Goonies: the movie posters…


By Shawn Robare

It’s day two of Branded’s week-long celebration of the Goonies.  Today I thought I’d take a look at some of the various posters for the flick.  First up is my favorite from artist Drew Struzan

If I’m not mistaken, I believe that this is the official release poster that accompanied the film in its original theatrical run.  It’s at least the version that I remember seeing in newspaper ads and on the album cover of the soundtrack release back in the 80s.  Even though Struzan’s work tends to be kind of static with its photorealism and posed layouts, this piece has always stood out as one of his more exciting concepts.  Hanging precariously off of the stalactite, this group shot really sums up of the film in a lot of ways.  Aside from a good chunk of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Goonies was the first film that really kept me on the edge of my seat where it always felt like there was never any stable ground for the characters between all the slippery log bridges, cavernous waterslides, secret fireplace escapes, faux James Bond zip-wire shenanigans, and the collapsing flooring around the creepy bone organ.  This poster really nailed that feeling for me.

Next up is a piece by the great John Alvin

Alvin, like Struzan, has a ton of memorable movie poster artwork to his credit including the posters for Bladerunner, the Gremlins, Legend, Darkman, Aracnophobia, E.T., the Lost Boys, Willow, and Young Frankenstein.  Most people probably don’t know his name, but I’d be willing to bet they gave fond memories of his work.  His take on the Goonies is a bit more whimsical and mysterious; it almost has a Peter Pan kind of vibe to the tone and characters.  One of his artistic tropes was the use of silhouette, and personally I think it went to good use with this poster.  I also enjoy the way he framed the poster with One-Eyed Willie’s treasure map, not only to being in that plot element, but also to bring in the main color palette of the film.

This last poster is probably the most well known as it’s been the basis for most if not all of the home video release covers for at least the last 15 years…

Though the Struzan poster is my favorite, I really love the vibrancy and energy in this piece.  I’m not 100% positive, but I believe that it was painted by master artist Noriyoshi Ohrai who also delivered some amazing work for the original Star Wars films.  I also love that he managed to work in Mama Fratelli and One-Eyed Willie (not to mention his ship and a heaping pile of his rich stuff.)  I have a feeling he’s also responsible for the puzzle poster painting on the back of the Topps sticker cards I posted yesterday

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  • Paul

    Alvin one is new to me too. & I never realized what a horrible, longwinded tagline the movie had!

  • Allison

    Noriyoshi Ohrai ddin’t paint the original Star Wars posters. Tom Jung did.

  • Jamie

    The Noriyoshi Ohrai poster is a good piece of art, but he’s a lousy artist when it comes to capturing peoples likeness, hence the reason he never did another notable poster in Hollywood again. I mean, look at them!!! I take it the strange little kid in the middle is supposed to be Mikey? What about the person next to him? Mouth? I’m guessing because of his spiked hair. That doesn’t look like Andy either. Drew Struzan’s poster is better, and it should’ve been used for the video and DVD releases, not just the theatrical release & soundtracks.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      I’ll do agree that his likeness are the most photorealistic, but there is an impressionist charm to it. I think the only Goonie that really suffers in the piece is Mikey because he’s way to doe-eyed. That being said, I agree that the Struzan art is way under-used in the merchandising.