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Ruth Ellen Gruber

There was an excellent exhibit in 1999 at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles of Polish posters with Western Themes (ie for western movies but also for other subjects using the wild west theme). It was called “Western Amerikansky.” The exhibit catalogue is terrific — not only many many full-color pictures, but also extremely insightful essays. You can still get it on

If you wish to know more about the embrace and influence of the Wild West and American frontier mythology in Europe, see my blog, Sauerkraut Cowboys —

gary meyer

During this era the Polish government controlling movies would hire a range of artists, some with pretty strange styles, to create posters. They were not required to represent the film’s content and often would be attention-getters but you would have no idea what the movie was about. But such amazing posters.

To see a wider range of subjects
And you can often get good prices on them at


Some of these, including Winchester 73, Major Dundee and Oklahoma, look like something the animators at UPA would have come up with.

I saw an exhibit of Godzilla posters at Columbia University several years ago. They had Polish ones also. Interesting, but I liked the Japanese and American versions better. Same for these western posters. Interesting to see other countries’ takes, but none of these capture the essence of the films featured, except maybe the APACHE one–the only one to actually use images from the film. I prefer posters that make dramatic use of detailed images from the film, whether photographed or painted (realistically).

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