As we are still on the countdown to the release of Bond 25: NO TIME TO DIE, I’m taking a brief look at the James Bond movie posters. This time, we look at the artwork for the Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan years.
Some of the information here is linked to a fantastic web site: https://www.filmonpaper.com/
Which one is your favourite poster of the two?
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (1987)
For the new Bond, the poster goes back to the reliable “Bond surrounded by the action” design, which works well. Dalton is at the centre of the gun barrel in an action pose, rather that holding the gun at his chin. The action around the gun barrel has lots of colour and excitement, gadgets, cars, explosions, all the main locations and villains.
Only one female is visible, which is fitting as in this film, Bond is a one-woman guy. The rifle next to her seems oddly placed, but as a montage of events from the film, it does the trick. This poster is notable as it was the last hand-painted Bond movie poster. The next one would see the arrival of computer aided design…
LICENCE TO KILL (1989)
This poster is at first glance quite different from The Living Daylights, yet it has some similarities. Bond is on the left of the page again, but this time he is running towards us, brandishing his gun. He doesn’t wear his tux (only this and Moonraker avoids the tux or suit). This suits the story as Bond is on a revenge mission unsanctioned by MI6. The black suit and his deadly stare are very striking.
This contrasts well with the blue of the background of “Isthmus City” where the bulk of the story takes place. Both main female roles are represented, as is the villain, although only one major action sequence is shown. All these differences perhaps reflect how EON tried to update Bond again for the tougher nineties, for this looks like a tougher action film.
For some, that was a mistake for it was missing the elements of Bond. Despite the huge 007 logo floating in the sky.
My favourite? Licence to Kill (I like the composition although it would have been nice to see a painted version.) And Dalton looks pretty cool in the black shirt.
Footnote: just take a look at this artwork for Licence to Kill, designed by Bob Peak (but ultimately not used). I think this looks terrific…
For my views on the poster for the other Bond movies, please see the links below: