Before we even start these shenanigans, allow me to explain the impetus behind this article. It started as “20 Great Movie Posters from the 1960s”. But since the sexual revolution happened in the 1960s, it didn’t take long before a pattern emerged while reviewing these posters. There was a LOT of cheeky sex on display in 1960s movie posters. And the quickest, easiest way for someone to market their movie using sex in the 1960s was through the use of a woman’s breasts. Here are the 20 best examples I could find. Tracking these down was a hard job, but someone had to do it.
As the poster promises, it’s a new screen excitement! And that statement is made directly next to Janet Leigh in her bra.
Village of the Giants (1965)
It’s a sci-fi/comedy about teenagers who grow to 30-feet tall, and I’m sure it’s at least slightly allegorical to puberty. What better way to illustrate raging hormones than to show the dream that every teenage boy has at one point- climbing a gigantic pair of breasts like they’re Mount Everest?
La Dolce Vita (1960)
If you’ve seen the film, then you know that sex plays a major role. And the artist’s representation of Anita Ekberg certainly puts her assets on display. Just in case there were any doubts about where Marcello Mastroianni’s gaze lies, the artist has given him a hilarious penis/cigarette pointing right at Ekberg.
A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)
The poster’s use of Sophia Loren’s covered breasts is enough to qualify this entry, especially given that it’s SOPHIA LOREN. The fact that Marlon Brando also starred, is featured on the poster luridly peeking around towards Sophia Loren’s breasts, and the whole thing was directed by Charlie Chaplin is just icing on the cake. Chaplin, Brando, and Loren getting together to make a movie is reminiscent of one of those old Scooby Doo episodes where the gang hangs out with Don Knotts and Batman.
“This list is useless if it doesn’t include the Jane Fonda poster for Barbarella.”
-every guy who went through puberty in the 1960s
French Dressing (1964)
Putting aside sexuality for half of a second, this design is simple, and simply cool. It says almost nothing, visually, and yet it says everything. Also, it has unrestrained boobs and a bikini! (sorry, I said I’d put sex aside for half of a second, not half a minute)
The Alphabet Murders (1965)
You have to love a poster that very explicitly tells you to look at the boobs on the girl in the poster. In this case, it’s Anita Ekberg making her second appearance on this list, tying her with Elizabeth Taylor. The irony of Tony Randall’s pose on that poster is delicious.
Beat Girl (1960)
Oh, beatnik exploitation, how I love you so. You also have to love that this poster flaunts a soundtrack featuring songs such as “I Did What You Told Me” and “It’s Legal”. And it stars Christopher Lee.
Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968)
Speaking of Christopher Lee and 1960s movies that excel in featuring boobs on their posters, the poster for Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968) is downright impressive from an artistic standpoint. Much like the poster for French Dressing, the genius is in the simplicity.
This Property is Condemned (1966)
The poster isn’t THAT explicit, except when combined with the dialogue that’s on it, which gives everything a completely different meaning.
In graphic design, employing negative space is a special trick. It’s not about what’s there. It’s about what’s NOT there, which creates its own unique vision. See, for instance, the FedEx arrow. The poster for Inga is the boob poster-equivalent of the FedEx arrow. Because guess what’s missing?
Turning breasts into gold gives them a reflective surface. And what else should a Bond film show in the reflection other than Sean Connery and a gorgeous woman? Oh, and, hey, 1960s graphic designer- why not stick a hand grasping onto the golden boob, too? After all, it’s the 60s and you’ve earned this sexual revolution.