In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service will expand the Legends of Hollywood series with a collection of commemorative Forever stamps, stamps that are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate, focusing on Great Film Directors.
Art Director Derry Noyes designed these stamps using art by award-winning illustrator Gary Kelley, who created the images using pastels on paper. The stamp art combines a portrait of each man with an example of one of his most iconic works. The honorees are four directors selected for capturing the many varieties of the American experience. They are Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston, and Billy Wilder.
The background art for the Frank Capra stamp shows a scene from It Happened One Night (1934), a comedy in which a runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) and a reporter (Clark Gable) compare their hitchhiking skills while falling in love.
For the John Ford stamp, the background recalls a scene from The Searchers (1956), an influential Western starring John Wayne as a man searching for his young niece (Natalie Wood) captured by Indians and making Ford’s characteristic use of the American landscape.
The Maltese Falcon (1941) inspired the background art for the John Huston stamp. Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) is seated in his office, admiring the stuff that dreams are made of, as he holds the statuette that led some unscrupulous characters (Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet) into his life.
The background artwork for the Billy Wilder stamp was inspired by Some Like It Hot (1959), a farce about two male musicians (Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis) who seek refuge from gangsters by posing as members of an all-girl band featuring luscious singer Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe).
The Great Film Directors series will add style to your correspondence and your stamp collection.