Fantastic Film posters from the Forties

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Blog post prepared by Katherine Milburn, Liaison Librarian – Ephemera

MonkeyBusinessRecently, whilst moving the posters collection from the upstairs pictorial collections stack to new cabinets downstairs, a fantastic assortment of old Hollywood film posters was rediscovered. There are just over 60 posters ranging in date from the 1931 Marx Brothers’ film “Monkey Business” to the 1954 film “Saskatchewan”. They were all donated to the Hocken Library in 1976 and had belonged to William Strong of Naseby.


The Hocken Archives collection includes a collection of OurHeartsWilliam Strong papers [MS-1078], and these incorporate another set of Hollywood film posters from the 1940s and 1950s. William Strong was a watchmaker and jeweller who took over the watchmakers shop in Naseby opened by his father Robert in 1868.William was involved in a variety of local organisations, including the Naseby Cinema whose audience was likely drawn in by these enticing and colourful posters.

RunawayThe Hocken Posters collection included a fairly limited range of New Zealand related film posters until last year when a concerted effort to improve our holdings was made. Many posters have been sourced via online auction sites. Coverage includes the 1947 film “Green Dolphin Street”, which features a destructive New Zealand earthquake, and the 1964 film “Runaway”, that starred Colin Broadley along with Barry Crump, Kiri Te Kanawa and Ray Columbus.GreenDolphin

We continue efforts to improve our holdings of New Zealand film posters and ephemera and make them available to researchers of the New Zealand film industry.

Please ask at the downstairs reference desk or email if you have any inquiries relating to the posters and ephemera collection.

This entry was posted in Acquisitions, Archives and manuscripts, Entertainment, Ephemera and posters, Graphic art, Popular culture, Print culture by Anna Blackman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Anna Blackman

I'm Head Curator Archives here at the Hocken Collections and one of my tasks is to maintain this blog.

4 thoughts on “Fantastic Film posters from the Forties

  1. I understand samples posters, film stills and press books were sent to the NZ censor before they were used in New Zealand. Once a poster had been approved was there any indication e.g. a stamp or approval number applied to the poster for the NZ market?

    • Hi Anthony,
      I cannot see any evidence of this on these posters – there is no stamp or approval number.

      • Files in the National Archive include many letters from the film companies to the censorship department which list copies of lobby stills and posters sent to the department for approval – as well as prints of the film and trailers.
        It looks like this was a normal part of process for releasing a film in New Zealand.

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