Thursday 24 December 2020

Happy Christmas and Yearly Review 2020

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 a little less than one post per week, but of course there has also been hundreds of updates on many of the dedicated pages. Posts also dropped off during the last quarter of this year due to a forced break and illness. So thanks to my great admin team for helping during this period. 
I suppose it’s fair to say that 2020 has been something of a sombre year. However, we have all tried to keep positive, and hopefully attempted to maintain some form of continuity here on the Archive. 
In January we got off to a really bright start and a feature on Anthony James, a co-star and friend of Eastwood and his book which focused on his career in movies. We also posted some nice lobby collections from The Gauntlet and City Heat and some unusual Photo Opportunities. The following month of February brought some exciting news in the shape of the Eastwood Fest at the NFT – a huge season which looked like an ideal chance for some of us to all get together again and catch a few classics such as Dirty Harry and Josey Wales on the big screen. Unfortunately, March brought with it the dreaded Covid lockdown, a turning point that not only wiped out our immediate plans, but changed and reshaped our lives completely. Of course, the whole BFI/Eastwood film festival was cancelled as a result. 
April was a fairly quiet time, one highlight was a small piece I created for The Dalys – Rare UK Fistful of Dollars 7” Record. It was something I had been searching for some time, and was actually tied in with the whole 1967 Fistful of Dollars U.K. promotional campaign. In May I tried to brighten up the general gloom by posting a couple of major photo features including a rare selection from both Dirty Harry and Magnum Force – a nice selection of 28 behind the scenes stills. Later that month, I posted a set of 18 lovely photos entitled Clint at CBS in the Sixties. Also in this month I posted some classic TV appearances. The end of May also brought us Clint’s Birthday, and a special one it was too with Clint celebrating his 90th. Unfortunately we celebrated this a little later due to some technical problems – but it happened, and in great style. In the week of Clint’s birthday the Archive was invited onto BBC radio to talk about Clint’s career. It was great to be part of it and at the same time provided some great nationwide exposure for the Archive. May and June also delivered some very sad news, with the passing of both Ennio Morricone and Lennie Niehaus. Somewhat ironically, July was also the month that brought us the first complete release of Morricone’s soundtrack for Two Mules for Sister Sara, it’s 50th anniversary. Record label LaLa Land provided us with some great support. 
In July I wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kelly’s Heroes, still a major favourite among fans – we celebrated this with a number of posts which also included the surfacing of some pretty rare on set footage. July and August also saw more friends from the Eastwood circle sadly leave us (see below). October at least brought us some good news – the announcement that Clint was returning to screen with his new project, Cry Macho. Based on a book which was published in 1975, the project at least provides us with something positive to look forward to in 2021. In November I put up one of our occasional ‘Clint’s crew’ features, this time on Cinematographer Jack N. Green, the man behind the camera and the man responsible for giving Clint’s movies that signature look. In December we finished on a great positive note and the first ever full release of Ennio Morricone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly soundtrack - a 3 CD collection that was guaranteed to brighten up our Christmas.

In Memoriam:
Unfortunately, 2020 also saw the passing of some people from the Eastwood circle of friends, Anthony James, Lennie Niehaus, Ennio Morricone, John Saxon and Reni Santoni  – all of whom made the Eastwood light shine so brightly and will be sadly missed.

Thank you to everyone and for your continued support - please stay safe during these testing times.

Darren, The Clint Eastwood Archive  

Wednesday 23 December 2020

Ennio Morricone’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (3-CD)

