Because we all like pretty pictures

Movie Poster Addict

March 3rd, 2008 at 10:27 am

No Country For Old Men – International Vs. Domestic Posters

No Country for Old Men Poster

I have already talked about the main poster for No Country a couple of times. It’s nice, but I don’t think it captures the beauty or intensity of the film. But that is the domestic poster, perhaps the international posters are different?

Well, as it turns out most countries used the domestic poster with the title and a few other things translated. But there are a couple of exceptions.

The first is this French poster, which is still a variation on the original, but a more drastic one.

No Country For Old Men Poster - France

The main difference is, of course, the colors, and the fact that we can see more of the landscape behind Moss. The French poster also has few critics quotes prominently shown.

I get the feeling that this image is closer to the look of the scene in the actual film in which this poster is based. But despite that, I think I like this variation less than the original. It still doesn’t quite convey the beauty of the movie, and I think it does a worst job at getting across the tension. The gray Chigurh just isn’t as scary as his domestic version. And I don’t like the way the splash o red at the bottom interacts with the rest of the poster.

And yes, big ass critics quotes might be effective at getting people to see a movie, but they don’t exactly help the look of a poster.

Then we have this Spanish version, which resorts to a collage. Rather dull.

No Country For Old Men Poster - Spain

But the most different poster, and the main reason I even bothered to write this post, comes from Japan.

No Country For Old Men Poster - Japan

I have no idea why they went with this design. Considering the setting of No Country I wouldn’t be surprised if there was indeed a bull skull in there somewhere, but I don’t remember it. And it’s an image that hasn’t been highlighted in any other marketing materials I have seen for the movie.

But it is a fascinating way to set up the film. The bull skull both gives us an idea of the general setting and hints at the harshness and violence of the movie. I also like how the skull is placed to the right, leaving most of the writing to the left. It’s an elegant design and a type of arrangement that I think could be used more often.

I wouldn’t say that the Japanese poster is better than the domestic. At least not obviously so. But I do appreciate the effort that went into trying something different.

By the way, IMPAwards has another Japanese poster which also features the bull skull, so it seems they are really committed to that particular image.

(Posters found via and the official MySpace page)

Liked this post? Then why don't you subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to get updates by email? It's free, and everybody knows that everything free is good for you.

  • 1

    Bull skull = quickly translated identification of American Western Movie.

    At first I thought it was a pretty terrible cliché, an unfair and silly reduction of the movie’s themes. But it’s not so bad; it’s got a kinda nifty death vibe to it, although I wish the image of Chigurh that they used didn’t have to be the same one used in every single promotion for the movie.

    Burbanked on March 3rd, 2008
  • 2

    > At first I thought it was a pretty terrible cliché, an unfair and silly reduction of the movie’s themes.

    That is actually a fair criticism, especially considering that the movie has been dismissed by some as being “just a genre movie” or “just a western”. I disagree with these criticisms myself and I wouldn’t want the poster to reinforce them.

    I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about these posters, and generally being unhappy about them. I think in the end the problem is that I’m not even sure what I want from them. Perhaps the fact that I really like No Country means that no poster is ever be good enough. It’s not an easy movie to convey in an still image.

    I certainly liked the first poster a lot more before I saw the film.

    Larking on March 3rd, 2008
  • 3

    I love the movie, and you’re exactly right that it’s damn hard to convey its themes, complexity and depth of meaning in a poster – let alone a poster for an international audience who will likely get even less out of it if the film’s cultural themes don’t translate well.

    Burbanked on March 3rd, 2008
  • 4

    I wrote about the Japanese poster as well. I actually think it’s the best design I’ve seen for the film. Something has always been a bit off about the designs – like they were trying to make it as unarty as possible (which makes sense), but then just ended up creating dull posters that ripped off Saving Private Ryan.

    Glenn@StalePopcorn on March 4th, 2008
  • 5

    Wow I really like that Asian version! I love the tiny little icon of James Brolin running.

    Great style and color scheme. Nice find.

    Andrew James on March 5th, 2008
  • 6

    there’s a dialog in the movie about a guy and bull horns…it’s a story that sheriff tells Moth’s wife! i guess that’s what the japanese poster is about!

    steve on January 23rd, 2011


RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI

  • Contact