The Papillon flies...
However successful Amsel was in his career, he still had to fight for every job -- and he lost a number of them. Many of his unused illustrations are among the artist's best work, too: beautiful, sensitive portraits for films such as COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER, NORMA RAE, and ALL NIGHT LONG. This makes their relative obscurity all the more tragic.
My favorite Steve McQueen film is PAPILLON. (If you haven't seen it yet, DO IT. You'll be amazed how powerful it still is.) Amsel's original art (below left) wasn't used for the initial release in 1973, but excerpts from his artwork were used within a 1977 rerelease poster (below right):
Very special thanks to Thomas Nixdorf for providing me with a new scan of Amsel's original artwork. Compare below the radical difference in image quality and color between what I originally had in my gallery vs. the improved image Thomas gave me. Thomas is one of the foremost collectors of movie poster art in the world (especially James Bond art), and his support and encouragement mean the world to me.