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Atlantic City:
This one image captures the essence of the entire film. Burt Lancaster, in his finest role, plays an older man who falls in unrequited love with a young woman played by Susan Sarandon. He falls in love with her as he watches her nightly ablutions. From his window, he can see her rub her arms and hands nightly with the juice of a raw lemon that becomes an erotic ritual. This is what she is doing on the cover. His eyes are open because it is his only way of having her. He cannot touch her with his hands. At this point he doesn’t even know her except for this ritual. His is the more dominant performance so his image dominates the cover as well. His eyes are what pull you into this cover. Their expression sums up the whole movie. The image is very simple and anything else would have subtracted from its impact, not added to it. Even the color remains neutral so as not to detract from the image’s natural force. size=4>

Wings of the Dove:
Based on the Henry James novel, another author I find impenetrable, this movie brings his work passionately to life. The gist of the plot is that the Helena Bonham Carter character wants a rich husband. She’s in love with the poor journalist hero and sends him to Venice to woo her dying woman friend who is an heiress. The two women are in Venice together on holiday. Bonham Carter’s character’s plan is that the heiress will leave all of her money to the hero, played by Linus Roache.

The cover image is not a scene from the movie. Rather, the three characters have all been posed to show how intricately intertwined they become with one another in Venice. The one who is hopelessly in love is the heiress with her eyes downcast. The other two are the manipulators and they stare straight out and into the camera. The other image is simply of Venice by canal. Notice the black on the top and bottom. This adds drama to the image by bracketing it with the strongest color. Showing the rest of their clothing, or more of Venice, would have weakened the image. Faces and arms tell the viewer volumes about this movie in this one cover image, that they are a very intricate threesome. Linus Roache is a little known British actor who is brilliant in this film and it is his character, the central one in the image, who undergoes the most change in the film. size=4>

Edward Scissorhands:
This is the ultimate movie dealing in the value of touch. Edward Scissorshands, as played by Johnny Depp, has done without love for most of his life because his hands are scissors. He can hurt a loved one with them. Winona Ryder is his love interest but this movie deals even more with how apart Edward is from the rest of humanity because of his problem with touch. His face is rendered in a blue-gray, showing us that he is not quite human. His scissors-hands dominate the image. The house to the top is the one he lives in and where a scientist created him. The scene below is of the adjacent California suburb he joins for a while. Edward has cut the bushes into the creatures that dots the landscape and he also is the one who can bring snow. This too is a fairy tale, which is evident from the cover. The whole image is rendered in unexpected colors to depict the surreal world of the story.size=4>

Using the Whole Body

For the romance film cover to depart from the close-ups of faces and/or faces with hands/arms, there typically must be something gained that is very strong. This also eliminates using much, if any, secondary image on the cover. So one image, using the body or bodies, must carry the whole cover. For all of the licentious pandering the film industry is accused of, it uses virtually no nudity on its covers even though the film itself may contain such sequences. The shirtless hero is unknown to the romance film cover.

Dance With Me:
This cover shows the two leads characters dancing in one of the many ballrooms they compete in as professional dancers. Considering the whole movie is about people in professional dance and the growing attraction between these two dancers, this cover does encapsulate the whole movie. Both of the stars are also better known as singers and dancers instead of actors. This has been a very successful romance movie which women especially rent again and again. I enjoyed it very much. Imagine how ridiculous it would look if he were dancing in a ballroom with his shirt off! The film industry would never make a mistake like that. It is too interested in keeping a fantasy going and that would break the fantasy for viewers.size=4>

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