Friday 6 February 2009

Pale Rider 1985

Pale Rider is a 1985 Western film produced and directed by, and starring Clint Eastwood. This movie has plot similarities to the classic Western Shane (1953), including a final scene that is very similar to the famous final scene of the earlier movie. There are also similarities to Eastwood's previous Man with No Name character, and his 1973 western High Plains Drifter. The title is a reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as the rider of a pale horse is Death.

Pale Rider 1985 Clint Eastwood Chris Penn UK QUAD poster 30x40

Pale Rider 1985 Rare U.S. One day Ad

Pale Rider 1985 Clint Eastwood Rare 'For Your Consideration' Ad

Pale Rider 1985 Clint Eastwood Original Australian Day bill poster
Pale Rider 1985 Clint Eastwood Orig Italy Locandina
Pale Rider 1985 DVD Clint Eastwood’s long awaited return to the western

Pale Rider 1985 FOH set x 8 UK 10x8 in size

Pale Rider 1985 French Full brochure for Cannes full art cover
Pale Rider 1985 German Orig film Prog
Pale Rider 1985 Japan Original full colour brochure

Pale Rider 1985 Japan Original full colour mini Poster

Pale Rider 1985 Lobby set x 16 German colour stills

Pale Rider 1985 Original film tie in paperback

Pale Rider 1985 10 x 8 Original Press stills b/w x 36,  6 x colour + 1 smaller in colour
Pale Rider 1985 UK Press Book
Pale Rider 1985 UK Press sheet full colour artwork to cover
Pale Rider 1985 USA Large Production book
Pale Rider 1985 Very Rare set of U.S. Colour mounted slides x 21
Pale Rider 1985 U.S. Widescreen Laserdisc, part of the western collection Laserdisc box set (also features The Outlaw Josey Wales and Unforgiven)

Below: The Original U.S. Laserdisc (Panned and Scanned) edition

Below: The U.S. Remastered Widescreen Laserdisc

Below: Pale Rider Japanese Laserdisc
Below: The French Pal Laserdisc version of Pale Rider
Below: A couple of novelty items such as a fridge magnet (approx 3") and badge (approx 2")

Other Pale Rider material from around the world:

Below: Pale Rider 1985 Original U.S. 1 sheet poster

Below: International 1 Sheet Poster

Below: Pale rider 1985 30 x 40 U.S. Special Promo poster

Below: Here's the Rare Polish Poster

Pale Rider Rare Thai Pale Rider film poster

Below: Pale Rider Japanese B2 Poster

Below: Pale Rider 1985 French Poster

Below: 4 examples of the French lobby cards
Below: Pale Rider Czech 1988 First Release A1 (23x33in) (designed by Zdenek Ziegler)

Original Reviews
Pale Rider, June 28, 1985

AS the Book of Revelations puts it, 'Behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death.'

'Pale Rider' is the title of Clint Eastwood's entertaining, mystical new western, and the name of him who sits on the pale horse is, simply, the Stranger, also called Preacher when he chooses to wear a turned collar. However, no matter what his costume, he's still Death.
The time is a nonspecific, post-Cival War period, which is the era of all movie westerns, unless otherwise dated. The hard-working, ever-hopeful gold prospectors in Carbon Valley, high in the spectacular Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, are running low on supplies and patience. They've not yet made a big strike. Their faith is weakening.
In addition, a gang of thugs in the pay of an unscrupulous robber baron named LaHood, who is laying waste the virgin landscape by modern mining methods, is regularly harassing the Carbon Valley community in an effort to persuade the prospectors to give up their claims.
After one such raid in which her little dog is killed, 14-year-old Megan Wheeler, after burying the animal, kneels on the forest floor and asks God for deliverance. ''If You don't help us,'' says Megan, 'we're all going to die. Please, just one miracle.'

As Megan pronounces 'Amen,' the camera cuts to another part of the West, to the figure of a lone horseman astride a fine, pale horse, riding easily but with inexorable purpose toward Carbon Valley. He is, of course, the Stranger, played by Mr. Eastwood, who not only stars in 'Pale Rider' but also directed it.

This veteran movie icon handles both jobs with such intelligence and facility I'm just now beginning to realize that, though Mr. Eastwood may have been improving over the years, it's also taken all these years for most of us to recognize his very consistent grace and wit as a film maker.

'Pale Rider,' which opens today at the Warner Twin and other theaters, recalls the curious metaphysics of Mr. Eastwood's earlier 'High Plains Drifter' (1973), which he also directed and in which he played another character called the Stranger. That earlier Stranger was an implacable gun slinger, eventually revealed to be the ghost of a high-principled sheriff, returned to earth to wreak revenge on the Mammon-worshipping townspeople who had lynched him.

Resurrection also is the key to 'Pale Rider.' However, just who this fellow was in his previous incarnation is left so vague you have a right to suspect that he might have been Him.

