Monday 9 March 2020

Possibly the ‘strangest’ looking triple-bill, ever!

There have certainly been some strange looking movie advertisements and posters over the decades, but this one recently sent to me by one of administrators Davy Triumph, really is a curiosity.
This is an original flyer from the Shadyside Drive-in theatre situated in Albertville, Alabama. Sadly, there is no year for this great triple bill, but the drive in was opened on June 7, 1951. Car capacity was listed at 400. Owners/operators were Thomas Orr, Martin Theatres then from 1975 until closing in the early-1980’s was United Amusements. However, one giveaway is the artwork, which suggests it couldn’t of been earlier than 1970…
Which brings us to the artwork? So, the triple bill showing (which took place for four days, one summer in June) consisted of A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and Hang ‘em High. There’s certainly no problem with that line-up.  
But the artwork used on this flyer is confusing to say the least? A Fistful of Dollars uses artwork which has no association at all with the film? It took a good, educated eye (our other administrator, Kevin Wilkinson) to spot that this was in fact, an altered piece of art (left) from Tony Anthony’s ‘Stranger’ western trilogy, more specifically, The Stranger Returns (1967). Like Clint’s ‘man with no name’ character, Tony Anthony’s character was also cast simply as a ‘stranger’ - a man with no name. This raises the question as if there was some degree of confusion from the team who put this flyer together, and is enhanced further by the next film, For a Few Dollars More. Here it gets even stranger. The artwork used here is from Clint’s Universal film Two Mules for Sister Sara! One is left asking the question – if the team responsible had even heard of the Dollar trilogy?
Finally, order is restored when it comes to the movie Hang ‘em high – which at least uses some correct artwork. It’s also interesting that the flyer also includes the tagline ‘Try a little tenderness’ a tagline that was originally used to promote the double bill showing of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly / Hang ‘em high. One thing is for sure, it’s certainly a mixed bag and has to be one of the strangest forms of Eastwood advertising we’ve come across. I guess it takes all sorts.