Wednesday 28 November 2018

Doris Nieh: The woman who shot Dirty Harry

I was trying to think of a nice way to celebrate our 100th post of 2018. Luckily for me, our friend Davy Triumph this afternoon provided me with the ideal solution – with these five unseen photos taken on location at San Francisco’s City Hall during the making of Dirty Harry.
These super photos were taken by legendary photographer Doris Nieh. According to internet sources Nieh was born on September 10th, 1936 and died on December 25th, 2002 at the age of 66. The same source also states that she had been residing in Los Angeles County, California.
Nieh certainly photographed some major screen greats including Steve McQueen, Burt Reynolds, Bruce Lee, Marlon Brando and director Alfred Hitchcock. In fact, her work is nothing new to these pages, a great deal of her other Dirty Harry photos can already be viewed on our dedicated Dirty Harry page here.
Here on the Archive, we always like to acknowledge and remember these wonderful photographers. Not only do they capture magic, but also provide us with a lasting sense of historic importance - long may their work continue to be recognised and appreciated.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Clint Eastwood plays a guy 'even older than me' in drug drama 'The Mule'

Reported by Brian Truitt, USA Today Nov 27, 2018. 

One positive about being Clint Eastwood,Oscar winning director: Make a movie about men in the twilight of their lives – like, say, the world’s oldest drug courier – and you always have a really good option as your star. 

Still, Eastwood didn’t initially think of himself to star in “The Mule” (in theatres Dec. 14) until a fellow producer suggested he'd be the best man for the job. 

“All of a sudden, I started thinking, 'Well, it might be kind of fun to play a guy who was even older than me,' ” Eastwood, 88, recalls with a chuckle during an exclusive interview, his first for the movie.

His newest film – Eastwood directs and stars for the first time since 2009’s “Gran Torino” – is inspired by the true story told in a 2014 New York Times Magazine article “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule.” It chronicled how Leo Sharp, a Detroit horticulturalist and World War II veteran, ran into financial trouble with his flower business and wound up transporting kilos of narcotics from Mexico.
In “The Mule,” lonely and cash-strapped Earl Stone (Eastwood) is estranged from his ex-wife Mary (Dianne Wiest) and daughter Iris (real-life daughter Alison Eastwood) – though he has a better relationship with his granddaughter Ginny (Taissa Farmiga). He's facing foreclosure on his daylily farm when he accidentally and unknowingly gets involved in an illegal but well-paying operation.

“Then it's, ‘Maybe if I tried it one more time I could afford to do this and that,' " Eastwood says. “Pretty soon, he's in high cotton, getting paid an enormous amount of money to transfer this material. It's an enormous amount of money that he's able to spend helping people, but he's really into criminal activity.”
That ties into the parallel story of Colin Bates, the DEA agent played by Bradley Cooper who's charged with chasing down Stone and ending this trafficking ring. Eastwood’s supporting cast includes Michael Pena and Laurence Fishburne as government operatives, Ignacio Serricchio as Stone’s cartel handler and Andy Garcia as a cartel boss.

Stone’s story is different from Sharp’s, mainly because “we don't know what he incurred when he was on the road doing all these trips,” Eastwood says. One detail that the filmmaker did hook into: Sharp was making so much money that he became a Robin Hood-like character who would stop and help those who needed it. “He was able to get his farm out of hock and live a rather odd life.”
While “doing things that most men his age would not be doing” as a “wealthy knight of the roads,” Stone also tries to mend relationships with his family before it’s too late, Eastwood adds. “All of these factors fit in to make it a character that's got complications, just like everybody does in real life. Sometimes people wander astray and then they try to reinstate feelings, and it's very difficult.”
Eastwood patterned his character partly off his own grandfather, who owned a chicken farm that the filmmaker would visit as a child. “He wasn't the guy who went off and did a lot of wild things, but he could have been, if he was of a different nature,” Eastwood says. “He worked as an older man, he moved like an older man, and I tried to emulate his walk and talk and everything else.” 
But Eastwood could also personally understand the character’s predicament and choices because "I'm fairly far along in life,” he says. Stone’s illegal work “becomes a savior for him, but morally, it's collapsing. So on one hand, life's coming up, and the other hand, it's going down. And one of these days, he has to pay the piper on it and face the fact that he's been doing the wrong thing.”
My special thanks to Dave Turner and Olly Peden 

Monday 26 November 2018

Pop Star Clint singing in the UK?

