Friday, 22 September 2017

The Eiger Sanction Summit June 1976 article

Continuing with our September ‘Eiger’ retrospective theme, here is a reproduction of the rare 4 page feature that appeared in the June 1976 edition of Summit magazine. Summit was America's first monthly climbing and mountaineering magazine, published from 1955 to 1989. Whilst I don’t own this particular magazine, the source scans that were originally sent to me were a little rough around the edges and some of the text was a little blurred. However, I have tried to clean the pages up to some degree which has now made most of the text readable. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The passing of actor Harry Dean Stanton

It was sad waking up this morning to learn that actor Harry Dean Stanton had died from natural causes at the age of 91. Stanton was something of an understated screen legend. I suppose some would argue with the term 'legend' but to many film fans, Harry Dean Stanton was every bit a screen legend. He was such a solid, charismatic actor, a reliable presence who always brought something special to a movie, more often in a supporting role. Stanton was given his first starring role at the age of 58 in Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders, a film which was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

He was also widely respected as a musician, His group Harry Dean Stanton and the Repo Men, later simply known as the Harry Dean Stanton Band, often played clubs in and around Los Angeles.  Back in the late 60s, he shared a house in Hollywood with Jack Nicholson, and they partied hard with David Crosby, Mama Cass Elliot and the burgeoning Laurel Canyon rock aristocracy of the time.



Stanton, known for his roles in films like Two-lane blacktop, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, Rancho Deluxe, The Godfather II, Straight Time, Escape from New York, Alien and Cool Hand Luke was born in Kentucky and had a career which spanned more than six decades, and dozens of films. He seemed to have a knack of choosing films which ultimately emerged as cult classics.  


Of course there was also a strong Eastwood connection starting as far back as Rawhide, the TV western for which Stanton made four appearances. 


Arguably, a lot of ‘casual’ film fans may not even be aware that Stanton also appeared in a rather infamous version of A Fistful of Dollars, (above) appearing in a specially filmed prologue for when the film was first aired on American TV. However, most Eastwood fans will remember Stanton as Private Willard (left), one of Kelly's 'heroes' in the classic film of the same name.

More recently, he appeared in the hit HBO show Big Love, and this year's revival of yet another cult classic Twin Peaks.

Thank you for so many great memories

RIP Sir, our thoughts go out to all those who knew him best - 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Stunning Eiger Sanction poster for the Mendi Film Festival 2014

Some time ago on The Eiger Sanction page, I featured this beautiful poster which was produced for the 2014 Mendi Film Festival in Bilbao. Subsequently, I was very fortunate to link up with founder and director of the festival, Jabier Baraiazarra – who today I’m very happy to call a friend. 

The whole concept behind the poster is an interesting one. The photo originally came to Jabier’s attention through the cover shot of Alpinist magazine issue 41 from winter 2012. The breath taking photo was taken by Hamish MacInnes OBE, a Scottish mountaineer, mountain search and rescuer, author and adviser. 

He has been involved with a number of films, as climber, climbing double and safety officer, which of course included Eastwood’s The Eiger Sanction (1975) and Roland Joffé’s The Mission (1986). The photo was an obvious choice for Jabier who managed to track down and contact MacInnes in order to obtain permission and using it as the prominent image of the 2014 festival.  


The Bilbao Mendi Film Festival has become one of the best mountain and adventure film festivals around the world. The best filmmakers of the genre offer an unprecedented insight into mythical scenarios for mountaineering and adventure from the Alps to Himalaya, to the South Pole, Patagonia, Karakoram mountains, Greenland, the jungles of Mexico, Venezuela, the Andes, Borneo, and the Grand Canyon.
Furthermore, Mendi Film Festival also offers an extensive programme of activities, including the presence of directors and athletes who provide the direct testimony of their experience. It is well worth checking out their site HERE.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank Jabier for his generosity and kindness. I was absolutely thrilled when a tube turned up at the door this week and completely bowled over when I opened it. Thank you so much my friend. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am when people occasionally contribute by sending me a few pieces - which in the past has ranged from a few magazine features from their personal files, a 58lb box of worldwide cuttings or, as on this occasion – a poster. 

Your contributions certainly make all the time and effort put into this site so worthwhile. I am constantly updating pages all over the Archive with everything that is sent to me – it may take some time to cover absolutely everything, but it’s there as a permanent resource as well as for Eastwood fans to simply enjoy.  A BIG thank you to everyone who helps make this site what it is today.        
                           
