My Favorite Pieces

To be quite honest, I love most of the artwork that appears in movies, even if some are a little creepy or have some frightening implications. Still, here, in no particular order, are some of my all-time favorites. 

The Gene Tierney Laura Portrait (1944)
by Frank Polony 

The Scarlet O'Hara Portrait in Gone with the Wind (1939)
by Helen Carleton 

The de Winter Portrait in Rebecca
by Mary Beavers 

The Lalique Panels of the Simplon-Orient Express in Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
by Rene Lalique


The Terry-Janou Portrait in An Affair to Remember (1957)

The Carlotta Portrait in Vertigo (1958)
by John Ferren 
 Read more here...

The Maltese Falcon Statuette in The Maltese Falcon (1941)
by Fred Sexton 



The Bayeux Tapestry-Inspired Opening Titles in Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
Designed by David Jonas


Read more here!

The Caricature Title Sequence in Murder by Death (1976)
Designed by Charles Adams




 The Batman Memorial Statue that appears at the end of The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
By Byrn Court

Read more here!


The Spiraling Eye Title Sequence in Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958)
Designed by Saul Bass


Read more here!

The Frank Lloyd Wright-Inspired Vandamm Mansion on Mount Rushmore
that appears in Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959)


Read more here!

The Lawrence of Arabia Funerary Bust
by Eric Kennington 

Read more here!

The Sargent-Inspired Miss Piggy Portrait
by Peter Savieri (2011)


Ava Gardner as Venus
from One Touch of Venus
by Joseph Nicolosi

21 comments:

  1. i have two favorites from film and tv. the one above of showing the beautiful painting from An Affair To Remember..

    and

    the portrait of Lt. Columbo that was painted by the world renowned artist Barsini in the episode where Columbo was investigating Barsini for killing his wife. in the last scene of the episode, as Columbo is arresting Barsini, they finally show the portrait. It is a closeup of Columbo, staring back at the artist with a kind of "I'VE GOT YOU" look on his face, and ONE EYE ARCHED AND WIDE OPEN, WITH THE OTHER EYE NORMAL.. it is stunning, and also neat, in that, in real life, Peter Falk, the actor who plays Columbo, HAS ONLY ONE EYE... THE OTHER IS GLASS..

    Robert - starfleet7@aol.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I'm glad you appreciated the Affair to Remember painting- the suspense of the painting is just as good as the artwork itself. On my part, I've been busy doing research about the Columbo painting (even though I usually consider myself more a Murder, She Wrote man)... and I LOVE the painting. Surprisingly enough for a television prop- it is well documented- so expect a post soon! I hope you enjoy the rest of my posts and please- follow the blog!

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  2. Thank you... I never expected a reply, much less for you to work on it.. But the portrait is unique.. Have you considered adding a section to your site where people can purchase reprints of these artworks...? or a LINK to other sites where they can be purchased ...? You would have me as a customer... Have a nice day. starfleet7@aol.com

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  3. Love all of these - as the poster said above, the Columbo portrait is truly amazing (and the episode wasn't bad either!) We've got quite a bit of a film poster/ postcard collection and I have seen a couple of my favourites on here. One that stands out for me (perhaps because I love the film too) is one of the many versions of the 'Gone with the Wind' film posters (the yellow and red one) I think somehow it captures so much of what the film is about.

    Thanks for such a great blog.

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Please feel free to follow the blog!

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  4. Hi there: Glad I came across your blog. I was fortunate to work for Jerry Gebr at Universal Studios back in 1977-79 and actually saw him painting on pictures that you have on the blog. I went on to do portraits for film and was hired to paint portraits of Bette Davis, James Brolen, Brian Kieth, Henry Winkler, Angelica Huston, Raul Julia, Norman Lloyd and many others before I retired in 2002. I learned a lot from Jerry and have some great memories of those years. Thanks for sharing all of this great info, John N. Stewart

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    1. I'm really honored that an actual member of the industry that I dedicate these posts to approves of "The Art of Film".

      What an extraordinary career you must have had working around well-known stars like Winkler and Davis, and less well-known people, but stars nonetheless, like Gebr. I'm envious of your artist talent and your successful career!

      If you would like, send me copies of any of your Hollywood portraits. I'm not sure if you saw it yet, but I occasionally do portrait-related posts and work like that would fit in nicely. I would of course, give you credit and link your sites in as well. If not- that's okay too!

      Thanks for your feedback and I hope you continue to read the blog. Feel free to make any commentary or criticize anything you see that's wrong. I really appreciate feedback!

