‘Mr. Movie Poster” is an entertaining look at the 40 year career of Paul Crifo, an art school trained craftsman who designed over 140 film posters and illustrated 50 of them himself.
The posters Crifo illustrated include ‘In The Heat Of The Night’, ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, ‘The Producers’, ‘Mahogany’ and ‘Play It Again, Sam’.
One of eleven children, Mr. Crifo was born and raised in New York, and honed his skills at Pratt Institute where he studied illustration. He worked as a freelance designer before joining 20th Century Fox in the early 1940’s.
He then joined one of the first motion picture ad agencies in Manhattan, Monroe Greenthal Company. The agency later became known as Diener Hauser Bates. As Vice President and Sr. Art Director, Crifo designed memorable movie posters for major studios, NY based indies and foreign film distributors.
While many of Crifo's contemporaries were recognized for their work, such as Saul Bass, Bob Peak and Bob McGinnis, Crifo largely flew under the radar. That changed when Peter Crifo began archiving his father's work and putting it back in the public eye.
In 2007, Crifo was honored at the Hollywood Reporter's Key Art Awards. During the 2008 Academy Awards, two of his posters were featured during a tribute to the 80 Best Picture winners.
In the fall of 2009, an extensive exhibit of Mr. Crifo's work was displayed at the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Beverly Hills. On opening night, the film-makers were there to interview many of Crifo’s friends, relatives and colleagues.