Vintage Movie Ads from The Saturday Evening Post

From The Wizard of Oz to Love Affair, the Post has featured advertisements from some of the most iconic movies of the last century.

She wore a yellow ribbon movie ad

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Over the years, many movies have been advertised in The Saturday Evening Post. Besides marketing the debut of some of Hollywood’s most iconic films, the ads themselves are a great study in what the studios thought would help sell tickets. They hyped Technicolor, promoted the movie stars, and listed the top musical numbers. And of course, they never forgot the trifecta of movie magic: drama, humor, and sex.

The advertisements below are just a small selection of some of the films that were advertised in the Post. To browse all of our advertisements dating back to 1821, subscribe to receive access to our complete online archive.

 

Movie ad
Stromboli
February 25, 1950
RKO Radio Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
Walt Disney’s Cinderella
December 31, 1949
Walt Disney, RKO Radio Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

movie ad
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
July 17, 1949
Argosy Pictures Corporation, RKO Radio Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
Monkey Business
August 22, 1931
Paramount Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
Easter Parade
July 10, 1948
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
The Wizard of Oz
August 26, 1939
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
Love Affair
March 11, 1939
RKO Radio Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
The Bells of St. Mary’s
November 10, 1945
Rainbow Productions, Inc., RKO Radio Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
Annie Get Your Gun
May 20, 1950
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
On the Town
December 24, 1949
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(Click to Enlarge)

 

movie ad
The Great Gatsby
July 30, 1949
Paramount Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

movie ad
The Barkleys of Broadway
May 14, 1949
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
The Three Musketeers
September 25, 1948
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
Fort Apache
March 20, 1948
Argosy Pictures Corporation, RKO Radio Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
The Farmer’s Daughter
March 15, 1947
RKO Radio Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

movie ad
It’s a Wonderful Life
November 2, 1946
Liberty Films, Inc., RKO Radio Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
The Little Princess
March 11, 1939
20th Century-Fox
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
Huckleberry Finn
February 11, 1939
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
Anna Karenina
August 31, 1935
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
Shanghai Express
February 6, 1932
Paramount Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Movie ad
Madame X
March 12, 1966
Universal Pictures
(Click to Enlarge)

 

Featured image: Advertisement for She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, July 17, 1949, Argosy Pictures Corporation, RKO Radio Pictures

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Comments

  1. I recall an article that appeared in a home video magazine, perhaps 40 or so years ago, that listed several movies that would never be released on home video (VHS). “Annie Get Your Gun” was once of them. The article explained that Irving Berlin hated the movie so much that he would not allow it to be released. However, after his death at age 101, Berlin’s heirs, not having the same emotional attachment to the film, must have okayed the release, probably hoping to begin receiving royalties from video sales.

  2. Gerard, we only included advertisements that appeared in the Post, and Gone with the Wind didn’t turn up in any of our searches.

  3. You’re so right about the “Gone With The Wind” movie poster, Gerard! I believe it wasn’t there because the ad likely never ran in the Post in 1939, so it couldn’t be included. If it had, I’m sure it would have been at the very top.

  4. As I scrolled through the posters I kept thinking that “Gone With The Wind” was going to be next. How could you leave that out? It is perhaps THE most iconic movie poster of all time.

  5. Wow. There are a lot of incredible film ads here. Even though they were new long ago, many are “new” to me as I was not previously familiar with a good many, and would like to like to see several represented here. Since new films are only very rarely worth seeking out, it leaves a lot more time to concentrate on vintage films.

    I’ve seen ‘Monkey Business’ but never this beautiful art deco poster! ‘The Wizard of Oz’ speaks for itself. Follow The Yellow Brick Road To Oz. Always! ‘The Bells of St. Mary’s’ is a classic I’ve never seen. ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ either. Betty Hutton was a great actress, and I suspect under appreciated.

    ‘On the Town’ is loaded with great stars and looks really uplifting. I had NO idea there was a ‘Great Gatsby’ film 25 years before the 1974 version. Great actors here as well including Howard Da Silva, and the wonderful Shelley Winters. Although the film is set in the ’20s, the poster itself is very ’40s—-to my eye anyway. That’s fine. 🙂

    ‘The Barkleys of Broadway’ looks uplifting. Astaire and Rodgers; movie magic. I’m surprised the poster has the three black bars covering the photo of movement. Gets your attention. ‘The Three Musketeers’ looks really good, and the Sunday comic strip style of ‘The Farmer’s Daughter’ is very unusual. I didn’t know there was a ‘Huckleberry Finn’ film either. With Mickey Rooney, it has to be great. ‘Madame X’ looks interesting too. My ‘to watch’ list just got a lot longer.

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