Mad Max Australian One-Sheet Poster
'When the gangs take over the highway … Remember he’s on your side', reads the tagline on this Australian one-sheet poster for Mad Max (1979).
The tagline is both disturbing and reassuring. This paradox is illustrated by juxtaposing the defiant calmness of Max (played by Mel Gibson) standing before a threatening spiked gloved grasping a steering wheel.
Max is an example of the classic lone hero in cinema. That archetype is often seen, for example, in the films of Clint Eastwood from his Spaghetti Westerns in the 1960s to the Dirty Harry franchise (1971–88).