The film noir revival is still booming, so Eddie Muller's glossy Art of Noir
[BKL D 15 02] won't immediately yield to this far more comprehensive poster survey in movie buffs' hearts. Graphic design specialist King's album isn't to be sniffed at, though. She presents hundreds of posters essentially chronologically in four chapters: "The Birth of Cinema," "The Rise and Fall of the Studios," "New Wave and Blockbusters," and "The Dawn of the Multiplex." If those titles seem to emphasize commercialism, well, this is advertising art, Bunkie! Each chapter contains, after a brief sketch of relevant film-industry history, two- to four-page subchapters grouping posters by style, director, studio, actor, nationality, or, rarely, poster artist. The color throughout seems true to the source posters, a few of which are faded. King's commentary is always intelligent (if, a few times, factually awry), though movie buffs may differ with her about how well certain posters express their movies' themes. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"The posters represent a great collection of design styles, whether they ultimately advertised classic movies or more obscure films. The author does a good job of describing the artwork and typography so as to explain the intent of the designers. Her level of knowledge of the subject matter is impressive and reflects considerable research. Overall, a well-written and informative book but the visual imagery of the poster reproductions steals the show! Summing Up:
, April 2004
"Looking at the evolution of the film industry and the most influential directors, graphic design expert Emily King has gathered some of the most significant and influential movie posters to invade our collective consciousness."
, November 2003
"King's commentary is always intelligent. â¦ A good resource for studying practical and commercial art."
Ray Olson, Booklist
, November 2003