‘ . . . the power that could pulverise a city!: Post-war and Cold War Joe
Original press book centrefold poster, RKO Pictures (1949)/Poster for the 1953 re-release of Mighty Joe Young, signed by Ray Harryhausen; School of Art Museum and Galleries, Aberystwyth University. Purchase: Private collection, 2017
The poster art by Gene Widhoff, based on Willis O’Brien’s drawings, exaggerates the height of the gorilla and emphasises the destructiveness of his power. The post-war story of a tormented outsider exploited for profit is repackaged as a formulaic monster movie for the Cold War era.
Navigating the Display
Mighty Joe Young: Promotion and Propaganda