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Twixmas inspiration: Original Film Stills

Marked from the 27th to the 30th of December, Twixmas, originating from the old English phrase ‘betwixt’, is the period between Christmas and New Year. Many of us use this time to recover from the craziness of the festive period by watching a film. 

To celebrate this joyous time, we take a closer look at the stories behind some of our favourite original film stills steeped in cinematic history.

The Godfather Part II, 1974

This original film still features a young Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone in the 1974 ‘The Godfather Part II’. Based on Mario Puzo’s 1969 bestselling novel of the same title, the film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, with the screenplay co-written by Puzo and Coppola.

Part II serves as both a sequel and a prequel to the 1972 film ‘The Godfather’, presenting parallel dramas. The first film chronicles the Corleone Family between 1945-1955, focussing on the transformation of the youngest son Michael Corleone who is reluctant to join the family business, but inevitably becomes involved in a cycle of violence and betrayal. 

The prequel covers the journey of his father, Don Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro), from his Sicilian childhood to the founding of his family enterprise in New York City. This original film still features De Niro sitting outside on a bench during a visit to his home country of Sicily, contemplating his attack on his rival Don Ciccio.

Its creative cinematography and unforgettable performances made The Godfather trilogy a multigenerational saga, receiving universal acclaim.

The Godfather Part II, 1974

Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961

The 1961 American romantic comedy ‘Breakfast at Tiffany's’ is considered a twentieth-century classic. In the film Hollywood star Audrey Hepburn plays Holly Golightly, an eccentric socialite living in a New York apartment.

Early one morning Holly is greeted by struggling writer Paul Varjak, played by George Peppard, who had recently moved into her building. Holly quickly falls for him, but her past relationships and curious lifestyle get in the way. 

This original film still features Hepburn standing next to her co-star browsing for jewellery at the Tiffany & Co. Manhattan flagship store. Hepburn dons a mink Givenchy hat and orange trench coat, one of many iconic outfits from the film. 

The little black dress Hepworth wears in the opening scene, paired with Oliver Goldsmith glasses and an abundance of diamonds and pearls, is cited as one of the most famous outfits of the twentieth century.  

The film also received many awards including a Grammy for its signature song ‘Moon River’.

Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961

The Shawshank Redemption, 1994

Inspired by Stephen King’s novella, ‘Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption’, this gritty American drama has become an American classic. 

The film tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover. Despite protesting his innocence, Andy is confined to prison for over two decades.

In this still taken in 1994, Robbins engages in deep conversation with fellow inmate and contraband smuggler Ellis ‘Red’ Redding (Morgan Freeman). The two become instrumental in a money-laundering operation led by one of the prison wardens. 

Upon its release, the film received critical acclaim for its performances by Robbins and Freeman as well as its unconventional storyline line. However it was a box-office disappointment. There were many reasons for its failure at the time including competition from films such as Pulp Fiction and the lack of female casting.

Fast forward to 2022 and the film continues to be widely broadcast and is hugely popular in several countries, leading its recognition as one of the most-loved films ever made.

The Shawshank Redemption, 1994

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1984

American action-adventure film ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ was released in 1984 and was the second instalment in the Indian Jones franchise. 

After arriving in India, the archaeological professor is asked by desperate villagers to find a magical stone and rescue their children from a cult. This original film still captures the moment Indiana Jones, played by high profile actor Harrison Ford, escapes from the Temple of Doom. 

The plot was conceived by George Lucas (the film marker of the Star Wars franchise) whilst on holiday in Hawaii with good friend and director of the film, Steven Spielberg. 

Despite its popularity, winning the Academy award for Best Visual Effects, the film was criticised for its strong violence and gore. Spielberg suggested that the Motion Picture Association of America alter its rating system, which it did within two months of the film’s release creating a new PG-13 rating.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1984

Each film still is presented in a fully archival frame selected by our designers and packaged in a bespoke sleeve box. One-of-a-kind and steeped in cinematic history, they make fantastic collectors’ items.

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