Sunday 29 April 2018

Clint Eastwood at Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia during the shooting of Kelly’s Heroes 1970

I thought I would post these rarely seen photos of Clint relaxing in between shooting Kelly’s Heroes (1970). I do have full size Japanese pages of 2 of these images, but I have never seen the middle image (below) nor the double page spread (bottom) before. The photos were shot at Petrovaradin fortress, just across Novi Sad (Serbia), apparently by Lawrence Schiller. Many thanks to Mateusz Ciszewski for updating me on this location.

Sunday 22 April 2018

Private Clint Eastwood’s downed plane off Point Reyes subject of search

Somewhere under the undulating Pacific Ocean, two to three miles off the coast of Point Reyes, is the airplane Army Pvt. Clint Eastwood was aboard when the pilot ditched it in 1951. Now more than 66 years later, the search is on for the aircraft that was part of a real-life drama for Eastwood, long before he would become a Hollywood star.
“What was going through my mind was just a stark fear, a stark terror, because (in the) first place, I didn’t know anything about aviation at that particular time — I was just hopping a ride,” the actor said in 2015, recalling the incident in which the pilot also survived.
The future actor and director (21 at the time) was on route back to Fort Ord after visiting his parents in Seattle when the Navy bomber he was on crashed into rough seas.
“In those days, you could wear your uniform and get a free flight,” he said in a talk at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film & TV. “On the way back, they had one plane, a Douglas AD, sort of a torpedo bomber of the World War II vintage, and I thought I’d hitch on that. Everything went wrong. Radios went out. Oxygen ran out. And finally we ran out of fuel up around Point Reyes, California, and went in the ocean. So we went swimming. It was late October, November. It was very cold water. I found out many years later that it was a white shark breeding ground, but I’m glad I didn’t know that at the time or I’d have just died.”
The incident, which was reported in a front-page story by the Independent Journal, occurred on Sept. 30, 1951, and has caught the interest of Walt Holm, who works with Berkley-based OpenROV, which builds and operates underwater drones. He wants to find the wreck and has started posting archaeological information on National Geographic’s Open Explorer site, which promotes expeditions.
“I’m a bit of an amateur archaeologist and when I heard about this incident I thought it would be an interesting thing to post on Open Explorer,” Holm said. “It’s not significant in terms of archaeology, it won’t re-write the history books, but it’s of public interest because of his public persona and it’s a chapter of his life that not too many people are aware of.”
According to an account posted by Holm, two Navy AD-1 Skyraiders left Naval Air Station Seattle for a routine flight to Mather Field in Sacramento. But one of the planes had radio problems, got separated from the other in bad weather and then got lost. While the pilot eventually managed to get into clear weather, he ran out of fuel while flying down the California coast and had to ditch at about 6:25 p.m., putting Eastwood in a life or death situation off Point Reyes.
“It makes you wonder how if he had drowned, how would have that changed history,” said Holm, who started the project dubbed “The Hunt for Clint Eastwood’s AD-1 Skyraider” last year. “It’s a human interest story.” Part of the reason for posting the project on Open Explorer is educational, Holm said. “We will walk people through the process of doing a historic investigation in a marine environment,” he said. “It’s a project that is close to home for us.”
There were several accounts of the incident, which makes it difficult to pinpoint the crash site, Holm noted.
“We will just have to jump in and go. We do have to wait for the right seas, which is likely in the fall,” said Holm, who gives his effort 50/50 odds of success. “The seas are rough off of Point Reyes and we will be in small boats. We could have a weather window this summer.”
Holm will utilize a side scan sonar device, which is adept at picking up obstructions on the ocean floor and often used in the shipping industry. The airplane could be as deep as 200 feet below the water’s surface, he said.
“It works best if the aircraft is on a flat, smooth area,” Holm said of side scan sonar. “But if you look at the underwater terrain off Point Reyes there are boulder canyons and if it’s in there it will be hard to see. No matter what, it’s going to be fun.” James Delgado, the retired director of maritime heritage for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, looked for the Eastwood plane as part of larger search of aircraft and shipwrecks between 2013 and 2016. “Eastwood’s Skyraider was one of the targets, but nothing turned up,” Delgado said. “But I think there is a real chance it could be found.” 
While not historically significant, the Eastwood airplane search draws attention to the larger effort of finding craft that have been lost at sea, incidents which also had a human toll in many cases.
“It highlights the importance of finding everything out there, and in many cases, it helps bring closure for families,” Delgado said.
Here is the Independent Journal’s Oct. 1, 1951 account of Clint Eastwood’s plane crash off Point Reyes:
Two servicemen, who battled a thick grey fog and a strong surf for almost an hour last night following a plane landing in the ocean near the Marin shore, are returning to their service units today uninjured. Army Pvt. Clinton Eastwood, who wandered into the RCA radio station at Point Reyes after struggling in the ocean, told radio operators he and the pilot were forced to land their AD-2 bomber in the ocean and left on life rafts.
Eastwood said he was returning to Ford Ord from his house in Seattle when the mishap occurred. The pilot, Naval Lt. F.C. Anderson, landed his life raft on the shore at Kehoe Ranch near Pierce Point. He is stationed at Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento. Men at the station said Eastwood walked into the building cold, wet and in a state of shock and spoke incoherently of the plane running out of fuel and how the pilot made a dramatic landing on the rough ocean. Earl Foster of Inverness, a radio operator on duty at the station last night at 6 p.m. when the 21-year-old serviceman pounded in the station door said:
“The boy was dazed and in a state of shock. He could hardly speak.” Foster added he was able to piece together certain parts of the private’s story. From his disjointed speech the operator learned that the plane was landed upright on the water by the pilot. After the landing the two servicemen jumped into the rough sea and inflated two rubber life rafts only to manoeuvre the crafts away from the plane in time to see it engulfed by the water.
Eastwood explained that he and Anderson kept their life rafts together until they hit the breakers near the rocky Marin coast. At this point, he stated, they were separated. Eastwood said he continued to paddle through the strong surf until he was thrown from the raft. The serviceman told Foster each time he advanced toward the shore; the strong breakers would carry him out to sea again. At one spot, he said, he was almost drawn down by the undertow. Eastwood said he could not say how long he was in the water. When he reached shore though, he recalled, he fell to the ground and crawled to the station house.
After a brief rest in the house where he was warmed, Eastwood was taken to the Coast Guard Life Boat Station at Point Reyes where he met Anderson. At the station the men received medical attention and started on their way back to their units. An officer of the Coast Guard station said security restrictions prevented any report concerning the plane which was no longer visible in the ocean. He refused to comment on the possibility of recovering the aircraft.

