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Tom Chantrell was a British illustrator and film poster artist. He was noted as the designer of the Style C poster advertising the release of Star Wars in British cinemas.

Chantrell was born on 20 December 1916 in Ardwick, Manchester, England, the son of a trapeze artist.

Career Edit

He worked for the advertising agency Bateman Artists (later Allardyce Palmer) and had a prolific career painting films posters for Amicus and Hammer horror films, and for Carry On films. Among his best known works are the posters for The King And I (1956), Carry On Cleo (1964), The Sound of Music (1965) and One Million Years B.C. (1966).[1][2]

Star Wars poster Edit

In 1977 Chantrell was commissioned by 20th Century Fox to produce a poster for the UK theatrical release of Star Wars. The US release had been promoted with a poster designed by Tom Jung, now known as as Style A. In UK cinemas, the film was advertised with a reworked version of Jung's artwork, the Style B poster by the Brothers Hildebrandt, but Fox and Lucasfilm executives were dissatisfied with the poster and decided to replace it with a more realistic depiction of the lead characters, in order to promote the film more effectively. Chantrell worked from a press pack of publicity stills to create the likenesses of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, and got his wife, Shirley Chantrell, to pose as a model for Princess Leia's body.[3][4]

Chantrell's Style C poster depicts Luke Skywalker looking directly and pointing his gun at the viewer, flanked by Han Solo and Princess Leia brandishing blaster guns, with a large image of Darth Vader looming behind holding a lightsaber, surrounded by smaller characters and a montage of starfighters in combat. Because of Chantrell's long association with Hammer productions, he included Peter Cushing on his poster; this was the only Star Wars theatrical poster that ever featured Cushing's likeness.[3][4]

Other work Edit

Chantrell also created cover illustrations for Star Wars the Game Boy, and also Super Star Wars.

WorksEdit

Year Title Medium Role
1977 Star Wars Print Theatrical release poster (UK)
1991 Star Wars Game Boy Cover Illustration
1992 Super Star Wars SNES Cover Illustration

ReferencesEdit

  1. Biography: Tom Chantrell and the World of British Film Posters (en) (November 2011). Archived from the original on July 28, 2017. Retrieved on July 28, 2017.
  2. Obituary: Tom Chantrell (27 July 2001). Archived from the original on July 28, 2017. Retrieved on July 28, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The History of Star Wars Posters (14 December 2016). Retrieved on July 30, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A short history of the first British Star Wars posters. Retrieved on July 30, 2017.

External linksEdit

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