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Jaws movie poster

Jaws movie poster

The Jaws of Seiniger

With the recent announcement of another Jaws Special Edition DVD release of the Steven Spielberg classic film, Guido Henkel of DVD Review notes the Jaws DVD cover design “features the crappy new cover art that disgraced the previous release, showing a Mako shark as opposed to a Great White.” This kind of criticism seems a bit unfounded, since the shark as depicted in the poster art has never been a Great White or Mako shark, just an ungodly sized set of teeth bearing little resemblance to any real type of shark whatsoever. The artwork used in the Jaws DVD release is a reworking of the original Jaws one-sheet art. (The updated DVD art was reportedly done by noted movie poster illustrator John Alvin.)

The original Jaws movie poster was created by film advertising legend Tony Seiniger. Known as the “New York Yankees” of film advertising, Seiniger Advertising was one of the biggest forces behind movie posters for several decades. And no “Yankees” team would be complete without a George Steinbrenner, in this case company head and namesake Tony Seiniger. The Jaws artwork itself was painted by illustator Roger Kastel, and remains an icon of film related key art. It also launched Seiniger as the premiere ad design house in the film industry for many years. Despite the countless sequels, the original image of “Bruce” the shark about to devour the disproportionately sized nude swimmer remains an effective image.

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13 Comments

  1. Giving It Bite « Posterwire.com « the movie poster weblogJune 2, 2008 at 12:26 PMReply

    […] Piranha poster also follows the Jaws poster formula: swimming beauty on the water, in danger from said creature (with large teeth) from below. […]

  2. Alice KeymerDecember 3, 2008 at 1:12 PMReply

    They need to re-release Jaws on DVD again, and this time put the classic orignal atwork on. That’s what most people want. Why the stupid studio requersted a new updated look I’ll never understand.

  3. JamieFebruary 26, 2009 at 11:58 PMReply

    Hey Mick McGinty painted Jaws, not Roger Kastel!

  4. posterwireFebruary 28, 2009 at 10:42 PMReply

    No, it was Roger Kastel who illustrated the Jaws poster:

    http://www.sharkisstillworking.com/video2.asp

  5. Horror Artist Jerrod BrownMay 30, 2009 at 5:47 AMReply

    Perhaps Jaws lovers would like to see the paintings I’ve done based on the movie. Check ’em out and many other Horror Paintings on Myspace. (Prints also available).

  6. ChrisJanuary 12, 2010 at 8:12 PMReply

    The one-sheet and advertising was done by the Magidell Agency, Studio City, CA, not Seiniger in NY.

  7. posterwireJanuary 12, 2010 at 8:59 PMReply

    Chris, then why did Tony Seiniger give an interview about the Jaws poster and how it launched his career?

  8. ChrisJanuary 12, 2010 at 9:34 PMReply

    To explain, my father was the owner of the Maigidell Agency (1968-1993; now retired) and I spoke to him tonight about it. He knows Seiniger and says that Seiniger was involved but was not the sole creative force as the article suggests. He further explained that it was a consortium of talent, including both agencies and Jay Rothman of Universal and other in-house talent.

    As a side note, he confirmed that Roger Kastel did the original cover art for the book that was later used on the poster. He has never heard of Mick McGinty.

  9. posterwireJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:25 PMReply

    Thanks for the info.

    The only item I can find referencing your father (William Gamm) is from this December 1975 issue of Boxoffice Magazine:

    SHARK THAT LOST — W. J. Christian, Kansas City projectionist, with the “Jaws” star he caught while deep-sea fishing off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., during the summer of ’73. The boothman says he is looking forward to presenting the film “Jaws” on the screen and concedes that the one he caught “really wasn’t such a bad guy.” Coincidentally, Christian’s nephew William Gamm of Burbank, Calif., through his advertising company, helped with the pressbook designed to promote “Jaws” for Universal Pictures, which is releasing the Zanuck/Brown production.

    Knowing that no single hand ever touches a campaign, I don’t doubt your father and his agency were involved with the campaign as he said. However, your comment: “The one-sheet and advertising was done by the Magidell Agency, Studio City, CA, not Seiniger in NY.” would not be accurate either. (You said your father knew Seiniger to be involved.)

    More importantly, you are welcome to post any recollections your father may have working on the campaign. ;)

    • ChrisJanuary 13, 2010 at 1:25 AM

      Correct. The first comment was made before I spoke to him this evening. I was fairly young when he was working on the project, so my memory is spotty at best. I thought the one-sheet came directly from Magidell alone. I inquired about this specifically and that is when he corrected me and said the one-sheet was the product of a consortium of several groups (as noted above) using the original book art as the primary image for the campaign.

      Sorry for my initial confusion. I will post again if I hear any interesting stories from his time working on the campaign.

      I enjoyed your site by the way. Thanks.

  10. The Seiniger Rules «March 25, 2010 at 11:35 AMReply

    […] including Drew Struzan and Dan Gouzee. But their most famous design was undoubtedly that for Jaws, which featured the shark-art of Roger […]

  11. The Great McGinty! «March 29, 2010 at 8:31 AMReply

    […] Great McGinty! By russ Most movie fans think Mick McGinty created the original Jaws poster — but in fact, he created the Jaws II poster. And even though the sequel was not as good as […]

  12. Warren Armstead, Jr.November 4, 2016 at 8:25 PMReply

    This says, Thanks also for that this i of its said accounts on it and it and him with it now here STILL recounts also that this now here even cites also ” ‘ ‘ KILLER Shark, ‘ ‘ ” but then next recounts also that this now here even cites also ” ‘ ‘ The Jaws Of Seininger, ‘ ‘ ” as in chief leader of Seininger Advertising for himself, for ANYONE of these said reporters whosoever wrote this i of its said accounts him/herself for him/herself, for ANYONE whosoever accepts also that this even says also, Thanks also for that this i of its said accounts on it and it and him with it now here STILL recounts also that this now here even cites also ” ‘ ‘ KILLER Shark, ‘ ‘ ” but then next recounts also that this now here even cites also ” ‘ ‘ The Jaws Of Seininger, ‘ ‘ ” as in chief leader of Seininger Advertising him/herself for him/herself, for fans, for readers, for others also and even for us, too….

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