Illustrator Albert Kallis, co-founder of International House of Pancakes, painted the movie poster art of Invasion of the Saucer Men in 1957. It sold for over $100,000 over the weekend at a Heritage Auctions event.
The original 1957 gouache poster artwork for the iconic Invasion of the Saucer Men movie poster sold for $107,550 Saturday, in Heritage Auctions' Movie Posters Auction. Rather than depict a finished film, the artwork painted by artist Albert Kallis actually inspired the creation of the movie and further solidified a cornerstone of the public's collective consciousness of "little green men" from outer space.
In addition to creating some of the most eye catching and lurid artwork ever to grace a poster, Kallis is remembered as one of the founding partners of International House of Pancakes in 1958.
"Legend has it that Kallis and film producer James Nicholson would work up a title and ad campaign and send artwork from the campaign to exhibitors and see how quickly they booked the film," said Grey Smith, director of vintage posters at Heritage Auctions. "The film would then be written and put into production."
Kallis, an American born artist, was American International Pictures' art director for 17 years beginning in 1956 when a young Roger Corman spotted the 29-year-old artist's work. Prior to his work in film, Kallis worked with famed advertising artist Saul Bass and Capitol Records designing album covers. When Kallis teamed up with Corman, he became acquainted with Samuel Arkoff and Nicholson, co-founders of AIP.
This artwork was used for the half sheet format for Invasion of the Saucer-Men, but it was also likely used for additional promotional pieces for the film.