Sunday, February 18, 2018


Joseph "Joe" Smith (b. 1912) began his career in popular culture at Walt Disney Studios, where he was a concept artist for such films as FANTASIA, BAMBI, and PINOCCHIO. In 1949, he was hired on at Universal's publicity and advertising department as a layout man. In 1956, he went freelance and evidence of his talent became evident when all the big movie studios wanted his work for their own movie posters.

Seen in yesterday's post for WEREWOLVES ON WHEELS, Smith created many memorable posters for horror and exploitation films over the years, but his most famous work was for the film, BEN-HUR. The title, seemingly hewn from rock, was a highlight of the image and he used the idea again on a concept for the GORGO poster.

I have no date of death for Mr. Smith (unless he is alive and well as a centenarian), and the last artwork that I can find that he did was for the STAR WARS: PHANTOM MENACE episode.

Another MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD post showing Smith's movie poster art is HERE.

Early version of the GORGO movie poster.

The "hewn rock" technique was used first for Smith's poster of BEN-HUR.

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