Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The mysterious mugging victim from Magnum Force, revealed.

Here's an interesting story – I was sifting and reading through a lot of cuttings and articles some time ago and came across an original 3 page Magnum Force review (Magazine unknown) but looks like it originated from the U.S. 

The review features an image (left) from one of the deleted scenes, namely the car park mugging - these scenes are of course nothing new. However, what makes this particularly interesting is that it actually names the actor playing the victim. 

It's the first time (to me) that this information has ever appeared (alongside the image from Magnum Force). 

The African American actor Peter Fitzsimmons is credited on the imdb, but as 'uncredited' and simply as 'Black man'. 

This was of course insufficient to link to that actual scene - until now.... It would be great of course to chat with Mr Fitzsimmons, if only to see if he could shed a little more information on the scene and perhaps how he remembers it. 

It would also be great to hear from the actors who played the muggers or any of the extras used in the scene. I'm hoping Peter is still around; he did appear in the Will Smith movie The Pursuit of Happiness (2006).

As a point of interest, the caption in the review does have it all wrong. It seems to imply that Callahan is grabbing the man by the neck - when in fact (as I remember it in the script) the victim suffers from a heart attack during the mugging - and Harry is actually thumping his chest in an attempt to revive him. 

Thankfully, we also now have another rare cutting (left, provided by our friend Davy Triumph) which shows Harry actually applying the blows to the chest. 

I guess this information wasn't available to the magazine editors at the time, or possibly they just made a (bad) guess. And of course, as it was a deleted scene the full information may have not been available alongside the corresponding press still or on any attached legend. It's an interesting one. 

Are you out there Mr Fitzsimmons?

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Clint and his connection to The Los Angeles Police Museum

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had the pleasure of chatting (via email) with Bob Taylor of The Los Angeles Police Museum. Bob has worked at the Museum for some 30 years now and as this short piece explains, Clint has enjoyed a good relationship with the Museum over those decades.
Since our building is architecturally significant, its facade easily lends itself to imitate many parts of the country, and various periods of time. The building’s interior has also proven to be quite useful to the entertainment industry. It doesn’t take long to realize that there just are not that many 1920’s era jails available for filming. The same is true for the remainder of the interior of the old Highland Park station. The City’s restoration of the building, complete with oak mouldings and period lighting, provides production companies with many options.
This is what has been happening at Old Number 11 lately, stardom. Our resident movie and television star happens to be the old Highland Park station. 
A feature film, whose title has yet to be established, is currently wrapping up their filming inside the jail. Location scouts for two more productions have visited this week. We have been actively promoting our facility to the movie and film industry for one simple reason, revenue. This is a good source of income, the kind of revenue that allows us to both support and grow your police museum.
This year (2005) we have had a number of successful film and television projects produced here. There is one, however, that ties directly to Hollywood Station and a handful of officers.
During his run as Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood portrayed an Inspector for the San Francisco Police Department. As Harry Callahan, Eastwood frequently ran afoul of department procedures. Apparently his long barrelled .44 did more speaking than his coat and tie. Eastwood’s research for his tough guy/police inspector roles was not always limited to the Bay area. In fact twenty years ago he paid a visit to a small band of Hollywood officers. In early 1985, Eastwood appeared at mid-pm watch in Hollywood to enjoy a ride-along with the Special Problems Unit.
‘Mr. Eastwood filmed Blood Work here at the museum in 2001, and that was when this photo was taken. He has been here several times, as has his daughter and various production managers from his company.’
Sergeant Bob Good played host to Eastwood, but didn’t make his way into the photograph (above). Barely making his way into the picture at the far left is Detective Steve Biczo. Long-time North Hollywood Officer Gene Ferone and West L.A. homicide Detective Jim Hays are between Biczo and Eastwood. At the extreme right is Detective Bob Kraus with another retired Sergeant, Scott Currie. Here it is, 2005, and Eastwood is back in a Los Angeles Police Station. This time, it’s Old Number 11. The research for this motion picture s done, and the police museum is made up to resemble a newspaper office, the wedding bureau of Baltimore City Hall, 1940’s era corporate offices and the Chicago City Jail. Five different scenes of the upcoming film, “Flags of our Fathers” were filmed at the museum in just one day. Flags of our Fathers, an adaptation of the bestselling book, is scheduled for release next year, but it’s not the only place you can see your museum at work. Other museum sightings can be had in the remake of “When a Stranger Calls,” the television shows, “Book of Daniel,” and “Wanted.” Our star has been quite busy this year, and next year holds the same kind of promise.
Our kindest thanks Bob. Please show your support and visit the Museum HERE

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Flashback: Clint Eastwood Press Conference in Tucson, December 1971

Flashback: Clint Eastwood Press Conference in Tucson, December 1971

These shots were taken just prior to the Christmas release of Dirty Harry and while Clint was in Tucson during the production of Joe Kidd.  