2020 has proven to be a remarkably good year for soundtracks, or more specifically, for Eastwood/Morricone soundtracks. It was only back in the summer that La-La Land launched the incredible 2 x CD 50th Anniversary release of Two Mules for Sister Sara (LLLCD1526), the first time that Morricone’s lush score was released in a complete form.
And now, Quartet Records of Spain, in collaboration with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Capitol Records and Universal Music Enterprises, has released a mammoth 3-CD expanded edition of Ennio Morricone’s iconic score for the no-less iconic 1966 epic western by Sergio Leone: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (QR436).
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY features what is probably the most instantly recognisable and famous of Morricone’s themes. But there is much more to admire in this score, such as the inventive motifs, formation of thematic material and adroit orchestrations (which the Maestro considered possibly even more important than the act of composition). The composer created his own genre and utilized the recording studio as an instrument in achieving his vision by layering trumpets and varying echo to create a sense of depth.
This score is a kaleidoscope of nature call-and-response symbols, agonised shouts, grunting male chorus, epic wordless female voice, haunting harmonica, spiritual bugling trumpets, tolling chimes, vivid surf-rock Fender guitar, and sounds imitating gunfire. It is stylised yet cinematic. It is avant-garde yet embraces traditional film scoring—with some cues scored reverently for trumpet, harmonica, strings and chorus.
The original 34-minute album has seen countless releases on LP and CD since 1966. An expanded 55-minute CD edition was released in 2001, but it was still far from including all the material that Morricone had conceived for the film. For this new Quartet release we have included all this material thanks to newly discovered original recording sessions vaulted in mono at MGM, which also include a large number of alternates, revised cues and music that was ultimately not included in the film. The original album has been included on Disc 3 for its historical value, although it has been remastered for the first time from the first-generation stereo master tapes.
The entire collection has been painstakingly restored and mastered by Chris Malone. The package includes a richly illustrated 24-page booklet with liner notes by Tim Greiving, who offers a detailed analysis of the film and score, including quotes from an exclusive interview with Clint Eastwood given especially for this release. This album is a loving tribute to the memory and impressive legacy of arguably one of the greatest composers in film music history: Maestro Ennio Morricone.
The collection is already proving to be incredibly popular with Quartet’s website already stating that this is already ‘temporarily out of stock’ – so I would urge anyone who has not yet bought this set to check the site regularly for any further announcements. I can’t emphasise enough how important this release is as it is destined to become a very expensive and highly prized collectable. 
DISC 1. The Film Score
1. Prologo / Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (titoli) (2:47)
2. Il brutto / Il tramonto (1:21)
3. Morte di Stevens (0:55)
4. Morte di Baker / Il cattivo (0:27)
5. Una taglia sulla testa / Un angelo biondo (0:52)
6. Fuga a cavallo (0:45)
7. Il buono / Il biondo abbandona Tuco nel deserto (0:37)
8. La confessione di Maria (1:14)
9. Il ponte di corde (0:50)
10. Tuco fa la colletta (1:05)
11. Suspense (1:14)
12. I tre desperados / Una cannonata provvindenziale (1:10)
13. Il forte (2:21)
14. All’inseguimento del biondo (2:25)
15. Il deserto (5:16)
16. Il deserto secondo (2:39)
17. Lo stivale (0:59)
18. La carrozza dei fantasmi (2:07)
19. Biondo… non morire! (0:56)
20. La missione di San Antonio / Il mio miglior nemico veglia su di me (2:23)
21. Incontro con Padre Ramirez / Perdonami fratello / Ti aiuterà a difenderti (2:38)
22. Il Canyon dei Morti / Dio è con noi (0:26)
23. Marcetta prima / Marcetta seconda (2:45)
24. Il campo di prigionia di Betterville (1:25)
25. La storia di un soldato (5:34)
26. Un treno per la forca / Partenza del treno militare (1:56)
27. Tuco e Wallace (La storia di un soldato) (3:52)
28. Tuco scappa / Arrivo nella cittadina / Fine di una spia (1:16)
29. Il bandito monco (2:52)
30. Inseguilo! (0:56)
31. Il bagnoschiuma di Tuco (0:46)
32. Due contro cinque / Verso duecentomilla dollari (4:06)
DISC 2. The Film Score (Cont.)
1. Il capitano nordista (3:12)
2. Due assalti al giorno (2:08)
3. Il capitano e’ ferito (1:20)
4. Marcetta senza speranza (1:51)
5. L’ esplosione del ponte (0:48)
6. Morte di un soldato (3:17)
7. L’estasi dell’oro (3:23)
8. In due scaverete più presto! / Il triello (2:50)
9. Il triello seconda parte (2:20)
10. Non e’ uno scherzo, e’una corda / Nella linea del mirino / Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (0:56)
11. Finale (2:01)
Bonus Tracks
12. Titoli (Versione film con cannonata) (2:46)
13. La storia di un soldato (Orchestral Version) (2:54)
14. Il tramonto (Alternate) (0:58)
15. Morte di Stevens (Alternate) (0:54)
16. Fuga a cavallo (Film Version) (0:45)
17. Intermezzo musicale (0:23)
18. Il forte (Alternate) (0:56)
19. Marcetta (Alternate) (2:44)
20. Organo (0:16)
21. Organo secondo (1:33)
22. L’estasi dell’oro (Mono Album Mix) (3:23)
23. Il triello (Alternate) (3:15)
24. Il triello / Il triello seconda parte (Extended Version) (7:13)
25. La storia di un soldato (Alternate) (3:56)
26. Lo stivale (Extended Sustain) (2:17)
27. Uahuah & effetti (2:04)
28. La storia di un soldato (Extended Stereo Version) (7:29)
29. Il triello (Alternate – Stereo Mix) (3:15)
30. La storia di un soldato (Extended Version) (3:55)
31. Titoli (Versione film con cannonata – Stereo Mix) (2:47)

DISC 3. Original Soundtrack Album
1. Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (2:42)
2. Il tramonto (1:16)
3. Il forte (2:23)
4. Il deserto (5:18)
5. La carrozza dei fantasmi (2:08)
6. Marcetta (2:50)
7. La storia di un soldato (3:54)
8. Marcetta senza speranza (1:52)
9. Morte di un soldato (3:10)
10. L’estasi dell’oro (3:24)
11. Il triello (4:57)

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Incredibly Rare Fistful of Dollars U.K. Quad Poster surfaces

 Well here’s something you just don’t see every day. This week an incredibly rare U.K. Quad poster (size 30” x 40”) surfaced within the U.K. The poster is believed to be an early re-issue poster. Other than that it is something of a mystery. The seller stated in his description that, “it appears the poster was received rolled as no creases appear on the main body of the poster.” He continued, “Back in the 1970s and 80s I was part of a club that used to run fund raising dances, usually themed. If I thought I could “scrounge” anything from any of the many film companies, then I would send a letter and often publicity material such as film posters would arrive. These would be put up for the dance and then ended up rolled up in my loft. Some arrived folded some rolled.”

Whilst the poster has a little edge wear due to age (digitally restored here for purposes of the Archive), the poster is in incredibly good shape. The poster proved to be very popular, which isn’t too surprising considering its rarity value. After some fierce battling it eventually sold for £255.00. 

I am also pleased to report that the poster went to a very good friend and part of the administration team here at the Archive, Davy Triumph. It’s certainly the first time either Davy or myself have seen this one.So congratulations Sir, I’m over the moon that you managed to secure it.