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Breathless (1960) British movie poster

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Sep 6th, 2021. Artwork published in
circa 1985
    Breathless (1960) British movie poster
    Source: Heritage Auctions. License: All Rights Reserved.

    In 1960, French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo rose to international fame through the success of Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, in which he co-starred with Jean Seberg (1938–1979).

    This quad poster (30″×40″) was made for a British re-release in the 1980s [Dwyer] by Recorded Releasing Company. The title is shown in giant red caps from Filmotype Gable with an added drop shadow, and not aligned to a common baseline. The original French title, À Bout de Soffle (“out of breath”), uses the same typeface, or maybe the slightly lighter sibling style, Galaxy. These anonymous phototype designs came with a number of alternate glyphs, including two forms for S, one with a sloping middle part and one where it’s almost horizontal. Galaxy, Gable, and the bolder Garfield and Gamma were copied by VGC as B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4, and subsequenly digitized by URW under the names Bee One to Four.

    Thanks to their supereconomic proportions, this font series is commonly used for the credits on movie posters, where actor/studio contracts stipulate a minimum height, but not width. In this case, though, the beanpoles play the lead.

    The names in blue are set in Alternate Gothic No. 2. All other type including the blurbs (“Seriously stylish … outrageously sexy”) and the small credits are in Trade Gothic Extended (or maybe News Gothic Extended, which is virtually identical).

    Jean-Paul Belmondo passed away today in Paris at the age of 88. Rest in peace.

    1 Comment on “Breathless (1960) British movie poster”

    1. See also another poster for Breathless designed by Peter Strausfeld for the Academy Cinema in London:

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