Authenticating a Raiders of the Lost Ark 1982 Re-issue Movie Poster
Of course there are reputable sellers online and many of them can be readily verified, but then there are those who are not. Further complicating the issue is the fact that some people may be selling something as original when they don’t know that it’s not and vice versa! As always, use your discretion when dealing with any purchase…let alone those that go into hundreds of dollars.
My problem is that I found this copy for a really great price — far less than what Cinemasterpieces is selling it for. Since I couldn’t find any definitive sources for authenticating this poster (at least this version), I’m reaching out to the internet for help. I have taken some seriously high quality photos of some of the areas of interest so if anyone happens to have a known original, maybe you could compare it to mine.
What is known
I have found some basic information regarding authenticity and according to this list, mine appears to be legit:
- Size: Mine is 27″ x 41″ – It’s said that the bootleg versions are 27″ x 40″ or even smaller.
- Copyright: The copyright at the bottom of the poster is not present on the bootlegs. This includes the Litho text and GCIU logo. Mine has it all. (See below for more info about the GCIU logo)
- Text: Most bootlegs are said to have blurry text in the credits. Mine looks pretty sharp.
- Color: According to photos I’ve seen, my colors all match the originals while bootlegs tend to be noticeably off.
There’s some controversy surrounding the logo that you can see at the bottom of my poster. According to a lengthily discussion regarding original Excalibur posters, it has been advised that collectors avoid movie posters with this logo printed on them. A gentleman named Ed Poole said, in a 2012 newsletter from LAMP (Learn About Movie Posters), that movies release before 1983 with the GCIU logo on their posters should be considered non-original theatrical posters. He says they are actually video release posters.
Created in 1983, the GCIU was the Graphic Communications International Union. It has since merged several times and is now part of the Teamsters. The point is that there seems to be no way a movie released in 1981 and re-released in 1982 (which is what my poster is from) could have a printed logo on it from an organization created in 1983.
A quick note on an original Friday The 13th poster mentions this information as well, so it’s hard to tell what’s what. If the GCIU logo was used on studio-printed posters for the video releases of these movies, then inherently these posters are still originals — just not original theatrical posters.
Given everything I know so far, it sounds like I have an original video release poster from Raiders of the Lost Ark. The problem I’m having is two fold. One, is the GCIU logo information actually correct and two, if so, can there still be bootlegs of a video release poster?
The reason I question all this is because two copies of this same poster are listed on Cinemasterpiece’s website — a very well-known dealer of original posters. They have these posters listed at just over $300 each and they look remarkably similar to mine…the GCIU logo included. Given that I paid MUCH less than this and the seller listed it as “original,” I don’t know what to think!
I either have an original or bootleg theatrical re-release poster from 1982 OR I have an original or bootleg video release poster from sometime in 1983 or later. I’m hoping this article will be found by someone who can set the record straight.