Tuesday 21 July 2020

Kelly’s Heroes: Celebrating its 50th Anniversary - Behind the Scenes on Location footage with Clint and Don Rickles

It‘s incredible to think that Brian G. Hutton’s 2nd World War Two film has now reached its 50th Anniversary – it seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Where Eagles Dare. I thought it would be nice to post a few bits here this week – as we seem to be in the middle of the film’s U.S. premiere (June 1970) and its U.K. release (September 1970). Other features on Kelly’s Heroes can already be found here on the Archive, so these will be more in a retrospective and reflective style. However, let’s begin with some fascinating newly discovered material.
Here is an incredible piece of film from the set and on location during the filming of Kelly's Heroes. It features a great deal of quick firing fun (and signature roasting style) from the late, great Don Rickles. Lasting almost 12 minutes, it’s a fascinating glimpse into the atmosphere that was created during the filming.
In the second clip (which looks to be from a more restored source), reporter Susan White gives Don a taste of his own medicine. In 1969 Susan White, reporter for WMAR-TV in Baltimore, was invited to go on a MGM movie junket to Yugoslavia. She was one of just 14 broadcasters from throughout the world to be included in this trip. In Belgrade, Yugoslavia, on the movie set of what would become known as Kelly's Heroes (in both clips the film is referred to as The Warriors, its original shooting title). During this time, Susan and the others interviewed Clint Eastwood, Telly Salvalas and Don Rickles. When everyone else tried to interview comedian Don Rickles he didn't let them get in a word or a question and made fun of their inability to do so. So when it was Susan's turn she decided to turn try and turn the tables on the King of the put down. At the end, Rickles looks as if he has nothing but respect. It’s just wonderful. Where are those other interviews with the rest of the cast? These would be incredible to see.
I have to thank 2 very special friends of the Archive, Mal and Jayne Baker for finding this material, and of course the original up-loaders, we’re so grateful for you sharing.

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