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Owner: Mr. V. van Raffen
American illustrator and painter Robert McGinnis made the 'Diamonds are Forever' poster artwork in 1971. Now almost 52 years later the original artwork has been professionally framed with museum quality glass and is in my James Bond collection. It is such an iconic and famous movie poster image and in my opinion the 'Diamonds are Forever' artwork is one of the best of the Bond posters. When it was offered to me, the artwork was already damaged. A real pity of course but it is what it is. Because I want to have the artwork as original as possible I decided not to get the image restored and to leave it the way it is. I am very happy that the artwork has survived.
The artwork has many great details and the colors are so bright, especially when comparing with the poster print. The size of the original artwork is 60*80 cm and as far as I know this is a large size for a McGinnis artwork.
Original 'Diamonds are Forever' poster artwork
After McGinnis had finished the artwork, the position of Bond on the artwork was altered by Donald Smolen (United Artists marketing & advertising executive 1965-1974). The image of Bond was first at the same height of the 2 Bond girls and it was decided that Bond’s chest and head had to move up so it will be positioned higher than the two girls either side of him. The cutting that Smolen made is still visible on the original artwork and also on some of the poster prints.
When examining a 'Diamonds are Forever' transparency (photograph that was made of the artwork back in 1971), I saw two visible vertical lines at the (left and right side) bottom of the artwork, and also a smaller horizontal line. Perhaps they are tape marks but I am not sure.
I checked the sizes of my original artwork (60*80 cm) in ratio with the sizes of the transparency and it matches from top till the horizontal ‘line’.
A transparency with photograph of the artwork
The right side of the transparency (with digital arrows)
The left side of the transparency (with digital arrows)
The first thing I thought is that the white part of the bottom could have been added later during the campaign development process by, for example, the marketing department of United Artists. So the extra white part could have been so that the main part of the Moonbuggy could be attached. I cannot check it on the original artwork because of the damage at the bottom. I asked Robert McGinnis, through his son, if he could remember if he made the Moonbuggy image was made by him on the original artwork right from the beginning, or if perhaps the Moonbuggy image was a single drawing that was made after he finished the original artwork and (in a later phase) attached to the original artwork. Because the artwork was made more than 50 years ago, Robert McGinnis could not remember this unfortunately.
There are marks (lines) of a presume cutting of the Moonbuggy. The marks can especially seen at sides of the wheels. Please see the photo on the left, although it is difficult to see. Was it indeed a cutting? I am not sure.
Close up with very tin lines of a presume cutting
Another aspect is a signed McGinnis 'Diamonds are Forever' print I have in my collection and on this print it can be seen that the Moonbuggy image (again, except for the large arm with Bond and the girls) is removed to another position than the position of the Moonbuggy on the US 1 sheet poster. When I compare this print with the US 1 sheet, the differences on the print are:
1. More distance between the Moonbuggy and oil rig;
2. The 'dome' with figure looks more ‘round’ on the print;
3. The arm is larger;
4. There is more distance between the wheel and oil rig;
5. A larger part of the left chassis of the rig can be seen;
6. The arm is larger.
Close up of the print
Close up of the poster
Print signed by Robert McGinnis
My personal thought is that a white part was added (in a later phase) to bottom of the original artwork to make more space so that the Moonbuggy image could be added. I cannot proof it unfortunately and therefore I am not 100% sure. If someone who reads this has more information about this, then please contact me.
I am also very interested to know if the original Bond poster artwork for ‘Live and let die’ and ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, both made by Robert McGinnis, also have survived. If someone knows more about this, then please let me know, I will appreciate it very much.
No Time To Die items
The six different 'No Time To Die' poster artworks
The MGM official James Bond 007 website www.007.com
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