Back in the mid 1960’s construction began on the World Trade Center, and when the Towers opened their doors in the early 1970’s they were the tallest buildings in the world.
On September 11th 2001, after a terroristic attack on New York took place, the once tall and proud buildings that overlooked their city came crumbling down. In the aftermath, upwards of 3,000 plus people lost their lives, and on that fateful day, the skyline of New York was changed forever.
New York, which has provided a rich backdrop for cinema, had become more than just a setting for a story, often times becoming a character itself in the films that told it’s stories. Providing inspiration to screenwriters and directors, New York is a wonderful city where anything is possible.
As a collector of movie posters, I feel that movies as well as the poster that promote them, tell our story. They reflect the times and who we are and were. They provide insight to our society and to our history, and a good poster will often tell a story.
When Zoolander came out in late September 2001, the filmmakers and studio had gone back and removed any images of The Twin Towers from the NY skyline. In fact, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man was in early promotion and the original teaser movie poster along with the trailer was pulled from theaters on September 12th by Columbia Pictures.
It’s been 11 years and we don’t forget. And no matter how much you try to remove the images of the Twin Towers, they still stand prolific and proud on some of those vintage movie posters, and that… you can’t erase. Below is 11 examples of movie posters featuring The Twin Towers that remain unaltered.
1. Spider-Man (2002)
Perhaps the most notable of the Twin Towers movie posters, Columbia recalled this advance poster to be destroyed, because of the reflection of the Twin Towers in Spider-Man’s eye. Most theaters complied, but obviously not all the posters were sent back to Columbia Pictures, and there are some still in circulation.
Highly sought after by collector’s, these poster’s have sold on ebay for $400 to $700 for a mint condition Spider-Man recall. But not so fast! There are known knock-offs of this poster also in circulation, so don’t be fooled!
MoviePosterAuthenticating.com has provided some great information about how to authenticate your “Advance Spider-Man” before investing in one.
2. King Kong (1976)
Long before Peter Jackson did the re-make, Jeff Bridges did the remake! And the original movie poster features the King of Kong’s standing on both of the Twin Towers as he prepares to fight city hall. But as we all know, you just can’t fight city hall.
3. Supergirl (1984)
Intended to be an offshoot to the popular Superman franchise, and even though my 6 year old sister loved it at the time, Supergirl really amounted to be somewhat of a dud for audiences and executive producer Ilyia Salkind. The film’s star Helen Slater (no relation to Christian) would later go on to have much success with her career.
4. The Secret of My Success (1987)
The Secret of My Success paired actress Helen Slater with Michael J. Fox at the height of his fame and popularity (with a top rated TV show and 2 previous box office hits including Back to the Future) and sent him down a long string of romantic comedies. The movie shows us how hard as well as how fun life can be when climbing the corporate ladder in the Big Apple.
5. The Squeeze (1987)
Also in 1987, the Bonanza loving Michael Keaton is feeling the big city crunch as an artist who unwittingly gets pulled into crime ring trying to pull off a scam that involves the NY Lottery. Even though Keaton spends a lot more time in the Hudson River, its pop-singer Meat Loaf he should really be afraid of. And of course Keaton and Loaf would later join forces again for Tim Burton’s Beetle Juice.
6. Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
When a terrorist organization is plotting to invade the good ‘ol U.S of A. and lay waste to civilians and monuments, it is Chuck Norris as Matt Hunter that lays waste to them! This is true to the spirit of the 1980’s action flick made popular by the now bankrupt Cannon Films. Norris and Cannon teamed on many actioneer movies together.
7. Q the Winged Serpent (1982)
Director Larry Cohen takes us an a B Movie odyssey with his tale of an ancient demonic dragon that is let loose in modern day New York. Leave it to Cohen to partner David Carradine and Richard Roundtree together as bickering cops who must confront the fowl beast and bring it to justice. Carradine appeared in the film as a favor to Larry Cohen and went straight from the airport to the set and went directly in front of the cameras to film his part. This is an awesome and often underrated piece of NY history. Much of the film was shot in the Chrysler building, and to this day is the only film to have that distinguished honor.
8. Escape From New York (1982)
Bringing director John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell together for the 2nd time in their 5 film collaboration, Escape sets New York in the future of 1997, where all of humanity and technology have been disconnected, leaving NY to be a giant prison island run by Isaac Hayes’ The Duke. After the U.S. President crashes on the prison island, Kurt Russell is employed to go in and rescue him. Escape From New York would become a milestone for all involved and is considered to be a definitive example of Sci-fi exploitation. The photo below shows the World Trade Center on the rare advance poster for Escape from New York.
9. The Believers (1987)
A bunch of demon worshiping cultists hunt for Martin Sheen and his son for some of the old “ritualistic sacrifice”. Same routine, but Martin Sheen of course makes this more awesome.
10. The Cowboy Way (1994)
Much in the way Crocodile Dundee showed New Yorkers what it was like to be Australian, Kiefer Sutherland and Woody Harrelson show NY what it’s like to be cowboys. Typical “fish out of water” comedy.
11. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
One of the more campy installments in the whole Friday the 13th franchise, Part 8 has Kane Hodder taking a stab at New York this time around. So when you see a hockey wearing maniac running loose in NY, he’s not trying out for the Rangers!
*Also of note, there is another version of the Friday the 13th Part VIII poster that was also recalled due to the fact that New York city officials took offense to how New York was being portrayed on it!