Thursday 5 February 2009

Play Misty For Me 1971

Eastwood plays David "Dave" Garver, a radio disc jockey who becomes the target of Evelyn Draper, an obsessed female fan, played by Jessica Walter. Donna Mills plays his re-acquainted girlfriend, Tobie Williams. The title comes from Draper's habit of phoning in to Garver's radio show and asking him to play the classic Erroll Garner ballad "Misty".

Below: How Play Misty for Me may have opened when seen in UK cinemas with its original X certificate

To view the Original Trailer Click Below:
Play Misty for me 1971 Clint Eastwood Jessica Walter Original UK QUAD poster 30x40
Play Misty for me 1971 Original rolled U.S. Half sheet poster
Below: Play Misty for Me 1971, A very rare French re-release poster
Play Misty for me 1971 Original US Production notes from Universal dated May 7th 1971
Play Misty for me 1971 4 x 5 Colour Transparency Dave in house.
Play Misty for me 1971 4 x 5 Colour Transparency Dave restaurant in purple suite.
Play Misty for me 1971 7" Single Vinyl First time ever. Roberta Flack
Play Misty for me 1971 Clint Eastwood Jessica Walter Original Australian Daybill poster

Play Misty for me 1971 Clint Eastwood Jessica Walter Original Belgium poster

Play Misty for me 1971 Clint Eastwood Jessica Walter Original German poster

Play Misty for me 1971 Clint Eastwood Jessica Walter Original Italian insert poster

Play Misty for me 1971 Clint Eastwood Jessica Walter Original Swedish Insert poster

Play Misty for me 1971 Clint Eastwood Jessica Walter Original Turkish poster

Play Misty for me 1971 Clint Eastwood Jessica Walter Original US 40 x 60 Rolled poster

Play Misty for me 1971 Clint Eastwood Jessica Walter Original Yugoslavian Poster
Play Misty for me 1971 DVD Special Edition of Eastwood’s superb directorial debut

Play Misty for me 1971 German full Ad block range press sheets

Play Misty for me 1971 German insert style fold open press sheet well illustrated

Play Misty for me 1971 German press sheets with full ad range “Sadistico”

Play Misty for me 1971 Lobby set x 16 German

Play Misty for me 1971 Mini Lobby set x 8 USA
Play Misty for me 1971 Original F.O.H set x 8 UK
Play Misty for me 1971 Original 1991 MCA TV press kit, 10 stills, 6 slides, Ad slicks, Music cue sheets and more packed full
Play Misty for me 1971 Original Radio Spots 30, 30, 20, 20, 10secs
Play Misty for me 1971 Original Roberta Flack sheet music “First time ever I saw your Face” from the film
Play Misty for me 1971 Original US TV Spots 16MM
Play Misty for me 1971 10 x 8 Press Stills 37 x b/w, 1 x colour
Play Misty for me 1971 UK Original illustrated Press sheet
Play Misty for me 1971 UK original press information book
Play Misty for me 1971 UK Original press sheet
Play Misty for me 1971 U.S. Original Press book

Play Misty for me 1971 x 2 Diff Film tie in Paperbacks
Star-30273 (1980)

Play Misty for Me Blu-ray release
Some Play Misty for Me material from around the world
Below: Rare Japanese B2 poster

Below: A second design Japanese Poster

Below: Play Misty for Me Original Japanese Program, thank you to my friend Davy Triumph for the image
Below: A Very rare Universal Banner size 24x82, these are very hard to find today.

Below: Play Misty for Me Full U.S. Lobby set

Below: A close up example of the U.S. Lobby card

Below: The Play Misty for Me U.S. 1 Sheet poster

Below: Play Misty for Me French Poster
Below: Play Misty for Me French Lobby Stills
Below: Play Misty For Me: Brazilian Press sheet / Trade ad 23cm x 30cm
Below: Here's a great shot of Clint with Erroll Garner during the post production of the film Play Misty for Me

Below: A great shot of Don during the making of the movie, perhaps holding one of his famous pieces of paper that contained his lines. Clint has often spoke of how Don had them 'pasted everywhere' during several interviews, and remembers it fondly. It was Don's first acting role, and as it was Clint's first movie as director, Clint felt better about having Don on the set.
Below: Early U.S. VideoDisc from MCA Inc Rather strangely, Clint is not featured on the cover at all!
Below: Here's the U.S. Laserdisc (Full Screen) from Universal MCA and contained the original Trailer

Below: Play Misty for Me The Japanese version of the Laserdisc

Below: Example of a Yugoslavian Play Misty For Me press still

Below: A great shot of Clint busy at work during the production of Play Misty for Me 1971.

