Bill Gold, 90, has spent the last six decades creating posters from such iconic films as Casablanca, My Fair Lady Woodstock and every Clint Eastwood picture, from Dirty Harry to Mystic River. His works are featured for the first time in the limited-edition art book, Bill Gold Posterworks (Reel Art Press, London). Here, THR's Alex Ben-Block explain why Gold's works matter.
Gold kept Humphrey Bogart's Rick and Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa separate to avoid giving away the romance because they don't get together until well into the movie. In an early version, there was no gun. Warner Bros. wanted more excitement, so he added the gun (which Rick uses briefly at the end). Gold did all the lettering by hand using a flat-pencil technique. Designer Michael Bierut praises Gold for "the amount of subtlety he brought to the image."
'Barry Lyndon' (1975)
For Stanley Kubrick's 18th century costume drama, Gold flew to London for three weeks of intense discussions with the director. Kubrick insisted on having a special hand-lettered alphabet created, and Gold suggested the illustrated outer framing. After Gold returned home, he and Kubrick spoke by phone each day for weeks while a Warners messenger flew back and forth daily with sketches. Kubrick kept adding shading around each illustration to make it more distinctive. "It's fascinating," Ganis says. "Full of color. No copy other than the title." Nancy Goliger, who started out as Gold's assistant and rose to become an exec at Warners and Paramount, says: "Kubrick was as meticulous as Bill. They were evenly matched in their dedication to detail. They were both very controlling."
Clint Eastwood Honors Bill Gold
Longtime friend and collaborator, Clint Eastwood, presents Bill Gold a "Lifetime Achievement Award," at The Hollywood Reporter 1994 Key Art Awards show. Click here to see the full presentation The two worked together on posters, including Dirty Harry (1971) and Unforgiven (1992).