I would like to thank our ears and eyes in the U.S. Kevin Walsh who kindly sent me this interesting little piece. Appearing in Pop Weekly on March 16th 1963, the paper reported on Clint’s music career and a possible visit to the UK in the near future. Perhaps the plan was to have Clint perform a few gigs in order to help promote the UK records. Unfortunately (depending on your point of view) Clint did not turn up here until June 1967 – by which time his film career had taken off with the Dollar trilogy. Nevertheless, it makes for an interesting read and mentions who was managing his singing career in the UK.  

Saturday 24 November 2018

Rare You Only Live Twice / A Fistful of Dollars UK Double Crown poster

Last week an incredibly rarely seen poster made its way onto the auction market, and for a great deal of the week maintained its original opening price of £50.00. The poster, the 20”x30” UK Double Crown was based here in the United Kingdom. The poster featured a United Artists double bill showing of You Only Live Twice / A Fistful of Dollars. However, the auction shot up in price during the final seconds this evening and finished at a crunching £246.00 ($315.43). The poster’s price is probably reflective of the two very popular franchises featured. Doubling up the Dollar trilogy alongside the 007 Bond series obviously draws in two different sets of fans and once battle commences, the price was only going to go one way.
Because of its rarity, we have never had the opportunity to feature this poster here on the Archive, until now. The actual poster did show some signs of wear and tear along with some pin holes. Nevertheless, I have attempted to clean it up to some degree for display purposes.    

Friday 23 November 2018

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #5

Here is a shot that has puzzled me for a looooong time. The photo is of course from Thunderbolt & Lightfoot featuring Clint, Jeff and Erica Hagen as the diner's curvy waitress. Hagen was born on June 6th, 1946 in the USA. She is also known for Soylent Green (1973), Wonder Woman (1975) and Land of the Lost (1974).
As you may remember, the 'American fries' scene took place at the counter and not at the table, which begs the question - was this an alternatively shot sequence and not used or was it just a set up for reasons of a publicity photo? 
These days, Erica is now 72 years-old, and I would still like to find out the story behind this photo. 

Thursday 22 November 2018

Composer Lalo Schifrin’s Oscar is an ‘amazing honor’

Last Sunday a great deal of us felt a huge sense of pride. It was at the 10th annual Governors Awards where composer Lalo Schifrin was awarded a prestigious honorary Oscar statuette. It’s something that has been far too long in coming, so it was good to see this finally put right.
The Argentinian composer has written more than 100 scores for both film and television, including Dirty Harry, Bullitt, Cool Hand Luke, and arguably his most famous and recognisable composition - the theme for Mission: Impossible.

In over 50 years of work, he has amounted six Academy Award nominations - five for original score (Cool Hand Luke, The Fox, 'Voyage of the Damned, The Amityville Horror, and The Sting II) and one for original song - but has gone home empty handed on every occasion.
Schifrin appeared to be enjoying the event looking happy and well. He called the honor "amazing" and thanked the members of the film academy for their "generosity." Actress Kathy Bates provided a heartfelt speech honouring Lalo and Clint presented the composer with the gold statuette. In fact, it was a wonderful 5 mins of conversation on stage as the two legends reminisced and joked together like the two old friends that they are.
"Every movie has its own personality. There are no rules to write music for movies," Schifrin said. "The movie dictates what the music will be." One prime example is Dirty Harry, where Schifrin decided that the main character wasn't in fact Clint Eastwood's hero Harry Callahan, but the villain, Scorpio. "You would think the composer would pay more attention to the hero. But in this case, no I did it to Scorpio, the bad guy, the evil guy," he said. "I wrote a theme for Scorpio."
But it has been the Mission: Impossible theme that has continued to remain his most popular and recognisable, as the Tom Cruise film series continues introducing new generations to the music. "To me it was a surprise that the theme became so popular with people," Schifrin said. It was the producer at the time who instructed him that he wanted something simple, something compact, and something that people can hear from the kitchen and know exactly which show is starting. "I went to write something simple and over time it became so popular and I'm so happy about it."

