Bull Durham could have had a better start in the film industry. It struggled to get funding but became very popular once it hit the theaters! The classic posters feature exceptional talent, including Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon. But how do you know if your film poster is an original, reproduction, or forgery? 

An authentic Bull Durham film poster should be clear, spelled correctly, and contain an identification number. Check the spelling, font, and coloration to ensure you have an original image. Finally, an NSS number printed on the bottom of the poster is a tell-tale sign that your poster is original.

To learn more about the original Bull Durham poster, keep reading! 

When Was the Film Bull Durham Created? 

The movie Bull Durham came out in 1988. Kevin Costner played Crash Davis, an older catcher for a local baseball team. Costner’s character teaches and mentors a young and upcoming local pitcher named Ebby LaLoosh. While the film prominently features sports, it has an overarching love story. 

Bill Burham was not immediately popular or hot with producers and production companies. Several producers rejected the film, and it was only sponsored at 3 pm, the final day before the movie production was to be cut. 

The film gained its name from the city of Durham, North Carolina. The town has a long history of tobacco products that helped shape it economically and socially.

“Bull” tobacco became a popular nickname for the local product, lending its name later to the local baseball team.

The tobacco cases and promotional posters became famous collector’s items in their own right. The producers channel this historic charm in the film, making the classic town one of the main highlights. 

What Do Original Bull Durham Film Posters Look Like? 

The most famous film posters for the Bill Durham film feature Costner and his co-star Susan Sarandon. The two of them rest against a 1968 Shelby Mustang with the rustic scenery of North Carolina stretching behind them. Although there were other promotional posters, this one is the most popular. 

The most famous film poster for Bull Durham features Costner and Sarandon prominently. Susan Sarandon plays the beautiful and enticing Annie Savoy, who likes to pick up young baseball players. 

In the film, Annie uses her sexual charms to entice young Ebby LaLoosh. Her peculiar philosophy of life and baseball works to inspire several baseball players through the years. Her philosophy embodies the film and features on the poster with the text stating that love is a lot like baseball. 

The poster shows Annie (Sarandon) nuzzling close to Cash (Costner). This hints to the viewer at the possibility of a serious romance between the two. 

This isn’t the only film poster for the movie, but it was the most common. Others feature only Kevin Costner with a backdrop of baseball and Costner and Sarandon against a baseball field holding a bat. 

The first one we discussed is the most common poster out there. If you’re looking for an official film poster, you will most likely find the first one as a classic original. 

One thing you don’t want to do is download the poster image from the internet and make a copy, as it could be illegal.

Bull Durham Movie Posters

Check For These Tell-Tale Signs

1. Clear Pixelation

Authentic movie posters are clear and crisp in appearance. While most movie posters from the 1980s have a more rustic, classic appearance, the images should still look clear. If you notice the poster looks cloudy, fuzzy, or otherwise unclear, there’s a good chance it’s not an official original. 

2. Discoloration

Again, you can expect the movie poster to look a little aged because it’s over 30 years old. However, the image shouldn’t look poorly crafted or printed. Counterfeit productions sometimes look discolored or badly colored. 

Counterfeit productions don’t look as high quality as originals. If the colors look lighter or discolored in any way, then it might be a fake. 

3. Check Printing Under Magnifying Glass

Movie posters made before 1990 often have a distinct pixelated appearance. This shouldn’t appear visible to the naked eye but should be evident if you look at it either with a magnifying glass or microscope. 

Modern movie posters use laser printing technology. Laser printing technology gives the color a glossier look that resembles streaks of color rather than pixels. If you have a Bull Durham poster that looks like it was made with laser printing technology, then it’s probably a forgery. 

4. Spelling Errors

Counterfeit posters often contain spelling and grammar errors. Check the actor names, production titles, and other small prints to ensure everything looks right. 

Also, check the font style for the title. Reproductions often get the font slightly off, which can help hint at the poster’s authenticity. 

We discuss further tips on detecting movie poster fraud in this link here.

Should Your Bull Durham Poster Have an NSS Number? 

A Bull Durham poster should have a two-digit code known as an NSS number. This number helps identify it as an official poster for the original movie release. If an R precedes the code, it’s a re-release poster. 

Most film posters made between 1920-1990 have an identification number known as an NSS number. The NSS, or National Screen Service, existed to help track and categorize new film releases. 

They were also responsible for categorizing and tracking film posters, commercials, and other promotional materials. While the absence of an NSS number doesn’t automatically disqualify the poster as authentic, it’s a red flag. 

Some minor production companies did not include the NSS code, but this is rare. Especially if the film was a popular movie, like Bull Durham, you should see this code located near the bottom left or right-hand corner

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Closing Thoughts

Bull Durham may have started slowly, but it became extremely popular after its release. In fact, it made over 50 million dollars, with $5 million earned over the first week’s release. 

The film’s popularity adds to the value of owning an original poster. We hope this article helped you determine whether yours is a copy or an original! If you plan on spending major money on a potential original, it doesn’t hurt to get a professional movie poster collector to help you out.

We have a whole host of articles to help you navigate the movie poster world. Check out our other articles on Poster Grind. Or check out these viral posts:


Los Angeles Times: Every Hollywood studio passed on ‘Bull Durham’ twice. How it got made anyway

Amazon: Bull Durham (1988) Original One Sheet Poster (27×41) KEVIN COSTNER SUSAN SARANDON TIM ROBBINS Very Fine

IMDB: Susan Sarandon: Annie Savoy

Amazon: Bull Durham Movie Poster Kevin Costner Art Canvas Poster Wall Art Decor Print Picture Paintings for Living Room Bedroom Decoration 08x12inch(20x30cm) Unframe-style

Amazon: Bull Durham 80’s Romantic Comedy Sports Movie Posters Canvas Art Wall Art Paintings Canvas Wall Decor Home Decor Living Room Decor Aesthetic 08x12inch(20x30cm) Unframe-Style

Quora: How do you tell if a movie poster is genuine?

Wikipedia: National Screen Service (NSS)


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