The famed artist was born 76 years ago on March 18, 1947…


Some of the greatest movie posters of all time were done by an artist who is still with us.

He’s not from the 1930s, or ’40s, or even ’50s; he’s worked since the 1970s to grace films superb to sucky with gorgeous painted art. Chances are if you like a film poster from the 1980s, Drew Struzan painted it.

I’ve loved his art since the late’ 70s and still do. For my tastes, Struzan’s art is the perfect balance between painterly and commercial, and he lights up any movie’s imagery he works on. There’s just no one like him.

Happy birthday to the master, and many more to come. Here are 13 of my most favorite Struzan pieces, in chronological order:

Star Wars (1977). I’m cheating already with the chronological thing, but this one just had to come first. It’s not the splashiest Star Wars image he’s ever done, but it’s the first one I loved, and you never forget your first.

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976). A great novel that became a good film. I love the period feel of the poster.

The Muppet Movie (1979). Drew did at least two posters for the movie, but this one with the Studebaker takes the win in my book.

The Evictors (1979). Never seen this film, but what an effectively chilling poster.

The Frisco Kid (1979). I hope this image conveys the fun of the movie, and if you’ve never seen it, you’ll seek it out.

The Thing (1982). What a fantastic, original way to approach the theme.

Blade Runner (1982/2007). Yes, the film is 1982, but from what I understand he didn’t complete this image until 2003 when Ridley Scott requested Drew work from a sketch he made 20 years earlier.

Sahara (1984). Another film I’ve never seen, but boy am I taken by how gorgeous Brooke Shields looks in this image.

Return to Oz (1985). There were high hopes for the film, which never materialized in any sort of success, but at least it had a Struzan poster.

The Goonies (1985). Not a fan of the film, but it’s one of Drew’s best layouts for any poster he’s ever done.

Big Trouble in Little China (1986). Fun film with a fun poster. Drew just owned the 1980s.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). I love that he did the poster for my favorite Indy film.

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999). Not his greatest Star Wars image (see my first selection), but a beautiful use of color and those eyes really convey “menace.”


— Dig DREW STRUZAN’s Gorgeous Preliminary Sketch for His Famed 1977 BATMAN Poster. Click here.

— 13 MOVIE POSTERS: A FRANK FRAZETTA Birthday Celebration. Click here.

When JIM BEARD’s not editing and publishing through his two houses, Flinch Books and Becky Books, he’s pounding out adventure fiction with both original and licensed characters. In fact, he’s put words in the mouths of Luke Skywalker, Superman, Fox Mulder, Carl Kolchak, Peter Venkman and the Green Hornet… and lived to tell about it. His latest pop culture non-fiction tome is The Old Origin Changeth!, available here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. What a fun article, particularly the ones I’ve never seen before (The Evictors? I feel safe in saying I’ll never see this movie, but the poster makes it intriguing nonetheless. Never seen that Star Wars one either!

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  2. I agree about The Phantom Menace – those eyes do convey such menace! Drew really captured that in Liam Neeson’s portrait! XD

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