I’ve had the great pleasure of interviewing Lalo at length and over the years enjoyed working alongside his family at Aleph Records. On a personal level, I have always found Lalo to be warm, generous and incredibly accommodating. I can’t think of anyone who deserves this recognition more – the most worthy of recipients. 
On behalf of all of your fans, I would like to offer our sincerest and warmest congratulations. 
God bless you Maestro.   

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Flashback: Town & Country magazine, August 1967

A young Clint Eastwood appeared in the August 1967 issue of Town & Country wearing a few of Alexander Shields's latest designs "for at-home relaxing." The cold intensity of the actor's glare suggests that the clothes were not up to the job
In A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, Eastwood "combined ruthlessness with sex appeal in a way that has proved irresistible" and durable too. The magazine credited his rising star to the trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns and plugged its final instalment, "The Good, the Ugly and the Bad"—an incorrect ordering but a broad-minded one.

Sunday 11 November 2018

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #4

Clint with Glen Campbell during The Bing Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Tournament believed to be 1981.
Classic crooner Bing Crosby started the Crosby National Pro-Amateur Tournament in 1937 at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club outside San Diego. Professionals played for free while invited amateurs paid $3. A whopping $3,000 in prize money was awarded, and the proceeds went to charity.
The popular tournament was suspended because of World War II, but it started up again in 1947 at Pebble Beach. By 1950, all the high-calibre pros were showing up and celebrities were climbing over one another to get in on the fun.
Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney, Van Johnson, Lefty O’Doul and Joe DiMaggio were among the 1951 competitors.
From a 2001 report by former Chronicle golf writer Pat Sullivan: “In 1958, the Crosby was televised nationally for the first time to a snowed-in nation, thus beginning one of the longest-running sports-ratings winners in the history of the medium.”
The name-dropping doesn’t stop there: Dean Martin, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Johnny Weissmuller, Sean Connery, George C. Scott, Mike Douglas, John Brodie, Charles Schulz, Willie Mays, Clint Eastwood and many other big names would go on to play in the clambake.
Crosby died of a heart attack on a Spanish golf course in 1977, and his son Nathaniel and wife, Kathryn, kept the pro-am thriving for years — until AT&T took over sponsorship in 1986.

Rare screenwriters conference ad 1980

Here's an interesting little cutting that was kindly sent to me by our friend in the States, Kevin Walsh. It is from the Screenwriters Conference 1980 and took place at the Sherwood Oaks Experimental College. What is interesting about this event is that it featured two writers that had just worked on Clint's (then) latest movies. Richard Tuggle had worked on Escape from Alcatraz in 1979 and Dennis Hackin who had worked on Bronco Billy in 1980.  

Saturday 10 November 2018

Clint at home with Maggie, photo shoot from 1962

Here is a quite wonderful collection of photos featuring Clint and Maggie taken at their home in 1962. Whilst I have some odd stills from this shoot featured around the Archive, this is the largest collection I have ever seen. There are 33 b/w photos in all. I have used a colour shot from the same shoot to create the above header. I am posting these simply for educational purposes. I have to thank my good friend Kevin Wilkinson for supplying this material. The helpers I am lucky to have here all share the same degree of passion and we strive continuously in making this the best Clint Eastwood educational resource on the web.