Here’s something rather wonderful. It was one of our UK correspondents (and great friend) Davy Triumph who first brought this photo to my attention earlier this month. I would of loved to have posted it back then, but the truth is - it was totally obliterated with watermarks. The result being – it was a major distraction and totally destroyed the actual image. Davy (being Davy), took one for the team on this occasion and actually ended up buying the photo from the States - in order to get it saved, here on the Archive in a clean (watermark free) state.
The photo is an incredibly rare one. Clint is seen in the top half of his High Plains Drifter garb, matched up only with a pair of white Tennis shorts! Gun in one hand, Tennis racket in the other, it’s clear that the mood is relaxed. With the lack of beard we’ve made an educated guess that this was taken in advance of filming, perhaps at pre-production stages. The lack of beard could also indicate that it was arguably taken during the same photo session which subsequently resulted in the cover photo used for Iain Johnstone’s book The Man with No Name (1981).
In fact, what we do know, (thanks to the original cutting on the reverse) is that it was used for publicity purposes and to tie in with KMSP-CH9’s ‘Squint like Clint’ TV season - a week long run of Clint’s movies which was beginning here with A Fistful of Dollars.
I can’t really offer any logical explanation as to why they decided to use a candid High Plains Drifter photo; perhaps they were simply more taken by the unusual, comedic aspect of the photo? I guess we’ll never really know. However, I’m sure we’re all certainly grateful that they did!
Thanks again Davy!Below: The Man With No Name book by Iain Johnston 1981