Tom Chantrell (born Thomas William Chantrell in Manchester on December 20, 1916 – July 15, 2001) was a British illustrator and film poster artist.
The son of a trapeze artist, Chantrell was the youngest of nine children. He left Manchester Art College and went into advertising, eventually starting in 1933 at Allardyce Palmer who had accounts with Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox. In 1938 he designed his first film poster The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse. He eventually designed over 7,000 film posters.
Chantrell did not see the films he drew for; he would receive a plot line and a handful of stills and use friends and family for poses. Examples of this were taking photographs of himself trying to look like a vampire for Dracula Has Risen from the Grave. Chantrell’s posters were often produced prior to the film being made in order to raise money from investors.
Chantrell designed many posters for Hammer Films and the Carry On films. In the 1960s Chantrell was often drawing artwork for 5 different films or double bills at one time. With the move away from illustrated artwork for movies in the 1980s, Chantrell designed covers for videos.
Among the more famous films he designed the artwork for were The King and I, Von Ryan’s Express, One Million Years B.C., The Anniversary and Star Wars.
All images are copyright Tom Chantrell and are reproduced here in the spirit of publicity for his Official site