          

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Clint arrives on the Venice set of his movie The 15:17 To Paris

Clint Eastwood, 87, looked passionate about his latest project as he arrived on the set of his forthcoming movie, The 15:17 To Paris, in Venice, Italy, on Wednesday.
The widely-publicized film tells the real-life tale of three American heroes who thwarted a terrorist attack on a train in Paris, France, in August 2015 by bravely tackling an AK-wielding gunman.
Child actors will play the trio in flashback scenes as the movie sets out to explore who the men are and what drove them to react they way they did on that fateful day.
Eastwood looked relaxed as he brought the crew to the canal-bound Italian city on Wednesday, wearing light grey slacks and a dark grey polo, with a straw fedora to keep the summer sun off his face.
The octogenarian arrived in style, chartering an iconic water taxi to navigate the submerged streets.
Eastwood seemed happy and relaxed as he chatted to his crew on set as they prepared for another busy day of filming. The first filming day for 'The 15:17 to Paris' took place at Santa Lucia Station in Venice
The Thalys train was en route from Amsterdam to Paris, via Brussels; it is unknown what part of the story Eastwood was filming in Venice.
The film also stars The Office's Jenna Fischer in an as-yet-unspecified role, and Judy Greer, who according to Deadline will play 'an independent and fiercely religious single mother who always has a glass half full type of mindset'.
Eastwood himself met all three men at Spike TV's Guy's Choice awards in June last year, where he presented them with the Heroes Award.
Eastwood was widely praised for his decision to cast the trio in the movie.
Variety reported at the time of casting: 'Eastwood began a wide-ranging search for the actors who would portray the three Americans.
'The studio and Eastwood made their choices but at the 11th hour decided to have Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone portray themselves.'

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The passing of country legend, Glen Campbell

Country music legend Glen Campbell passed away yesterday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

One of the giants of country music has died. Glen Campbell passed away yesterday at the age of 81 after a six year battle with Alzheimer’s. His family released this statement: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell.”

Although he’ll always be known as a country artist, that’s really selling him short. Glen could do everything. He started as a guitarist who joined the wrecking crew in 1961. They were a group of L.A. session musicians that worked nonstop.


In 1963 alone Glen played on 586 songs. The list of artists he played with through the years included Frank Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, the Mamas and the Papas, and the Beach Boys. He even toured with the Beach Boys in 1964 when Brian Wilson went on hiatus. Singing is what made him famous. His first hit was “Gentle on my Mind” in 1967. And then the hits kept coming: “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman”, “Galveston”, “Southern Nights”, and “Rhinestone Cowboy”.
He became a TV star in 1969 when he hosted “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour”. He did a little acting too, co-starring with John Wayne in the original “True Grit”, and he played himself in Clint Eastwood’s “Any Which Way You Can”. Campbell also sang the title track to Any Which Way You Can which appeared on the soundtrack album and was also released as a single. The song was a Top-10 hit on the country music charts.
Campbell in Any which way you can (1980)
Glen sold over 45 million records, received 11 Grammys, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. 
Even his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2011 didn’t stop him. He decided to bring light to the disease by doing interviews, making appearances, and launching his Goodbye Tour. His final studio album, “Adios”, was released in June.

Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go out to his family.


The Clint Eastwood Archive 
Clint with Glen Campbell February 2000 at the AT&T Pro-Am golf tour Pebble Beach from Country Weekly Magazine

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly location reborn in Spain


BBC News published a story today on the Sand Hill Unearthed project which has been made into a full length documentary by our friend, filmmaker Guillermo de Oliveira.  The story was reported by Guy Hedgecoe in Burgos, Spain.

Cédric Biscay dons a poncho and places a cheroot in his mouth. Behind, the hills and rocky escarpments of Burgos, in northern Spain, shimmer in the summer heat. And all around him is a place he had only ever seen before on the movie screen: Sad Hill cemetery, site of the final showdown in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the 1966 western directed by Sergio Leone.
In that scene, the characters played by Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach meet in the cemetery for a three-way duel that will decide who gets to keep the gold buried in one of the graves.
"I feel like I'm in the movie!" says Mr Biscay, who is visiting from Monaco, after wandering around the cemetery and admiring its central paved circle and the hundreds of wooden crosses surrounding it. Nearby are props from the movie's final moments: a noose hanging from a solitary tree.
"This is such an important place for me," he explains. "I've watched the movie four times a year for the last 30 years, so yes, I'm a big fan."