Above: Clint directs one of his more 'static' co stars, Play Misty For Me 1971
Original Reviews
Play Misty for Me (1971)
November 4, 1971
By Roger Greenspun, New York Times
Published: November 4, 1971

Director Clint Eastwood's first movie is the story of a California disk jockey (Eastwood) who one night meets Evelyn (Jessica Walter), a good-looking devoted listener who has always called to ask that he play Erroll Garner's "Misty" for her, and begins what is to be a short-term casual affair without complications.
But Evelyn has a personality quirk, a little violent streak that shows as obstinate possessiveness when she is happy and as homicidal mania when she is not. The disk jockey has a real girl (Donna Mills), and Evelyn's response to her is a one-woman reign of terror that threatens most of the circumstance and provides all the suspense of Play Misty for Me, which opened yesterday at neighborhood theaters.

Both the circumstance—the handsome bachelor, the minor glamour and attractive loneliness of the media people, the relaxed nights and entrancing days, the scenery and life style of the Monterey Peninsula—and the suspense recall other, better movies. And it is sad that this film, with its locale and some of its moods out of Vertigo and its central obsessional action almost an inversion of Preminger's wonderful Laura should echo so briefly in the imagination.

It is not simply that the movie fails to make sense. A lot of good movies are weak on sense—though they don't often require a leading man to be quite so dense for quite so long in interpreting the behavior of a psychotic leading woman. But they must not be weak in sensibility, in that logic of emotional response that is the real motive power of the atmospheric thriller.
Play Misty for Me begins to fail with its opening title sequence, Eastwood's scenic drive from an isolated shore-side retreat to his radio station in Carmel—where each shot in the long, lyrical montage seems to count for less than the one that preceded it, until the car simply comes to a stop in a confusion of place and time that a broadcast voice on the soundtrack has to clear up.
The failure is never redeemed, and it extends even to the character of Evelyn, who begins as mystery and loses a bit with each appearance until she ends as mere knife-wielding mechanism for plot that happens to need a girlish monster.

The movie goes down with her, and I think the fault lies with Clint Eastwood the director, who has made too many easy decisions about events, about the management of atmosphere, about the treatment of performances—including the rather inexpressive one of Clint Eastwood the actor, who is asked to bear more witness to a quality of inwardness than his better directors have yet had the temerity to ask of him.
His best director, Don Siegel, makes his film acting debut here as a bartender named Murphy. Siegel is pretty good, but he's no Murphy. He looks decidedly Greek.
PLAY MISTY FOR ME Directed by Clint Eastwood; written by Jo Heims and Dean Riesner, based on a story by Mr. Heims; director of photography, Bruce Surtees; edited by Carl Pingitore; music by Dee Barton; art designer, Alexander Golitzen; produced by Robert Daley; released by Universal Pictures.
Running time: 102 minutes.

Below: Some more great shots from Play Misty For Me

New article on Play Misty for Me by David Furtado
Back in May I helped David out with an article he was writing on Play Misty for Me. It was tied in to celebrate Clint's Birthday. In the process David used some photos that were new to me and he kindly allowed me to use them here.
To read David’s original article click here

Below: Front and Back of the U.S. VHS of Play Misty For Me
From my friend Philip McLean, here is the great Japanese DVD of Play Misty For Me - Philip explains that the translation in Japan reads as 'Terrifying Melody' - Love it!

Play Misty for me Production history

Before Malpaso Productions co-founder Irving Leonard died, he and Eastwood discussed a final film, one giving Eastwood the artistic control he desired by making his directorial début. The film was Play Misty for Me. Eastwood reflected on his new role:

"After seventeen years of bouncing my head against the wall, hanging around sets, maybe influencing certain camera set-ups with my own opinions, watching actors go through all kinds of hell without any help, and working with both good directors and bad ones, I'm at the point where I'm ready to make my own pictures. I stored away all the mistakes I made and saved up all the good things I learned, and now I know enough to control my own projects and get what I want out of actors."

The script was originally conceived by Jo Heims, a former model and dancer turned secretary, and was polished by Dean Riesner. The idea of another love interest, with a level-headed girlfriend Tobie added to the plot, was a suggestion by Sonia Chernus, an editor who had been with Eastwood when he was initially spotted for Rawhide. The film was also notable in that Eastwood's character was in heavy contrast to the traditional "action man" roles in westerns and war films which he was known for up until that point - in later interviews he stated that the film was a deliberate attempt to get away from typecasting.

The film paved the way for many later stalker films (such as Fatal Attraction), particularly those with a psychotic female antagonist, and also those where the villain made an unexpected return. The TV series Starsky and Hutch copied almost the entire plot for their Season 3 story "Fatal Charm".
The story-line was originally set in Los Angeles, but at Eastwood's insistence, the film was shot in the more comfortable surroundings of the actual Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, where he could shoot scenes at the local radio station, bars, and restaurants and at friends' houses. Eastwood has also long made Carmel his home, and was elected mayor there in 1986.

Filming commenced in Monterey, California in September 1970, and although this was Eastwood's debut as film director, Don Siegel stood by to help and also had an acting role in the film as a bartender. Frequent collaborators of Siegel's, such as cinematographer Bruce Surtees, editor Carl Pingitore and composer Dee Barton, made up part of the filming team.

