In its 31st year at the time of publishing, The 1976-77 International Film And TV Yearbook is nothing if not a fascinating snapshot in time.
A Screen International Publication (A Division of King Publications Ltd.) This doorstop- heavy tome literally houses the film industry of the age between its garish orange covers. Edited to a mere 680 pages by ‘Mr. Showbiz’ (as referred to in the introduction) Peter Noble, its a virtual Yellow Pages of cinema. Need Michael Caine’s agent? Want to book a slot in Elstree Studios? Have an enquiry for Rank Laboratories? Its all here and good for across the globe.
The impact and readership of these annuals was obviously not wasted on one Mr. Alexander Salkind, European producer of considerable reputation in what would turn out to be his prime. Never one to miss an opportunity for advance publicity, Salkind manages to solicit both covers for two upcoming projects (on the rear: The Prince and The Pauper, third pic) including a little picture that wouldn’t hit screens for another two years.
Not content with covers and spine, all three exposed sides of the volume are also stamped with the word ‘SUPERMAN’ (second pic) even if there is no mention of the film inside. Utilizing artwork that had already spearheaded a similar campaign in the pages of US screen bible Variety, (click here) the film was at this stage clearly under the direction of Guy Hamilton.
A final treat for the Superman historian was the neat addition of the bookmark – (god knows it needs one) cleverly modelled after a clothing tag for none-other than Bermans & Nathans, (bottom pic) makers of, among many other adornments, Superman’s costume…