Monday 23 December 2019

Happy Christmas and 2019 Review

As always, I would like to begin by wishing Clint a very happy Christmas on behalf of all his fans and everyone connected with the Archive. I would also like to thank and wish a very happy Christmas to everyone who helps me to bring all of this material here and for the benefit of the fans. This year we have averaged at least one post per week, but of course there has been hundreds of updates on many of the dedicated pages.
In January we started the year off in fine form with 50 Rare Hang ‘em High photos taken by Doris Nieh. We also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Where Eagles Dare with the screening and Q&A session at the NFT in London. It was a great chance for a good group of us to all meet up with people travelling to London from all corners of the UK.
Over February to April we reported on some incredible Eastwood related vinyl and the astonishingly high prices that they were reaching in auctions. We also published a fascinating feature with Quentin Tarantino on Don Siegel and Escape from Alcatraz. April also featured a super rare radio interview when Roy Leonard interviewed Clint on Oct 18th 1971. And we also published the first news that Richard Jewell was back on as Clint’s new project.
In May I was especially happy to publish the Magnum Force 50th Anniversary Press Still collection. It was the result of over a year’s work and in order to bring all of the 110 stills up to scratch. Nevertheless I was very pleased with the overall project. Also in May we published a large selection of rare shots from The Beguiled and paired them up with some notes I had gathered over the years – specifically by Pamelyn Ferdin and her memories of working on the film.
The summer months saw the Richard Jewell project progressing with confirmation of Sam Rockwell, Paul Walter Hauser and Ian Gomez joining the cast. Clint’s previous success The Mule was also released on Blu-ray and DVD and became one of the year’s bestselling titles. In July we published our major summer feature; You wouldn’t hit a Lady would you? Throwing Down the Gauntlet by Marneen L. Fields and John Harrison. Marneen was the stunt woman who took a major dive from the moving freight train in The Gauntlet, and has since become a most treasured friend. We also had time to fit in a nice little piece about Clint on Universal 8mm, for those who remember the format!
In September we marked the 55th Anniversary since A Fistful of Dollars made its Italian premiere in 1964. In the same month I also discovered a rare 1970 fashion shoot or as we crowned it, ‘Clint’s venture into studmuffin territory’ Hey, they’re great fun shots!
October saw the first release of a trailer for Richard Jewell, and an indication that the post production work was moving at quite a pace. In November we reported on the Richard Jewell (2019) AFI Premiere, with associated stories and reviews. We also reported on some lovely rare items that had surfaced including posters, records, the 1978 Inside Kung Fu magazine and a huge book on Ennio Morricone.

In Memoriam:
Unfortunately, 2019 saw the passing of far too many people from the Eastwood circle of friends, Verna Bloom, Paul Koslo, Kip Niven, Billy Drago, Paul Benjamin, Freddie Jones, Terry O'Neill and of course the legendary Doris Day. Friends, co-stars, associates and Carmel neighbours – all of which made the Eastwood light shine so much brighter and will be sadly missed.

Thank you to everyone and for your continued support
Darren, The Clint Eastwood Archive  

Monday 9 December 2019

Ennio Morricone: Master of the Soundtrack (2019)

Ennio Morricone: Master of the Soundtrack, Hardcover: by Maurizio Baroni, 368 pages, Publisher: Gingko Press; 01 edition.

Whilst Maurizio Baroni’s book on Maestro Ennio Morricone might not be the first to be released in 2019, it is certainly a serious contender as the most rewarding. Comparing Baroni’s book with the summer release of Alessandro De Rosa’s Ennio Morricone: In His Own Words, is perhaps a little unfair. Both books are very different in terms of context. De Rosa’s book is a more methodical study of Morricone’s compositional style, his non-film music and other composers. In essence it is written more in a biographical style.
However, Master of the Soundtrack is laid out in a very simplistic way and with the main focus (for the first time) centring on Morricone’s discography. Baroni’s book consists of two basic halves. The first half features a great deal of written articles and interviews from the likes of famous admirers, directors and critics. Among the contributors are; John Carpenter, Quentin Tarantino, Sir Christopher Frayling, Edda Dell’Orso, Dario Argento, John Boorman and a great deal more. Most of the written pieces have previously been published but nevertheless work perfectly when gathered together and set out among this single bound volume. Trying to track down various articles and interviews on Morricone is seldom an easy task, but Baroni is a fan first and foremost, and as a result, provided all of the practical legwork and strenuous digging on our behalf. From a fan’s perspective, all that is required is for us is to sit back, read and reap the rewards. The written articles make up for the first thirty or so pages and make the book very easy to navigate. 
The second phase of the book (pages 31-332) are split into decades and is a lavish compendium of Morricone’s catalogue of work. Each of the chapter’s opening pages introduces a complete year-by-year discography of Morricone’s film and television soundtrack releases along with their associated directors. It is here where you first begin to digest the sheer sense of enormity and proficiency in regards to the composer’s vast body of work. From here on, Baroni’s book shifts into top gear with page upon page of beautifully illustrated covers consisting of albums, EPs and 45s – all of which have been collated from various regions of the globe.   
All of the images are supported by captions providing either background information and/or fascinating related titbits. The editors have also refused to scrimp when it comes to reproducing these splendid images. There are no postage stamp sized illustrations here. Instead you will find half page images often with two more covers occupying the other half page. 
The illustrations have clearly not been hurried, the attention to detail is first rate and it is obvious that whoever was responsible for this task has taken the time to lovingly restore each and every record sleeve. It not only stands out, but also makes all the difference. It simply elevates this book into a whole new level of quality. Add to this the occasional full page of original sheet music or cue sheets and it pretty much confirms we are in the comforting realms of Morricone bliss.
Ennio Morricone: Master of the Soundtrack is not a cheap book, but admirers of the Italian composer will simply love it, as would any serious collector of soundtrack music. One could argue that you are paying by the poundage when it comes to this heavyweight beast of a book. However, rest assured, upon its arrival, you may also find a counter argument – in that it’s actually worth every single ounce. To order click here 

Saturday 7 December 2019

Inside Kung Fu Magazine, February 1978

The February 1978 edition of Inside Kung Fu Magazine is often regarded among Eastwood fans as one of the coolest of cover shots. Clint is featured on the cover with Martial arts expert Donnie Williams, cool enough… Then there’s Clint wearing the holster and holding the gun from his latest action thriller, The Gauntlet. And finally, add to that the belt buckles that both Clint and Donnie are wearing, featuring Clint as Josey Wales. Yes, there is a lot to like about this shot. It’s a photo that I have been looking out to obtain for a great deal of years - without success. It’s much like the magazine itself. Tracking down a copy has also been something of a challenge, but I’m glad to say the hunt is finally over.  I have to give a big shout out (and my sincere thanks) to friend of the archive Gary Bennett who kindly sold me this magazine.
                Whilst the cover image appears on the web from time to time, the article inside is seldom seen. Therefore, I have taken the opportunity to now share this on the archive. I have scanned the first 4 pages which covers the relevant text and photos featuring Clint. Beyond this point, the article extends to another 3 pages but the focus is more on Williams and his career.
Click on images for higher resolution and full size view