This poster advertising the 1972 release of Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men is the dynamic art-work of Arnaldo Putzu whose mainstay of work was found on British Cinema posters of the 60’s and 70’s.
Arnaldo worked in the chief film agency in Britain, run by one of the un-sung heroes of British cinema-the commercial artist Eric Pulford (1915-2005). In 1943 Rank invited Pulford to set up a design studio which later became known as Pulford Publicity. By 1963 it had evolved into the large London agency Downtown Advertising, which in addition to Rank and its Gaumont and Odeon Cinema chains, later held accounts for Universal, RKO, United Artists, British Lion, Columbia and Disney.
From the mid 1950’s Pulford employed a series of Italian artists and his studio eventually included 44 artists and photographers.
In about 1967 Arnaldo Putzu was brought over by Pulford as an in-house artist at Downtown Advertising and later for Feref Associates. Like the other Italians employed by Pulford, Arnaldo was very quick, normally taking about two days to paint a poster. Critics would probably vote his art work for Michael Caine’s gangster film Get Carter (1971) as one of his best.
During the 1970’s Arnaldo went on to become the regular cover-artist for the teen-age magazine Look-In; these days he is still happily painting in Rome.
Arnaldo’s 1972 poster for the re-release of Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood is typical of his flamboyant style. But it borrowed heavily from the original British poster of 1952, which in my opinion was far better. In his version the style is more graphic and the colours are darker; particularly the green. The image of Robin with his bow is far more menacing than the original twenty years earlier and Arnaldo has switched the positions of Robin and Marian which in the 1952 version was a straight copy from the publicity still.
I would be interested to know which you prefer.