December 16, 2007

The Selling of Frankenstein, Part Trois


Roland Coudon was a famous illustrator, Swiss-born if I’m not mistaken, who painted numerous French film posters in the 30’s, including one for Fritz Lang’s M, le maudit and, in 1939, Quasimodo, the French title for The Hunchback of Notre-Dame with Charles Laughton.

Coudon’s posters for Frankenstein, released in France in 1932, are unique. The poster above prominently features the title character, Colin Clive, with The Monster floating darkly in the background. Note, again, the suggested “horns” on The Monster’s forehead.

The monochromatic poster shown below is strikingly atmospheric, done in rough charcoal and a gouache the color of dried blood. The striding Monster pose is lifted from one of the American posters (here). Note the arms like rolled, riveted steel, accentuating the robotic aspect of the character. Coudon adds a lugubrious, windswept funeral procession which, of course, is the first scene in the picture.

Very effective, n’est-ce pas?

Images courtesy of Jean-Claude Michel.


7 comments:

rob! said...

those posters are magnificent!

i'd love to see an "Art of Frankenstein" book of this and Bride stuff!

Pierre Fournier said...

Indeed, Rob, and wouldn’t you know it, I would LOVE to do that book!

Not only Frankenstein and Bride, but there is a lot of scrumptious Frankenstein art out there in books, comics, movie and stage posters.

No doubt you’ve noticed, the blog is visually oriented, and I’ll be posting more great Frankenstein art in the weeks and months to come.

Keep your eyes peeled!

Karswell said...

Breath taking stuff!

Uncle Ernie said...

Were the studios still doing stone lithography for posters in the 1930s or was it all photo lithography by then?

Wonderful images either way.

Anonymous said...

I HEARD ABOUT YOUR BLOG FROM KARSWELL'S HORRORS OF IT ALL.......VERY BEAUTIFUL STUFF HERE! I TOO WOULD LOVE TO SEE A FRANKENSTEIN ART BOOK!

shahn said...

so beautiful!

Pierre Fournier said...

Uncle Ernie: Yes, I think we're looking at stone lithography here. The technique was widely used for poster well into the 50s.

Karswell: Thanks for the plug on your excellent blog, The Horror of It All. ANd thanks for the fun Frankenstein strip you posted this week.