It doesn't take particular inventiveness for an actor-director to cast himself as God, or even as His Son. Ego comes with the territory. The difficulty is in bringing it off, which is where Mr. Eastwood's special talents come in. 'Pale Rider', written by Michael Butler and Dennis Shryack, who also wrote Mr. Eastwood's 'The Gauntlet' and Chuck Norris's 'Code of Silence,' is a Western played absolutely straight, but it's also very funny in a dryly sophisticated way that - it's only now apparent - has been as true of Mr. Eastwood's self-directed films as of the Eastwood films directed by Don Siegel. There are laughs in it, and all but one or two of them are intentional, including a final, shameless quote from George Stevens's 'Shane.'

'Pale Rider' is not the equal of 'The Outlaw Josey Wales.' That the hero of the new movie really is a god of some sort eliminates a certain amount of suspense. The fascination lies not in what is going to happen but in how, and it's here that Mr. Eastwood and his writers exercise their ingenuity. They also indulge what appears to be Mr. Eastwood's increasing preoccupation with romances that can be best described as April-October affairs.

In 'Pale Rider,' the Stranger is openly propositioned not only by Megan's mother, Sarah Wheeler (Carrie Snodgress), but by Megan herself, who attempts to talk the Stranger into making love to her by emphasizing that she's almost l5, the age at which her mother was married.

Like all Eastwood productions, 'Pale Rider' is extremely well cast, beginning with the star. Since he first came upon the theatrical scene in a big way, playing the Man With No Name in Sergio Leone's ''A Fistful of Dollars,'' Mr. Eastwood has continued to refine the identity of his Western hero by eliminating virtually every superfluous gesture. He's a master of minimalism. The camera does not reflect vanity. It discovers the mythical character within.

Clint with that dislocated shoulder during filming
The supporting performers are uniformly first-rate, beginning with Miss Snodgress and including Michael Moriarty, who plays the somewhat stolid but honorable gold miner who loves and supports Miss Snodgress and her sexually precocious daughter; Sydney Penny as Megan Wheeler; Richard Dysart as the greedy robber baron LaHood, and John Russell as the crooked lawman who may or may not have murdered Mr. Eastwood's Stranger in some earlier encounter between Good and Evil.

Also very effective is Bruce Surtees's photography, which is sometimes so eerily dark it seems to be sending up the genre. At the same time it's so evocative of a fabled time and place that it never allows the movie to self-destruct in parody. 'Pale Rider' is the first decent western in a very long time. Vengeance Is His PALE RIDER, directed and produced by Clint Eastwood; written by Michael Butler and Dennis Shryack; director of photography, Bruce Surtees; edited by Joel Cox; music by Lennie Niehaus; released by Warner Bros. At R.K.O. Century Warner Twin, Broadway at 47th Street; R.K.O. Century Art, 36 East Eighth Street; Loews
Orpheum, Third Avenue at 86th Street; 84th Street Six, at Broadway; Manhattan Twin, Third Avenue at 59th Street, and other theaters. Running time: 113 minutes.

This film is rated R. Preacher Clint Eastwood Hull Barret Michael Moriarty Sarah Wheeler Carrie Snodgress Josh LaHood Christopher Penn Coy LaHood Richard Dysart Megan Wheeler Sydney Penny Club Richard Kiel Spider Conway Doug McGrath Stockburn John Russell McGill Charles Hallahan Jagou Marvin J. McIntyre Ma Blankenship Fran Ryan Jed Blankenship Richard Hamilton Ev Gossage Graham Paul Eddie Conway Chuck LaFont Teddy Conway Jeffrey Weissman

Below: Clint on location with Chris Penn
Below: Clint and the crew set up a shot
Below: A super wide angle shot of Clint and crew on location during Pale Rider
Below: An original full page teaser type advert from Warner Home Video and the forthcoming video release of Pale Rider in April 1986
Below: The first UK Big Box Warner Home Video release of Pale Rider
Below: Warner Home Video release of Pale Rider under their The Most Wanted Man In Hollywood series
Below: The Blu-ray release of Pale Rider, with just a trailer as bonus material
Below: Here's a great picture of Clint on location during Pale Rider, kindly provided by Kevin Wilkinson
Below: Clint Eastwood on location in the Sawtooth National Recreation area of Idaho during Pale Rider
Below: I don't think this is an official advertisement, and probably a mock up of sorts. However, the simple photo works well in this concept. 
Pale Rider, French magazine ad
Below: A rare, recently discovered Japanese poster
Below: German 8 page press book, 8.4" x 12"
Below: Pale Rider Australian Press Sheet 


Anonymous said...

I always motivated by you, your opinion and attitude, again, appreciate for this nice post.

- Norman

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great stills, posters, etc. on Pale Rider as well as a few other Eastwood classics. Your insight is great, too.