Working in Advertising, I see art directors and designers crop, manipulate, combine and do all sorts of stuff to photos every day, as they work to make them fit the project they’re working on — and the idea they’re trying to illustrate. Sometimes the results are truly stunning.
Other times, not so much. Take the DVD release of Raoul Walsh’s Gun Fury (1953), for example. Above is an original still from the film. That’s Donna Reed and Rock Hudson. Now, look at the DVD package below. First, they moved Reed and Hudson closer together, no doubt to work better with the vertical shape of the DVD case. I’m OK with that, even though it makes her appear about three feet tall. They did a decent job coloring it, too. Next, look at Rock’s right hand. Photo, no gun. DVD, gun. They dropped someone else’s hand on the end of Rock’s sleeve. Perhaps they figured you can’t have a movie called Gun Fury and not have a gun in the hero’s hand. Now study the pistol — it’s way too modern. And if you look a little closer — Rock’s still got a pistol in his holster!
Most of these old films had such beautiful posters and ads (Reynold Brown’s work is a favorite of mine), so it really gets me when Columbia or whoever decides to take a still and just throw some Photoshop at it.
Good movie, by the way.