Friday, September 22, 2006

The Take-Charge Guy

I always say, writing and researching the Today's Inspiration blog is an education for me, and I have no teachers more valuable than the readers and subscribers to the TI list. Case in point: two correspondences from yesterday in regard to Frank McCarthy's career...

First, this note from Ken Steacy:

"Hubba-hubba! Who sez McCarthy couldn't do babes, besides the art directors who got McGinnis to paint all the Bond girls on the posters? Go figure!

I can't remember where I picked that up, but just check out the Thunderball one-sheets. There's one with Bond in a hot tub, and another of him standing in a wetsuit, and if those babes aren't by McGinnis I'll eat my... words!"

Ken sent this follow-up note:

"I did a quick search and came up with this article, and some scans."

Then later in the day, more McCarthy info from Armando Mendez:

"An interesting connection (to me at least) between Reynold Brown from last week and McCarthy this week.

I've always been interested in how these guys, no matter how talented and experienced or their previous big time credits, had to stick and move into different markets as the illustration industry changed and severely contracted in the 60s. The big movie studios, MGM, Paramount, Warner Bros, were in dire straits as well, so for a brief time, say 1960-'68, these former magazine and paperback illustrators and the last stage of the great movie poster era went out in a blaze of glory.

All the great images I remembered as a kid I learned as an adult were done by same guys.

This was the forumla: Mitch Hooks, McGuiness, Bob Peak for sex appeal, especially if the key art needed just a few big central figures. But for the all action, all star cast, huge international production, lush John Barry or Maurice Jarre score, it was likely to be Reynold Brown, McCarthy, and Howard Terpening.

There are a lot of overlapping credits here, as it was more than just the key art illustrator on the 1-sheet, but the list the three worked on includes: The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen; Dr. Zhivago, Spartacus, Far From the Maddening Crowd, Ben Hur, The Alamo, Cimarron, Grand Prix, Around the World Under the Sea, Cleopatra and The Sand Pebbles.

The three all left the movie business to paint western scenes, Brown leaving first in 1966, with the other two soon after. But for a time their work on movie art meant a great action picture in a way a movie goer of the time readily understood."

My thanks to both gents for sharing!

Finally, for those who wish to read a biography of the artist, and get a look at that famous western art (you will likely see some here in the future as well) go to Frank

* Don't forget, all of this week's scan can be seen at full size in my Frank McCarthy Flickr set.

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