All About Fakes and Reprintsadmin
Movie posters can be found at flea markets, garage sales, local poster shops, and especially on the internet and on eBay. There are also many FAKES, “generously graded” items, frauds, scam artists, reprints, reissues, reproductions, bootlegs, counterfeits, etc. Yes, these items can be found in your local poster shop! They are CONSTANTLY being pawned off on eBay to unsuspecting, uneducated buyers. There are MANY people who are not poster experts selling what THEY believe to be an original movie poster. Inaccurate descriptions are quite common. Generally, one only has to worry about blatant fakes for movies released after 1970. Fakes are generally found in insert, one sheet, and half sheet sizes. REPRODUCTIONS exist for almost all popular titles, but these usually are easily to spot. For example, years ago Portal Publications was a company that reproduced MANY popular older posters. These were licensed, but since some of these are actually 30 to 50 years old some people mistake them for original movie posters. Another example is Suncoast. For years they sold movie posters in their mall stores with labels marked “Original Movie Poster”. They were NOT original theater posters, they were printed exclusively for the Suncoast stores. Suncoast was sued because of this false label and has since changed the wording on their label.
Be careful! Reprints, Reproductions, and Fakes are not issued by the studio or NSS for theatrical display. They are not valuable or collectible! They are however found everywhere. At first glance they may appear to be exactly the same as the original. Most however are slightly smaller. They usually come in sizes similar to one sheets or inserts. There are rare instances of posters being reprinted years later by the studio. These usually differ slightly from the real original studio issues. A good example of this is in the early 1980’s all the James Bond movie one sheets were reprinted as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark. These constantly turn up on ebay.
There are printers, mostly overseas (some licensed, some not) that copy the real studio issued posters. Sometimes they are marked as reprints, sometimes they aren’t. They sell them in bulk mostly to shady U.S. poster dealers. Some dealers correctly advertise and sell them as reprints, some do not. These printers now even print double sided in an attempt to fool the collecting novice. They are usually easy to spot due to subtle differences in size and printing quality, although examples exist that are meant to deceive, including popular titles such as Jaws, all the Star Wars movies, Raiders of the lost Ark, Raging Bull, Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver, Blade Runner, Scarface, and others. Even some of the newer popular titles like “Spiderman” and “The Matrix” have fakes and reprints. BEWARE!
Reprints or fakes can be very good, many times even fooling experts. This is especially true for many of the popular movies from the 70’s and 80’s. There are also some dealers on eBay (criminals) selling what they claim are originals, KNOWING they are fakes. Believe it or not, some of the dealers even BELIEVE the fake posters are real! Some just look the other way.
These crooks are mainly from ROCHESTER, N.Y. and OKLAHOMA. (There are a few others scattered around the U.S., the U.K., and the rest of the world.) They have even gone as far as setting up a VERY elaborate website to try and prove that their posters are original. The site is full of ridiculous misinformation and blatant lies. Anyone who questions them on the authenticity of one of these fake posters is directed to the web site where a cartoonish looking “Professor Powers” tells you there are no fake movie posters, just different “printings” and/or they are part of a “warehouse find”. The web site is pathetic, there is no such person as Professor Powers. It is a well known Rochester NY dealer with a fake wig and beard. If one was not an expert and did not know any better and one of these dishonest dealers pointed you to this website, you might tend to believe him.
Some of these fraudulent dealers have been around for over 20 years! If you think being a dealer for a long time and having 1000+ positive feedback on eBay makes one honorable, think again. Most people who buy from these “dealers” don’t know they have been ripped off, and they may never find out. Only when they go to sell their fake years later do they find out the bad news.
One of the saddest things (and we see this quite frequently) is when an unknowing collector tries to sell their fake. They absolutely refuse to face reality that their poster is not genuine. They refuse to believe they were ripped off because the dealer they got it from swore up and down that it was real, seemed so nice, knowledgeable, and trustworthy (these are all the elements of a successful thief!). Their logic is “well, if a DEALER told me it is authentic then it just has to be!”. This is absolutely absurd, but that is just the way some people think.
Beware of “LIGHTLY FOLDED” Star Wars one sheets! EBay scam artists are now lightly folding their fake rolled Style A, Style C, and Teaser B one sheets. They are doing this because it makes them appear more authentic. They are having trouble selling these rolled fakes so they are trying this method.
How do these deceitful dealers get away with it? Well, this hobby is unregulated. There are no “poster police”. It truly is “buyer beware”. EBay has become a haven for criminal activity, and they are unwilling and/or powerless to stop it. Sadly, there is no way for anybody to stop it!
So, how do you tell the difference between real and fake movie posters? See our article below about “Minty White” fake inserts. For more information on the origin of fakes and reprints and how to spot them, please visit learnaboutmovieposters.com. In addition, there are a few chat rooms and message boards on the internet that discuss many of the fake posters in detail.
Even if a poster has an NSS tagline and a GAU logo, it does not guarantee authenticity. There are authorized reproductions of classic 50’s and 60’s U.S. posters that include these.
Here are just of few of the many titles that have been reprinted or faked over the years. Some are easy to spot, some are not. This list is not complete, it is forever growing:
2001 A Space Odyssey, insert
A Clockwork Orange, insert, British Quad
Apocalypse Now, insert
Annie Hall, insert and one sheet
Barbarella, one sheet
Blade Runner, one sheet and insert
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Breakfast Club, one sheet
Casino, one sheet
Enforcer, insert and half sheet
Empire Strikes Back, Style A (Gone with the Wind) insert and Style A half sheet
Goodfellas, one sheet
Halloween, one sheet
The Godfather, one sheet and insert
Jaws, one sheet and insert
Jailhouse Rock, one sheet and insert
Manhattan, one sheet and insert
The Matrix, one sheet
Pulp Fiction, recalled advance and regular issue one sheet
Pretty Woman, one sheet
Raiders of the Lost Ark, one sheet and insert
Raging Bull, one sheet and insert
Revenge of the Jedi, one sheet
Return of the Jedi, insert
Rocky, one sheet
Shaft, one sheet
Sixteen candles, one sheet
Star Trek, insert
Star Wars style A, one sheet and insert
Star Wars style B Advance Teaser, one sheet
Star Wars style C, one sheet
Star Wars style D, one sheet
Saving Private Ryan, one sheet
Saturday Night Fever, insert
Scarface, one sheet and insert
Spiderman Advance and Regular, one sheet
Shawshank Redemption, one sheet
Taxi Driver, one sheet and insert
Terminator, one sheet
Wall Street, one sheet
LOBBY CARD SETS- There are also a ton of fake lobby card sets from popular movies like Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Jaws, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Goodfellas, Caddyshack, etc., etc..
Here is a list recently compiled by Bruce H (August 2008). It is far from being a complete list…but it is a start:
EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
FISTFUL OF DOLLARS
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
HARD DAYS NIGHT (1982 RE-RELEASE)
INDIANA JONES & THE TEMPLE OF DOOM
KING KONG (’76)
LIFE OF BRIAN
MY BLOODY VALENTINE
NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION
NEW YORK NEW YORK
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL (Set of 14)
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
RETURN OF THE JEDI
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
SPIDERMAN 2 (SET OF 10)
WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT
WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH