To be clear from the start, I love Radio Spots. Not just Eastwood Radio Spots, but movie radio spots in general. The format itself is probably something quite alien to the younger generation, so a short explanation. Basically, a Radio Spot is an audio trailer; different length versions were contained either on tape or vinyl (supplied by the studios) and sent to Radio stations for air play. They were never commercially available to buy. Today of course, they are extremely hard to find, a great deal were destroyed (by design) after they had their run to tie in with the film’s general release. It was purely a promotional tool.
So when they appear these days they don’t tend to stick around for long - as this particular one proved a couple of days ago. It would have been great to secure this piece of vinyl, as I have other Universal records for Two Mules, Joe Kidd and The Beguiled. But sometimes it just isn’t meant to be. It didn’t help having a Buy Now option ($59.99) (approx. £49.00) on it, but it doesn’t end there of course, add to that International postage, importation duty and it suddenly becomes a very expensive piece. However, before you could even deliberate over it, the vinyl record had been claimed by some very lucky person.
I have included here a transcription of one of the 60 second spots in order to provide an idea of how they were put together and ‘sell’ the movie. The narration would be overlaid over soundbites from the film and music; this would often be dramatic and different music to that used in the finished film.
"He drifted into town one day. The strange man in a long black coat. He drifted past the shops and stores, past people who stopped dead in their tracks with fear and wonder. He drifted into a town of guilt, a town of suspicion, and hate and greed. He drifted by them all. This man whose face they didn't recognize, whose name they'd never know, but whose vengeance they soon suffered. High Plains Drifter! He drifted into town one day, and that town would never forget. Clint Eastwood, the High Plains Drifter, a Universal/Malpaso production, rated R, under 17 not admitted without parent."