Tom Chantrell – The Man Behind the ‘Star Wars’ Poster (1977)

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It’s one of the great posters, the UK quad which was seen across the UK in late 1977 and early ’78 as the film exploded across the country, kicking off UK Star Wars fever and filmmaker Simon Henry has taken a closer look at the man behind the poster, artist Tom Chantrell, and documented his illustrious career in Tom Chantrell – The Man Behind the ‘Star Wars’ Poster (1977) which also included a slew of classic films and posters in the UK quad format.

Mike Bloomfield over at Cinema Retro takes a look at Chantrell’s career.

A YouTube documentary film about one of Britain’s foremost movie poster artists Tom Chantrell (1916-2001) has just been released. The 51-minute film, “Tom Chantrell- The Man Behind the ‘Star Wars’ Poster (!977)”, details Chantrell’s life and career spanning seven decades. There are interviews with family, friends and poster experts and Chantrell’s poster imagery is displayed throughout.

Director Simon Henry came to the project after unexpectedly discovering a photograph of Tom Chantrell holding up the unfinished “Star Wars” (1977) poster. “The image simply blew me away, seeing the amazing poster in its uncompleted form being held up by its creator… I couldn’t get the image out of my head and the more I read about Tom’s work and its significance within British film history the more I realised that someone had to put this under a spotlight. I decided to contact Tom’s family. We’ve tried to tell Tom’s story through the people who knew him best and hope we’ve done justice for Britain’s most important poster artist, Tom Chantrell.” (Editors note: Chantrell was primarily known for his designs of British quad posters which were generally different from the posters used for the North American market.)