Watch the Dramatic Evolution of “Best Picture” Movie Poster Design

Spotlight took received the award for Best Picture at the 2016 Academy Awards last night, making it the 88th film to receive that honor. Over the years, Best Picture films have become instant classics for many reasons—amazing scripts, compelling performances, stunning cinematography—but there is another often-overlooked element that has contributed to their success: The movie poster.


The poster for Spotlight.

At their core, movie posters are meant to market films. The most successful create intrigue and excitement while communicating what the film is about. And in the right hands, they become works of art in themselves. (Think of how many iconic posters hang in dorm rooms, offices, and living rooms worldwide.) For Best Picture winners, the posters are as iconic as the films themselves. And, like any piece of art, they reflect their times.

To pay homage to this aspect of filmmaking, The Oscars created this quick video retrospective, which showcases the evolution of Best Picture movie posters from the 20th century to present. From hand-illustrated posters like Casablanca, to high-def photo composites like Gladiator, it’s fascinating to see how much the medium has changed over the decades.

See the video below, as well as the posters featured.


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