*There seems to be a conflict above as Clint’s plane is referred to as both an AD-1 and an AD-2. Naturally, it must have been a 2 seater design, and whilst I’m no plane expert, the earliest two seater design I could find was the AD-1Q. The picture I have used in the header is the A1 Skyraider.

Thursday 19 April 2018

A Fistful of Dollars 2018 4K Re release

With the current re-release of A Fistful of Dollars being shown in selected countries around the world, I thought I’d set up this page to celebrate the event. The film is currently being shown at London’s NFT and ties in with a concurrent Sergio Leone season of films. The re-release is also accompanied by a new promotional campaign featuring a new 1-sheet and Quad poster. There is also a super new trailer to mark this release which reflects perfectly the quality and care that has gone into the restoration.
Below is a nice review by The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw – who has given the film a 5/5 rating.
A Fistful of Dollars review – punk-rock western as fabulous as ever
The film that made Clint Eastwood a star and legend has a cult, comic-book intensity
Two fistfuls in fact: two $500 payments – a gigantic amount – which the Man with No Name accepts casually from either side of a bloody feud in the sun-baked Mexican town of San Miguel. He has blown in like a strange force of nature, with a coolly amoral plan to use their mutual hate to his own gun slinging advantage. Striding towards a gunfight, he tells the coffin-maker in advance how many to knock up.
This is the 1964 movie, now on re release, which created the revolutionary new genre of the Spaghetti Western, an Italian co production shot in Spain and directed with inspirational pulp passion by Sergio Leone –drawing on Kurosawa. And it made a star and a legend of Clint Eastwood. He had been the impetuous young Rowdy Yates on TV’s Rawhide, an open-faced boy with a pleasant singing voice. In this movie, he suddenly, terrifyingly grew up: hat, poncho, grizzly growth of beard, short cigar, and his eyes perpetually screwed up, as if staring into the sun or suppressing a grimace of incredulous disgust. 
The Man with No Name and the brutal Dollars movies were a colossal rebuke to the blander Rawhide-style westerns that had come to dominate television.
The other figure that became a legend here was composer Ennio Morricone, for his extraordinary musical score – sometimes with plaintive and slightly nasal trumpets that declaimed his robust Aranjuez-type pastiche, and sometimes the main theme with its whip-poor-will whistling cries, whip-cracks, bells and eerie percussive shouts. The blaringly dubbed dialogue from bit-part players adds to the dreamlike quality of the film.