Additional scenes were shot at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 1970, featuring jazz greats Johnny Otis, Cannonball Adderley, and future Weather Report founder Joe Zawinul. (The commentator mentions: "That was the Cannonball Adderley group. They are playing at the Monterey Jazz Festival with Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Joe Williams and many others. Now we are gonna hear from 'The Gator Creek Organization' and 'Feeling Fine'...".)

"The Sardine Factory" is a real restaurant, still at the same location as in the film, at Prescott and Wave Street, just one block up from Cannery Row in Monterey. The radio station, KRML, was an actual jazz station in Carmel, whose studios were relocated to the Eastwood Building at San Carlos and 5th, in the same building as the Hog's Breath Inn (a restaurant that Eastwood owned). After a brief dark period in 2010, the radio station returned to the air in 2011.

The rights to the song "Misty" were obtained after Eastwood saw Erroll Garner perform at the Concord Music Festival in 1970. Eastwood also paid $2,000 for the use of the song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack. Meticulous planning and efficient directorship by Eastwood (which would become one of his trademarks) enabled the film to be made nearly $50,000 short of its $1 million budget, and it was completed four or five days ahead of schedule.
The film features a romantic montage (views of Garver and Tobie peacefully roaming by the seaside and through the woods), backed by Flack's recording, an Ewan MacColl torch song. Flack's version (after staying at Number 1 for six weeks during the spring) became the 1972 Billboard Hot 100 top single of the year. The film's title can be seen on a cinema marquee in the beginning sequence of Siegel's later film starring Eastwood, Dirty Harry.

Below: Clint and Jessica Walter at the 1972 Golden Globe Awards, Walter's was nominated but lost out to Jane Fonda for her performance in Klute
Play Misty for Me premièred in October 1971 at the San Francisco Film Festival and was widely released in November. The film was a financial success, grossing $10.6 million at the box office against a budget of only $725,000. It earned $5,413,000 in domestic rentals.
The film has been given mostly positive reviews, with an 83% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In his 1971 review of the film, Roger Ebert  wrote, "Play Misty for Me is not the artistic equal of Psycho, but in the business of collecting an audience into the palm of its hand and then squeezing hard, it is supreme." Critics such as Jay Cocks in Time, Andrew Sarris in the Village Voice, and Archer Winsten in the New York Post all praised Eastwood's directorial skills and the film, including his performance in the scenes with Walter.
Below: A nice rare TV advertisement for Play Misty for Me
Below: Here's a great rare shot of Clint directing on the set of Play Misty for Me
Below: Clint in three costume test shots from Play Misty for Me
Below: Three great shots as Evelyn Draper attacks
Below: Clint and Donna Mills behind the camera, more commonly seen in a tighter shot
Below: I recently discovered this poster artwork and think it is possibly an example of fan art
Below: Not fan art at all, but the French re-release poster of 2015
Below: Irene Hervey as Madge in Play Misty for Me
Below: A rare U.S. Flyer for Play Misty for Me, thanks to Davy Triumph
Below: Clint captured while taking in the surroundings during Play Misty for Me
Below: A rare press still from South America with its title Obsesión mortal
Below: Here's an unusual poster that recently surfaced on the internet, a U.S. Play Misty for  Me 10"x 14" 'special poster' 1971
Below: A superb piece of sheet music for Misty which uses Clint's image to the front.
Below: Here's the rare first edition U.S. paperback of Play Misty for Me
Below: Here's a very rare British Double-bill Quad poster advertising Play Misty for Me showing with the police drama Badge 373 (1973) (a film which also starred one of Clint's regular co-stars Verna Bloom).
My thanks to Steve Saragossi. 
Below: Another equally rare UK Double Crown poster  this time pairing up Play Misty for Me with John Mackenzie's British thriller Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971).
Below: Here's a great old newspaper ad which originated out of Kansas City. - love the tagline 'or I'll kill you' My thanks to Kevin Walsh for the location info.
Below: This rare image appeared on the internet recently, it was a bit of a strange size, so I re-sized it and put it in a Misty frame, creating a Misty mock up photo
Below: Clint and James (Jimmy Mack) McEachin enjoying the Jazz festival during Play Misty for Me 
Below: A great shot featuring Donna Mills and Clint in Play Misty For Me
Below: Play Misty for Me original German film program


Ganesh said...

Clint looked at his handsome best in this film.:d

Unknown said...

This was the first film my grandfather ever worked with you. He did many others, but have been told this one was gold!

Clint's archive said...

Hello Merwin,
What a great story! I always welcome these sort of stories, as they can provide an original and unique insight. Merwin is it possible you can contact me through the email address provided in my profile, it would be great to talk more on this.
I am not home until next week, but please do get in touch.
The Clint Eastwood Archive