Details of this press conference are very hard to find. However, the three fabulous shots have surfaced over the years which, thankfully I managed to save. 

It’s clear from these shots that Clint is wearing the same sweater and jacket that he was wearing for the famous Terry O'Neill photos. 

During the Press conference he was asked if he still watches old episodes of Rawhide – Clint answered that he tried to avoid them as he looked so young.
Photos by David Lee Guss

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Clint at John Denver Ski Classic

I recently spotted this great shot of Clint on the internet. It was taken at one of the John Denver Ski Classics. Although there was no date on this photo it is believed to date back to 1980-82 period. 

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The Mike Curb Congregation ‎– Burning Bridges / Sweet Gingerbread Man Very Rare Japanese 7" record

Last month I finally landed this extremely rare Japanese 7" Single. Released on Denon ‎Records (CD-101) it was released in 1971 with this stunning fold-out picture cover. It's also rare to get a glimpse of the Mike Curb Congregation in full swing on the reverse. However, it is the great front cover that is nothing less than spectacular. It's taken a very long time, but I'm very happy (and very relieved) to finally add this to the collection. 
Credits: Arranged by, Conductor Don Peake, Producer – Perry Botkin, Jr. A-side From the MGM motion picture "Kelly's Heroes" Foldout cover - Made By – Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd.


Ennio Morricone ‎– La Trilogia Del Dollaro (Colonne Sonore Originali)

For Eastwood fans who also love their Morricone, I thought I would just mention this wonderful CD I acquired a couple of weeks ago. It is an official release from Italy and features 26 original recordings from the Leone Dollar trilogy. Released in 1989 with a catalogue No RCA ‎– ND 74021, I can’t honestly believe it had escaped me for so long.  Of course, it was that great cover design that first struck me, and works so well. It’s just a straight forward fold open booklet with just the track details, no liner notes or photos inside, however the audio quality is beautiful. It might be worth keeping an eye on the auction sites just in case one comes along cheaply. This one only cost me £3.59 and free delivery here in the UK. So it’s worth having a look around from time to time. I have to say, I was incredibly happy with it. 

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Ennio Morricone’s Two Mules for Sister Sara to receive first official CD release

So it was great to read that Universal Pictures have announced plans to preserve and restore its classic library of movie music. The Universal Pictures Film Music Heritage Collection will launch this week as a joint venture with La-La Land Records. What is even better is that they have also announced that new retro titles will include the first ever official CD release of Morricone’s Two Mules for Sister Sara. 
Great, wonderful news in fact!
However, I do hope that this joint venture will take the opportunity to make this release the very best possible. I’m hoping that the score will be newly remastered. I also hope that Universal have the original radio spots, because now is the right time and the perfect opportunity to use them. The Radio Spots are an integral part of the film’s audio history, as much as a Trailer is to a film’s Blu-ray or DVD release. Shamefully none of these spots were included on the Blu-ray release of Two Mules for Sister Sara. Which begs the question, does Universal even have the masters in their Archives? Are they lost or destroyed?
Firstly, I have always offered pieces from my collection to make any Eastwood product the very best possible. So I just wanted to throw it out there, right now, especially among my friends that work in the soundtrack industry in the states. I have the full set of Radio spots, on an original Universal vinyl disc. If Universal do not hold the masters for these, then good luck in trying to find them, as they are extremely hard to find. I’m offering to help here…
Secondly, if you want to go deeper (and even rarer) into the film’s audio history, how about an extremely rare open ended interview on 7”inch vinyl Side A with Eastwood, side B with Shirley MacLaine. This 7” single runs at 33 1/3. Again this has never been available to the public and only used on local radio broadcasts at the time of the film’s original release. I can't even begin to explain how rare this particular piece is. On top of that I also have the original script that accompanied this record. 

The script includes the questions for the local DJ to ask and the recorded responses from Eastwood. I would also gladly reproduce this for the booklet. Sadly there is no script sheet for the MacLaine interview.
These are the kind of examples that fans would love to hear included. I am offering these, I have nothing to gain from this, in fact, I am prepared to offer material here which would (in all probability) devalue my original source material, the original products.
I just wouldn’t want to see or read stories of woe about ‘how such material wasn’t available to us’. It is... but only if you want it done right. I am easy to contact, either through the archive – leave a comment here, it will NOT be published, but contact information for me to get in touch would be welcome. Alternatively contact Cinema Retro Magazine and they would forward information to me. It would be so refreshing to see this project done properly while at the same time offering the Eastwood fans something new to enjoy. Why would you not?