Friday, 8 March 2019

Rare double page trade ad for A Fistful of Dollars

I thought it would a good time to post this. Here is a nice rare double page trade ad dating from 1966. I believe it appeared in Variety. On the left are the 3 panel teaser designs which I understand were originally released individually in order to capture the readers’ attention – and eventually led to the full page design on the right. It’s a lovely piece designed by United Artists – and still demands quite a high price tag on today’s market – when they appear of course…

Friday, 1 March 2019

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry & The Upsetters: Clint Eastwood re-released in an expanded version

It was back in May 2018 that I announced the release of the superb twofer CD featuring 2 album reissues from The Upsetters – Return of Django & Eastwood Rides Again. So I am very pleased to announce the follow up twofer release, and something I was secretly hoping would eventually arrive.
Released on April 5th 2019 by Doctor Bird Records (via Cherry Red Records), the 2 disc set features the 1969 album Clint Eastwood (originally released on Pama Records) and Many Moods of The Upsetters (originally released on the Economy label). The ‘Clint Eastwood’ album had seen the majority of its tracks issued in the UK over the previous months as 7” singles on the company’s Camel and Punch subsidiary labels.

In their original form, each album contained 12 and 13 tracks respectively. These have now been expanded to 24 tracks per disc and contain tracks that have never been released to CD.

As explained back in May, these albums became part of the whole sub-genre and cultural atmosphere surrounding the whole ‘dollar’ explosion within the UK and in particular the London regions. Amongst the disc’s generous contents, you will find here the groups unique title track ‘Clint Eastwood’, ‘Return of the Ugly’ and ‘For a Few Dollars More’.
Original Album reverse
These albums are of course for the real hard core fans and completists. For me they are an essential part of the whole cultural scene and the ‘Dollar’ social history. The Eastwood trilogy was without doubt a major influence on The Upsetters and their contributions only helped in broadening the films greater popularity. I can only hope that Doctor Bird and Cherry Red Records see fit to release The Good, The Bad & The Upsetters (1970) – watch this space…
To order, use the link HERE  

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #10

Here's a shot that was sent in today by our friend and correspondent, Kevin Wilkinson. This shot remains something of a mystery. After a bit of research on the internet one suggestion came back that it was taken in Sweden. As Kevin suggested, it looks to be from the Firefox era, and I wouldn't argue with that. Nevertheless it's a great shot and very worthy of being in our Photo Opportunity Collection.
Many thanks Kev.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Where Eagles Dare Q&A highlights

Considering it was just a little over a week ago, I’m glad to report that the BFI have wasted very little time in posting some of the edited highlights of last week’s event. So with our thanks, we are very happy to post it here for your enjoyment. 
My thanks also to Dave Worrall for passing this on to me.
               

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Who said vinyl was dead?

It’s been very interesting watching this beautiful piece of vinyl on Ebay over the last week with a group of friends of the Archive. As a collector of vinyl myself, I have to say – this was a new one to me. The 7” EP from Mexico features 3 original Ennio Morricone tracks from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and dates from 1970. But the real appeal is the striking cover design and proves that it isn’t just artwork that sells - but the use of superb colour photos in an imaginative context can also be just as effective and appealing.
So what did it sell for? Well, about an hour ago, the hammer went down on this very rare piece of vinyl – and sold for a staggering US $456.00 (approximately £348.28). I will be giving our vinyl section of the Archive a complete overhaul in the very near future as the amount of new discoveries seems to be forever growing. When completed I will be deleting the original dedicated page and replacing with a new post rather than updating the old page, so be sure to check back regularly.
Check out the beautiful images below and see what $456.00 can get you in the form of vinyl. 
In the meantime, I’m off to weep quietly to myself in a dark corner…

Sunday, 27 January 2019

WHERE EAGLES DARE 50th ANNIVERSARY SCREENING / Q&A

Saturday January 26th 2019
Q&A with Anthony Waye (First Assistant Director), Peter Mullins (Art Director), Dennis Fraser MBE (Key Grip), Tessa Kennedy (Elliot Kastner’s wife) and Milica Kastner Kennedy (Elliot Kastner’s daughter)

