One of the final projects Bass did with Howard Hughes, who at one time owned RKO. It took two years to make at a then astronomical cost of $6 million. In “Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design,” Bass is quoted as saying this about Hughes: “A man of myopic obsessive temperment, his notion of a good film ad was to use pretty hard-boiled photographic kind of illustration. I was naive and really believed I could sway people by doing what I thought were wonderful designs. But I didn’t understand how rigid he was.”
Needless to say, these three Bass designs, drawn by Al Kallis, were never used. Instead, at the bottom of this column you can find an example of the material Hughes used to advertise the picture.
Here’s an example of an ad that Hughes did use to advertise “The Conqueror”:
The links below take you to the other Bass/Kallis work in this story: