At first glance this might seem like a strange idea but the cover and/or poster to a film says a lot. They say never judge a book by its cover but usually a cover is one of the first things you'll see when you're looking through the DVDs for sale at your local HMV. The actual movie can be terrible and a complete waste of time but if its DVD box has a cover that is put together well than it's probably going to get your attention anyway if only for a few minutes. In fact movie covers are kind of an art in themselves, so I thought it would be interesting to once in a while analyze some great movie covers, beginning with 1955's Conquest of Space.
Now say what you want about the actual film (I wrote a fairly positive review but I know others have been more critical and it's not hard to see why), but this here is one really good cover. Every time I see it I always find myself feeling an appropriate sense of wonder and adventure. We see two astronauts (presumably men, but since we can't see their faces who's to say one isn't a woman) on a stylized image of the Martian surface with "The Wheel" in the background.
It gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect from a film like this. Looking at this I immediately think of a story of the future and of the advancement of mankind to other worlds. It is also an interesting touch that they chose to obscure the faces of the two astronauts (in the actual film, the visors are more clearly transparent), perhaps making it feel more like a story of humanity as a whole rather than of any particular individuals.
What we have here is a really good cover for an interesting film which, if nothing else helped pave the way for grander efforts to envision the future of mankind like 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it shows right here. Even if you didn't like the actual movie, you can't deny that this cover really gets your attention.