Tom Chantrell – illustrator and poster artist

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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.

dracula has risen from the grave

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 IVon Ryan’s ExpressOne Million Years B.C.The Anniversary and Star Wars.

A Candle for the Devil British quad poster by Tom Chantrell


plague of the zombies





The Hills Have Eyes (original teaser) Quad



satans slave + thriller tom chantrell

through the looking glass

hot fantasies jose larraz

eaten alive 1980 british eagle films poster tom chantrell

Wikipedia | Official site | The Guardian obituary

All images are copyright Tom Chantrell and are reproduced here in the spirit of publicity for his Official site

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4 Comments on “Tom Chantrell – illustrator and poster artist”

    1. Oops, thanks for pointing this out Rodney. Will remove now. It’s an even bigger faux pas as we have an original of this poster in our lounge! Seems like we should also profile Mike Vaughan too…

      1. Good idea, but not quite such a prolific artist… who was? Incidentally, I collect and sell horror / scifi / left field posters – mainly UK quads, and if you’ve got problems with sourcing images of likely offenders, do drop me a line in case I can help!
        All the best,

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