Many of the posters presented in this very attractive book are "translations" (actually representations) of Hollywood movies, but some are the other way around, Hollywood poster translations of foreign films. The selections are from the world-renowned collection of Sam Sarowitz from the Posteritati Gallery Collection in New York. The emphasis is on famous movies: Citizen Kane, The Third Man, Sunset Boulevard, The 400 Blows, La Dolce Vita, The Birds, Dr. Strangelove, My Fair Lady, Chinatown, Annie Hall, etc. In the case of each film, posters are presented in brilliant color, or black and white as the case may be, from various countries showing the varying ways that artists sought to promote the film. Thus presented are three posters of John Schlesinger's 1975 film The Day of the Locust. The one from Germany, which also graces the cover of the book, shows a green female silhouette burning in front of the Paramount Studio logo. The French poser of Le Jour du Fleau is an abstraction of a woman's head with puckered lips for her eyes floating ethereally above a celluloid clip of a grasping hand and below that a Hollywood sign in lights The US poster shows an eerie Karen Black in lights above a mob seemingly reaching for perhaps the Hollywood dream.
There is some sprightly commentary about each of the posters sets. Here's the take on the three posters advertising Roger Corman's The Trip (1968):
"This title can be construed many ways, though all three posters exude the trappings of a drug-induced trip, a popular theme in 1967. Kaleidoscopic coloring, 1960s rock poster lettering, and the superimposed blurry forms scream LSD, as does the use of those three letters on all of these posters. Most interesting about this is the fact that on the American poster the acronym is converted to `Lovely Story of Death' while the Japanese decided on `A Love Story of Dream.' (Of course, everyone knows that LSD stands for `Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.')"
The poster reproductions are beautifully realized on heavy glossy paper on pages that are about 7 by 11 inches with no more than two posters on any given page so that these old eyes do not have to strain to see the fine print.
There's a brief introduction to the book followed by a mini word portrait of Sam Sarowitz, both written by Dave Kehr. In the latter I learned that the highest price ever paid for a movie poster was $700,000 for the German poster of Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927). That poster does not appear in this book since the earliest images are from movies from the 1940s. The final set on pages 172-173 features three posters from Spain, England and the US of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs from 1992.