After being ravaged during World War II, Poland was under Communist control for roughly forty years. Naturally, that presented a struggle for entertainment. Movie distributors could barely get access to Hollywood films to screen, let alone work the marketing materials to promote the feature.

So when a movie did make its way to Poland, it was up to Polish artists and designers to create posters for it -- artistic eyes trained in a society where propaganda relied on posters to disseminate messages. The movie poster was the artists' bit of (relative) creative freedom, and now they've left behind a collection of truly stunning movie posters, not to mention a tradition of recreating marketing for modern films.

Check them out after the jump.


CNN has a great article up about the Polish movie posters of the Communist era, with the help of polishposter.com's Krzysztof Marcinkiewicz. It details how the process came to be, and how in many cases, artists couldn't even see the film before they made the poster. "You can see with some that they are just literal translations of the title represented in visual form," says Marcinkiewicz. "But they have nothing to do with the film!"

As the above image shows, the Berlin-centric Cabaret was given a swastika twist. Raiders of the Lost Ark intermingled dark skull imagery with a snake-like red whip, Trading Places is a whole different sort of film with lizards and a rainbow spin on money, and some, like The Terminator, are much more on-target, though equally cool, as Arnie looks out from a band of colored dots.

There are tons of images -- some continue the tradition with newer films like Mulholland Drive and A Good Woman -- while others travel back in the day, whether it's the literally fragmented look of Kramer and Kramer, or the truly stunning and clever poster for John Carpenter's Christine.

Check out a few of our favorites below, then head to the article and website for more posters.

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