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    2. Sorry, somehow I missed your reply. What would be the best way to send images (probably email)? I have a few that I could send you. I was remiss in documenting my early work well (really bad polaroids etc.) but some of the images are ok. Look forward to hearing from you. I'll go ahead and subscribe to the blog so we can exchange emails.....John

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  5. Jerry told me about his escape from the Communists (he and his wife) on ski's and how his fingers were shot off. They escaped to Colombia and Jerry did art commissions while his wife sang opera on a local radio station. That was before coming to the USA. Quite a story.....someone should write a book about him. :)

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  6. Hello! Thank you for a wonderful blog! I have searched and researched any and all information on the magical lace shawl that Ms. Davis wore in "The Letter". Today, TCM broadcasted the movie and so with its presence so readily in mind I tried one again to google info about it, and happily discovered your outstanding site. Thank you for your insightful essay suggesting the complex and layered relationship to the plot the shawl might occupy. I truly enjoyed your original and stimulating ideas. Simply wonderful!
    I suppose I'll have to learn to tat if I ever want to possess such a shawl! Perhaps someday, someone will give us some clues as to its provenance and whereabouts.
    May I also nominate as an important and beautiful movie artifact the lustrous pearl necklace that plays so prominently at the end of "The Letter", which perhaps adds subtly to the ambiance of the scene as a symbol of the tragic sadness of the corrupt south sea paradise, mirroring Bette's moonlit tears as she moves inexorably toward the movie's climax.
    And what a thrill to read the legendary John Stewart's responses to your blog! How amazing to hear of some of Jerry Gebr's experiences with his harrowing escape and his operatic wife! I and of course many, many others, have admired Mr. Gebr's and Mr. Stewart's work, which added immeasurably to the mystique and enjoyment of the classic movies in which their work appeared, all these many years. I know we all will continue to do so, in many, many more years to come.
    Please keep this fabulous blog going! I shall bookmark immediately.
    Your new fan,
    Carolyn Lewis

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    1. Carolyn-
      I am so glad that you enjoy the blog! It makes it so worthwhile to know that readers like you appreciate the work I do!
      I agree- I absolutely love Bette Davis' shawl and I'm so glad that someone else thinks its completely remarkable!
      I would look into the title sequence for you- but I can't make any promises- as you may or may not know- information about the art in movies is not that easy to find. But if you ever have any suggestions- I'd love to try to help!
      Again- I'm so glad you love the blog and I hope you'll continue to read and enjoy!
      Yours,
      Dan M.
      "The Art of Film"

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  7. Also, if I might humbly ask, have you noticed the strange and haunting mural depicted behind the opening credits of the movie "Shadow of the Vampire"? I've often wondered about that decidedly disturbing and beautiful piece.
    Thanks again,
    C Lewis

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    1. Please check the blog. My latest post was an answer to your request about Shadow of the Vampire. Enjoy!

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  8. This is a fantastic blog! I have always loved - and admired - the art that appears in film, especially title credit sequences. Walt Disney had some of the best. The opening credit art for The Happiest Millionaire is one of my favorites ( by artist Alan Maley ). My sister and I recently posted an article on the portrait of Captain Gregg from The Ghost and Mrs. Muir at Silver Scenes but we hope to do another post - a general look - about the portraits that appeared in movies. We will definitely promote your blog if we do this....more people should know about your site!

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    1. Just thought you would like to know...the artist who painted Captain Gregg shared with us the story of what became of the original painting. We updated our blog post with this info now. A mystery solved!

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  9. hello artoffilm! happy new year to you and all your readers! loving the uberblog as usual. god bless you!
    i wanted to ask if you knew anything about the first piece of art doris day's character jan morrow brings into tony randall's character's office in "Pillow Talk", which she rotated counterclockwise 90 degrees (it was a modern art piece and was being placed on the wall sideways) to place properly on the office wall. I just love that piece of art and have many times wondered who painted it, what it was entitled, etc... and i love Pillow Talk so much!
    another film crazy full of gorgeous and evidently priceless art is "Joe Black" the movie with anthony hopkins and brad pitt. I'd love to see an article about that penthouse treasure-trove.
    thanks as you are just so fine,
    pookie lewis

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    1. Thanks for being such a doll and reminding me of "Pillow Talk." It's one of my favorite rom-coms but for some reason I forgot to do a post on it! So, I will certainly do my best for "Pillow Talk" and "Joe Black." Stay posted and thanks for your warm wishes. Happy New Year to you and yours!

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    2. Oh, but You da doll!! ;-D
      Thanks, artoffilm-supercoolness!
      love from a person who never gets tired of watching Pillow Talk, kinda crazy but there it is,
      pookie lewis

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    3. In case you didn't see- I recently posted about your painting on Pillow Talk. I hope you enjoy it!

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  10. Do you follow the 'Keeping Up With The Kardashinans' Show? I do not... but I am embarrassed to say that the one episode that they were trying to identify a Modigliani that was found in their house as a real or fake interested me. Art experts were confirming that it was authentic... but alas the paint was too modern to have existed during Modigliani's active years.... WELL, Mystery solved. The 'fake Modigliani' was a PROP painting, painted for the movie "An Affair To Remember" with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. If you look closely at the 'television interview' scene at 1:04 into the movie the painting appears in the background. Also, seems to still be in the same, or similar, frame. The rich woman that Cary Grant is supposed to be marrying is an art collector so the Modigliani would be a good artist to use. It is the same image. I have been a prop painting artist for several years and I am sure after filming those props float around and end up with people that believe they have found the 'real thing'.

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    1. Thanks for the interesting insight! I'm sure you are right, some of the painting props I've seen over the years look real to all but the expert. It's really great that you are a prop painting artist- I'm sure you have some great stories! If you ever want to share...

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