex Pistols (young Flesh) 1979 40" x 28" Fine / Near Mint £325
Notes: Controversial withdrawn poster, with artwork by Jamie Reid, for the Sex Pistols film, The Great Rock n Roll Swindle. Rolled in excellent condition.
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Spider-man (recalled advance) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Spider-man (recalled advance) 2002 US 1 sht 27"x40" Fine/Near Mint £195
Notes: The advance for Spider-man was withdrawn in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack because it featured a reflection of the World Trade Center twin towers in spidey's eye. Almost all were pulped but a few survived. It is double sided and rolled in excellent condition with just a minor edge repair that does not show. Beware of reproductions on this poster, there are more fakes around than genuine copies.
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Spider-man (recalled Spanish advance) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Spider-man (recalled Spanish advance) 2002 US 1 sht 27"x40" Near Mint £95
Notes: The advance for Spider-man was withdrawn in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack because it featured a reflection of the World Trade Center twin towers in spidey's eye. Almost all were pulped but a few survived. Rolled in Near Mint/Mint condition, this is Spanish language version with the small print at the bottom in Spanish. This poster is double sided and intended for use in a lightbox.
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Star Wars (Hildebrandt art) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Star Wars (Hildebrandt art) 1977 UK quad 40"x30" Fine/Near Mint on linen £6,950
Notes: This is the super rare Hildebrandt brothers version of the Star Wars quad that was used for just a few weeks in selected West end London cinemas when the film was first released in 1977 (it was then withdrawn and replaced with the more familiar Chantrell artwork). It was also used in central London Underground stations in lightly trimmed quad royal format (40" x 28"). This particular poster was one of the much rarer full size untrimmed versions. Linen backed in excellent condition with strong colours and no yellowing of the whites.
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Tomorrow Never Dies (misprint version) Original Vintage Movie Poster  
Title Year Nominal size Condition Price
Tomorrow Never Dies (misprint version) 1997 UK 1 sht - 27"X40" Fine/Near Mint £95
Notes: Rare withdrawn version of the UK 1 sheet that was printed with a misprint in the lower titles ('Tommorrow' with two m's). Pierce Brosnan returns as James Bond to stop a media mogul's plan to induce war between China and the UK in order to obtain exclusive global media coverage. From the first release, rolled as issued.
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