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Throughout a stunningly successful career, entailing a wide variety of commercial illustration work, it is perhaps Richard Amsel's movie posters that remain the most popular. Indeed, "popular" is something of an understatement, as some of his pieces remain engrained within contemporary culture decades after the artist's death. Amsel's artwork was often more accomplished than the films they promoted.
In organizing these movie posters, I opted to present them chronologically rather than alphabetically, out of a desire to show how the artist's work evolved over time. (The order they're listed here are my "best guesses" based on the respective films' years of release, and may not exactly reflect the order that Amsel created them.) No doubt Amsel would have continued to explore new techniques while heightening his creative powers. One can only imagine how he would have taken command of the Photoshop revolution, as well as animation!
Many illustrators "peak" at a certain point. Even if their work remains consistantly good afterward, seldom is there further exploration, or bold, new discoveries made. Richard Amsel was a notable exception, as his latter work -- RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME in particular -- demonstrated an artist climbing ever higher and higher upon his mountainous talent. If Amsel were still with us, I'd like to think that he'd still be climbing. Surely the rest of us would still be looking up at him, whatever our altitude.
Here is a breakdown of all the films and their respective pages within the galleries. Some titles feature variant or unused designs, foreign or re-release posters, or concept sketches that never made it to final completion.
  • Hello Dolly
  • Woodstock  (2 images; 1 used in Germany, the other unused)
  • Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (unused)
  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (unused)
  • Up the Sandbox
  • Avanti! (used only in print ads)
  • What's Up, Doc? (unused)
  • The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
  • Fuzz/Here Come the Fuzz
  • The Long Goodbye (2 images, both used)
  • The Last of Sheila (unused)
  • The Thief Who Came to Dinner
  • Papillon (unused; portions included for 1977 rerelease)
  • The Sting
  • For Pete's Sake (unused)
  • Chinatown
  • Mame (unused)
  • The Little Prince
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • Lucky Lady
  • Funny Lady (unused)
  • Nashville (unused)
  • The Shootist
  • Voyage of the Damned
  • The Last Tycoon (used for soundtrack album)
  • The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (unused)
  • Julia
  • New York, New York (2 images, both unused)
  • The Late Show
  • Between the Lines
  • Papillion (rerelease, included portions of Amsel's art)
  • The Big Sleep (2 images; 1 used)
  • Paradise Alley (unused)
  • Death on the Nile
  • The Muppet Movie (unused)
  • Norma Rae (unused)
  • Cuba (unused)
  • The Champ (2 images; 1 used in Europe, the other unused)
  • Old Boyfriends
  • The Rose (unused)
  • Flash Gordon
  • Little Miss Marker (unused)
  • Nijinsky (2 images; only 1 used)
  • Coal Miner's Daughter (unused)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • The Incredible Shrinking Woman (unused)
  • All Night Long (unused)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1982 rerelease)
  • The Dark Crystal
  • A Star is Born (1983 restoration)
  • Krull (unused concepts)
  • Beyond the Limit/The Honorary Consul
  • Yentl (unused concepts)
  • Terms of Endearment (unused)
  • Sahara (unused concepts)
  • Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (unused concepts)
  • Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
  • The Jewel of the Nile (unfinished; only early sketches)
Titles in red are unpublished posters or sketches I'm still trying to locate.
Many posters are mistakenly attributed to Amsel by auction houses and online articles.
CLICK HERE to see a summary of the most commonly misidentified ones.
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