But two years ago, Sad Hill looked nothing like this. There were no crosses to be seen and cows roamed across the site, which looked like just another overgrown, grassy meadow. The cemetery had been created solely for the purposes of the movie, much of which was filmed in this area of Spain. Then Sad Hill was forgotten for nearly five decades.
But in 2014, a group of local people decided to restore the site to its former glory. They called themselves the Sad Hill Cultural Association and after locating the exact cemetery spot, with the help of photographs from the film's final scene, in 2015 they set about the painstaking process of excavating the site.
"At the start it seemed like it was going to be impossible, but bit by bit people from other provinces of Spain, other towns, and even other countries, came to help us rebuild the cemetery and it snowballed," says David Alba, the 35-year-old president of the association. Aficionados could help finance the project by paying €15 (£13; $18) to have their name painted onto one of the wooden crosses.
Mr Alba remembers a key moment early in the excavation.
"We were digging in the ground and we saw that underneath the earth were the original stones of the central circle of the site, the place where all the actors, the director and all the technicians had walked across during the filming," he says. "It was like digging in the ground and finding treasure."
Documenting the entire process was filmmaker Guillermo de Oliveira (Right). He has recently finished filming a documentary, Sad Hill Unearthed, telling the story of the cemetery's restoration. It is due for release later this year. Several celebrity fans of the original western feature in the documentary, such as James Hetfield, the singer of heavy metal band Metallica, and Gremlins director Joe Dante. In addition, there are interviews with some of the key personalities from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly itself, including composer Ennio Morricone and Eastwood, who declared himself delighted that the cemetery had been restored.
The Sad Hill Cultural Association now stages concerts and other events at the cemetery, which is drawing increasing numbers of visitors from Spain and abroad. For many of them it is a chance to see the location of what Oliveira describes as "one of the most important scenes in the whole history of cinema". Leone, he explains, masterfully used the eerie location and Morricone's music to generate several minutes of heart-stopping suspense as Eastwood, Van Cleef and Wallach glared at each other before drawing their guns. Oliveira and his team also tracked down a number of locals who were extras in the western.

For them, and the younger volunteers who have rebuilt the Sad Hill site, the whole exercise has blurred the boundaries between reality and cinema, says Luisa Cowell, producer of the Sad Hill Unearthed documentary.
"Most of the volunteers had seen the film when they were children, with their families, their father or grandfather, so it has marked their lives, it's something that is very special to them," she says.
"So they all went there with the intention of unearthing a piece of something that for them is real - it's not fiction for them anymore, it becomes real," she adds. "And once they unearth it and they find the stones it becomes even more of a reality and they become part of this reality."

Thank You to David Vernall-Downes for sending me this story

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Clint’s debut on UK Video cassette

Intervision's opening video Logo
I was chatting with a few friends last night, reminiscing about the beginning of the Video revolution here in the UK. Naturally the subject got on to Clint, and we were discussing those wonderful big box Warner Home Video releases. It appears that most of us began our collections with one of those releases. I can remember vividly my own first purchase, Dirty Harry. Back then they were in a great large case and we had the pleasure of enjoying the film in a panned and scanned format (oh the joy). 

But I reminded my colleges that Clint’s arrival on VHS / Betamax (and V2000) in the UK actually came courtesy of Intervision video.  


Intervison was one of the earliest VHS labels in the UK. Managed by Mike Tenner and Richard Cooper, the company distributed major film releases (namely those from United Artists) as well as horror films through Alpha Video. The company eventually folded following the rise of major VHS distributors in the UK, but not before they released The Good, the bad and the ugly (UA A B5010) in 1980. I remember the campaign quite well, and the whole TV campaign that ran on UK television. I remember a number of clips contained in that advert alongside The Good, the bad and the ugly, such as Network, Carrie, The Exterminator, Lenny and I think I recall Rollerball.


The packaging came in the shape of a cardboard slip case and the film was of course panned and scanned, which was something of a travesty when it came to Sergio Leone's beautifully crafted vision. I could never recall if these titles could be bought at the time? The sleeve always seem to have ‘rental only’ which probably explains why there are very few of them floating around to purchase. Perhaps some were sold off as ex-rentals once they were worn down to the bone? However, it did prompt me to go and dig out the wonderful cover (front and spines) which I have in my collection. One of the spines is a little worse for wear; remember these were made of card (and it is some 37 years old now). But I did a quick digital restoration on it before presenting it here. It is near impossible to find a good image or a scan of the packaging anywhere on the internet, so I wanted to change that. I suppose it represents a little piece of history in some respects. It was Clint’s first film ever to be available on the new format and could be watched at any given time. It certainly would shape things in respect of how we would come to view movies and arguably signified something of a revolution.