Norman Rockwell Goes Hollywood
In 1966 Norman Rockwell made his only appearance as an actor in a Hollywood movie. Mr. Rockwell played poker player “Busted Flush” in the 1966 remake of John Ford’s classic hit Stagecoach. This print released by 20th Century Fox in the same year is a representation of the Movie Art Poster Norman Rockwell did for the same studio. This was his sixth promotional advertising done for Hollywood movies and he felt his most ambitious. Rockwell painted twenty oil portraits, one preliminary and one final, of each of the movies ten stars, as well as this image of the stagecoach on its perilous journey to Cheyenne. The poster for Stagecoach challenged Rockwell with its panoramic scene of galloping horses and rugged mountains. In a letter that accompanied a preliminary drawing sent to 20th Century Fox in 1965, Rockwell wrote, "It was a tough job for me because I am not an expert on horses. " Rockwell's picture file shows his favorite reference sources that assisted him in the anatomy of horses as well as tear sheets of the Rockies - so unlike the familiar Green Mountains in Vermont or Berkshire hills in Massachusetts.Rockwell had an affinity for the movie industry throughout most of his career. In an interview with Westchester Country Fair in 1928, Rockwell said, "..If I were not an artist I'd like to be a surgeon or a movie director, the latter, particularly. There is a chance to produce beautiful and artistic scenes that the public enjoy and that are as lasting as a beautiful picture." It is indeed easy to see that Norman Rockwell enjoyed his time working on this project and embraced it enthusiastically.