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The movie posters of Anselmo Ballester

Richard Kimble

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(Felt he deserved his own thread)


Anselmo Ballester (1897-1974)






When I asked Dave Kehr, author of the Museum of Modern Art’s invaluable 2003 book Italian Film Posters and an avid collector himself, about Ballester I knew I was onto a good thing when he called him “for my money, the greatest movie poster artist of all time.”






Under contract to Columbia, the studio for whom Rita Hayworth was the biggest star in the 1940s, Ballester got to design many of Hayworth’s posters. As Kehr writes, “Ballester’s Hayworth is an icon of joy and sensuality—head thrown back, red hair streaming, captured in a swirl of motion.” That is particularly true of the poster for Affair in Trinidad (1952), in which a vibrant, devil-may-care Hayworth, bursting out of the poster’s frame, laughs in the face of Glenn Ford’s monochrome brutality.















The Face Behind The Mask:




Zombies Of Mara Tau:





All The King's Men:





Death Of A Salesman:



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R.K.: I agree with you, he certainly deserves recognition for his striking artwork. The artists whose work lured filmgoers into theatres over the decades is largely forgotten or overlooked. However, Batiste Madalena, who created many images for silent film posters, received due recognition with an exhibit at MoMa five years ago. Thanks for sharing these images, from your collection I assume; I am intrigued by Anselmo Ballester's work and would be interested in seeing other examples (if you plan to post more).

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(d/l and soon to be refrigerator magnets)


I own too many old movie posters & lobby cards to ever enjoy on my walls, so I prefer collecting book on them. The Reynold Brown one is particularly well printed, a definite plus.


And I have seen a few museum exhibits showcasing a variety of vintage posters. A narrower view can be seen at museums focusing on an artist, such as Graceland, or The Andy Griffith museum.


I also really like when vintage theaters put old posters in their sidewalk frames. The Capitol Theater in Rome somehow manages to fill their sidewalk frames with posters of the vintage movie showing & coming attractions!

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