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Work / Publication

X-Rated Adult Movie Posters of the 60s and 70s celebrates gloriously crude B-movie artwork

A new book collating 350 retro posters, pressbooks and stills from the “golden age” of porn cinema is being published by Reel Art Press. X-Rated Adult Movie Posters of the 60s and 70s by Tony Nourmand and Graham Marsh celebrates the unashamedly crude, cut-and-pasted collage artwork made to promote these B-movies and their provocative titles such as Flesh Gordon and Come One Come All.

The book includes text by author and journalist Peter Doggett, who comments: “For connoisseurs of the film poster, porn cinema offers an alternative history of the 1960s and 1970s. Few people ever turned to exploitation movies in search of subtlety: the task of the X-rated graphic artist was to arouse urgent desires that could only be satisfied by a seat in the stalls. Their designs required no decoding.”

The images range from the crass – see the cartoonish illustration for Back Seat Cabbie filled with black-and-white collaged stills from the films’ lewd scenes – to psychedlic (Smoke and Flesh) and attempted sophistication – see the moody shot of a woman holding a banana for Appetites. It also includes artwork from “soft-core masterpiece” Emmanuelle (1974) made by an “original Mad Man” and respected designer Steve Frankfurt, though this high-calibre work was rare, says Peter.

“Variations on the same glamour-mag approach – women, breasts, buttocks – were routine, with pictures and typography that often looked as if it had been thrown at the poster rather than artfully arranged.” 

X-Rated Adult Movie Posters of the 60s and 70s is an expanded and re-curated edition of Nourmand and Marsh’s decade-old book, and is released is September 2017, available to pre-order now.

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