movie posters that are issued as part of the initial advertising campaign
(before and up to the actual first release of a film) are considered
the "original issue" advertising materials. These materials
could include one poster or a series of posters. Any posters issued
after the initial release are not considered "original release"
From time to time,
a movie studio may decide to re-release a film to theatres Ė one, two,
maybe ten years after its initial run. In most of these cases, the movie
studios will issue a new series of advertising materials that are known
as "reissues or rereleases." Sometimes the materials will
be identical to the originally issued materials while others will vary
In most instances,
the "original" issue movie art will be valued higher than
later "reissues/rereleases," but there are exceptions. Each subsequent reissue/rerelease is then valued a little less Ė so
a 1954 re-release would be considered more collectible than a 1965 re-release,
and so on. Since the year of the posterís issue affects the value directly,
it is important to know how to spot a "reissue/rerelease"
One of the easiest
ways to spot a reissue/rerelease for U.S. posters is to look at the "NSS
number on the bottom right hand corner of the poster. In most cases
involving a reissue/rerelease, the NSS number will begin with the letter
Sometimes a reissue/rerelease
poster will actually contain either the word "Reissue" or
the word "Rerelease" somewhere either in the body or in the
body of the poster.
If neither of these
indicators is there, you can check the copyright date on the poster
against the release date of the film. Obviously, if the posterís copyright
date is later than the filmís release date, then the poster is a reissue/rerelease.
are not always that easy to spot so we must look to other indicators.
For example, look for references such as "Oscar Winner" or
"Academy Award Nominee," or "Golden Globe" winner.
These awards are not given until after a filmís release to theatres,
so this would indicate that the studios have simply re-released the
film to take advantage of the award hype. However, this is not always
the case. Some film festivals, such as Cannes, will hand out awards
to films before they have been released to theatres. In that case, if
a film carries the notation "Cannes Film Festival winner,"
it does not necessarily mean that this poster has been reissued.
NOT SO OBVIOUS CLUES
collectors, some reissues/rereleases are not marked as such so further
investigation is necessary. Here are a few points to consider when assessing
the actual release of a poster.
Shiny, slick, glossy
paper was not introduced in the printing industry under the mid-1960ís
and was not widely used until the 1970ís. Posters introduced before
the time period WOULD NOT BE PRINTED ON GLOSSY, SLICK OR SHINY PAPER.
This type of paper automatically establishes that the poster was released
after the mid-1960ís.
Prior to the mid-1980ís,
movie materials were MACHINE FOLDED and shipped to theatres and/or movie
distributors in large envelopes. If a poster HAS NEVER BEEN FOLDED,
it is possible, but doubtful that the poster would have been printed prior
to the 1980ís.
Classic movies, such
as Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, or Gone with the Wind, are
re-released to theatres frequently. Since these titles are extremely
sought-after, it is rare to find movie art from the original and earliest
releases in the collectorís market. When they are available, THEY ARE
QUITE EXPENSIVE. If it seems TO GOOD TO BE TRUE, it probably is!
In some cases, it
is difficult to set the age of movie art. This is particularly
true with pre-1940 movie art. During this time, many major studios did
not date their movie art, and it requires the advice of a reputable
expert and some research to determine the vintage of a poster.
Even post-1940 posters
can leave many questions as to the age of a poster. There are cases
where the only difference between an original and a reissue/rerelease
is in the placement of the "rating" box, or a slightly different
coloring, or a change in the studioís logo.
GET EXPERT ADVICE
In all cases, before
making a significant movie art purchase, if there are any doubts whatsoever
about the correct age of a poster, check with a reputable movie art