The Man With No Name (he acquires the name “Joe” from the locals, apparently an all-purpose term for gringos) arrives and instantly sizes up the way the local Rojo brothers are psychotically bullying a small child, who has been taken away from his mother, Marisol (Marianne Koch), because one of the brothers has conceived a fanatically possessive attachment to this woman. This is the hateful bandit Ramón (Gian Maria Volontè), who has a sensual face that often looms sweaty in Leone’s many melodramatic close-ups – like a cross between Omar Sharif and Laurence Olivier.
His is the crew which has audaciously kidnapped and killed members of the US army and, disguised in their uniforms, tricked the Mexican army into handing over a huge amount in gold in return for a promised consignment of rifles. The deal ends in slaughter. Ranged against the Rojo gang are the Baxters – Anglos who are every bit as violent, and also pompous and pusillanimous. Eastwood’s nameless avenger somehow manages to use one against the other, but shows a human side, of a sort, in his laconic friendship with the bar owner Silvanito (José Calvo) and his gallant rescue of Marisol.
Finally, he will materialise as if from a dust storm with what looks like a supernatural invulnerability to bullets, though keen to dispute Ramón’s belief that a Winchester repeating rifle will always be better than a .45 pistol. And he achieves that all-important ronin asceticism, a need only to keep moving on, although that thousand dollars has in fact made him very rich. A Fistful of Dollars has a cult, comic-book intensity. It is the punk rock of westerns.

Lumiere 2009 Grand Lyon Film Festival rare poster

A close friend of the Archive was recently lucky enough to secure one of these beautiful posters (40cmx x 60cm French petite, left) for the 2009 Grand Lyon Film Festival in which Clint attended. These posters have proven incredibly hard to acquire. The rare poster was also produced in a landscape style for the event which took place between the 13th and 18th of October.

The landscape design version (below) contained a little more of the classic man with no name image in comparison to the portrait version. I have also included a picture of Clint at the event with film critic Pierre Rissient (right) and French director Bertrand Tavernier (left). The photo was taken on the last day of the festival. Behind them is the standee banner style of the poster. 

My kind thanks to Davy Triumph who is the friend in question and now lucky owner of the petite. Should anyone happen to have any version rolled up and doing nothing but gathering dust – I will of course be happy to look after it on your behalf – lol, I jest…  kinda 

Monday 2 April 2018

Flashback – 32 years ago this week, Clint became Mayor of Carmel

Can you quite believe it? This coming week marks 32 years since Clint was elected Mayor of Carmel, California. 
It’s a story that always sticks with me as it all happened on my birthday. On April 8, 1986, Clint Eastwood defeated incumbent Charlotte Townsend to become mayor of Carmel, a small seaside city in his home state of California. With just 4500 residents and one square mile of land, the town was a perfect fit for the actor, who professed no grand ambitions to run for office for anything larger.

But why did Eastwood, who was still churning out hit movies more than 30 years after beginning his career as a screen actor—choose to run at all? In 1985, Carmel’s city council gave him what he alleged to be an extraordinary amount of grief over plans to erect office buildings on property he owned within city limits. Eastwood was so aggrieved he sued the council, and won an out-of-court settlement; the settlement allowed for permission to build if he used more wood than glass.
Carmel had long been a city inoculated against any kind of radical development: There weren't even street signs. (All mail went to a central post office.) A 1929 zoning law, which was still in effect, even banned ice cream cones from being sold.
Eastwood felt that residents were divided between a devotion to keeping the area modest and those who felt new business would be economically beneficial. On January 30, 1986—just hours before the deadline—he decided to run for office.
He called two-term Mayor Townsend a “litigious” official and vowed to ease the tension between factions. While his celebrity as a performer helped, the town also felt indebted to him for rescuing a historic animal sanctuary, the Mission Ranch, from being bulldozed by condo developers. When city officials couldn’t buy it back, Eastwood spent almost $5 million of his own money to keep it standing.

