Shutterstock acquires iconic imagery from The Kobal Collection, documenting over 100 years of cinema history.

The average movie consists of over 150,000 frames, each a different moment in the plotline. But for the iconic movies of late 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, sometimes it can take just one of these frames to perfectly capture the essence of the movie, transporting viewers back to the cinema seat where they first enjoyed the show. Thus is the powerful connection of photography and film — while one delivers the moving pictures that entertain us for mere hours, the other delivers the small moments that can capture our imaginations over and over again.

Today we’re excited to announce the acquisition of over 700,000 images from two prominent photo collections: The Art Archive and The Kobal Collection. Both collections, are now available to Shutterstock Premier customers globally.

The world-renowned Kobal Collection, originally conceived from John Kobal’s passion for cinema photography, preserves irreplaceable behind the scenes stills, portraits, and original posters issued by movie studios since the early days of cinema. The archive covers over a century of cinema from the very first silent films to today’s latest Hollywood releases and international productions. Beyond film stills and BTS photos, Kobal Collection’s portrait collection is famed for personifying the great romantic leads and the dazzling icons of the past such as Grace Kelly, Bette Davis, Marlon Brando and Richard Burton.

Learn more about Kobal Collection here and the Art Archive here.

Scroll through to see 15 stills from the collection, powerfully depicting the characters, settings, and scenes that have entertained cinema-goers for generations.

The Godfather (1972)

The Don (Marlon Brando) has the world on a string, playing patriarch to the Corleone Mafia family with ruthless ease as his network of puppets keep his family on top in organized crime.

Photo Credit: [ Paramount Pictures / The Kobal Collection ]

Birdman (2014)

Former Hollywood superhero Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) is trying to make his acting comeback, but he just can’t escape the feathered influence of his Blockbuster role, Birdman, who disrupts his reality with hallucinations of telekinesis and levitations.

Photo Credit: [ Fox Searchlight/Regency Enterprises/M Prods / The Kobal Collection ]

Gladiator (2000)

Fallen Roman general Maximus (Russell Crowe) was once the Emperor’s right-hand man, but with the Emperor’s son in power he’s been banished to the Gladiator pit where his only hope for freedom and revenge means fighting for his life in front of a huge crowd.

The Graduate (1967)

In the lazy summer after he graduates college, Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) finds himself in the middle of a double-sided love affair involving a married woman, the infamous Mrs. Robinson, and her daughter, Elaine.

Citizen Kane (1941)

Media mogul Charles Kane’s (Orson Welles) cryptic last word, rosebud, leads an investigative journalist on a whirlwind tour of the man’s friends, colleagues, and love affairs, and his meteoric rise to major success.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

In a gritty, drought-stricken future, scarce resources spell brutal competition. Max (Tom Hardy) and Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) traverse the landscape in Furiosa’s armoured truck, fleeing blood-thirsty despot Immortan Joe in a gun-fueled getaway.

Photo Credit: [ Kennedy Miller Productions/Village Roadshow Pictures / The Kobal Collection ]

The Hunger Games (2012)

In the dystopian country of Panem 12 districts send one participant to fight for their lives in an annual televised death-match. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers as tribute, subjecting herself to the dog-eat-dog world where there can be only one victor (and survivor).

Photo Credit: [ Lionsgate / The Kobal Collection ]

King Kong (1933)

A film crew captures the giant monkey Kong, and brings him to America, but the bright lights and big city end in tragedy for the ape, who climbs the Empire State Building and plummets to his death.

Singin' In The Rain (1952)

A silent film actor (Gene Kelly) gets caught up in the drama and cacophony of the talking picture revolution that swept Hollywood in the 1920s and changed motion picture forever.

Photo Credit: [ MGM / The Kobal Collection ]

The Sound of Music

A young nun, Maria (Julie Andrews), becomes governess to Captain Georg Von Trapp’s seven children; their escapades in Austria lead to love, escape from Nazi rule, and several iconic musical numbers.

Photo Credit: [ 20th Century Fox / The Kobal Collection ]

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Beethoven-loving juvenile delinquent Alex and his gang of ultra-violent friends terrorize a dystopian futuristic London, before Alex is caught and subjected to an experimental aversion therapy mean to cure him of his violent, criminal behavior.


Et The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Friendly alien ET crash lands on Earth, forging an epic friendship with a boy named Elliot that will be tested by classified government work and a home that is light years away.

Photo Credit: [ Universal / The Kobal Collection ]

Manhattan (1979)

Newly divorced and forever neurotic Isaac Davis (Woody Allen) navigates his own misaligned love life as he dates a too-young-for-him high schooler, all the while wondering if someone off limits might be a better fit.

Photo Credit: [ United Artists / The Kobal Collection / Hamill, Brian ]

Casablanca (1942)

American expat Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) runs Casablanca’s most popular nightclub. When his former flame Isla shows up with her husband, a Czechoslovak resistance leader, it’s up to Rick to save them from German pursuit.

Photo Credit: [ Warner Bros / The Kobal Collection / Woods, Jack ]

Fargo (1996)

An unassuming town in North Dakota plays the icy home to insurance fraud, several murders, a kidnapping, a spot of organized crime, and a woodchipper in a crime tale that perfectly captures the Coen Brother’s irreverent storytelling (and made the Minnesota accent famous).

Photo Credit: [ Working Title/Polygram / The Kobal Collection / Tackett, Michael ]