If you had to identify a link between Casablanca (1942) and A Clockwork Orange (1971) – other than that they’re both classics – it’s unlikely that you’d opt for the graphic designer Bill Gold. But Gold designed the posters for both movies as part of a career that began in 1942 with Yankee Doodle Dandy and continued until 2011 with J. Edgar (for which he came out of retirement at the age of ninety).
He began his design career in 1941, working in the advertising department at Warner Bros., and eventually becoming head of poster design in 1947. When the New York offices of Warner Bros. advertising unit was disbanded in 1962, Gold created his own company, Bill Gold Advertising, and continued designing posters for movies as varied as Camelot (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Breathless (1983), and In the Line of Fire (1993). He designed the posters for pretty much every Clint Eastwood movie from Dirty Harry (1971) onwards, and when he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Hollywood Reporter in 1994, it was Eastwood who presented him with the award. Involved in the design and creation of around two thousand movie posters during his near seventy year career, Gold passed away on 20 May 2018 aged ninety-seven. In tribute to Gold and his work, here are ten posters that sum up both his talent and the reason why he was held in such regard by the likes of Laurence Oliver, Elia Kazan, and Ridley Scott.