Unable to stir that kind of sentiment, Townsend sniped that Eastwood, who owned a home within city limits, had an unlisted telephone number in the phone directory, whereas she took calls from residents any time. (Eastwood vowed to get an answering machine.)
The day of the election, Eastwood received 2166 votes to Townsend’s 799. He was sworn in the following week. City Hall, a tiny piece of real estate, quickly gave way to a local women’s club that could fit 200 people for his weekly town council meetings. As one of his first acts in office, Eastwood tossed out the planning board that had vetoed an ice cream prohibition repeal; men, women, and children could enjoy cones, and proprietors could sell them.
Despite the landslide victory, not everyone was pleased with Eastwood’s new role. Tourism increased markedly, with fistfights over the few available parking spaces and traffic that choked Ocean Avenue, the main artery in the city. A "Clintsville" gift shop popped up, along with a nearby Hyatt Regency that used the slogan “Make My Stay.” Eastwood, residents said, had attracted "two-hour tourists" to their quiet hamlet.
Still, Eastwood’s rule proved productive. During his first year in office, he installed more public toilets, added more stairways leading to the beach, and expanded the offerings of the local library. If he was shooting a movie, he’d fly back for the weekly council meetings. 
Eastwood even penned a regular column in the town’s paper, The Carmel Pine Cone, and used one instalment to compare Councilman James Wright to a “spoiled child” for not showing up to meetings.
Eastwood did not seek re-election, telling journalists in February 1988 that he felt it was time to devote more attention to his children. The $200 salary he drew every month was donated to a local youth centre.
A reminder: The Archive does have a dedicated page covering the Carmel Election and Clint’s term as Mayor and can be found here. It contains a great deal of my collection, but there is still a lot of Newspaper reports to be scanned and other pieces such as T-shirts which have to be photographed, eventually…

Clint Eastwood voted the coolest actor of all time

I had to laugh at this rather tongue-in-cheek story which appeared last week in the LAD BIBLE. It’s not the first time of course, and it’s never strange to see the usual suspects spoken in the same breath, such as McQueen, Newman and Dean. These polls have been appearing as far back as I can remember. However, times have certainly changed, especially when it comes to the competition…

"Do you feel lucky, well, do you?"
Yes, Clint Eastwood has delivered a host of easily memorable, quotable lines in his time, and it's for that reason that the 87-year-old has been voted the coolest actor of all time.
Ranker has been doing what Ranker does best, which is ranking things, and the website has compiled a list of how cool viewers' think various actors from throughout the ages are.
The Million Dollar Baby and Unforgiven star, who also directed both films, came out on top, beating Tom Hanks in second place. Tom Hanks seems a strange choice as the world's second coolest actor. It's not that he isn't cool (I've seen that Carly Rae Jepsen video), just that he's made a career out of being Johnny Everyman, in some cases Johnny Everyman who is decidedly uncool. In Forest Gump he could barely talk, yet implausibly managed to reveal the Watergate Scandal.
Hanks beat Bullitt star Steve McQueen, while the rest of the list was comprised of Paul Newman, James Dean, Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford and Robert De Niro.
Amazingly, Samuel L. Jackson, who ha more or less only played cool characters in the last 20 years, was only ranked 21, a place above Robert Downey Jr. Meanwhile, way down at 100 was Alec Guinness, better known as Obi Wan Kenobi, three places behind Patrick Swayze.
Yup, the coolest Jedi of all time was three places behind the guy from Dirty Dancing. Eastwood certainly deserves his standing as the world's most cooler-than-being-cool actor. Aside from his veritable acting credits, the actor once survived a plane crash on a Douglas AD bomber, when the plane ran out of fuel and plummeted into the ocean. Eastwood and the pilot managed to use a life raft and swim two miles to safety.
He has starred in or directed (or both) films such as Gran Torino, Flags Of Our Fathers, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good the Bad and the Ugly and Where Eagles Dare, as well as being Oscar-nominated on 12 occasions (winning four awards).
However, his coolest and greatest achievement is undeniably his appearance in 1969's Paint Your Wagon alongside fellow Hollywood tough guy Lee Marvin.
Set in a mining camp in Gold Rush-era California, it saw Eastwood blend his macho persona with some song and dance action, and put to bed once and for all the notion that cigar-chomping, tough-as-nails cowboys couldn't also belt out a thunderously good song and dance number when and wherever they felt like it.

Hmmm, ‘Paint your Wagon’ – ‘his coolest and greatest achievement’? – Hey, I love Paint your wagon, but come on, who writes this stuff? And not a single mention of Dirty Harry?