Sunday, 22 February 2009

Saul Bass and Love in the Afternoon (1957)

(c) Saul Bass (I suppose)

"Love in the Afternoon" is neither my favourite Wilder nor my favourite Audrey Hepburn film. It doesn't even rank high in either list. It has Gary Cooper in it, who is a poor replacement for Cary Grant (Wilder's first choice and who would probably have made this one of the great romantic comedies) and Maurice Chevalier, who I really, really, really don't like. And yet, it has one of my favourite movie posters of all time - created by Saul Bass.

I first saw it in an retrospective at the Design Museum a few years ago. I knew of Bass' connection to Preminger and Hitchcock but not Wilder (he also did the posters for One, Two, Three and Irma La Douce, and the credits for The Seventh Year Itch). It was love at first sight. I like its suggestiveness, its naughtiness and I think it works brilliant as an advert for the film - it leaves me wanting for more.

Update: Christie's sold a vintage copy for £375 on the 12th March. And no, it wasn't me.

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