Rare Film Posters



Original British 14 inch x 12 inch 28 page lavishly illustrated Pressbook for the 1948 David Lean Drama OLIVER TWIST, based on the novel by Charles Dickens and starring Alec Guinness, Robert Newton, Kay Walsh, John Howard Davies, Francis L. Sullivan, Henry Stephenson, Ralph Truman, Anthony Newley, Hattie Jacques, Kathleen Harrison and Diana Dors.

Expressionistic noir photography suffuses David Lean’s Oliver Twist with a nightmarish quality, fitting its bleak, industrial setting. In Dickens’ classic tale, an orphan wends his way from cruel apprenticeship to a den of thieves lead by Alec Guinness as the quintessential Fagin.

The pressbook was designed and produced by Pulford Publicity Ltd..

Eric Pulford (1915 – 2005) also did the artwork for several posters including the 6 1-Sheets illustrated on pages 20-21. The cover illustration is a section of the poster with Robert Newton and John Howard Davies.

Having taken life classes at Leeds College of Art for 5 years Pulford was apprenticed as a commercial artist in 1931 to Gilchrist Bros a process house of 24 staff. Leslie Whitchurch, a partner in a Leicester based agency and also a part-time publicity manager for Rank, became aware of Pulford’s work and asked him to do some freelance work for him. Then in 1943 Rank invited Pulford to start a publicity department for them in London resulting in posters for “Henry V”, “Odd Man Out” and “Oliver Twist”. When the head of Downtons advertising agency, Charles Collins, died, Pulford was asked to take over. He became chairman and managing director but still spent most of his time designing posters. He retired in 1986. Pulford is responsible, either through his own artwork or design, for several hundred posters, some for classic films such as the ones already mentioned plus “Edge of the World”, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, “Genevieve”, “Reach for the Sky” and “A Night to Remember”. He is, without doubt, the most important force in British film poster design from the mid-1940s to the early 1980s.

Pressbooks or Campaign Books were used by exhibitors for choosing their publicity campaigns. They would include ad blocks for use in newspapers and all the posters available. There was also editorial and illustrations.

The cover of the pressbook has a 2 inch tear at the bottom edge and ‘already filmed’ written in ink towards the top edge above the title. The pressbook was folded verically once.

Availability: 1 in stock