It’s hard to think of any other World War II epic from the 60s that has endured - not only the test of time, but  which continues to be adored by legions of dedicated fans. The BFI were also quick to recognise the Golden Anniversary of Where Eagles Dare, and as a result, provided a wonderful night of celebration at London’s NFT. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the event was a complete sell out. In fact, a great deal of my friends and colleagues had travelled from every corner of the UK in order to attend this very special night.
Inside NFT 1 during the Q & A 
Prior to the film’s screening, and as a guest of the BFI, I was very fortunate to be invited to meet with some of the Kastner family and our three esteemed guests from the Where Eagles Dare crew;  Dennis Fraser MBE (Key Grip), Peter Mullins (Art Director) and Anthony Waye (Assistant Director, 2nd unit). It was great to get these legends back together again for this event which was due largely to the efforts of Cinema Retro’s Dave Worrall.
L to R - Dennis Fraser MBE (Key Grip), Peter Mullins (Art Director) and Anthony Waye (Assistant Director, 2nd unit)
It was incredible to see the film again on the big screen and in all of its widescreen glory. For a digital presentation it looked pretty good too. The film was shown in a straight forward theatrical version without any of the roadshow elements such as the intermission, although I must confess, this would have been an exceptional bonus. Nevertheless, the film opened and finished to full, appreciated applause from the packed NFT 1 audience. 
After a short break, the stage was prepped for the Q & A session where the aforementioned crew members were also joined by Tessa Kennedy (Elliot Kastner’s wife) and Milica Kastner Kennedy (Elliot Kastner’s daughter). It’s always rewarding to hear these stories first hand and from the people that were actually there. Many areas were covered, the technical issues of filming, how foam was used from the local fire brigade to cover trees when the real snow refused to meet their filming schedule, the testing of the stunt teams courage and how Clint was one of the most charming and delightful people to work with. It was also nice to hear that Milica Kastner Kennedy still gathers up the grandchildren (who were also present) to watch the movie whenever it received a Christmas showing on television. In fact, the overall feeling was one of continued love. It was obviously a production which was also an enjoyable experience, a rare and rewarding shoot, and one in which the ripples and good vibes continue to spread widely.
There was a great deal to be enjoyed last night – the gathering of these master technicians and skilled craftsman are bound to become rarer and rarer. Age is the cruel factor which will always have a bearing on these charming and rewarding reunions and as such, they should be treasured.
So undoubtedly, we would like to thank everyone involved - from the Kastner family who put a great deal of effort into making this event happen, the BFI and their continued commitment to excellent cinema, our three very special and extraordinary guests who brought a genuine, undisputed sense of realism to the proceedings, and of course the fans who continue to support the film and add to its ongoing legacy.   
I would personally like to thank; Liz Parkinson PR Manager, BFI Cultural Programme for making this happen for The Clint Eastwood Archive. I would also like to thank a great group of people and very special friends in helping to make this a special day; Dave Worrall, Davy Triumph, Dave Chantry, Neil Thomson, Mal and Jayne Baker, Mark Ashby and Sharon.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #9

Here’s our first Photo Opportunity of 2019. It features a great shot of Clint taken close to his then home near Pebble Beach around the tail end of 1976 or early in 1977. It was taken while the BBC was shooting their Documentary ‘The Man with No Name’ which was broadcast by BBC 1 on Wednesday, February 23rd 1977. There are several photos that exist from this photo shoot, where Clint was filmed strolling around the beach area and being interviewed (by Ian Johnstone) for the documentary. I believe the hour long programme was filmed on 16mm, Clint can be seen here, seemingly unable to resist checking out the shot for himself!

The Seventh Art, a Toronto-based publication on cinema and filmmakers said;  
Iain Johnstone‘s BBC documentary on Clint Eastwood observes the budding career of the young actor-turned-director at arguably the peak of his celebrity–still figuring things out as a filmmaker and attracting enthusiastic support (and dissent) along the way. It seems strange now to think Eastwood was once a controversial figure whose films were met with heavy criticism toward their ostensible conservatism and unnecessary violence, especially when it came to Pauline Kael and the release of Dirty Harry, which she forever despised. Kael’s opinions, however premature in hindsight, raised interesting questions on the nature of the star’s acting and directing career, and she fortunately had the chance to speak in Johnstone’s film in between the lengthy interview with Eastwood (which is also excellent). It’s for essential fans and detractors, alike.

A personal note:
I can vividly remember watching this documentary as a 12 year-old kid - and (rather fortunately) it also happened to tie in with a school project we had been set – to write about an icon (probably referred to as ‘a star’ or ‘hero’ back then). I can also remember taping it on an audio cassette at the time. This, and the fact that the family home was often filled with the sound of Morricone, pretty much sealed the deal and made Eastwood the obvious subject of choice.
Life from here on would never quite be the same…